Symbol: A thundercloud raining weapons.
Disciplines: Thrashing Dragon.
Oath: The Crashing Tempest Academy likes to say that it has no graduates, because the art of war can never be perfected. With that in mind, a Student whose training is deemed sufficient to be let back out into the world is favored with a ceremony marking their progress from trainee to warrior (recruits trained at other schools are given a similar ceremony that marks the school’s recognition of their skills). The student is branded with a lightning bolt on each cheek, just beneath the eyes, and asked to swear the following oath.
“As a Student of the Crashing Tempest Academy, my duty is to uphold the Academy’s honor and to prove the valor and worth of its training before those who doubt it. I will not reveal the secrets of the Academy, turn aside those who wish to learn from it, or slander its name before outsiders, even if I don’t always agree with its methods. By the brand and my blades, let it be.”
Allegiance Benefit: A Student of the Crashing Tempest Academy is given access to a special ritual that binds his weapons together. This ritual takes one hour to complete and requires 100gp worth of special materials, as well as two or more light or one-handed weapons (or a single double weapon). At its conclusion, the weapon or weapons involved gain the following benefits at any time that all of them are worn and/or wielded by the Student who invoked the ritual.
The Student may alter any number of weapons each time she performs the ritual, but all must be worn and/or wielded in order for the changes to take effect. Performing the ritual again erases its previous effects. A Student can only have one set of weapons altered at any one time.
A Student who breaks her oath (such as by denigrating the Academy’s teaching methods before non-members) loses access to both the ritual and to its benefits on his weapons for one week. Continued offenses extend this duration, and may eventually draw the ire of the Academy’s instructors.
Description: Crashing Tempest Academy is a fighting school with pedigree. They offer the simple but profound service of training warriors in the school’s unique blend of two-weapon combat and other disciplines, creating unexpected and impressive fighting styles certified to get the attention of your enemies. They’ve trained soldiers, knights, and town watchmen. In point of fact, the Academy’s rates are astoundingly low, and bequests from both graduates and their mysterious Founder (may He rest in peace) provide scholarships for those born long on talent but, as it were, short on funding. Everything seems above the board, so much so that others wonder what the school is hiding.
Sadly, and hilariously, the secret hidden by the Crashing Tempest Academy is not what most of its students and detractors suspect. The school commits no political corruption, hides no strange religious rituals, and the few murders which have happened within its walls have been investigated by local law with the Academy’s full cooperation. No, the secret is this: Crashing Tempest Academy was founded by an arrogant, drunken braggart looking to prove the superiority of his own fighting style. Founding the Academy with his own considerable wealth and contacts, the Founder raised up students for a tourney-at-arms which, shamefully, they lost. The Founder reportedly wept openly and then vanished off the face of the earth, leaving his wealth behind doing nothing but fund the Academy.
The instructors at Crashing Tempest chose to keep the school open in the manner required by its charter, and the Academy has been training students since. The warriors it releases into the world enhance the school’s reputation and draw in more business, which in turn leads to more warriors being released into the world. It’s a pleasant cycle, as far as the instructors are concerned, and they keep information on the Founder to a minimum to preserve the school’s reputation.
And pray that the old bastard doesn’t show back up, of course. That would just ruin everything.
Common Tasks: A Student who has the brand of the Academy is technically no longer beholden to them. However, the Crashing Tempest Academy sets out tests and challenges for its warriors to prove their worth, which might include battle tournaments, tests of skill and survival, or even tasks to retrieve weapons of power owned by former Students. Such tests typically have bounties, but their real purpose is living advertisement for the Academy.
Available Services: Aside from ongoing training (available to any Student who can make time to get back to the Academy), warriors trained by Crashing Tempest Academy can expect information from fellow Students, access to the Academy’s master weaponsmiths, and credit at various libraries that the Academy has a positive relationship with (providing everything from manuals of war to research on strange and exotic creatures slain by warriors past).
Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.