||Artful Dodger: The Artful Dodger talent requires you to be Unburdened (ENC less than STRx2), and wearing nothing more restrictive than light armour. You possess fast reflexes and gain 1 extra Action Point, which may only be used to Parry or Evade. In addition, you may use the Evade skill to dodge a melee attack without falling prone. Against a ranged attack, you only end up prone if you fail the roll.
Combat Proficiency: Being a master of armed and unarmed combat, rangers gain a further +5% to their Combat Style.
Dual Weapon Specialisation: Choosing this specialisation grants the use of a weapon in each hand without penalty. The usual restriction that the offhand weapon must be shorter than the main weapon does not apply to you. Technically, this extra “weapon” may be a shield. When wielding two weapons, you gain an extra Action Point that may be used with the offhand weapon in the following ways:
You may use the extra Action Point to Parry 1 additional Attack.
You may use the extra Action Point to make 1 additional Attack.
This Bonus attack suffers no additional penalty and may achieve any Special Effect normally allowed the main hand weapon.
Species Enemy: At Rank 1, and every rank thereafter, the ranger may choose a Species Enemy. Each additional species chosen after the first requires the expenditure of 2 Experience Rolls and 1 month of training.
You have dedicated yourself to fighting against a chosen enemy and know their habits, tactics, culture, and right where to hit them to cause maximum effect. You may simulate this by adding 20% of your oath to all skills that involve the designated species. This can include your Combat Style when both attacking and defending, as well as skills such as Track, if attempting to follow a trail; Perception, for spotting an ambush; or Lore, if attempting discern a specific piece of information.
The temple holds such rituals about once a month with whichever creature is available. Currently the cell holds two victims: a Human Ranger and a large Dog who the ranger has named Baran. The Dog has become especially attached to the human and will obey him if they are released together. If left to his own devices Baran will follow the group, but he will run if the party is seriously attacked. The exception to this general rule is if the party is set upon by goblins. The dog holds a special hatred for goblins and will attack them on sight. The human (his name is Theoren) is a Ranger of Northman origin.
"Several months ago I set out with Feorna and Vilimar, two of my kinsmen, from my village of Jurda, into the heart of the East-wood. We went in search of the fabled treasure of King Beregor. I am afraid I set out in too light/leaned a mood, for I had no expectation of finding anything.
"Searching for the lost treasure" was the excuse in Jurda for those who found a day walking in the cool woods more pleasurable than a day at the plow. I myself was happy to join Feorna and Vilir; Feorna had promised me five copper
pieces to act as guide, since I was more accustomed to travel in the deep woods. If I did not take our outing seriously,
it was obvious that Feorna did. We knew she was the most knowledgeable of all our people when it came to lore about
the legendary treasure. Feorna had decided that the best place to look for the treasure was in a gorge deep in the Eastwood we call Maes Fao, or "Death's Hole" in the common tongue.
"Despite its fell name Maes Fao was only thought to be dangerous for the sheer rock walls of the gorge which made entry into Maes Fao difficult — but by no means impossible. It was once thought that Maes Fao was cursed or haunted, but over the years several treasure seekers have returned unharmed, although a little shaken by the experience.
In the last few years, though, all treasure seekers have failed to return from Maes Fao. We thought that they must have come to some ill fate because of their own clumsiness, since they were clearly unfamiliar with the area and relied on "maps' whose origin was uncertain; as far as I could tell, the maps were not made by anyone I know to have travelled to the gorge.
"We decided to approach Maes Fao carefully, using a little-known path leading to the cliff wall above the gorge. Lowering ourselves down into the gorge with ropes, we wandered around for a bit until we came upon a grove of ancient trees. The grove was unusual in that the trees were set closer together than the few other trees in the gorge, seemingly planted by some long-dead hand. On close inspection we found that one of the trees was not of wood at all but was carved out of stone and bore an inscription. I could not read the strange writing but Feorna could; although by the light of one torch (for it was now after sundown) she had trouble making out the exact wording. It was at this moment, though, that our group was set upon by a parry of Trolls! We knew we had little chance against these brutes so we made for the ropes. Only I was successful; both Feorna and Vilimar were caught and I know nothing of what became of them. I hurried as fast as I could toward our village to get help, but, having eluded one danger, I fell blindly into another and was captured by goblins as I slept. They brought me here, where I awaited a dire fate. "