Katchar the Ebony
After Daxdarius claimed his seat among the High Gods there came a man to Pelanda, a foreigner, with an ebony sword. His name was Katchar and none knew from whence he had come.
Now Katchar cared naught for empires or kings and he had nothing to preach. In fact, he rarely had anything to say to anybody about anything. The only passion in his life was his blade and the application of it. Katchar was a master swordsman and none could stand against him; neither champion nor serf, Bisosae or Solar, man or woman. He took every opportunity to test his abilities. Sometimes he fought for pay - as when he slew BlackLip-Fivetusks, the troll king - sometimes he didn't, like when he defended the village of Stine from the Overseer of Esvuthil. The only constant was that he was always in the thick of the fighting, his black blade flying around him.
Many tried to follow him but he wouldn't have it and he stoutly refused to swear fealty to any lord. In time, Katchar did accept an apprentice - known only as Prime. When Prime was finished his apprenticeship, Katchar built a forge and made a magnificent blade for him. In time, Katchar took more apprentices as did Prime and a swordsmanship academy grew into being.
That was the beginning of the famous Blades of Katchar, a band of master swordsmen who fight, not for treasure, but to expand their skill. The size of the Blades is unknown. During the Generations of War, while Carmania battled Dara Happa, a Legion of Katchar appears in the annals, fighting for each of them at different times. Usually, a Katchari swordsman is found on his own, preparing to tackle some impossible task with only his sword.
Katchari care for little besides perfecting and using their skills; they avoid politics and will hold their oath to Katchar over all other obligations. Katchari may appear honourable to those around them, but that is only because they just don't care enough about anything else to be cruel or evil, just or caring.
Katchar receives worship before any endeavour undertaken by his followers. His rituals are fluid and stylised fighting dances, beautiful to some - frightening to others. Worshippers sacrifice their foes' weapons to Katchar; he also accepts blades forged by his followers.
Apprentices are the beginning swordsmen. They must be sponsored by a Bladesman to join the cult. That Bladesman then becomes their master and teaches them the Katchari Way. Anywhere a Bladesman goes, his apprentice follows. The apprentice is student, servant and companion to a Bladesman. When he is ready the apprentice can undergo his first Blade's Ordeal. Success makes him a Journeyman.
Journeymen are the junior members of the cult. They are independent of a Master but not skilled enough to take an apprentice (generally have main skills over 5w). Journeymen are usually found far from the Academy as they seek to test their limits.
Bladesman are fully developed fighters of the Katchari School. They are deadly swordsmen willing to face nearly any challenge (generally over 5w2). A Bladesman can take an Apprentice and can speak at the Ebon Council. Bladesmen are taught the abilities: Initiate to Katchar, Perform Sacrifice and Pray to Katchar.
Ebon Blades are the leaders of the cult. They are Disciples of Katchar and peerless in combat. To become an Ebon Blade a Bladesman must have at least 1w3 in Sword Fighting. He must have 1w2 in Craft Sword, all the cult virtues, both affinities and two other appropriate skills. The ranking Ebon Blade is called "Prime" and is acknowledged as the head of the school, of the legion and of the cult.
8 January 2004