My friendship with the folks in the monastery down the way sometimes makes my skin itch. But I’ve gleaned a few tidbits from my friends there despite their abhorrence to a good bow, blade or armor.
The abbot there, Syncletica, and I had talked about the power of healing during battle. I rightly told her that I have spells and potions to do this, and that my distance while fighting keeps most of the enemies at bay anyway.
“But it is the quality of your healing that matters, Pyn,” she replied. “If you gain more from each healing you receive, you will be able to hunt longer.”
I couldn’t argue with that. I reviewed my healing balms and herbs, and improved on them a bit, completing the strongest training I could do there.
I told Syn that I hadn’t done as much adventuring until recently. Something lacked badly in my fighting, having to bring in more mercenaries to take point for me than I would care to have. I made a mistake in confiding in a few fighters about this in a pub last week.
“That’s because you use a stupid bow!” one said. “You can’t hit fast or hard with that thing!”
“And yet, you have an iron plate where a part of your skull should be, and have three teeth to your name,” I said.
“I’ll have you know that the Nail makes some really great soup!” was all he could say.
One archer there did make a note about something that I pondered after leaving that night: “Items you equip that can stack with ranged damage might be of help.”
I already imbue my arrows, of course, and switch out bows…but is there more? I would love to seek out more arrows per strike but many tell me that items that may aid in this is folly…the ingredients are just too rare, or the adventure is not suited for the solo ranger in the field to find the items.
I brought this point up to Syncletica over a few cups of rather potent sake. She excused herself for a moment and then brought over a wrapped box.
“This I found during a fight against the Taken. It’s–it’s rather hideous, really. But perhaps you will find use of it.”
She was right…this Bow, made of sinew and gutstrings from the unspeakably nasty creatures in the plane of Xoriat…it’s really horrific to see. On holding it, I thought I was going to puke…the thing still felt a bit wet and slimy.
But when I conjured up an arrow and fired it at a distant tree in Syn’s dojo…the arrow hit the hardwood…and sailed through it.
“That’s…that’s some bow,” I said.
Syn naturally gave it to me without further discussion. She also suggested that items that improve my likelihood to strike as critically as I did against that tree might be of aid.
She lent me something to help there when I’m not using the Bow of Sinew: A Blood Stone.
So I’m a little wiser and doing more adventuring. I can strike from very far away–that’s always been a benefit. But now, I critically strike more often and with far greater damage than before. Two or three critical arrow strikes against a denizen of Shavarath lurking about in the Vale of Twilight has been all too common with my improvements to seeker techniques, as well as combined use of the Wind Howler Bracers, the Sora Kell items, and the Vulkoor’s Cunning set that adds death to fatally-damaging strikes. Imbuing with slaying arrows yields devastating results more often, as well.
So yeah–I don’t make as much damage per second as others…but over distance, I make sufficient damage that fells more enemies more often before I can see their eyes.
Now to remember when NOT to shoot…I’ve been improving my tendency to swiftly pick and fire immediately at targets, but doing that in raids against swarms of evil will likely get me killed (again). I hate resurrection. I can’t eat for days after getting one.