Quelques éclats de jade
The Kakita Bushi School
The sacred art of iaijutsu is practiced by all clans, but none have truly mastered it in the same manner as the sensei at the Kakita Dueling Academy. The School focuses unapologetically upon dueling. Other skills are part of the core teachings, but they are considered incidental and in many cases are offered only because some facet of their instruction relates in some way to iaijutsu. While there are those in the Empire who have criticized the School for its narrow focus, few can argue with the results; many battles have been won by the Crane because an enemy general was slain in a duel before the fighting began. Likewise the Crane stranglehold on the courts is easier to maintain when any challenge can be answered by a Kakita champion taking the courtier’s place in a duel.
The Kakita Techniques place an obvious emphasis on iaijutsu but several of them can be of use in both dueling and general skirmishing. The Kakita are generally faster than most opponents, reflected in their Initiative bonuses, and are able to utilize the Center Stance for greater benefits than normal, both in dueling and outside.
KAKITA BUSHI SCHOOL
Benefit: +1 Reflexes
Skills: Etiquette, Iaijutsu (Focus), Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Sincerity, Tea Ceremony, any one Bugei or High Skill
Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Traveling Pack, 10 koku
RANK 1: THE WAY OF THE CRANE
The study of the sword demonstrates the many ways in which the art of Kakita’s technique can be applied. You add twice your Iaijutsu Skill Rank to all Initiative rolls. You gain a bonus of +1k1 plus your School Rank to the total of all attack and Focus rolls while assuming the Center Stance. This bonus also applies during the Combat Round following one in which you assumed the Center Stance.
RANK 2: SPEED OF LIGHTNING
Enemies who are slow or weak of spirit are doomed to failure. You gain a bonus of +2k0 to the total of all attack rolls against those with lower Initiative than your own.
RANK 3: FIRST AND LAST STRIKE
A Kakita Bushi is feared throughout the Empire as a follower of the oldest and most venerated dueling tradition in the Empire. You may Strike first in a duel if you win the Iaijutsu/Void roll by a difference of 3 or higher. You gain a Free Raise on your Strike for each additional margin of 3 instead of 5.
RANK 4: ONE STRIKE, TWO CUTS
With one pure strike, the advanced student of Kakita’s technique cuts his opponent twice. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while using weapons with the Samurai keyword.
RANK 5: STRIKE WITH NO THOUGHT
A true student of Kakita requires no thought before the perfect strike, depending entirely on instinct. You may take one Simple Action per Turn while assuming the Center Stance. You gain the benefits of Center Stance while you assume the Stance instead of the following Turn, and you may remain in Center Stance as many consecutive Turns as desired. The Simple Action you take can be a Move Action (bypassing the normal restriction of the Center Stance).