Akaishi Schools

Basic Schools

Natsurai Defender

The heavy infantry of the Akaishi are drawn predominantly from the ranks of the Natsurai, and are trained in the ancient techniques handed down by the Family's founder, the Thunder-Voiced Lord of the Storm himself. Each student of the Defender School becomes as unto a walking castle in the image of Thunderbolt Fortress itself, and together they form the bulk of those forces manning the great Kuroyama Wall. A trained Defender is an immovable object, clad in the heaviest armor available and wielding the largest weapon that can be found.

Bonus Attribute: Stamina
School Skills: Athletics, Coercion, Defense, Lore: Leechspawn, Any one Military skill, Any one skill. Either Weapon: Samurai or Kanabōjutsu and Kenjutsu.
Emphasis: Emphasis in one Heavy Weapon
Honor: 3.5
Outfit: Daishō, Heavy or Medium Armor, Travelling Clothes, Any Heavy Weapon, Personal Effects, 3 Ryō.

Rank 1 - The Mountain Stirs
You ignore all numerical penalties for wearing heavy armor, except when using the Stealth Skill. When using a [Large] [Melee] weapon, you gain +1k0 to all damage rolls. [Large] [Melee] weapons are [Samurai] weapons for you.
The Guardians of the Kuroyama Wall are trained to utilize only the most powerful tools at their disposal.

Rank 2 - Iron Within Stone
You add your Earth Ring to your total Reduction.
To the enemies of the Unwanted, blood is something to be protected.

Rank 3 - A Storm in All Seasons
You may attack as a simple action when attacking with a [Samurai] weapon.
While most Samurai prefer to keep one hand free to signal or preform jujutsu, the Akaishi forsake such flexibility for raw power.

Rank 4 - Under the Weight
When attacking with a [Samurai] weapon you gain access to the following maneuver

Rockslide - 0 Raises, 1 Void Point. When this maneuver is called, ignore up to 4 Reduction and inflict Stun.
The typical equipment of the Natsurai Defender is more than enough to deal with the lesser minions of the King of Leeches. Thus, this technique was made to deal with everything else.

Rank 5 - A Body Tempered by Mind
During the Readying Phase you may spend a Void Point. During the next round of combat you ignore penalties and restrictions from Wound Ranks, Exhausted, Incapacitated, and Stun.
Even when their bodies bloodied and pocked with wounds, the master Natsurai can call upon the divinity in their blood to fight without inhibition.

Natsurai Ironheart

The unholy blood of the Leech-Kissed demons the Akaishi fight can sometimes corrode even steel, and generations of samurai fighting with no weapon left to them but their bare hands have left behind the accumulated experience that forms the basis of the clan's style of unarmed martial arts. Practitioners focus on brutal strikes, and on standing firm against monster and man alike. Many Ironhearts serve as yojimbo, for they may go where weapons are forbidden without fearing any loss of effectiveness.

Bonus Attribute: Agility
School Skills: Athletics, Coercion, Defense, Lore: Leechspawn, Any one Military skill, Any one skill. Either Weapon: Samurai or Jujutsu and Kenjutsu.
Emphasis: Improvised Weapons (Jujutsu or Weapon: Samurai)
Honor: 3.5
Outfit: Daishō, Heavy or Medium Armor, Travelling Clothes, Any Heavy Weapon or Polearm, Personal Effects, 3 Ryō.

Rank 1 - Stone Within, Stone Without
You gain +Xk0 to all rolls to resist Fear and Coercion, where X is equal to your Earth ring. You gain a bonus of +Yk0 to all Jujutsu tests and contests and when dealing damage with a Jujutsu weapon, where Y is equal to half your Earth ring. Jujutsu weapons are [Samurai] weapons for you.
An Ironheart always strikes without fear for their own flesh, as they know metal armor will break before their fists.

Rank 2 - The Eight Clubs
When calling raises, gain 2 Free Raises you may only use towards the Extra Attack maneuver. Extra attacks made with those Free Raises must use Jujutsu weapons.
The Ironheart does not consider when they will next strike, but from which direction.

Rank 3 - Boulder After Boulder
You may attack as a simple action when attacking with a [Samurai] weapon.
Woe is he that stands in the path of the Earth.

Rank 4 - Oneness with All Blades
Up to your Void rank times per encounter, after a melee attack targeting you resolves (after it misses or you take damage), you may roll either Jujutsu/Agility or Weapon: Samurai/Agiilty, contested by your opponent's (relevant weapon skill)/Agility. If you win the contest, you may immediately roll damage against the attacker using their weapon (but your strength, techniques, and masteries).
All Ironheart masters eventually realize that if a blade is an extension of a swordsman, as a limb is, then that blade can be controlled as their limbs can.

Rank 5 - The Mountain Collapses
As a complex action, you may spend a void point and strike a target with a melee weapon you are wielding. This attack ignores all effects of armor on ATN and Reduction, all negative penalties you would suffer from Wound Ranks, Status Effects, and Disadvantages, and you gain +3k1 to the damage roll.
Calling upon the spirit of Natsurai himself, the Ironheart lashes out with a force that can surely best any foe.

Fujizuru Skirmisher

The Skirmishers of the Fujizuru practice a highly mobile martial style pioneered by the Family founder at the dawn of the Empire. Rather than weathering blows, practitioners of these techniques seek never to allow them to land at all, and it is said that to strike a Fujizuru is like striking at the air. Quick and cautious, students of this art also more at home in the Bloodmire than most others, and they defend the Empire before the Wall as often as upon it.

Bonus Attribute: Willpower
School Skills: Athletics, Defense, Hunting, Lore: Leechspawn, Stealth, any one skill. Either Weapon: Samurai or Kenjutsu and Shōjutsu.
Emphasis: Katana (Kenjutsu or Weapon: Samurai)
Honor: 4.5
Outfit: Aiguchi, Daishō, Light or Medium Armor, Travelling Clothes, Yumi with 20 arrows, Personal Effects, 3 Ryō.

Rank 1 - The Proper Pace
While in the Water Stance, gain +1k0 to your attacks. While you are wielding a Masakari, it counts as a Hand Weapon for the purposes of the Shōjutsu skill and Masteries. Knives and Masakari are [Samurai] weapons for you.
Endurance is the way of the Fujizuru. To set the proper pace is the surest method of victory.

Rank 2 - The Thrum of Battle
While in the Attack Stance, you gain a bonus of 5 to your Armor Target Number for each successful melee attack you have made. This bonus stacks, but caps at a total of 5*School Rank.
Every battle has a rhythm. For every moment where aggression surges, there is another where it must ebb. The Skirmisher defends themselves at each peak, and attacks in each valley.

Rank 3 - The Blade Sings Too
You may attack as a simple action when attacking with a [Samurai] weapon.
Often discordant, the blade of a Skirmisher leads its wielder to silence the din of battle.

Rank 4 - A Sour Note
Once per round, after you have been targeted by a melee attack but before it has been rolled, you may add twice your rank to your Armor Target Number against that attack.
Their spirits harmonized with combat, master Skirmishers tend to develop a sixth sense for incoming strikes.

Rank 5 - The Perfect Pitch
After you kill a target with a melee attack, your next attack in this encounter deals extra damage equal to the excess damage dealt to the killed target. (The excess damage being the damage that was dealt that was not required to actually kill the target)
True mastery of pacing requires that no effort is expended frivolously. Those rare few who have mastered this mystical technique truly know what it means to waste not.

Fujizuru Tracker

The formation of the Fujizuru's second school was prompted by the return of the Yorukuusai and the brutal attack upon the Wall by the Leech-Kissed forces of the gaijin god, Ezen Ayangakhol. The fallen steppe-god's assault demonstrated that however deeply into the Bloodmire the Family's warriors had penetrated, greater dangers would always lurk unseen farther on— unseen, and un-prepared for. To discover these threats and return with word of them, the Trackers were formed, and their techniques have taken shape over centuries of exploration in the most dangerous environment known. Practitioners focus on stealth, evasion, and on striking like lightning before fading away like the wind.

Bonus Attribute: Reflexes
School Skills: Athletics, Hunting, Lore: Leechspawn, Stealth, Any one Military skill, Any one skill. Either Weapon: Samurai or Kenjutsu and Kyujutsu.
Emphasis: Sneaking (Stealth)
Honor: 4.5
Outfit: Aiguchi, Daishō, Light Armor, Medium Armor, Traveling Clothes, Yumi with 20 arrows, Personal Effects, 3 Ryō.

Rank 1 - Contemplation of Borders
Gain your stealth skill rank to your Initiative. For a number of characters equal to your Hunting skill, your rations and supplies are consumed half as quickly. While in the Bloodmire or Crimson Shoals you gain +1k0 to stealth tests and contests and always know in which direction and how far away the Empire is. Knives and bows are [Samurai] weapons for you.
There are many boundaries in this world, the most important of which must be felt rather than seen.

Rank 2 - Contemplation of Gales
You suffer no penalty or restriction to movement from the Earth stance. You may run long distance for X hours, where X is equal to your Stamina + Insight Rank; once you stop running you become exhausted.
To become the wind is to be invisible, unburdened, and swift. It is no wonder the Fujizuru Trackers revere it so.

Rank 3 - Contemplation of Fangs
You may attack as a simple action when attacking with a [Samurai] weapon.
The weapons of beasts natural-or-otherwise are crude only in construction, often blunt or easily breaking. Their purpose, to rend flesh, is shared with even the most sacred of weapons.

Rank 4 - Contemplation of Shadows
While benefiting from a reasonable amount of concealment (GM's discretion) you may spend a Void Point. If you do, until you intentionally move or make a noise, your stealth tests and contests gain +XkX, where X is your Insight Rank.
A cruel fact of this world is that there is only a finite amount of attention. Artisans lament this, but the Fujizuru revel in it.

Rank 5 - Contemplation of Death
When you attack a surprised (or otherwise entirely unknowing) target, the raises you can call on that attack are not limited by your Void Attribute, and that attack ignores 10 Reduction.
Any good hunter or fisherman knows to respect his prey, to kill them swiftly and not allow their sacrifice to be in vain. Master Trackers may not hunt mundane beasts, but they practice the same prayers.

Ginkachi Negotiator

The Akaishi's representatives in court are trained above all to secure by any means the fundamental necessities that allow the clan to maintain the Kuroyama Wall and their duties both. Masters of the distasteful art of commerce, the Ginkachi are adept at locating the useful and the valuable, and in seeing such things safely into Akaishi hands even at the expense of their own honor. A skilled practitioner can lay a hand on almost anything, given enough time.

Bonus Attribute: Perception
School Skills: Commerce, Courtier, Defense, Etiquette, Coercion, Sincerity, any one merchant skill.
Emphasis: Appraisal (Commerce) or Deceit (Sincerity)
Honor: 2.5
Outfit: Aiguchi, Calligraphy Set, Daishō, Fine Clothing, Personal Effects, 5 Ryō.

Rank 1 - Merely Gathering Supplies
At any time while speaking with someone, you may roll Commerce/Perception contested by that person's Etiquette/Awareness, if you win the contest you may learn of some material object they desire. You gain a Free Raise to all Commerce tests. You do not lose Honor or Glory for using the Commerce skill.
The Kuroyama is an impressive fortification, and the supplies it requires do not come cheap. It is the specialty of the Ginkachi Negotiators to keep the Akaishi wealthy enough to maintain their duty.

Rank 2 - But What of the Wall?
When testing Sincerity or Coercion you may reroll the result; if you do, you must keep the second result. This technique can be used up to X times a session, where X is your School Rank.
Of course a Negotiator's greatest tool is their association with the Kuroyama Wall. Utilizing its name strategically can allow a Negotiator to appeal to another's sense of honor, duty, or guilt.

Rank 3 - Hidden Treasures
At any time you may roll Commerce/Awareness against Target Number 20. If you are successful you may locate a special or rare item of a type specified by you. (Note: You merely know the location of such an object, and it need not be near. The Target Number may increase for particularly rare or obscure items)
Given that Negotiators often require gifts to do their negotiating, the Ginkachi have memorized the rough locations of many undervalued craftsmen and collectors willing to make a trade.

Rank 4 - It Takes One…
Increase your Vigilance by X, where X is your School Rank times five.
One trained to behave in such an ignoble fashion can hardly ignore others of their kind.

Rank 5 - To Truly Know One
When you gift an item you had previously determined a character desires, you gain +5k0 to all contested social skill rolls against that character for the next 24 hours.
The weakness of the honorable is indeed their honor. Pride drives them to vanity. Vanity leads to your victory.

Zaikufuu Strategist

The Strategists of the Zaikufuu are masters of the art of war and adept diplomats, able to navigate the battlefield and the perils of court with equal aplomb. Though warriors, their focus is not on personal combat, but on command, and their techniques allow them to guide their comrades through the flow of battle to emerge triumphant. Skilled practitioners can see at a glance the path to victory, and seize on the slightest, most momentary advantage in pursuit of it.

Bonus Attribute: Perception
School Skills: Battle, Calligraphy, Courtier, Etiquette, Investigation, Shōjutsu, Any Courtly or Military Skill.
Emphasis: Tactics (Battle) or War Fans (Shōjutsu)
Honor: 4.5
Outfit: Fine Clothing, Calligraphy Kit, Daishō, Light Armor, Traveling Clothes, War Fan, Personal Effects, 3 Ryō.

Rank 1 - To Defend My Fellows
Once per day as a Free Action, you may designate a number of characters equal to your School Rank as your Marks. Until you rest, your Marks gain +X to their Armor Target Number, and your Marks gain +X to Etiquette tests and contests that they did not initiate, where X is your Battle Rank. (You may target yourself, unless you are not a character for some reason)
Though rarely guarding others on the battlefield physically, the Zaikufuu Strategist ensures their allies' safety by positioning them cleverly before the fight breaks out in earnest.

Rank 2 - All Battlefields Are One
While attacking with the War Fan emphasis, or while testing or contesting Etiquette, gain X Free Raises, where X is half of your Perception, rounded down.
The snapping of a fan is not always accompanied by an uncomfortable silence or lighthearted giggling.

Rank 3 - Lay Bare the Battlefield
While spending at least a few minutes speaking in a court, you may spend a Void Point. If you do, test Etiquette/Awareness against a Target Number of 20. If you succeed, you learn the general habits and goals of up to X people at court, where X is your School Rank.
As in military conflict, the movements of courtly foes can reveal everything a Strategist needs to know about them.

Rank 4 - To Direct The Strike
During an Encounter, as a Simple Action you may choose a target and test Battle(Tactics)/Perception against their Armor Target Number. If you succeed, the next attack targeting that character gains +X Free Raises, where X is half your Perception, rounded down. A target may not be affected by this technique twice in one round.
As any proud Strategist will tell you, there is a reason why they are not trained as typical Bushi.

Rank 5 - Decisive Action, Decisive Victory
Once per Encounter, when a character Marked by your rank 1 technique makes a test, contest, or damage roll, you may spend a Void Point. If you do, they gain +XkX to that roll where X is your Perception.
With a wave of their fan, a master Strategist can exhibit the strength of gods.

Chikari Purifier

Bonus Attribute: Willpower
School Skills: Calligraphy, Defense, Hunting, Lore: Leechspawn, Lore: Theology, Spellcraft, any one weapon skill.
Emphasis: Cipher (Calligraphy)
Honor: 2.5
Outfit: Daishō, Robes, Scroll Satchel, Personal Effects, 3 Ryō.
Elemental Affinity: Earth or Water

Hunter of Blood
When you learn this technique, choose an Earth or Water spell. You learn the chosen spell and it gains [Salt]. The chosen spell has the following mode:

  • Salinate Blood
    • TN: 5
    • Casting Time: 1 Simple Action, Up to 5 Simple Actions.
    • Targets: 1 Character
    • Range: 15 ft.
    • You glow with a very distinct aura. The air around you smells of the sea and tastes of brine. Tales have been sung of this spell, and there are few Samurai who do not know its terrifying implications. When this spell completes, it deals 3k3 damage to its target. This damage gains +Xk0, where X is the total number of Simple Actions taken to cast it. You may not choose to keep low on this damage roll. If the target is not afflicted by the Leech's Kiss, they take half of the damage result as wounds instead.
      • Another Dash of Salt - 2 Raises. For each time this maneuver is called, the damage this spell deals gains +0k1.

To be touched by the sapping power of the Leech is to bear an open scar on the soul. The strength of the Chikari is in knowing how to salt this wound.

Chikari Curer

Bonus Attribute: Willpower
School Skills: Hunting, Investigation, Jujutsu, Kenjutsu, Lore: Leechspawn, Meditation, any one skill.
Emphasis: Interrogation (Investigation).
Honor: 5.5
Outfit: Aiguchi, Daishō, Humble Robes, Salt (Bag of), Salt (Crystal), Personal Effects, 3 Ryō.

Rank 1 - Purity of Will
You gain +XkX to resist the Leech's Kiss, where X is your school rank. You gain +1k1 attack rolls targeting Leechspawn or characters you know to be victims of the Leech's Kiss.
Though not Bushi proper, these supernatural Sohei have trained for one purpose: to destroy those taken in by the Leech.

Rank 2 - No Surprises
Once per turn as a free action, you may roll Lore: Leechspawn/Intelligence against a Target Number of 20. If you succeed, you may choose to learn either a positive or negative trait about a Leechspawn creature you are currently facing. On this roll, you may call raises to learn one additional fact of the same type. (A positive trait may for example be a particularly high attribute or unique ability. A negative trait may be an obscure weakness or a particularly low attribute. The GM chooses exactly which piece of information to share.)
Though the hideous monstrosities that dwell in the Bloodmire are often uniquely twisted by the Unwanted's corrupt blood, similarities can be identified by a trained Curer.

Rank 3 - Salt the Wound
When attacking a Leechspawn or a character you know to be a victim of the Leech's Kiss, you may attack as a simple action.
Something deep within a Curer's soul is lit aflame when doing battle with their sworn nemesis.

Rank 4 - The Wisdom of Earth
You gain +3k0 to your Rank 2 roll. In addition, you gain one Soul Technique you qualify for without paying its cost.
There is nothing unseen by the soul of the land. By developing a spiritual relationship with the Earth, the Curer receives its advice in their times of greatest need.

Rank 5 - The Salt Purifies
You gain +4k1 to both attack and damage when attacking a Leechspawn or a character you know to be a victim of the Leech's Kiss. (This does not overwrite your relevant bonus from Rank 1)
The master Curer's soul exudes the same purifying properties as salt itself. Even incidental contact with the Sohei will destroy corrupted material.


Any Akaishi Bushi

Mountain's Root Dojo

Requirements: Stamina 3, Willpower 4

Rank 2 - The Mountain Looms
As a Free Action, you may spend a Void Point. If you do, choose any number of target characters within X ft of you, where X is 10 * (Your Earth Ring + Your School Rank). Those characters make a Fear Check against Target Number Y, where Y is 5 + 10 * School Rank. If they fail, they suffer a Fear Z effect, where Z is half of your Earth Ring rounded down.

(Fear Checks are Honor/Willpower. Characters without Honor make this test as if they were unskilled. When suffering Fear X, suffer a malus of -Xk0 to all your tests and contests until the source of your fear is killed or otherwise no longer present)
To face a berserker of the Akaishi is to sense the cliff's edge. One wrong motion is a guarantee of doom.

Rank 4 - The Untapped Aquifer
Once per encounter, during the Readying Phase you may activate this technique. This technique is active for X readying phases, where X is 2 * your Earth Ring. While this technique is active, you may not enter the Air, Earth, or Void stances, you may not test or contest any non-military skills, you may not spend Void Points, and you ignore all penalties and restrictions from Wound Ranks. When attacking or dealing damage while this technique is active, gain +2k1. Once per encounter, while this technique is active, if you would enter the Dead wound rank, instead suffer wounds until you are 1 wound from becoming Dead.

While this technique is active, you may use your Rank 2 technique without spending a Void Point X times per encounter, where X is half of your Earth Ring rounded down.
Though the body crumbles, the raging spirit endures, like water roiling beneath stone.

Natsurai Defender

One Strike Dojo

Requirements: Kanabōjutsu 4, Strength 3

Rank 2 - The Lord of Storm's Final Strike
When you attack a character you have called the Thunderclap maneuver against this encounter, it becomes a minor breach of Sincerity. (This doesn't apply to the attack the first thunderclap was called on)

While attacking with a Heavy Weapon, you gain access to the following maneuver:

Thunderclap - 2 Raises. When this maneuver is called, gain +Xk0 to your damage roll, where X is your Strength Attribute.
Lightning never strikes twice.

Rank 4 - Stormborn Favor
Natural lightning will never strike you. [Lightning] spells, effects, and attacks that target you require the caster to call two Empty Raises, or else the spell, effect, or attack fails automatically. While in a thunderstorm, your Perception and Strength are considered to be 1 higher. (Temporary and conditional effects do not increase insight)
The Students of One Strike enjoy a profound spiritual connection to Natsurai-no-kami's path in life.

Natsurai Ironheart

Water Bear Dojo

Requirements: Jujutsu 4, Strength 3

Rank 2 - The Dragging Current
When contesting Jujutsu in a Grapple, gain +2k0. When you Hit in a Grapple with the Unarmed profile, the damage roll gains +1k1.
The wise grappler emulates the stream— surround and overwhelm in one moment, and break the foe upon hidden rocks in the next.

Rank 4 - The Stream Forks
While you are Grappling, you gain access to the following Grapple Action:

Disarm - Make another Grapple Contest. If you win, remove up to X pieces of non-armor Equipment from a character you are Grappling, where X is half your Agility, rounded down.
The only weapon that cannot be parted from its wielder is the body. Students of the Water Bear Dojo are eager to demonstrate this truth to others.

Fujizuru Skirmisher

Two Singers Dojo

Requirements: Defense 4, Earth 3

Rank 2 - Smooth Chorus
Once per encounter, when you would suffer damage, you may activate this technique. If you do, reduce the result of the damage roll by -X, where X is 2 * Your Defense Rank.

When you spend a Void Point to Endure, reduce the result of the damage roll by -X, where X is 2 * Your Defense Rank. (This stacks)
Poor is the artist who lets hardship make them waver.

Rank 4 - Unshakable Rhythm
While in the Air Stance, you may make up to one attack per round. When you use the Guard action, if you have made an attack this round, the target of your Guard adds +X to their Armor Target Number, where X is half the amount your attack roll exceeded the target of your attack's ATN.
A shift of focus towards defense should not imply a loss of tempo.

Fujizuru Tracker

Uncountable Fangs Dojo

Requirements: Agility 3, Reflexes 3, Strength 3

Rank 2 - Contemplation of Veins
Thrown attacks may not benefit from this technique.
While wielding a single [Knife] and nothing else, this technique is active.
While this technique is active, attacks with [Knife] weapons ignore your target's Armor Bonus, damage rolls with [Knife] weapons gain +3k0, and when you attack a character, choose one:

  • Reduce your target's Armor Reduction to 0 for this attack.
  • Reduce your target's Persistent Reduction by 5 for this attack.

Truly, all things seek to become one with the Void— pierced thus, see how quickly the body becomes empty!

Rank 4 - Contemplation of Lines
When attacking with a [Bow], choose one:

  • Reduce your target's Armor Reduction to 0 for this attack.
  • Reduce your target's Persistent Reduction by half for this attack.

The shortest distance between life and death is measured in the length of an arrow.

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