School of Mariposa
|School of Mariposa|
|Proficiencies||Thin Blade Combat Skill, Fast Blade Combat Skill, Athletic Training, Literary Arts|
The School of La Mariposa Bailarina is a relatively young martial discipline that focuses predominantly on fencing and fighting with fanciful footwork. Stemming from Daenshore, the School is a fighting style as passionate as the culture that birthed it and has gained recognition across the Regalian Empire and beyond for the grace and technique of its sophisticated style. Mariposa fencers pride themselves on their expertise in Fast Blade Combat Skill and Thin Blade Combat Skill, performing high-speed feints and ripostes with choreographed grace. The many twirls and half-circles that these fighters often execute in combat are often compared to dancing, which leads many to see the fighting prowess of Mariposa fighters as a sort of performance art, drawing spectators and prospective students out to the matches and spars of its students and graduates. Despite the style’s outward beauty, the School’s reputation is heavily mired by the controversial background of its founders, the Fonseca brothers, and the perceived ego of its current tutors. Aptly named for the Daendroquin word for butterfly, the School is located in the flowery northern outskirts of Daenshore, contained entirely in a large wing of the Fonseca family’s lavish estate.
Originally a ploy set up by Estevo Fonseca, the School finds its origins as a money laundering scheme for ill-gotten coin. The Fonseca brothers, Avilio and Estevo, both smugglers of rare and illegal goods, traveled throughout long stretches of dangerous Daendroc as a part of a varied caravan business. Perhaps every bit the stereotypical Daendroque pair one might expect, Avilio functioned as the group’s hardened mercenary and spent a good majority of his travel time perfecting his unique style of fast-paced combat. Estevo was the ever-passionate musician with a knack for harebrained schemes. In time, the Fonsecas gathered enough coin to settle down in Daenshore. Avilio began working as a fencing instructor and hitman based out of the brother’s home, but Estevo continued to deal in illegal trade goods, which eventually caused him to catch the ire of some of Daenshore’s more prominent gangs. These gangs attacked them through legal means, goading the government into investigating and legitimately relinquishing Estevo’s property. When Avilio eventually caught wind of the plan, the brothers officially established Avilio’s fencing School in 260 AC, transforming all of Estevo’s ill-gotten assets into legal ones by employing a legal loophole and scaring off any saboteurs simply due to Avilio’s involvement.
Several years down the line, Avilio married a Ceardian woman named Hildreth, a departee of the newly destroyed Ceardia. An inspired warrior woman herself, Hildreth quickly involved herself in her husband’s School as a martial tutor. The couple eventually found a new love for teaching and happily relinquished their criminal ties to more formally work on the newly named ‘School of La Mariposa Bailarina’ (Which was named after Hildreth, who Avilio affectionately referred to as ‘butterfly’). The modern Mariposa style was born from the coupling of Avilio’s expressive and choreographed style and Hildreth’s martial knowledge and pragmatism. Estevo funded the construction of a significant addition to the newly acquired Fonseca Estate, where the School was permanently relocated.
Today, Avilio’s many children have taken on the task of teaching the Mariposa style at the so-called Fonseca Academy. In their tenure, enrollment and education have 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 academic abilities outshine its shady origins. Unfortunately, the School has not done well in recent years. First came the Anahera Dictatorship which saw those allied with the leadership make use of Mariposa swordsmen as warriors and guards, then followed by the collapse of civil order in Daenshore with the Academy only spared thanks to all students getting some hands-on experience as a round-the-clock watch was set up to guard the entire estate from looters and criminals. This experience soon became much more intense; when Cedromar I pulled the Regalian army out of Daenshore to let the Avanthar in during the Long Elven War, the Estate was harried by several Avanthar raiding parties. The beauty of the Estate has taken several months to repair, and the student body’s taste of reality has hardened many but also caused others to leave. But, having weathered all these storms, the School of Mariposa has been hardened and looks to return to its old role of awing many with its fast-paced and choreographed style.
The picturesque Academía Mariposa makes up the western wing of the wealthy Fonseca family’s massive estate. Located among the flowery outskirts of northern Daenshore, the marble square surrounding the academy is oft considered one of the safest and cleanest places in all of Daenshore, given that students and tutors alike help to keep it free of criminal activity and drunken revelry. Being the traditional home of the combat style, the Academy only employs the best tutors of the style, leading to a high level of both skill and arrogance among its graduates. Separate from the Academy, many private tutors have sprung up in places all around Aloria, usually promising to teach the style at a considerably lower cost than the Fonseca family charges.
Code of Conduct
What little rules and regulations the School has stem from the founder’s beliefs of what makes an ideal warrior: a self-driven Ailor of any age and gender with a temperament to withstand any challenge. While this remains roughly the same, the newer generation of Fonsecas have removed the racial requirement to enter the School and instead accept anyone with enough money. Mariposa graduates typically believe themselves above other fighters due to the fierce competitiveness of its student base, leading to many Mariposas developing an egotistical disposition and a constant need to prove themselves to their peers. That said, most Mariposa tutors will 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 wild lands are refused entry at the Fonseca estate and are limited to the teachings of a sympathetic tutor.
Students at the Fonseca Academy should expect long and arduous days of training that are filled with practice spars and training drills. What differs from other martial Schools is their focus on dance and acrobatics, teaching students the quick footwork and fanciful tricks that are often used in the style. Given that the Academy takes in students of all ages, there is certainly a wide disparity in how long it takes for students to graduate from the School. Students are simply allowed to graduate from the Academy once they are deemed ready by one of the School’s tutors, which is typically decided by a sparring match with one of the elder surviving Fonseca sons. The minimum length for this is usually somewhere around five years. All students are typically regarded as equals in the craft until their graduation (bar racial discrimination), being below their tutors, all of whom are lorded over by the hierarchy of the dwindling Fonseca family. After graduation, Mariposa fencers can face pace-for-pace at the same level as graduates from nearly any other School, leading most Mariposas to go on to become mercenaries, bounty hunters, or bodyguards.
OOC Rules for the School
- While the Fonseca Academy welcomes students of any race, certain racial treatment should be expected. Kathar in particular are likely to be treated with the utmost hatred by the Ailor students and tutors alike, and may face many hardships in their tutelage that leads to delayed graduation from the School.
- Given the acrobatic nature of the School, the fighting style is typically not compatible with any armors heavier than leather.
- 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 Mariposa teaches combat as performance art, which typically leads to their fighting style being viewed as a style of dance in and of itself. Mariposa performers can often be found throughout Daendroc and Ithania.
- Given the young age of the School, many deny its legitimacy, often leading to students having to fight for respect from graduates of other martial Schools.