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Katchar the Ebony Blade
A sword-fighting god

-by Wesley Quadros
January 20, 2004

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.

The Katchari Sword
The Katchari Sword is an enchanted blade carried by every Swordsman of Katchar. The hilt is distinctive and easily recognised. A Swordsman always knows where his sword is. As a swordsman gains in power, he often adds to his blade.

Typical enchantments include (start at same level as the magical keyword):
Ebony Flame, Fillet Troll, Standfast, Strike them All, Unseen Blade

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 swordsmen are nearly all left-handed and are readily identified by the ebony hilt on their unique swords and the black-chainmail glove on their off-hand. Katchari swordsmen fight in many ways and with many sizes of blade, but the hilt is unique to the cult and only a Katchari may wield a Katchari blade - for any other it is death. Worshippers are entirely focused on the advancement of their fighting skills. Position within the academy and the cult is based on ones abilities with a 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.

There is only one temple to Katchar and it is in the Ebon Academy in Katchari, though shrines have been built at the sites of Katchar's greatest feats.

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.


Contest: Becoming a Journeyman
Requirements: already be a member of the cult, Sword Fighting and Katchari Way 1w; all deity's abilities and virtues at 17 or more; have forsaken relationships beyond the temple.
Appropriate Ability: Sword Fighting
Typical Modifiers and Augments: Katchari Way, [Cult Virtues]
Resistance: 11w
Any Victory: Your hero completes his Blade's Ordeal and is accepted as a Journeyman.
Any Defeat: You fail your Blade's Ordeal and must wait until next year to try again.

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.

Requirements: Katchari Bladesmen will train anyone who they feel will be worthy additions to their brotherhood.
Abilities: Appraise foe's ability, Assess Quality of Blade, Calm Mind, Craft sword, Fast Draw, Fight without tiring, Flickering Reflexes, Ignore Discomfort, Initiate or Devotee of Katchar, Katchari Way(serves as myths), Sword fighting, Teach swordsman
Virtues: Dauntless, Dedicated, Loyal to Brethren
Affinities and Feats:
Sword Crafting (Enchant Bronze, Enchant Iron, Heat Metal, Ignore Heat, Purify Metal, Sanctify Forge, Sense Location of Sword, Tireless Arm)
Sword Fighting (Dance of Katchar, Ebony Blade, Not There, Parry the Blows, See Behind, Sword Trance berserk, What Armour)
Secret: Heroform Katchar
Katchar Heroform
Significant Abilities: Craft sword 10w3, Fearless 17w2, Sword fighting 12w3, Teach swordsman 19w2: Fearless 3w2, Sincere 19w2, Convince Other 5w2, Orate 12w3
Otherside: Katchar's Sword School is in a space between the worlds. From his campus worshippers can exit into the Solar Realm or the Jernotian realm during the God's War.
Holy Day: Katchari do not celebrate weekly or seasonal holy days. Katchar's High Holy Day is "To Overcome All", 9/day, Sacred Week in the Dara Happan calendar (Wild/Fate/Sacred Time). All Bladesmen try to return to Katchari for this day where past heroes join current ones to fight ancient foes on the hero planes. This is also the only day that the swordsmen hold their Blade's Ordeals to advance in the cult.
Other Connections: Many of the Emperor's Steel Sword Legion are Katchari-trained. Katchari Bladesmen and Journeymen are found across the empire serving noble houses in the never-ending Dart Wars, fighting as mercenaries or exploring distant places.
Disadvantages: Besides the seemingly suicidal urge to tackle any great challenge? None.

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8 January 2004