Combat Styles Part 4: The Black Archer

Guns, it’s true I was a solider once. War taught me fear. There is no greater weapon.

- Albrecht Oswald, The Mad Artist

Each of the Four Realms posses ways to affect others from a distance, but none more so than the Dark. This week we look at the Black Archer, a combatant that forgoes convectional weapons to rely on pure Supernatural power.

There are multiple options within the Dark for ranged strikes from the Eye of Damnation to a Psychic Crush. We’re going to keep things relatively straight forward beginning with a reason for people to stay away from the Black Archer:

Misfortune – Dark
The character is a bad omen. Chaos and tragedy befall those who interfere with them.
Using Misfortune: The character may use their Fortune attribute to directly reduce a target’s next roll or to reduce their defense the next time they are attacked.

Black Aura – Dark
The taint of the Dark Realm radiates from the character. Some feel this as a chill in the air, while the psychically aware actually perceive the aura around them. The presence of the Dark Realm is enough to insight panic and fear into most people, sending even brave men to cower for their lives.

These Boons allow the Black Archer to directly reduce the effectiveness of those near them. This acts as a defense to potent melee attacks and encourages people to back away. This is also the gateway for two Boons that allow the Black Archer to begin striking at range.

Black Blade – Dark
Developing ways to twist and focus energies of the Dark Realm, the character is able to unleash the lethal forces that surround them. Their focus shifts the Black Aura into a deadly blade.

Black Bolt – Dark
The Dark is no longer chained to the Lucid. The character can channel their Black Aura, striking foes from a distance.
Using Black Bolt: The character makes an attack as with Black Blade. This attack has a range equal to the character’s Lucid trait in meters. The character loses an amount of Health equal to half the final weapon strength.

With four boons the Black Archer is already a fear inducing channel of Dark energy. Unfortunately that power comes at a heavy cost to their own Health. There are three more Boons that will help ease that pain though. First we’ll push the Black Archer’s effective range.

Bloody Reach – Dark
By sacrificing a part of their life force, the Dark Lucid is able to extend the reach of their powers. When using this boon, the character seems to fade partly into shadows. Powers benefitting from this boon appear to be followed by dark trails and a blood red hue, even if they are normally invisible.

Yes before the Black Archer can heal their own wounds we’re pushing their range that little bit further, even if it hurts more to do so. Now to offer some relief.

Essence Stealer – Dark
Often perceived as the physically weakest of the Lucids, those belonging to the Dark can sometimes take the energies they need to survive from others. The character may drain Energy directly from a target.

Life Stealer – Dark
The Lucid may now draw the pure life force from a victim. The character may choose to target Health instead of Energy with the Essence Stealer boon.

Calling the Life Essence – Dark
The character is able to steal the life essence from their victims at a distance. The character may use their Essence Stealer boon at a range up to their Lucid trait in meters.

While not as potent as the Black Bolt Essence Stealer allows the Character recover lost Energy and Health. This allows the Black Archer to open a combat with powerful and risky attacks then if their opponents survive follow up by stealing their Health and recovering.

Don’t think that these Booms encompass everything there is to the Black Archer in addition to Boons like Critical Strike other solid Boon choices include:

Dash: Black Bolt – Dark
Getting into the action is not just important, being able to rapidly engage a target is critical. The character can deftly move through the battlefield to strike quickly.

Elusive Fighter – Dark
When up close and personal, the character knows how to keep their foes off guard, striking with such speed that opponents find it hard to track the character’s movements.

While Dash is typically used to move into range the Black Archer can as easily use it to keep foes at bay and still continue to lay out damage. The addition of Elusive Fighter compounds the difficulty of actually striking the Black Archer each time the hit an opponent.

In the next Combat Styles we call down the thunder with the Storm Lord.