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One of the three fighter specialty weapons, the Bloodblade (known also as the "BB") is considered by many to be one of the most powerful weapons in the lands, as well as the most controversial.

The Bloodblade is a common dagger that has been imbued with a moonstone. The Bloodblade gains its power through Blood Magic, by drawing blood from its user and dealing damage in inverse proportion to its user's health. A fighter who specializes in the Bloodblade is a fearsome sight indeed, potentially able to slay even the toughest monsters with a single hit.

A sufficiently trained blade is strong enough that its efficacy in battle is no longer limited by traditional factors like Atkus, Darkus, and Regia. Instead, other limiting factors come into play. Using a well-trained blade thus allows one to fight in manner that at times seems outside of and parallel to the traditional combat system.

Unfortunately, there are strict tradeoffs. Fighting while near the edge of consciousness means that one cannot bravely rush into combat like a traditional fighter. Even a single lucky hit can bring a blader down. A bloodmage's success with the blade is best correlated with the wielder's skill in situational awareness and risk management, as these are the factors that will keep them standing. The successful Bloodblade user needs quick responses and a deep understanding of the motion and rhythms of combat. For this reason, wielding a blade is often described as a dance. (1)

In addition, Bloodbladers are usually unable to function independently, and must rely on one or more bricks / rods to distract dangerous critters so that they may attack at minimum risk. In non-trivial combat, the Bloodblader functions effectively only because others have made opportunities for them to do so. In the dance, these individuals lead (whether they know it or not), directing the placement and timing of each strike. The Bloodblader merely follows through. A successful Bloodblader needs to cultivate working relationships with fighters and healers alike, so as to be able to predict their motion and respond accordingly. Effective bloodblade use is really a team effort.

The Bloodblade has been long criticized by traditionalists, who consider fighting while injured too risky and the blade too powerful. Others complain that Bloodblade users often strike too early, killing a beast before everyone in the party has had a chance to tag it. (This can be particularly problematic for Rangers seeking kill shots.) When used in Exile vs Exile competitions, the blade may deal so much damage that it renders fallens unhealable. All of these problems can make it difficult for a Bloodblader to cultivate the working relationships needed with other healers and fighters.

Despite the difficulties, however, the Bloodblade remains a popular weapon, and skilled Bloodbladers are a valued part of any high level hunting party.

Training the Bloodblade is but the first step to joining the Bloodmage subclass. Fighter bloodblade wielders may be considered Bloodmage apprentices.

(1) The term dance, when applied to fighting, predates the discovery of the bloodblade. It was believed to have been originated by the Red Quill clan, and may have originally been used to describe Babajaga's fighting style. This view is contested by some historians, who recall Althea's hearty cry of "Dance the beasts!" before the term was popularised by Babajaga.

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Page last modified on July 27, 2009, at 02:13 PM