"The life I lived before Montoya was not an easy one. I used my knife not for weaving beauty as I do with a blade now, but for cutting purse-strings. I used my speed, not for the grand dance of warfare, but to run from guardsmen. He bettered my lifestyle, it is true. He also bettered my self."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, from 'Memoirs of a Sharpened Childhood'~Eisquin 'Duelist' Mendenci, taken in by the regarded if little known blademaster Montoya, was raised from the age of eight to twirl a saber like none other. He learned techniques that defy the mind and the laws of the world from the old man,the skill to use them, and the mind to know when to do so. Eisquin became an accomplished duelist in Reciddinta, Montoya's style, and made fame and fortune excelling at it like none, even the old man himself, ever had. Returning in predictable triumph from a tournament, he was faced with Montoya on his deathbed, the old master finally expiring from the weight of age upon his shoulders. In his final words he granted Mendenci the art itself. Now he was the master.~Eisquin, though well provided for by multitudes of winnings, was purposeless without his old master to learn from, and gave his fortune to the orphanage that had turned him out as a child. He retreated into the mountains to perfect his art, aging as Montoya had, in fluid sync with his body and mind. He took the art of Reciddinta farther than even Montoya had, developing techniques that were more and more impossible to follow. He refused to take on an apprentice, saying that none could ever learn the style without Montoya to teach it. He fought many duelists who came to visit him in his secluded home, and never spoke a word to them, defeating each with ease and turning them away, in face of anger, grief, frustration, taunts, and even on rare occasions violence.~Thirty years after Eisquin 'Duelist' Mendenci had isolated himself from the world, he appeared, a gentleman aged fifty-four, in Khazan City, searching for an apprentice. But his conditions were strange.~"In my first encounter with Montoya he declared me to have skill like his own, and saw that I could surpass him at his art. I do not have the vision of this man, but I will hold the tradition. Each sucessive practictioner of Reciddinta must be greater than the last, and I will accept no apprentice unless their prowess surpasses or equals my own already."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, from a notice posted in Khazan.~His challenge issued, Eisquin set out to find a foe, aligning himself with the forces of good in Khazan out of respect for Montoya's ideals. Now he wanders the streets to test any who oppose him in the art of the blade.~'He will think I am dead. That is how it has to be, I fear. Otherwise he will never grow.'~-Montoya Lezato Inucure, three weeks prior to reported death, in an unpublished letter.~'Even the best strategist makes a miscalculation every now and then, I suppose."~-Montoya Lezato Inucure, three weeks after reported death, in an unpublished letter.
"I find that in the times I wander the streets at night, pouring rain cascading down my cloak, I am without emotion. Ever since the death of Montoya, I have been bleak...I have been without strength of will, without any purpose but finding a pupil. ~Battle is a different story. In the flurry of combat, in the heat of war, Montoya is with me again. He stands over the shoulder of the enemy, locking my eyes with his as time slows and his gaze speaks volumes. I hear the tenets of Reciddinta again as he points to the weak points of my enemy, as he tells me how to understand their movements. Heaven help me...Montoya, never will I match you, but one day, Reciddinta will live as it did in you, again."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, from 'The Old Man and the Steel'~"I never knew any man to be so consumed with the artistics rather than the semantics of war. He is needlessly eloquent with words, but his fluency with the blade both excels and pardons such a flashy triviality."~-Montoya Lezato Inucure, 'On My Pupils'~Mendenci is not half the man he could be. Obsessed with Montoya, he holds himself to needless standards for an honor he imagined his master never gave him. In his mind he has elevated the old man to a nearly godlike status, despite the fact that he was inferior in every way to the warrior Eisquin has ultimately become. It is likely his hope for a greater pupil than himself will result in the death of Reciddinta; though Mendenci is far from invulnerable to the many forms of combat that Khazan holds, a superior swordsman would be nearly impossible to find.~His delusion is his prime character flaw; he is also far too obsessed with the artistic element of combat. It is this if anything that makes him a defeatable foe on the battlefield. He is so obsessed with the artistic nature of Montoya he has elevated it a hundredfold, sacrificing much efficiency for a 'beautiful' style. If he could overcome this, most of the limits that exist on his skill would disappear. ~"That damned fool! He cannot grow this way. If I had known he would never see the darker side of war... Perhaps I am to blame. I encouraged his freedom too much. But who could forsee that he would learn to swing a blade, but not to see the blood that it drew. Blinded by innocence...damn him!"~-Montoya Lezato Inucure, unpublished letter.
Reciddinta: The Sight and Sound
"Reciddinta teaches me that I must see life as the blade's edge that it truly is. If I hope to survive this twisted battleground I must always be aware, and so each time I sharpen my rapier, also do I sharpen my senses. I listen, and I know when those who wish me ill are afoot. None can take the artist by suprise."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, from 'Gods and Patriarchs: Reciddinta Explained'.~"Place an ear to the wall of where your enemy plans his strategies, even if he does so in his head."~-Montoya Lezata Inucure, from 'Quose Stratagunce'~Mendenci, through long meditation, has heightened his sense of hearing to a supernatural level. He can hear bullets coming at him from behind, the footsteps of a master thief, and the swish of an opponent's blade as they attempt the backstab that is the only way they could defeat this master of the fighting art. This is referred to as "The Sight and the Sound" merely because the ability escalates Mendenci's hearing to the level as if he had eyes in the back of his head.
Reciddinta: The Golden Turn
"Nothing in life is absolute. So teaches the art of Reciddinta. Even when a foe may believe I am defeated utterly, my blade will guide me to turn aside his attack, to use the anger that fuels it against him, and to preserve the balance of opposer and opposed."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, from 'Opposer and Opposed'.~"Behold! Your weakness is revealed to you in a blaze of glory...through the film of red tears."~-Montoya Lezata Inucure, from 'Quose Stratagunce'.~With his enhanced listening skill, Mendenci can interpret the trajectory of an incoming attack from any angle by the sound it makes as it moves through the air. This coupled with his incredible sword skill allows him to turn aside and reflect back upon his enemy a typical attack, ranged or otherwise. His powerful spiritual connection to the art of Reciddinta grants him the ability to enact this upon most any power, be it elemental or otherwise.
Reciddinta: The Way of War
"Any fool can wave his blade around, though few do it with my skill. An artist defines his art, he is not defined by it. As such, I must define the battles I enter, not be defined by them. My plan for each battle may be different, but I will be ready, whatever the foe may be."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, as quoted in 'Quose Stratagunce'.~"It seems to me that if you know your own tactics, your foe's will follow naturally."~-Montoya Lezata Inucure, from 'Quose Stratagunce'.~Mendenci knows his blade in and out; how best to utilize the numerous strengths and how best to guise the few weaknesses of his style are second nature to him. Because of his intricate knowledge of his own technique, and the knowledge of battle he has in general, Mendenci is able to quickly improvise a suitable strategy using his own abilities by observing his opponent for only a short amount of time. The strategy may not be foolproof, but it will grant him more than simply charging in with his admittedly stunning swordplay. His superior agility grants him the ability to stay unharmed against most opponents long enough to determine his method of attack.
Reciddinta: The Grand Art
Sword Master: Ultimate
"Reciddinta is my life, my heart, my body and my soul. It is who I am, and I have told it who to make me. I define Reciddinta as its sole practictioner, and thus I have long been reluctant to decide upon an apprentice. My art must never define me, else I will be caught in it, more so than any man can withstand. In the throes of Reciddinta I move, I weave, I dodge, I flow, I strike at my opponent in his eyes, his mind, and his heart. The true artist can inspire anything, and I inspire fear in those who see me move. My devotion is beyond measure, and it has given me skill that is the stuff of legends."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, from 'Gods and Patriarchs: Reciddinta Explained'.~"That is it, child. The sword is yours to command. All other teaching will come from one greater than I have ever been; you."~Montoya Lezato Inucure, last words.~Decades of training have granted Mendenci a mythical level of skill. He can dart around the limbs, weapons, armor of an opponent, sending his razor-sharp blade flying directly into a vital point. This incredible speed and precision is the root of all of his attacks and defenses; they are enhanced by being in the usage of the master swordsman that Mendenci truly is.
Reciddinta: The Weaving of Battles
"I move like no other; this I know to be true. My strength is true, my mind is sound, but my speed is what gives me the edge to defeat any foe. I may dance, spin, leap about my enemy, and let him beware if he loses himself in the machinations of my eloquence, for he will never expect the strike that comes."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, from 'Opposer and Opposed'~'I once knew a man who could run the length of an opponent's blade and lay him flat with a kick to the head. You would humble him."~-Montoya Lezato Inucure, to Eisquin Mendenci.~This is another facet of Mendenci's incredible swordsmanship; being as connected with the blade as he is, he has gained the speed and precision he wields it with for his own body. Able to twist and turn around an opponent's attacks and perform devilish feats such as running along a larger foe's limbs or weapons, Mendenci uses his incredible mobility, sense of balance, and awareness of his own body to observe an enemy while he formulates a strategy and then enact that strategy for a quick and devastating win.
Reciddinta: The Dance of Roses
Slicing Attack: Supreme
- Armor Piercing
"May I ever move in a dance of infinite circles, for Reciddinta teaches me that the circle is completion and thus perfection. But ware he who seeks to break the circle, shatter perfection, and interrupt the artist at his work, for he shall see that the dance as beautiful as a rose also has its thorns."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, from 'Gods and Patriarchs: Reciddinta Explained'.~"He who cannot move, cannot fight; he who cannot fight is defeated whether you deliver a final blow or not."~-Montoya Lezato Inucure, from 'Quose Stratagunce'.~The strength of this attack lies in its ability to disable an opponent. Due to Mendenci's familiarity with his weapon and style, he is able to pick his strikes quickly and flawlessly. The Dance of Roses involves a mixture of attack and defense, as Mendenci rotates while circling the opponent, using his motion and acrobatics as well as his blade to prevent hits upon himself and seizing the gaps between his opponent's routines to send his blade flying in at vital points, not scoring major hits but instead striking tendons and important muscles to impair the fighting ability of his opponent in preparation of a final blow. This blow may be landed by the Dance of Roses once the opponent is heavily incapacitated, but it will more often be enacted artistically, by the Extinguished Flame (see below).
Reciddinta: The Extinguished Flame
Thrusting Attack: Superior
"When my foe is at their knees, when they beg for mercy, this is the mercy they recieve: the sweet embrace of death. My blade is merciful, as much as they deserve. Cowardice can be tolerated, but bravery and incompetence is held in dire contempt by Reciddinta. Let me begin and end my battles with this strike."~-Eisquin 'The Duelist' Mendenci, from 'Strikes Outside of Mind'.~"One day you will understand why it is a kindness."~-Montoya Lezato Inucure, to Eisquin Mendenci.~This attack is different than a simple thrust. It is a gracious finishing move, that is followed not only by all of Mendenci's physical strength but also his commitment to his blade, converted through his meditational arts to an actual physical force. Mendenci will use this strike in one of two situations. The first, more common, is when his opponent has been incapacitated by the Dance of Roses, slowed to the point where Mendenci can unleash the blow upon his foe and destroy his opponent utterly. The other is when his foe's particular style and/or lack of speed allows Mendenci's formulated strategy to grant him the opening he needs to finish the battle in a single glorified strike.
Super Speed: Superior
- Weakness: Limited Uses - One Use
"Khazan City. Executioner's block of every fighter's pride."~-Eisquin 'Duelist' Mendenci, attributed.~It had been too long since Mendenci had truly let himself go. He had almost been afraid to fight with everything he had, everything he held within his slim frame. But in Khazan, something had happened. Either his will had broken, or his strength had improved, but he was ready to let go.~Khazan had changed the elderly duelist. It was harsher than the world he had come from, less artistic. It disgusted him. But he was ready to give it his all. When he allowed his instinct to take over, when he allowed his training of the blade and not the mind to rule his actions, he became something else. Something lightning quick, something dark and wanting only to defeat its foe. He grinned at the faceless thug who stood before him, grinned the grin of a sociopath who knows only the enjoyment he gets when his victims scream. In the blink of an eye he stood behind him. What was left of him. Still grinning. Bloody.~...~He screamed in pain that mocked his nerves for ever existing, made him rethink the decision of birth. No body was meant to move that quickly, no human body. He sank to his knees, the pain subsiding and an unwillingness to subject himself to it again setting in. He'd need to steel himself before he could bring himself to do it again.~The limits were broken.