Country of Origin: Avalon
Salon: None (the style is taught exclusively by members of “Oliver’s Boys,” the gang of cutthroats and assassins that are descended from Oliver Nash’s original followers)
Description: In the twelfth century, Robin Goodfellow was acknowledged by the people of Avalon as the consummate “gentleman bandit,” stealing only from those who could afford the loss and spreading his gains among the poor suffering under King Charles’ brutal tax codes. Robin expected the same sort of behavior from his followers, and most measured up to his lofty standards. However, there was one, Oliver Nash, who did not. Ill-tempered, greedy, and conniving, Nash was bad news and Robin knew it. He refused to teach Nash the secret of constructing what would later be known as a Goodfellow bow, and ultimately kicked him out of his camp. Nash fled into the night, vowing revenge. He raised his own band of outlaws (thugs and killers, to a man) and developed his own archery style to combat Robin Goodfellow and his followers.
Nash’s style combines steely focus with special arrows: some are completely blunted to stun a target, while others have fletching which is slanted rather than running parallel to the shaft (causing the arrow to spin while it is in flight), with heads that are sharp as razors and wickedly barbed. As Oliver Nash lost battle after battle to Goodfellow’s Glamour-blessed followers, he turned his attention away from banditry and towards assassination. The archery style he developed proved to be perfect for this new endeavor.
Nash is meant to be used against targets who do not realize they are in peril, from a concealed perch high above the ground. An enemy who is familiar with Nash’s training can easily identify these perches once the first shot is fired. This allows the enemy to aim directly for these sniper’s nests and strike at the archer cowering behind them, or to move to a new location which denies the archer a clear line of sight to his target.
Basic Curriculum: Archery, Criminal
Knacks: Disarm (Archery), Exploit Weakness (Nash), Head Shot (Archery), Pin (Archery), Trick Shot (Archery)
New Swordsman Knack: Head Shot. A head shot is made using a blunted arrow, aimed directly for the target’s head. You declare that you are using this Knack instead of your Attack Knack. If your attack is successful, you inflict 1k1 Flesh Wounds of damage on the target, and the target’s TN to be hit is reduced to five until the end of the next Phase.
Apprentice: Oliver’s Boys (a misnomer, as some of the most prominent members of the band throughout the centuries have been women) learn to compensate for their lack of a specially-constructed bow by crafting special arrows and practicing until their aim is deadly. An Apprentice can make the style’s blunted arrows to use with his Head Shot Knack, and receives a free Raise on his attack rolls using the Attack (Archery) Knack.
Obviously, Nash is not endorsed by the Swordsman’s Guild. Instead of Guild membership, its students receive a free Rank in the Ambush Knack under the Criminal Skill. Trick Shot (Archery) is considered a Basic Knack for students of Nash.
Journeyman: Once they have mastered aiming techniques, Oliver’s Boys learn to attune all their senses to their targets: not just vision, but sound, smell, and even taste. The best of them can even close their eyes before taking a shot and still hit their target nine times out of ten. When attacking with a bow and arrow, the Journeyman may ignore all penalties from being in conditions of Dim or No Lighting (even if those conditions are from some source other than the ambient light in the area, such as a bleeding head wound or shutting his eyes).
Master: A Master of the Nash fighting style has learned to construct the band’s signature barbed arrows, and to utilize them (and a bit of his own willpower) to inflict grievous wounds. The Master may spend a Drama Die when attacking with a barbed arrow. If the attack is successful, the arrow is embedded deeply in the wound and cannot be removed easily; the Flesh Wounds inflicted by such an arrow do not disappear after the target fails a Wound Check until the arrow is removed.
There are two ways to remove a barbed arrow. First, anyone (including the target himself) must spend three consecutive Actions carefully working the arrowhead out of the target’s flesh. Alternately, anyone (again, including the target himself) may spend a single Action to rip the arrow out of of the wound, inflicting 2k2 Flesh Wounds on the target and forcing another Wound Check.