No other class is as ubiquitous as the fighter. The variation within each path ensures that even with limited options, fighters of the same variety from two different cultures or schools can be wildly different. Fighters have come together in different traditions since time immemorial, whether knightly orders or a drinking club. Perhaps more than any other class, fighters are a reflection of their culture. Arcane Archer Originally an elven tradition, arcane archery has spread to humans and others, particularly in Nubia and England. Their focus on one weapon is somewhat unusual for fighters, though their sporting clubs are legendary for archery contests. Champion In a ubiquitous class, this is perhaps the most ubiquitous option. Champions are found all over the world, and often band together in fraternities or sororities. Champions are the most likely to compete in various games popular around the world, from the Olympics of the Free Elven City States to the high stakes Ullamaliztli (a game in which the losers are sacrificed). Battle Master Often students from war colleges or accomplished masters, battle masters add a sense of refinement to combat, adding an educated but no less deadly touch to battle. Most stay in touch with their old colleagues, and a battle master’s school is often identifiable by his or her style. Battle masters continue to show pride in their school or teacher after they leave. Eldritch Knight More than the battle masters, eldritch knights require extensive training, blurring the lines between warrior and wizard. Some cities have fighters study at the wizard school and find a way to blend the techniques themselves, while others have dedicated eldritch knight academies, but both produce students who often stay in touch and return to their schools periodically to train. Cavalier Due to their equestrian bent, cavaliers are most common in parts of the world where mounts are readily available. Though trade has expanded considerably, this doesn’t mean that a related fighting tradition has grown there organically; though cavaliers can be found all over, they are far more common on the western steppes of Asia, in Europe, and parts of Africa. They readily form knightly orders and are often analogous to paladins in the oaths they take, though they don’t require these oaths as paladins do. Knight Errant (Purple Dragon Knight) Popular in civilized areas, the Knight Errant leads and protects others (without being tied to a mount as the cavalier is). Knights errant also form knightly orders, though they’re not as likely to make oaths and tenets. Protection and leadership are their watchwords, and those two ideals suffice. Samurai Possessed of an implacable fighting spirit, the samurai tradition originated in Rokugan, but has spread as the influence of Rokugan’s noble families have branched out. Warriors are trained in dojo, and most swear fealty to one of the samurai clans in exchange for this training (or as part of a family obligation), though some choose not to or are not allowed to because of disgrace. These ronin make for extremely polite mercenaries, and are often in high demand. The clans are as follows: Crab: Dedicated to protecting the world from planar interference (particularly the Abyss), the Crab are led by the Hida family, and are the most willing to accept new members, even ronin. Their members are also subjected most often to Taint; this the Crab must endure for the sake of others, as is their duty. Crane: Refined and cultured, the Crane are led by the Doji family, and prize culture and civilization above the other clans. For them, an enduring legacy must be made that is worthy of defense, else what do the samurai fight for? Crane honor the gods, the spirits, and their mortal servants through their artwork, though their artwork includes studying the blade, lest any think that they are weak or easily defeated. Dragon: An enigmatic clan of mystics, the Dragon are led by the Mirumoto family, though they take their cues from a monastic order named after a dragon god. The Dragon seek enlightenment and self-expression; this latter manifests in warriors being the very best that they can be, which is the source of their indomitable will. Lion: The samurai exist for war, and the Lion excel at war. Strategos and tacticians par excellence, the Lion are led by the formidable Akodo family, who have never led an army to defeat in their thousand years of history. They are punishing to new recruits from outside the clan, particularly ronin, though if one can survive for three years in the Lion vanguard, they typically earn their place among more well respected soldiers. The infamous Akodo Deathseekers are men and women who seek to cleanse the stain of dishonor from their name by death, but not seppuku; they seek instead to die in battle, serving their clan to the end. Phoenix: The Shiba family nominally leads this clan, though its focus on magic users belies that. The Shiba are contemplative like their Dragon cousins, but instead of seeking personal enlightenment they focus on being bodyguards and defending those who speak with the spirits in their lands. Scorpion: The Bayushi family has mastered secrets and intrigue, though they are no less potent as warriors. Rather than direct brutishness they favor feints and deception, and though they’re always willing to cut a deal, it’s never for the ultimate benefit of anyone but the Scorpion. It is whispered that they can even hoodwink the fiends of Hell. Unicorn: Explorers and adventurers at heart, the Unicorn have more members who don’t hail from Japan than any others. One of their great families is descended from nomadic horsemen in the steppes, though the Shinjo family who leads the Unicorn is descended from a goddess who fought from horseback at the dawn of the empire. Other clans are minor and of far less prestige, but also less responsibility; they include the Monkey, Tortoise, Mantis, Centipede, Fox, Wasp, Dragonfly, Boar, Badger, Sparrow, and Snake.