The art of swordplay is one that is familiar to everyone in a fantasy setting, to some degree, and the way of the duelist is that art taken to the extreme. Some approach the sword as a tool, others as an extension of themselves. Some fight because they must, and some because they can, and others because they want to. Of these last, the duelist is the flashiest practitioner of elaborate swordplay, and duelists are as individual as the leaves of a tree. Duelists fight for the thrill of fighting and of matching their skills against others. They care not whether the conflict results in death, so long as someone is victor. But duelists approach their art in different ways. Two schools of dueling and two masters give you an insight into some of the many variations of this art, along with the spells that assist them. Consider two approaches in this Random Encounter set of articles.
The brainchild of the duelist Tendra Maralis, the Way of the Flashing Blade is more like a monastery than a swordplay school. Find out more about this disciplined academy.
The arcane duelist is a tricky, evasive opponent who relies on her foe's perceptions of her abilities as much as her actual abilities. Through magic, the arcane duelist can appear to be as dangerous as a duelist, but in general she does not do as much damage to her opponents. See what this prestige class has to offer!
In a remote part of the city, near its edge, one finds what appears to be a zoo or animal farm. Its sign boasts that it is the Cat's Claw Dueling Pride, and an inquirer would find that it is in fact a school of dueling rather than just a club. Within, students learn the ways of fighting like a cat, but with the rapier or longsword. Learn more about the pride!
The two dueling schools are the products of their creators' visions, and neither would survive the demise of its creator for very long. The Way of the Flashing Blade Academy might last longer, but would devolve in the face of conflicts between the masters without Maralis's strong hand. And the Cat's Pride would disband almost immediately with the loss of its leader, Miromar. Find out more about these two people.
About the Author
Robert Wiese's love of gaming started in the Boy Scouts, where you'd think there was enough to do to keep one from playing roleplaying games. Through college he has played in some great home campaigns, and he discovered the RPGA at a small game day in 1991. He worked for RPGA for six and a half years, filling almost every job duty that exists on the staff at one time or another. Honorably retired from service as the RPGA Operations Manager, he lives in Nevada and coordinates RPGA activities at Gen Con and Winter Fantasy for the Network. He also writes gaming goodies from time to time. He gardens a lot, is learning to train dogs, and devotes as much time as possible to his beloved wife Rhonda.
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