School of Mariposa
|School of Mariposa|
The School of La Mariposa Bailarina is a relatively new martial discipline from the realm of Daenshore, that has gained recognition across the Regalian Empire and beyond for the grace and technique of its style. Mariposa fencers pride themselves on their fanciful expertise with a Short Sword or Thin Blades, performing feints and ripostes with no small amount of elaborate footwork. The many twirls and half-circles that these fighters execute in combat is often compared to dancing, which makes it very relate able to the School of Turall, as more sophisticated younger brother could. The school’s reputation is heavily mired by the controversial background of its founders, the Fonseca brothers, and the infamous ego of the current teachers of this discipline. This school equips students with the ability to match most other combat schools pace-for-pace at the same level, serving as a versatile option for fighters who find constant need in defending themselves or others as bodyguards, bounty hunters, and mercenaries. The School of Mariposa is named after the Daendroque word for butterfly, and is aptly located in the flower-laden northern outskirts of the city of Daenshore. Contained entirely in the lands of the Fonseca estate, the school is an unassuming branch of the large main building where the dwindling members of the Fonseca family live.
The School for Mariposa is located in Daenshore where it is one of the busiest and largest buildings near the Harbor side. While it is close to the harbor, the city defenders take great care to guard the premises of the building to ensure no drunken revelry or disturbances occur on the marble squares in front of the building, making it likely the safest place in all of Daenshore.
Beginning as a mere fancy of Estevo Fonseca, the school was originally an elaborate front for the laundering of ill-gotten coin. The Fonseca brothers, Avilio and Estevo, were originally two parts of a caravan business that travelled through long stretches of dangerous Daendroque land to trade in contraband and rare goods. Avilio often took the role of ‘muscle’ in their arrangement, and had ample time to form and refine his own unique style of fighting that he had made on necessity. In time, the Fonsecas had raised enough money to lay down roots in the city of Daenshore, where Avilio began working as a fencing instructor and hitman, and Estevo as a businessman of goods both legal and illegal. Several years down the line, Estevo fell under the ire of various Daenshore gangs, who sought to disassemble his various operations indirectly and without raising the ire of the more threatening Avilio. Their solution eventually amounted to going through legal means, goading the government into investigating and legitimately relinquishing Estevo’s property. Avilio learned of this plot before it came into fruition, allowing the brothers to invent a loophole to escape the gang’s machinations. Creating the school transformed much of Estevo’s illegal assets into a legal business, all the while scaring any would-be saboteurs from any mischief due to Avilio’s intimate involvement in the school.
Several years later, Avilio married a Ceardian woman named Hildreth, a departee of the then newly-destroyed Old Ceardia. Hildreth herself was an inspired warrior, and immediately involved herself in Avilio’s martial school as a teacher. The two found a new passion in teaching, and eventually dropped all of their criminal ties to work on the newly named ‘School of La Mariposa Bailarina’ (Which was named after Hildreth, whom which Avilio affectionately called ‘butterfly’). Between the two, they formulated the modern version of the Mariposa style, which combined Avilio’s expressive and dance-like technique with Hildreth’s technical knowledge and pragmatism. Estevo funded the construction of a large expansion to the newly acquired Fonseca estate, where the school was permanently relocated.
Currently, Avilio’s many children teach and run the Mariposa school. In their tenure, enrollment and education has become exclusive to fighters who already have a minimum of two years of general combat experience under their belt. Taking a more elusive and prestigious approach to recruitment, tutors employed by the school visit various martially inclined communities to coerce prospective students into paying hefty initiation fees to begin their training. With this method of advertisement, the School of Mariposa has begun the formation of its identity as a premier fencing institution, attempting to let the esteem of satisfied students and their learned abilities outshine its shady origins. Combined with Daendroc’s bloody succession culture and the ever-present bickering between the Ithanian Hivres, the school’s popularity has dramatically increased with the years gone by. As of the present day, rumors about Mariposa swordsmen and their ability have reached as far as Farah’deen, leaving many at awe of its fast-paced and choreographed style.
Code of Conduct
Much of the Mariposa school’s rules and regulations are tailored to the founder’s beliefs of the ideal warrior: A self-driven Ailor of any age and gender with a temperament to withstand any trying challenge. This has instilled a strict and ostracizing criteria for both enrollment and graduation from the school, alienating many potential students from participating. Most tutors outright refuse to teach any students who are easily frustrated or exhibit a hot temper, requiring no small amount of emotional discipline for any who wish to become a better swordsman. Worse yet, the illiterate and those who hail from barbaric lands are refused entry at the Fonseca estate and are limited to the teachings of a sympathetic tutor. While some non-Ailor are permitted to enroll into the school, they must suffer through years of racism and unfairness due to the xenophobic tendencies of the school’s staff and the average Ailor student. Provided that a pupil meets this criteria and earns the citation of their tutor, they are finally permitted to finish their education within the halls of the Fonseca estate.
Ranking above all within the school are the last remaining members of the Fonseca family. Commanding wealth and authority torn from the diminishing legacy of their forefathers, they employ dozens of tutors that spend most of their time as fencing instructors or trainers for nobles and mercenary companies alike. Beyond this inner circle, the school does not recognize its students as members of this brotherhood unless they are hired by the Fonsecas themselves for tutoring.
- The school is popular among the gentry of southern Ithania and Lusits, as well as Daendroque nobles. The majority of students tend to be from these three regions and backgrounds.
- The School of Lancyon and the School of Mariposa have an unspoken yet vicious rivalry, for both institutions train in two-handed weapons for styles suitable to bodyguarding.