The 1,000 Years of Steel

The 1,000 Years of Steel are a series of Kata that become widely popular in the twelfth century, gaining support among talented swordsmen throughout the Empire. Originally devised by the unlikely pairing of a Mirumoto swordsman and a Kakita duelist, the Kata series built upon centuries of technique refinement from both schools, and also capitalized on certain oft-denied similarities between the two styles of swordsmanship. It was the hope of the series’ founders that these Kata might help promote better relations between the martial institutions of the Crane and Dragon clans, but so far this does not seem to have been the case; in fact, the use of the Kata series has become another point of contention between the two schools as often as not.

The Empire Rests on its Edge

The first essential truth of the Steel Kata series is that the ancestors of both families believed the way of the sword was reflected in every aspect of life. Those who master this kata come to understand a true warrior can balance all things on the edge of a pure blade.

  • Ring/Mastery: Air 3 or Fire 3
  • Schools: Any (Mirumoto and Kakita bushi reduce the Ring requirements by 1)
  • Special: Can only be used with a katana or daisho
  • Effect: Upon learning this Kata, choose one High Skill that is not a combat skill. You must spend +2 Experience Points each time you increase your Rank in that Skill. When you are utilizing this Kata, you gain a bonus to the total of your Kenjutsu or Iaijutsu Skill Rolls equal to your Rank in the chosen High Skill.

The World is Empty

The masters of both the Kakita and the Mirumoto schools understand that a hidden connection exists between all things in the universe – what the Phoenix refer to as the Void. The connection, when properly understood by a swordsman, can give rise to moments of true greatness.

  • Ring/Mastery: Air 4 or Fire 4
  • Schools: Any (Mirumoto and Kakita bushi reduce Ring requirements by 1)
  • Special: Can only be used with a katana or daisho
  • Effect: When this Kata is activated, you gain a bonus of +Xk0 to your Kenjutsu or Iaijutsu attack rolls, where X is equal to the number of Void Points you currently possess. This Kata’s benefit lasts for a number of Rounds equal to the number of Void Points you possess when you activate it, ending during the Reactions stage of the last Round. When it ends, you lose 1 Void Point.

Victory of the River

True mastery of the sword is the understanding that between the time the sword is drawn and the time it is sheathed, there is only one strike. The strike may dance and weave like the wind or flame, but a true master makes ten attacks in a single movement.

  • Ring/Mastery: Air 5 or Fire 5
  • Schools: Any (Mirumoto and Kakita bushi reduce Ring requirements by 1)
  • Special: Can only be used with a katana or daisho
  • Effect: When you successfully strike an opponent while this Kata is active, his Armor TN is reduced by 10 against your subsequent attacks for a period of three Rounds. However, your own Armor TN is also reduced by 10 while this benefit is active. You may only have one opponent affected by this Kata at a time, and the effects are not cumulative, although subsequent strikes can “re-set” the three-Round time limit.

Standing on the Heavens

The Mirumoto and Kakita have been rivals for more than a thousand years, but they are tied together by a single commonality: the soul of Thunder. Mirumoto rode to the Shadowlands alongside Kakita’s daughter to defeat Fu Leng, and neither returned. In this, both families share a connection to one another and to the Heavens themselves. As Shinsei said, fortune favors the mortal man.

  • Ring/Mastery: Air 6 or Fire 6
  • Schools: Any (Mirumoto and Kakita bushi reduce Ring requirements by 1)
  • Special: Can only be used with a katana or daisho
  • Effect: Once per Round, when you are struck by a successful attack roll during combat, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to force your opponent to immediately re-roll the attack

The 1,000 Years of Steel

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