Legend of the Five Rings – Sagmahi Kashti Madrase (Old Yodatai Divine Bushi School)

   With all the wild powers of the seas and salt waters arrayed against them, the Yodatai Empire is limited to those places to which it’s legions can march. A tidal estuary, a narrow strait, an island a mile or so offshore – or an are of shoreline within reach of a storm waves and tidal surges – are all almost as out of reach of the Yodatai as another world.

   Around the ocean borders of the empire, a hundred small towns and cities maintain a limited independence from the Yodatai. They can’t afford to antagonize the empire – the legions themselves may not be able to reach them, but there are always mercenaries, both magical and mundane – hence they exist either as tiny fugitive groups of disorganized scavengers or as client-states of the Yodatai.

   Within the bounds of the Yodatai realms, and for a short distance beyond them, the ancient gods of the Yodatai may walk freely, the current estrangement between the Yodatai and their gods not withstanding.

   Even the Stormlord, Master of Tides and Currents, the Dance and Spirit of the Raging Sea, sometimes borrows a body from amongst the creatures of the sea, transforms it, and walks among men – if not among the Yodatai who labor under his curse.

   Sadly even among the client-states, the Iilgyr – the demigodling-offspring of Yodatai gods and mortal heroes and lovers – are not welcome, and remain all-too-easily recognized. The Stormlord, obsessed with his vendetta against the Yodatai, took his infant son to Mons Midil and left him in the care of the lesser spirits who served the gods – distant both from purpose and from the sea.

   Sagmahi is now about four and a half centuries old – the mortal equivalent of fifteen or sixteen. He has spent his life gazing out across the distant reaches of the world and it’s broad seas – and being stuck on a boring mountain peak. The falling-out between the Yodatai and their gods is a mere an annoyance to the major gods, who can easily bridge the gap between the worlds under their own power and possess local bodies as they please, but the Iilgyr are not so talented – and their peculiar physical traits make them easily recognizable should they attempt to sneak down into the mortal world.

   Sagmahi’s personal school, as amplified by his own blessing, is a school for wanderers, traders, and explorers. This makes it doubly frustrating for him to be struck on Mons Midal; he can’t even use half the abilities of his school for anything.

   Sagmahi Kashti Madrase (Old Yodatai Divine Bushi School):

  • Benefits: +1 Intelligence, Glory 2, Status 1, Wealth 3, Honor 2.0.
  • School Skills: Athletics, Battle, Commerce (note that this does not cause honor problems for non-samurai; that’s a local prejudice), Courtier, Hunting, Investigation, Land Vehicles, Lore/Travel (covers geography, trade, trade, seas and sailing, and general information about the creatures and cultures of other lands – albeit rarely in much detail unless very difficult rolls are made), Water Vehicles, and any three skills of choice provided that they include at least one weapon skill.

   School Techniques:

   First Technique/Rah Durdast Sier, the Path of the Distant Wanderer:

   With the endurance gained from hard roads and the blessing of the far-traveler, the Sagmahi Adept:

  • Gains (School Rank) Free Raises whenever repairing, operating, or navigating a vehicle (5).
  • May add his or her Intelligence to all school skill rolls (5).
  • May double the effect of each void point spent on buying off damage (a common feature of the Iilgyri schools, since their patrons are somewhat protective of their acolytes, 5 points).
  • Like all the Iilgyr schools, the Blessing of Sagmahi himself is a major element. This means that this school only functions to full effect while Sagmahi approves of the user and will never be a large one; like all the Iilgyr, Sagmahi simply doesn’t have the power to support all that many devotees. Ally with Major Influence (can provide +20 points worth of abilities, 4), Minor Devotion (0), Major Eccentricity (2), and Minor Inconvenience (Sagmahi wants regular weekly prayers and small offerings, -1) (Net cost 5).

   As a patron spirit, Sagmahi provides:

  • Mastery of Stowing: Any items packed away by a user of this technique, or under his or her supervision, take up only 10% as much space, and weigh only one-tenth as much, as they normally would (the Reduce to Talisman spell with an indefinite duration, lesser effect, and larger volume affected, making it level two, taken as a Gift, allowing an immediate TN 15 meditation check to regain the point of Void spent powering it) (8). To make most efficient use of this gift, pack larger items first.
  • Improvised Repair: The user may take any item from “Broken” or “Poor” quality to “Average” with a TN 15 skill check within 1-2 rounds. The TN is reduced to 10 if he or she can spend a few minutes at the job (level two self-powered Psychic “Repairman” Power) (6).
  • Terrain Sense: The user is always through “familiar” with the terrain, obstacles and barriers, and the layout of any structures within a radius of (Awareness x 150) feet (A level two self-powered Psychic Sense) (6).

   Yes, Sagmahi does aid himself in the use of his school. Godlings can do that.

   Second Technique/Rah Kashti Farman, the Path of the Commander:

   The Wanderer is now adept at leading men, adapting to new situations, and improvising to meet new challenges. He or she now gains:

  • +1 Attack with Pistols, Bows, or CAh,rossbows (5)
  • The ability to keep a vehicle functioning under the worst of conditions. Any vehicle which the user is currently commanding will have it’s effective level of quality upgraded by one step – including from “broken” or “destroyed” to “poor” (5 – 5 for the command requirement = 0)
  • The ability to add twice his or her intelligence to all school skill rolls, replacing the benefit from the level one technique (+5).
  • The knack of Universal Excellence. The Sagmahi Adept may add his or her Void (which must be at least three) to a skill for ten minutes. This may be done without cost up to (Void) times daily, but costs a Void Point each additional time this ability is used after that (innate self-powered level three spell) (9).
  • A +2 bonus on his or her effective Water ring when calculating his or her movement rate (1).

   Third Technique/Avaz Barq, the Voice of Thunder.

   The Sagmahi Adept is now so attuned to the wide world, it’s currents, and it’s storms, that its power flows through him or her, and into his or her actions, weapons, and commands. The Sagmahi Adepts powers now include:

  • If his or her Void is at least four, his or her skill enhancements from Universal Excellence will now last for a full hour (+3).
  • Immunity/the Sagmahi Adept does not need to actually be using a Cannon or Siege Weapon to use their attack statistics, provided that he or she is using a pistol, bow, or crossbow instead (10 – 5 = 5).
  • The Adept is now immune to lesser communications difficulties: his or her words can be clearly heard over the din of battle or the raging of a storm, he or she can clearly understand others under similar conditions, and languages – whether spoken or written – are no barrier to communication (5).
  • The Adept may call upon up to (Rank + 2) supernatural favors per day, each rated at a rank of up to (Level of the skill used/2). He or she may use Lore/Travel to reduce travel time for himself and those he or she leads, find routes, evade transient obstacles such as storms, fires, and stampedes, and obtain general information about areas. Battle may be used to obtain temporary Spirit Allies (usually Iilgyr or the greater Yodatai gods) for themselves and at least some of those under their command. Commerce may be used to obtain supplies and basic services, such as repairs and medical aid. Sadly, each such favor invoked costs a void point) (10 – 5 for cost = 5).

   Fourth Technique/Zere Shamshir, the Armor of the Blade:

   The Sagmahi Adept has become hardened to trials of the world, and secure in his or her ability to meet those trials successfully. He or she now gains:

  • +1 Attack with Pistols, Bows, or Crossbows (5)
  • +3 on his or her Movement Multiplier (7).
  • Expert defense: he or she may subtract his or her Intelligence from the wounds inflicted by any attack which affects them, reducing the damage to a minimum of 0 (5).
  • If the user’s Void is at least five, his or her skill enhancements from Universal Excellence will now last for a full day (+3).

   Fifth Technique/Paki Vashi, the Purity of the Wilderness:

   The Sagmahi Adept is now at one with the forces of the world, and flows with them, home everywhere and nowhere. His or her words may span the world, and he or she is now:

  • Immune to Major Communications Difficulties – such as distance and encryption. Perhaps sadly, this extends only to communications addressed to them or to people in general; it is not a method of eavesdropping on anyone anywhere (+5).
  • Able to trade two rolled dice for kept dice on any roll save for attacks and damage (5).
  • Travel Hardened. The Adept may subtract (Willpower) from the wounds inflicted by any attack, reducing them to a a minimum of zero (5).
  • Able, up to once per week, to spend a point of void and make a TN 20 Meditation check to expel 1K1 points of any malign dimensional energy, such as taint (5).

   Sagmahi Kashti Madrase is primarily a school for ship-captains, wanderers, and travelers. It’s not particularly useful to a courtier, and is of relatively little use in melee combat – although, at higher levels, it does make the user tough enough to stand up to quite a lot of minor opponents. It’s not bad at range, if only because firing off attacks that strike like siege weapons can be quite useful (and can take out a lot of minor opponents) – but it’s still no match for a dedicated archery school. It comes into it’s own when trying to keep a ship afloat, when delivering a message across the world, or when attempting to deliver a desperately-needed load of supplies.