Courtyard > Archery Skills
The practice of archery is at once simple and elegant yet difficult to master. Many factors must be applied to an arrow before it can successfully strike its target, and some of these factors will be completely beyond your control. Now, then -- have you fired a bow before? No? Good. It is often difficult to re-educate those with prior experience of how to incorrectly fire a bow. Here you will learn the correct methods only, I assure you. Let us begin.
Pick up the bow before you and hold it like this. Good. Now watch my form as I fire an arrow into the target across the chamber. Now use your own bow, pointing it towards the target.
Notice that you have a sight on the side of your bow. This is the guide you will use to aim. Line up your target within the sight. Good. Now hold it for a moment. You will see that the target appears to come closer.
This is called the "bow zoom" ability, and it is something known only to the Keeper Order and a few others. The ability is very useful when firing at targets which are difficult to see due to conditions or distance. You are able to perform this feat now because of the bow you are using. Later, upon graduation, you will be given the ability to do this with any bow.
Notice now how your aim wavers? No doubt your arm is becoming sore from the strain of the bow. Even the strength of Keepers is not infinite, and after a moment it becomes necessary to either fire the arrow or un-nock it from the bow. To release a nocked arrow without firing, simply put the bow away or switch to a non-arrow weapon such as your sword or blackjack. Please do so now before the arrow fires prematurely. Thank you.
To truly become proficient at archery, one must understand the physics of an arrow in flight. Once fired, an arrow does not fly in a straight path to the target. At least, most arrows do not. The average arrow travels in an arc from the point of origin to the point of impact. This diagram may help illustrate the matter:
This flight path must be considered when aiming an arrow. The further away the target, the higher the peak of the arc must be. In other words, to hit a distant target you must aim above it in order to hit the correct location. The arc is different in each situation, so it is impossible to predict here and now. Of course, the angle of the archer to the target must be considered as well as any obstructions within the arrow's path. With time and experience you will learn to compensate for this flight path and aim accordingly. There are, however, exceptions to the rule.
The fire and gas arrows do not fly in an arc, but rather on a direct line to the target. This is due to the inherent properties of the elemental crystals involved, as both contain substances in a gaseous form. The other arrows, however - the broadhead, water, moss, noisemaker, rope, and vine arrows - all follow the normal flight path of arrows. Keep this in mind when firing one.
When traveling throughout the city, it is always possible to replenish your supply of arrows. Like the other equipment you carry, most of what you use is also used by others. We Keepers do not hold the sole claim on use of arrows any more than we do flash bombs. The elemental crystals used in the construction of fire and water arrows are widely known of, and have been used by the City's inhabitants for countless decades. Keep a watchful eye, and you should be able to replenish your supply of arrows and other equipment while still in the field. That is all I can teach you for now.
Good luck to you in your trials, apprentice, and may you bring us fortune in the years to come.