The swordmaster is a dedicated student of grace and perfection. Because of their dedication to a single sword, longer-lived and more broadly experienced swordmasters are able to vastly outclass swordsmen of other professions. Swordmasters train in the art of ak'anginta (thought-to-form), aiming to incorporate the sword into an extension of themselves. Using these "ginta", otherwise referred to as "forms", a swordmaster can become one of the most formidable combatants on Avendar.

Young swordmasters often focus on a single form early in their training before branching out to utilise and eventually master as many forms as possible during their lives.

Swordmasters may be of any alignment and any ethos.





Form Function Counterform
Form of the Bull
The first offensive form that a swordmaster learns, the form of the bull provides a substantial bonus to all damage they deal with a sword. However, they will far more frequently miss due to armour class, unless they are intimately familiar with their weapon.
Form of the Serpent
The form of the serpent allows a swordmaster to move with the sinuous swiftness of the serpent, significantly increasing their chance to dodge attacks, as well as kicks; furthermore, they will never miss an attack due to the opponent's armour class. However, the heightened precision will cause a reduction in all outgoing melee damage.
Form of the Hawk
Dancing through the opponents blows like a nimble hawk, a swordmaster in the form of the hawk finds that their ability to protect himself increases: their dexterity increases and they gains a bonus to his armour class proportional to their level. In this form, there is also a chance that they will evade attempts to trip them, legsweep them, cross, ensnare, or surprise attack them, punishing those who try with a full round of attacks.
Form of the Mongoose
Imitating the exotic mongoose, this notoriously stylish form allows a swordmaster to strike successively in combat, for each blow he attempts to land. These attacks may miss or be blocked as with any other.
Form of the Monkey
A less-extreme variant of the form of the reed, form of the monkey is also used to enhance a swordmaster's defensive capability. Less pronounced in all regards, the swordmaster will still see a marked increase in his ability to parry and offhand parry, and he will be unable to attempt to make a fourth attack in a combat round.
Form of the Spider
Drawing their opponents into a complicated series of strikes, a swordmaster in the form of the spider may tire his opponent considerably, dealing substantial damage to his move points, striking and withdrawing, pulling the unwitting opponent into his trap.
Form of the Panther
Mimicking the stealthy motions of the great jungle panthers, swordmasters in this form move silently through combat, granting unparalleled protection against bashes and shield bashes. Should he flee from combat, the direction in which he flees will be obscured, as well.
Form of the Boar
A general purpose offensive form, swordmasters modelling their attacks after the charging boar, increasing damage dealt with their melee atacks, but penalizing their armour class. As the swordmaster gains in level, this malus will increase.
Form of the Reed
In the form of the reed, the swordmaster focuses all of abilities on using his weapon to beat back his opponents attack. Bending like a reed in the wind, his ability to both parry and offhand parry is doubled. However, this level of focus means that he is then unable to attempt second, third, or fourth attacks.
Form of the Eagle
In the form of the eagle, the swordmaster mimicks the diving attacks of the great bald eagle, attempting to make a successive attack in a round of combat. This attack can never be blocked, but it may miss due to armour class.
Form of the Crab
When a swordmaster assumes the form of the crab, he imitates the motion of the blue shelled beach crab, sidling his way toward his foe, then delivering a pincer strike, using his weapons to attempt to disarm his opponent's weapon, more efficiently than the skill itself would be. A swordmaster must be dual wielding in order to see the effects of this form.
Form of the Mockingbird
The form of the mockingbird is used for the purposes of countering other warriors' attack skills. The majority of those used by fighters, gladiators, and barbarians may all be negated by the use of this form, its distracting motions pulling opponents up short.
Form of the Viper
Using their already precise striking ability, swordmasters can use the form of the viper to inflict strategic hits against an opponent, dealing damage to both strength and dexterity. The pinprick nature of the wounds means they cannot be healed except simply by waiting. The effects of this form are cumulative.
Form of the Dragon
Modelling this offensive form after the legendary dragons, a swordmaster in this form sacrifices much of his ability to both parry and offhand parry in order to even more greatly penalize his opponent's ability to parry or manipulate a warding weapon.
Form of the Rose
The form of the rose is one of the most visually evocative forms taught to swordmasters. Each time they parry or offhand parry an attack, there is a chance they will turn the blow back against his opponent in a riposte. Mainhand parries will result in more damaging ripostes than those delivered from an offhand parry. Ripostes are always more effective against enemies who are not wearing a shield.
Form of the Cat
The form of the cat is used by swordmasters to delay and confuse their opponent. Drawing their opponent into a maze of feints and counterstrikes, the swordmaster may attempt to lag his opponent.
Form of the Bear
Like the great bears, a swordmaster in this form strikes with increased ferocity, mauling their foes. They will receive a massive bonus to melee damage, but will also lose all ability to either parry or offhand parry.
Form of the Wasp
This form is characterized by its sharp, piercing strikes deep into an opponent's bodies. Each such blow will cause his opponent to bleed profusely. These bleeding wounds may be cured. Additional strikes do not extend the duration.
Form of the Whirlwind
Moving like a whirlwind amongst his foes, a swordmaster in this form will attempt a full round's worth of attacks against all PCs or mobiles with whom he is in combat.