The Lambent Sun School of Rukopis Sukosin Klaviscar
Seven hundred years ago, Vasili Sukosin, legendary smith and companion to the Silver Fang twins Yuri and Sophia Tvarivich, founded a school of klaviscar. Vasili’s style persists to this day, nurtured by the Silver Fangs of Clan Crescent Moon and passed down to worthy Silver Fangs, Heritage Tribes Garou, and other werewolves of particular honor.
A student of the Rukopis Sukosin style advances through five ranks of mastery, five “Circles.” These ranks designate the student’s level of proficiency. A Fifth Circle has learned all that the style has to offer. A Sixth Circle is one step beyond; she is a student so trusted that her master endorses her to open her own school and teach the style to her own students.
Orel Tvarivich is a Sixth Circle klaivaskeriste of the Rukopis Sukosin style of klaviscar. His master, Larisa Lazarevich of Clan Crescent Moon, invested him with the Sixth Circle in 2009. Orel returned to the United States that same year, founding his own school, the Lambent Sun.
This document is a mix of information for both the player and the character interested in learning klaviscar from Orel Tvarivich.
A player must get special approval to learn what the Lambent Sun school teaches. High Approval is required to learn the Klaviscar Ability and its maneuvers, and to learn the Rite of Klaviscar. Top Approval is required to own a Klaive, one of the school’s requirements for progressing beyond the Third Circle.
The Lambent Sun’s teachings take time to absorb. Based on the database application for Orel Tvarivich, there are some restrictions to the rate at which his students can learn klaviscar. The student character must be receiving periodic instruction for set intervals of two, three, four, five, and six months (20 total months). This time does not need to be spent full time with the teacher, one full day a week is enough instruction time, so long as the student practices more on her own time. Frequently this is represented as one extended weekend per month, since weekly travel is difficult.
The Experience cost to learn everything the school teaches is between 16 and 22. This includes a couple of prerequisites; three traits each of the Garou Lore and Rituals Abilities. Many students have these Abilities before they have ever heard of the Lambent Sun. They are not required to learn them from Orel Tvarivich, but they have the option to do so. Every student must have three or more levels in both Abilities before she can begin the first (two-month) training interval.
Orel Tvarivich is somewhat particular about the students he selects. He prefers those who do not rely heavily upon rage to win their battles. The Rukopis Sukosin style does not teach flurries or fast maneuvers. The techniques are paced, traditional, and each is representative of the dignity of the art. Few Ahrouns are willing to fight with such deliberation, but those who do find the style to be a great equalizer against those with intense rage.
The second requirement is particularized honor. Orel Tvarivich only accepts werewolves of at least Adren rank, or those sufficiently invested in the Garou Nation to have proven their dedication to it. An Adren has done so by earning renown, but a rare Fostern might also qualify with tales of exceptional support for our cause. This is a lofty ideal and political considerations and things like Pure Breed ratings can subtly influence this test. This is to be expected of a Silver Fang teacher who has a traditionalist mindset.
The third requirement is political, or rather, the ability to be non-political. A student must be able to submit to the teacher. This is difficult for werewolves, because they are rightly occupied with the formalities of rank and tribe, things that interfere with the student-teacher relationship. Every student is a brother to his fellow students and a son to his teacher. Every student is expected to take pride in her school, her teacher, and her fellow students. This might be the most difficult requirement for some members because Orel Tvarivich demands the continuing respect of his students, regardless or rank or tribe.
The fourth requirement is time. The student must also swear commitment to the time requirements for instruction. Some want to learn things as quickly as possible, but instruction from the Lambent Sun school, like its klaviscar style, is methodical and ceremonial. The Lambent Sun holds itself above others as a superior style, and as an enlightening, fulfilling experience. Pride is important, and it takes time to do something you can be proud of.
There are other klaviscar options out there. Some other schools are haphazard. Many teachers have no school, clinging only to disparate techniques learned from scattered manuscripts. And some klaive wielders are preoccupied with finishing maneuvers and fail to learn the rites to accompany the art. No student of the Lambent Sun is allowed to advance with such a careless approach to klaive use.
The fifth requirement is an honorable commitment to “exclusive practition.” Students of the Lambent Sun are expected, on their honor, to not teach klaviscar to others until and unless Orel Tvarivich invests them with the Sixth Circle. They are expected to learn klaviscar from no other until they have completed the Fifth Circle, fully internalizing the Rukopis Sukosin style. A student who leaves the school or who breaks its traditions cannot advance her klaviscar without finding a new teacher.
Remuneration is the sixth requirement. Students are expected to support their teachers. Traditionally, this means donating labor and financial assets to the upkeep of the teacher and school grounds, if any, but Orel Tvarivich has no need of these. A student usually pays for her instruction with the exchange of like knowledge, instruction of a gift, a tangible favor, or something else of the sort. This is usually negotiated during or after instruction at the school.
Prospective students learn Garou Lore Ability and Rituals Ability, up to three Traits each. They also learn the Rite of Klaviscar, an Intermediate rite. Through the Five Circles of instruction, the school teaches five Traits of Klaviscar Ability, an Ability Specialization in Klaviscar, and six Klaviscar Maneuvers (Bind, Parry, Prise D’ Argent, Riposte, Silver Shield, and Swinging Slash). Students also practice in a variety of melee formations, including Florentine, light shield, and heavy shield; this is a good time to justify increasing a student’s level of Melee Ability as well.
Actual instruction sessions at the Lambent Sun School are very formal and highly ritualized, though student and teacher interactions may be more casual or collegial. Until she begins training for the First Circle, a student is called a Prospect. She has no commitment to continue in the school until she becomes an Initiate (beginning her first two months of official instruction).
In the Prospect stage, a student learns Garou Lore x3 (a prerequisite for the Klaviscar Ability), Rituals x3 (a prerequisite for Intermediate rites), and the Rite of Klaviscar (which will require High Approval). This is a variable-time stage, not counted against the student’s regular 20-month training time. For some, it is looked at as “remedial” instruction. The student player’s Storytellers will determine the amount of time it takes to learn these Abilities. This can be a frustrating time for would be klaive-swingers; it is spent in purely academic pursuits, without as much as a single sword practice session.
After the Prospect stage is complete, the student becomes a Zero Circle. This is a formal, ceremonial induction where the student and teacher make commitments using the Rite of the Honorable Oath. If she does not already have one, the teacher gives the student a sturdy iron or primitive steel “training klaive.” This is called a praktika, from the Russian word meaning “practice.” Sometimes a student will craft her own or will be gifted with a training klaive by a relative or friend. If another student has introduced the Zero Circle to the school, it is often a point of pride to provide the new student with a praktika. Students are allowed to mark their training klaives as they desire; personalization is encouraged. A praktika is usually an item of great sentimental value to a student, even later in life.
After two months of instruction, the student becomes eligible for First Circle. She can buy Klaviscar Ability x1 and the Parry maneuver. This also comes with the four free “basic” maneuvers described in the Apocalypse Combat Primer (repeated below) and requires High Approval. The student can also officially use the title of “klaivaskeriste” to describe herself. The is the same name used for the traditional klaviscar circle; devoted practitioners do not separate themselves from formal field of their craft. Students of the Rukopis Sukosin style usually combine the term with their school rank. For example, the student might call herself “First Circle Klaivaskeriste” or “First Circle Klaivaskeriste of the Lambent Sun School of Rukopis Sukosin Style Klaviscar” or some other combination thereof.
After three more months of instruction, the student becomes eligible for Second Circle. She can buy Klaviscar Ability up to x2 and the Bind Maneuver.
After four more months of instruction, the student becomes eligible for Third Circle. She can buy Klaviscar Ability up to x3 and the Riposte Maneuver. Up to this stage, the student is expected to have been questing for, forging, or otherwise attempting to acquire a klaive or grand klaive. A student is not allowed to study for the Fourth Circle until she honorably owns one. But a student can expect the assistance of her teacher and fellow students in this endeavor; the student’s klaive brings honor to the whole school and members are invested in helping one another succeed.
After five more months of instruction, the student becomes eligible for Fourth Circle. She can buy Klaviscar Ability up to x4 and the Prise D’ Argent Maneuver. The student can also buy Ability Specialization in Klaviscar. The student can choose which of the six maneuvers to specialize in, though Orel Tvarivich strongly encourages Bind because it is the foundation for other important maneuvers and is iconic of the school’s technique. The student does not need to choose an Ability Specialization at this Circle, but may wait until the next Circle to decide.
After six more months of instruction, the student becomes eligible for Fifth Circle. She can buy Klaviscar Ability up to x5, the Silver Shield Maneuver, and the Swinging Slash Maneuver. A student must have all five levels and have selected her Ability Specialization before she is considered to have achieved the Circle.
The minimum time to reach the Fifth Circle is 20 months, though some students might be held back at various stages if they have difficulty acclimating to the atmosphere of the school. Philosophical “weaknesses,” exposed during training roleplay, might end up delaying students indefinitely.
A student “graduates” upon attaining the Fifth Circle, but may continue her association with the school to maintain the political connections afforded by it. (Where else will you find fellowship with other high-ranked Garou from the upper echelons of society?) Staying a "student" of the school is common, until the student petitions the teacher for the Sixth Circle. This is a rare honor. Traditionally, a teacher can only invest one student with the Sixth Circle, ever, except that he can invest one more when he himself retires from instruction. A teacher usually steps down to the Fifth Circle when he is particularly old, not for the sole purpose of naming a second teacher to the Rukopis Sukosin style.
It is common for a Fifth Circle Klaivaskeriste to seek out other klaviscar teachers to learn other maneuvers. Fifth Circle students are allowed to do this and maintain their honorable relationship with their original school. These Fifth Circle “masters” expand their talents and sometimes form their own styles. A graduate can honorably teach klaviscar without the honor of the Sixth Circle if her style is sufficiently diverse (and she calls her style something else, something of her own making). Approval of the klaivaskeriste’s Rukopis Sukosin instructor should be sought to ensure that the style is sufficiently diverse, lest a “misunderstanding” occur.
From the MES Apocalypse Addendum, section F2.1 (Accord Rites):
Rite of Klaviscar: Intermediate
The ritemaster marks out a circle called a klaivaskeriste on the ground of any dimension he desires. Fifteen meters is traditional, and anything less than ten paces is often considered a killing ground. Any available ahroun are stationed around the edge of the circle to subdue either of the participants if they should frenzy. The ritemaster then takes the two challengers to the center of the field. Ranks, titles and the lineage of both the combatants and their klaives is recounted for the assembled. By ancient compact the challenged will determine the nature of the duel (Submission, First Strike, First Blood, Incapacity or Death). The Challenger determines the stakes they are fighting for (which in some cases may be the same as the nature). Both are stated publicly and the ritemaster must deem it a fair and honorable challenge.
The ritemaster will determine if taunting or gift usage is allowed during the duel. The combatants and their klaives are then anointed with clear water, and the circle is cleared for the duel to begin. Only the two combatants may participate in the fight. Should anything attempt to interfere with the events in the circle, the ritemaster is immediately alerted by the spirits, with details of both the source and nature of the interference. Should either combatant dishonor the rite the duel is immediately decided in the opponent’s favor, with the offender losing a permanent renown from each category. Should it be discovered that the ritemaster dishonored the rite, they would suffer a similar fate.
From the MES Apocalypse Addendum, section C2.3 (Specialty Fighting Styles):
Specialty Fighting Styles and Maneuvers are outlined in the Apocalypse Combat Primer.
Klaviscar: Requires Garou Lore x3, High Approval with PC Teacher, Top Approval with NPC teacher. Klaviscar as an ability, costs 1xp per ability, and each maneuver costs 1 xp to learn. Klaviscar is the only ability retest allowable when using Klaviscar maneuvers.
No character may ever have more than one "Fighting Style" Learning Times for the ability are at VST discretion after the initial approval for the ability.
From the MES Apocalypse “Combat Primer” Addendum
The ancient art of dueling takes on an entirely new aspect in Garou society. Many challenges are resolved through gamesmanship, puzzles, quests or other methods. But the most serious contests and the bitterest feuds are almost always settled with Klaives. Ownership of a Klaive is a sacred responsibility and it is considered a mark of the seriousness with which you take the fight for Gaia. Failure to respect the Klaive or the spirits within it is often grounds for honor duels or removal of the Klaive by the Elders.
Challenging someone to Klaviscar is tantamount to a death threat as almost all Klaive duels end in death. It is therefore considered dishonorable (but not unheard of) to challenge someone to Klaviscar when they do not own a Klaive.
Special: To use any Maneuvers requires the Klaive Dueling Ability and Garou Lore x3. Learning times for this ability are at VST discretion, though it is suggested at least one month between ability purchases. No teacher may teach more levels of Klaive Dueling then they possess. Each Maneuver costs 1xp to master. No more than 2 maneuvers may be purchased a month. This represents the great deal of time and discipline it takes to master.
Approval Level: High Approval with a PC teacher, Top Approval with an NPC teacher.
Klaviscar was taken to new heights in the courts of the Silver Fang kings and the ritual itself has gained not only many followers but has developed into a specialized fighting style all its own.
An appropriate trait must be bid for any Maneuver that requires a challenge. All maneuvers require the user to be wielding a Klaive, and are retested using the ability Klaive Dueling. Opponents may retest with an appropriate defensive ability. Some Maneuvers have restrictions on how and when they may be used. You may not attempt a Maneuver you do not possess. No Maneuver may be used more than once in a turn.
Alternate rules for Klaive dueling – When two people are involved specifically in a Klaive Duel, the ST is encouraged to use these alternate rules for combat. For ease of use, it is recommended that each combatant have a set of cards with the various Maneuvers he has access to. Every combatant, even those without Klaive Dueling, has access to the basic Maneuvers. Each player chooses the Maneuver card that they wish to perform. Before cards are revealed, the individual with the higher initiative may choose whether he wants his actions to resolve first or to hold and react to his opponent. The chosen Maneuvers are then revealed. The challenges are resolved in order, and all other non-contested challenges that are normally allowed during an action may still occur. Either combatant may attempt to change their contested Challenge once per turn by spending a Willpower and making a static mental test against their opponent.
- Attack – You make a normal attack against your opponent.
- Dodge/Soak – You choose to not take an action against your opponent, and only defend yourself.
- Gift/item – You activate a gift/item against your opponent.
- Run – Discretion is the better part of valor, and you move far away from your opponent.
The duelist attempts to entrap his opponent’s blade with his own.
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: If successful your opponent cannot make further attacks with the entrapped weapon until you either attack with your Klaive or release the bind. You gain a +2 trait bonus to maintain the bind and are not negatively affected if the grapple breaks. You may attempt a Disarm or Prise D’Argent Maneuver while the Bind is in effect.
The parry is a simple move to block the opponent’s blade with the duelist’s own.
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: Allows the character to parry his opponents attack. If successful, they may make a free immediate Riposte Maneuver (if possessed). In addition, the character is up 2 traits on initiative until the end of the next turn.
Prise d’ Argent
Literally “pressing of the silver,” this maneuver, much favored by Silver Fang duelists, uses the opponent’s blade as a guide for an attack. The duelist slides his Klaive along his opponent’s blade and drives it into her body. This Maneuver can only be done on the next action, after a successful Riposte or Bind Maneuver has been performed.
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: The duelist receives +2 traits on the attempt.
The duelist makes a swift attack at his exposed opponent.
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: This attack is resolved immediately regardless of what current Action it occurs. This maneuver may only be used directly after a Parry Maneuver. This Maneuver may be resisted with the Parry Maneuver.
The duelist uses his speed and the bulk of the Klaive to create a “shield of silver” in front of him as he swings the blade in a defensive pattern.
Effect: Until another Challenge is taken grants the user +2 traits to physical defense.
The duelist commits his whole effort into a single, massive swipe at his opponent, exposing himself, but hoping to do enough damage to make that irrelevant.
Damage: Normal +2
Test: Contested Physical
All other Challenges the user makes this turn are at -2 traits.