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  1. I'd just want to give you here a link to an old Indian martial art. I think it could be used as a base to devise an Indian unit, in either Empire Besieged or 1000 A.D. This thread could be then used to discuss the faction. Beware, as it could be a-historical (the Gupta being a northern empire). This is based on the mythological origin of all the far-eastern martial arts, as being related in Wikipaedia. An Indian monk, Bodhidharma, came to the Shaolin temple in China by the turn of the 6th century A.D. He eventually developed a spiritual-martial art derived from a pre-existing Indian martial art (so it is valid for the 5th century and should be for some centuries before as well), his father being of the warrior cast. This martial art, Kalarippayatt(u), derived itself from three main influences/cultures: the old Dravidian (relation to nature and animism)the Buddhism (pacifism and energetic body)the new Aryan (art/theory/holistic of the military supremacy)Masters at arms (fencing masters?) (gurus) were doctors too and taught how to kill and how to heal. In this old time, 14 weapons had to be taught but mastering one could take many years of course (at least: staff, hand, sword, knife, spear, flail, shield). On the video links in English below, they tell about the history and the goals of this martial art. So, the idea would be to have either a costly warrior-healer-leader (possibly with minor healing capacities), or a cheaper champion with some regeneration over time, both dealing multiple mêlée damage type (indeed, all the 3 damage types). Really. Watch at the videos. I don't know whether they were armored or not, but surely, they could be the alter-ego of non mounted knights. Nowadays, this art is still taught by dynasties of masters at arms in the Kerala state in the SW. THe number of weapons taught has decreased with time. Here in English:
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