By David Hollingworth

The flamboyant style of House Hazat lets proponents of the style purchase the following actions at one level less than normal.

The flamboyant style of House Hazat lets proponents of the style purchase the following actions at one level less than normal: Slash, Parry/Riposte, Athletic Strike, Double Strike. The Hazat favour a style with lots of broad actions, and gracefully athletic maneuvers. They also tend to only use a single blade, so the following actions cost one point more: Off-hand and Cloak. Due to the Hazat's rather large emphasis on honourable fighting, the Feint action also costs one more.

House Hawkwood are the other main duelling House, and thus have a very distinct style. Hawkwood Nobles tend more towards the traditional fence, with energy shields replacing cumbersome padded doublets, and a spark of the shield replacing the traditional 'first touch'. Afficianados of hte Hawkwood style my purchase the following for one point less: Thrust, Flat of Blade, Feint and Parry/Riposte. The style is a little unimaginative, and does not always translate to the real world, so Draw and Strike and Disarm cost one point more.

House Decados tends to either adopt established styles, or its members study fiercely to establish their own styles. Nonetheless, the Decados do favour a less honourable solution to fighting a duel. Actions such as Draw and Strike, Disarm, Feint, Off-hand and Pierce, when used in the true Decados style, cost one point less. One advantage of the Decados taught fence is that there are no disadvantaged actions - who would be so stupid as to discount any path to victory.

House Al Malik are the only other Major House that is fond of dueling, but they are rather more pragmatic, and favour no style over any other.

The last fencing style of merit, is that adopted by officers of the Imperial Guard. Their rather more martial attitude has given them a style of furious action and counter strike, using anything at hand to win the day, and attiude that has no doubt been introduced by some the non-Noble elements in the Guard. Slash, Off-hand, Cloak and Pierce are all favoured by Guardsmen, and cost players one point less. Of course, subtlety has never been a tool of the Guard, so Flat of Blade, Disarm and Feint cost one more point than normal.

By Stuart Ellis.

La Destreza or Numinous Symmetries

Geometry and logic are central to this school. The diestro keeps his sword pointed towards his opponent and holds his body almost sideways whilst moving in and around an imaginary circle the diameter of the fighters' combined reach, seeking the best angles of attack. Calculated movements and positioning of the blade are used to try to control the opponent and his weapon, maneuvering them into vulnerable positions or redirecting attacks with the minimum of risk. Using the correct angle for the greatest efficiency is the first and last rule of La Destreza.

Learning the art takes a long period of theoretical study and practical training, but the benefits make it the main style of the Hazat, who take pride in the discipline and precision it instils. To their acute embarrassment the acknowledged master is Count Xiao Li Halan, one of many members of his House who prefer its orderliness to the Decados-tainted Ferro.

Carefully judged movements like Feint, Compound Attack and Fancy Footwork are one level lower. The instincts of caution and using the circle hammered into diestro increase the cost of Draw & Strike and Athletic Strike by two points.


There are actually many variations of Ferro, each Master of Defence has his own interpretations and favorite tricks. However it is agreed that the Ferroni should mirror his opponents stance and strike when the opponents weakens his own defence by attacking, with movements in straight lines in order to carry out each action with the maximum of speed. There are actually hundreds of carefully defined maneuvers, ploys and strategems based on the principles of Ferro but many are of dubious value in serious combat. Young nobles concentrate on the ideals of quickness and daring, whilst experienced swordsmen also remember patience and observation. Defence is through attack, parries involve moving into the line of the attack to force it away and often turn into a counter-thrust.

Although this school is common throughout the Known Worlds and has spread further in the new peace it remains associated with the Decados, whose competitiveness and frequent duels keep it constantly evolving. Dedicated Ferroni spend more time arguing about their ever-changing art than they do using it. One major debating point is whether the greatest master is Baron Alessandro Decados or Sir Maximilian van Gelder, and if their next duel will end in a fatality.

The standard actions of this style: Thrust, Stop Thrust, and Parry/Riposte, are one level less but its emphasis on offense means that Parry, Flat of Blade and Wall of Steel cost an extra point to learn.


This conservative style emphasises the precise control of the blade and the rigorous use of the 'four governors' of combat: judgement, distance, time and place. The swordsman picks his ground and faces his opponent squarely, taking a few steps forwards or backwards to maintain enough distance between them for him to react to every attack with a simple movement of his sword at the right time. Attacking is not as important as a perfect defence, because one attack can be enough.

The first users of Katzenfell were actually Hawkwood nobles using bastard swords to fend off heavily armoured barbarian raiders but its principles have been adapted for the one-handed sword, sometimes paired with a physical shield. Although 'progressive' or fashionable nobles see it as outdated it remains common, especially on the worlds bordering Kurgan and Vuldrok space. Emperor Alexius is usually said to be the finest master of this school but Margrave Karalus Hawkwood is the most experienced.

Counter Parry, Disarm, Wall of Steel and Pierce are one level lower. Fancy Footwork, Florentine, Athletic Strike and Double Strike cost an extra point.