Abington/Abington School of Swordfighting
The Abington School of Swordfighting was created 10-15-05.
Believing that the Realm of Abington would be improved by virtue of it's nobility's education and skill, Gauihu of Olik founded the guild to provide a place of learning, guidance, support and order for nobles of the realm to test and improve their Art of the Sword.
With strong support from Lady Morathi, Sir Feldric, Lord Delthrien, Lord Carriantor, Lady Armitage III, and many other nobles of the realm, the guild began in the hopes of developing a National School (style) of Swordfighting. As well, Masters in the school would make their marks known with their own particular style, all combining to form a Philosophy of Swordfighting.
Sir Feldric fell on 12-06-05 during a siege of Ash'rily. The School, and all Abington, mourns the loss of a noble hero. In his will, Feldric desired to be laid to rest at the School grounds, and his sword entrusted to the first Master. At his gravesite a statue of bronze is constructed, honoring Feldric's life and his selfless sacrifice at the walls of Abington's enemies.
Ranks of the School
- Guild Founder – Chief Guildmaster, Gauihu Olik.
- Guildmaster – Administrator for the Guild; can appoint Provosts (and Masters if there are no existing Masters). Is not necessarily a Master of swordfighting.
- Master – Top-level fencer, teacher of Journeymen and Apprentices. "He is a Master, who passes the Master's Proof: to best a Master, two out of three duels, in the styles of his choosing. The new Master must then swear to teach, in a specific Style, to prepare Apprentices and Journeymen for their Proofs, and to one day challenge them to become Masters themselves."
- Provost – An honorable guild supporter, teacher of Apprentices. "A Provost must support the Apprentices, but moreover, he is dedicated to the betterment of the School, the spreading of it's learning, the development of it's philosophy."
- Journeyman – Able swordsman, pays 5 gold/month, tutors under a Master. "The Journeyman has won his Journeyman's Proof, he has chosen a Master to learn from, and he has bested a Champion of the Master's choosing two out of three duels."
- Apprentice – Aspirant, pays 10 gold/month, tutors under a Provost or, if he is lucky, a Master. "The Apprentice is new to the ways of the School, he may be of great skill, but to rise toward Mastery that skill must be tested. Only combat can show one's artistry of the sword, and only dedication to guide, and be guided, can be a true Master."
- Prospective - Aspirant or mere potential student. "The Prospective must pay a gold coin to be allow'd on School Grounds. He commits little, and receives little, but may yet dive deeper."
Masters of the School
Current Members of the School
- Nikolai Alexander
Schools of Abington
There are several ‘schools’ (fighting-styles) found amongst Abington’s nobles today. They are:
- “Blood Sword School” – An aggressive strategy, using specialized actions like punching, kicking and grappling with opponents, as well as stabbing or hacking, employing a bastard or two-handed sword.
- “Shielded Style” – A defensive strategy, employing either a buckler or a thick cloak to parry, keeping at a distance, and primarily using stabbing counter-attacks.
- “Riverholm Sabre” – A flamboyant trick-moves style, very advanced, using scimitars, sabers or other curved single-edged swords, employing graceful cuts, dodges, slashes.
- “Wynford School” – A neutral, balanced style taught to infantry out of Wynford, emphasizing thrusts at long range, cuts at medium and slices at close range. Much of sword infantry in Abington use the Wynford School or similar as part of battle combat, because the style works well in close formation.
- “Royal Berserkers” – Similar to the Blood Sword style, employing a large and heavy sword and using highly aggressive, fast tactics, overwhelming the opponent with exhausting attacks.
As Masters make themselves and their ways known, other schools may become known...
- Cut-and-thrust Sword – A thin, tapered longsword, shorter and wider than a rapier, lighter than a bastard sword. Used to hack, slash and stab. Common amongst civilians and soldiers.
- Longsword – A 4-4.5 feet long, 4 pound, straight, double-edged sword with a simple crossguard.
- Greatsword – A large, two-handed sword unsuited for close combat in formation; a 12 inch large crossguard, pointed/serrated flanges to trap or hang opponents blades six inches below the guard. A sword used only in duels, banner or personal guards, specialized and strong soldiers.
Other swords (such as sabres or cavalry blades) are also acceptable.
Issued to all Apprentices and other guildmembers:
- Scabbard – Made of thin wood, lined with sheepskin felt, covered in leather.
- Blue Cape – Worn by all Guildmembers, without or over armor.
- Feathered Cap – A blue felt cap with a crow-feather, worn by Guildmembers at meetings, or even to the exclusion of a helm.
- Black Boots – With gripped bottoms to provide a more solid stance.
- Leather or padded linen is standard for Guild duels, (as is no armor at all).
- Mail hauberk, plate cuisse (thigh armor), greaves, vambrace (forearm armor), helm and cuirasse (breast-plate and back-plate) used in battle, or in serious duels. Sometimes tassets, metal gauntlets and other specialized armor pieces are used. None of this is given free to any guildmember; a noble must buy his own or be gifted it from another.
These are the basic stances in common use among Abington's nobility.
- Low – Defensive, readiness, sword slightly pointed up to parry. [Defensive]
- Middle – Similar to Low, with the blade held center at lower abdomen, pointed upward at 45 degrees, aiming at opponent’s chest, throat and face. A versatile stance. [Neutral]
- High – The “Crow Guard,” sword is raised high and distant. An aggressive stance. [Agressive]
- Hanging – The blade is held over and behind shoulder horizontally, body turned away. An aggressive and somewhat artistic stance. [Trick moves]
- Back – The blade is held pointed down and diagonally backward. Defensive. [Defensive]