Dressolini Fencing is a fencing sport practiced mostly by Regalian nobility and those of the Dressolini culture for both competitive as well as leisure habits. The form of fighting style was popularized by the “Bella Agitazione” period of Daendroque culture where the Dressolini culture fully developed as a separate culture. Dressolini Fencing was to become the hallmark example of the Dressolini cultural development over the barbaric norms and values (in civilized eyes) of the Daendroque culture with influences in clothing, artistry and craftsmanship.. Dressolini Fencing continues to be used today as a popular sport among Dressolini nobility as well as a way to bring a civilized end to disputes in this branch of the aristocracy.
Around 150 AC under the tenure of Vladimir Kade as Chancellor, large migrations happened between Daendroc and the Regalian Archipelago. Nearly a century of warlord warfare and infighting had made the Daendroque people tired of conflict and the barbarism that was inflicted on them by those with the means to do so. The refugees fleeing to Regalia were welcomed with open arms and land grants by the local Regalians who were striving to increase their population base. Within decades, the numbers of Daendroque within the Archipelago doubled, then tripled and even quadrupled to become the second largest cultural group within the Empire’s borders. Over time, exposure to Alt-Regalian culture and Ceardian cultural mixing led to a cultural upheaval referred to as “Bella Agitazione” among the Dressolini. This period of social agitation led to a cultural change within the Daendroque, a period of 30 years that saw the entire Dressolini culture born. The social agitation was mostly aimed at the formation of an anti-culture, those who identified themselves as Dressolini wished to separate themselves from that which was considered barbaric in their past.
As the Dressolini culture formed, so changed the morals and traditions of the people who used to come from Daendroc. The most troublesome aspect of the Daendroque culture to these new Dressolini was their inheritance system. The Daendroque strongly believed that the strongest child should lay claim and inherit everything from their parents, through violent means if necessary. In theory this would ensure a strong heir would always lay claim to the family’s name, but in practice this meant many families would continuously decimate themselves in fratricide and patricide. Whole branches of families could be wiped out in savage fighting over a small orchard as inheritance. To reject this ideal, the Dressolini adopted a style of combat based on regulations, class and elegance that would determine the same outcome. The strongest child was considered the smartest, fastest and strongest, able to outwit their opponent in single combat, striking faster and more precisely than the others. The regulations in this fighting style would further reinforce the idea that killing your opponent does not equal winning. As such, a bloodless fighting sport was born.
It is not clear who exactly invented the sport. Rather it developed in several separate cliques before coming together around 211 AC under the first Duke of Vultaro who decided to record and institute the rules in the code of law. Since then, Dressolini Fencing has changed little in itself. Most of the changes that have been seen in the fighting style were centered around the material of the weapons as well as the configurations of the armor.
All Dressolini fencers must wear the exact same outfit, though colors may differ. Weapons must also fit very specific specifications or the fencer may risk disqualification. How to strike and how to gain points is strictly recorded in a manual called the “Condicce dei Spadei”. A judge must always be present during a combat between two fencers, someone called the “Condotti”. The swords that the fencers use are coated in a colored chalk in between sessions which will often shed onto the armor pieces when they are hit. These swords are most often the Dressolini Spadi, a thin blade that helps emphasize the agility this sport demands. Contemporary poets often describe Dressolini fencing as “The Spirit’s singing of bells as heard from the clock towers of the holy Imperial Cathedral”. This connection is made because the Spadi is very thin and often resonate strongly when struck, creating a harmonious sound of low and high tones during combat. Some Emperors of Regalia have even been known to use Dressolini fencers as background music during festivities or gatherings at court.
How to Play
Dressolini Fencing is dominated by attempts of the fencers to strike at each other’s armor pieces. The swords that the fencers use are coated in a colored chalk in between sessions which will often shed onto the armor pieces when they are hit. A fencing session knows ten mid sessions which end as soon as both yell “Accito”, which is roughly understood as “I have ran out of chalk”. The chalk is then replenished and the struck armor plates are tallied as a score. After the ten sessions, the tallies from the individual sessions are summarized and any potential fouls are detracted from the total score. The highest score wins. The majority of the time between strikes, fencers avoid being hit. It’s an exceptionally acrobatic and difficult style to master as parrying with one’s weapon is not possible due to the fact that would shed the chalk off the weapon prematurely, making it possible that one’s strikes will not be registered on the armor.
After the ten sessions of combat, the tallies from the individual sessions are summarized and any potential fouls are detracted from the total score. The highest score wins.
- One particularly talented fencer called Matteo di Espinozina won ten consecutive tournaments. Many royal houses offered him titles and wealth to teach fencing to their children, but Matteo refused and instead disappeared from the public display. This lack of other Instroduziones or “Masters” having been promoted for a decade resulted in a sudden scarcity and an extreme drop in new fencing students.
- Normally speaking, the armor plates are made of metal and unbreakable by the force of the sword. One fencer was once able to break armor plates and bludgeon a fencer with the Spadi. Since then, it was made illegal to use the Spadi to strike.
- Actually physically harming your opponent during the fencing or striking their exposed skin counts as a foul, which detracts points from the fencer in question.