Sigil of the Hare is a martial art that attempts to advance the art of dust manipulation. Practitioners of this style attempt to reach a middle ground between physical capability and dust manipulation through a unique techique called metatarsal casting, where in spells are prepared and cast through the legs.
Metatarsal casting is the most distinct component of Sigil of the Hare, and the technique which seperates from most other kinds of martial arts. Leg Casting was designed by a group of Faunus Mages, trying to find a more advanced method of manipulating dust.
The problem that the mages saw was that most dust manipulation puts too much focus on the mages torso, arms, and head, with spells being concieved in the head, energy being gathered in the torso, and cast and controlled via the somatics of the arms. This school of thought ignores the feet, a trait passed down from the first practices where a mage might have to sit, meditating, to gether energy before releasing it in a spell.
The mages identified that the arms were a limiting factor in this school of thought. The somatic components of dust manipulation had huge effects on the success of a spell, so the arms were valuable. The mage's idea was to transfer the somatic components of casting spells to the legs, freeing up the arms to complete other tasks, such as finer dust manipulation.
After much research on the subject the mages succeeded, but discovered that this new style of dust manipulation was not very easy to use. Somatic components of the legs were diffirent then those of the arms and so spells could not be transfered over on a one to one basis.
Today, metatarsal casting is still in development with a fairly small number of practioners, attempting to grow the meager knowledge they have. Most spells are combattive, as originally intended by the mages. This is because day to day spells, outside of combat, might as well be cast with the arms. Spells usually revolve around short term physical augmentation and teporary enchatment, or more typical ranged spells.
Sigil of the Hare has been split into multiple smaller styles, being studied in concurance. For the most part these styles broke off from Core, choosing to focus certain parts diffirently then others.
Core was the style developed by the original group of mages. Similar to other, older, schools of dust manipulation, Core does not move the body very much. Core splits up somatic components between the arms and legs, so that all 4 limbs prepare a single spell. This seems to lower the casting time of spells; however the real advantage is that it prefers to release spells though the legs, and keeps the arms free to prepare more spells. Spells are usually ranged, and delivered with large kicks, as the mages figured this was the safest thing to do. Core differs from more developed styles in that the torso can be split into only two larger partitions.
Common practice of this style is to stand back as an ordinary mage, being the somatic components with the hands while jumping to preform somatic components with the legs. Alternatively, practitioners will lie on their back and preform somatic components with their hands and feet at the same time. Traditional ranged spells like streams of energy or telekenitic derivatives are then preformed with some of the 4 limbs while the others begin preparing another spell or work to maintain the existing spell. Details on the exact progression of a fight with this style is unkown because it is so under developed.
Core has largely died out as practitioners realized the difficulty of splitting somatic components among 4 limbs. In addition the ranged spells invisioned by the first mages proved to be much harder then personal augmentations.
Sigil of the Bull Rabbit
Sigil of the Bull Rabbit was the first off shoot from Core, and is the most commonly practiced style of Sigil of the Hare. This style chooses to focus on enchanted physical attacks. The caster will preform enchantments on their own legs, with their arms, while the legs deliver devistating kicks. Most schools will prefer to focus on a single spell which is then maintained and modifyed over the course of the fight; however, a practitioner could also choose to cast many short term spells, lasting only for a few kicks, if they want to use multiple enchancements to fight multiple enemies or to keep the opponent guessing on what kind of kick will come next.
Common practice is to take a strong, well grounded stance, while beginning an enhancment. Defense is relegated to aura or defensive kicks for more advanced users. Common enhancements are force vectors to put more power behind a kick, or temperature enchantment to burn and feeze the opponent. Fights will continue with this enchantment, as a diffirent enchantment would require breaking combat for a few moments. Fights will end with the opponent either being kicked into submission or the practitioner wearing down the opponent before using a full body strength enchantment to preform grappling, a take down, and a pin.
This is the most commonly practiced style because somatic components are still done with the hand, meaning the only thechnique that really needed from Core is the ability to channel spells thorugh the legs.
Breaking off of Core around the same time that Sigil of the Bull Rabbit, Jumping Hare maintained the art of using legs for the sommatic components of spells. The style engages in an very acrobatic form of melee combat, where in physical augmentations are cast by both the arms and legs on both the arms and legs, resulting in a flurry of blows. The accrobatics are necesary to keep the feet off the ground to cast their own spells. While this form could focus on either long lasting enhancments, like Sigil of the Bull Rabbit, or short lasting enhancements, because Jumping Hare pratitioners prefer to stay flexible, most opt for short lasting enhancements.
Common practice is to stay mobile, quickly begin an enchantment with the arms, moving in for a punch while setting up to enchat the legs and follow with a kick. The kick should then allow the user to enchant the arm for a follow up attack. Manuvers to keep the feet off the ground include jumps, cartwheels and even rolls in some special cases. Jumping Hare finishes almost all fights with a full body enchantment of some kind to preform a take down and pin. This is conveninet because the body is already being enchanted consistantly, so a full body enchantment is a natural step from the limited enchantments preformed thus far.
Jumping Hare can is more difficult to learn due to it's greater focus on acrobatics, while maintaining the focus on actual spell casting.
Some practitioners of Jumping Hare focuses on dedicating either the arms or legs to further casting enchantments on the other pair of limbs while also using healing spells to keep the user fighting for longer.
Whether this is its own style can debated because it is the least developed. Jack emerged later then the previous two styles and didn't split from Core, in the same way. Jack was developed by clandestine assassins who had practice in some combination of aformentioned styles. Jack focuses on laying traps while moveing.
A common practice is to cast trap spells with the arms or legs, and focus them in the pelvis, before being placed by the feet while running. Trap spells cast in this way are very hard to notice. This style doesn't really have applications in melee combat unless the user wants to place a trap in the middle of combat. Common spells in this style are timed and triggered explosions. Force vectors to push or hold enemeis are also common.
This style would be very complicated to learn because casting a trap with proper triggers can already be hard while working with the hands.
Sigil of the Hare can take advantage of any kind of dust, in the same way normal casting can.
Of critical important to the martial art are dust dispensers. While dust can be entered into combat in many diffirent ways, having dispensers at the feet is organized and convenient. Devices are usually controleld by tensing muscles in the feet to release dust. For the most part, the martial art has not been combined with weapons. People have reportedly integrated knives and armored shoes into their styles.
Famous practitioners are far and few between. They usually associate with some combination of the above styles, as the martial art has not been standardized enough to be covered by general labels.
Practitioners are almost always highly flexible, as it is necesary for the unusual movements of the legs invovoled in casting. Rabbit and kangaroo faunus are most common because of the art's history, and because their spells seem to be more powerful. Chimp faunus are also common because their prehensile feet give them more intricate control.
Sigil of the Bull Rabbit
A male kangaroo faunus stands silently, preparing for his demonstration of Sigil of the Bull Rabbit. On each shoulder, hip, and large foot, he had a device for holding dust, that looked like a coin dispenser. By just touching a button the device would start ejecting dust for one of the tubes for him to use. Opposite him, a Beowulf charged him.
In the blink of an eye the fighter's hands were on the dispensers at his hips and then up in front of him. As he started to bob his shoulders began to roll and his hands looked like they were weaving in front of him. Careful observation would reveal there was a small cloud of dust forming around his arms, while a similar cloud was around his legs.
The beowulf was upon him and clawed at his head. The fighter dodges down and to the side, raising his arms to sheild his head. Once the clawed arm was fully extended, the fighter poped up and delivered two quick jabs to the beowulf's shoulder, but the beowulf shrugged the attack off and shifted its body weight into a tackle. The fighter jumped and knocked his heels together while lett the beowulf push him back. The fighter disconnected and sailed back a little furthe. When the fighters legs touched the ground a small mound appeard there. He used the incline and kicked off back toward the beowulf. The beowulf, ready to recieve him, attacked with both of its clawas in front. The fighter matched the beowulf, landing his fists on the beowulf's claws. Suddenly magic circles formed around the beowulf's arms and he could not move them. The figher slid his food accross the ground releasing dust as he went and then began a right kick, aimed for the beowulf's elbow while at the same time a pillar of rock rose up on the fighters left, arching to also head for the beowulf's elbow. The kick and rock collided on the elbow and smashed it. The beowulf howled in pain and recoiled, his other arm breaking the magic circles holding it in place.
Is it reasonable to assume that ape faunus have prehensile feet? That is that they can manipulate their toes and grasp things better then the ordinary human.
Was the demo a good idea? It's not a lot but its a start. I might right more later.