Move like wind. Strike like thunder.

Designing the Archer Class, we wanted to do more than create a fearsome long-range fighter. The EMBERWIND Archer, while devastating with a ranged weapon in hand, is a master of the flow of combat. Weaving in and out close quarters, switching seamlessly between melee and ranged combat, the Archer’s defining characteristic is her ability to always have you within her reach, but to always be just out of yours.

The initial inspiration for the archer came from kyūjutsu—the archery of feudal Japan. For much of Japanese history, skill with the yumi (Japanese bow) was considered more essential for the survival of a ronin than skill with the blade. For a lone warrior getting by on her wits and weaponry, being prepared to strike from any distance at any moment is key.

At her most advanced, the Archer can even become a siege weapon. The legendary samurai Minamoto no Tametomo was chronicled as having sunken an entire warship with a single steel-tipped arrow fired with enough velocity to puncture the hull below the waterline. Due to their asymmetric design, many yumi were much taller than the warriors who wielded them and capable of launching arrows the size of spears.

The EMBERWIND Archer’s Exploits (combat abilities) are broken down into three primary Expertise groupings inspired by the skill sets of ronin in feudal Japan. The Wind Dancing Expertise focuses on outmaneuvering the enemy. An Archer can weave in and out of combat as if moved by a divine wind, striking lightning-fast blows and leaving their enemies swinging at empty air.

The Preparation Expertise covers lessons learned through the Archer’s survivalist lifestyle. With Preparation, an Archer maneuvers the battlefield always knowing where their cover is, always having their weapons sharp and at the ready, always being two steps ahead of their adversary.

And the Sharpshooting Expertise covers the Archer’s most lethal attacks—kill shots and death blows rained down with surgical precision and unerring ferocity.

You can learn more about the Archer’s features on her Class page or see her in action in John Helfer’s new Lore Archive short story coming soon. You can also play Rook or Piper as an Archer in the free Hero variants download package for the Skies of Axia campaign. Take them for a spin in last week’s new “Sunlight and Sky”/”Sky Sanctuary” Vignette, which combines a short story and a playable combat scenario.

We’ll be unveiling the last of the nine EMBERWIND Classes next week: the Tactician. In the meantime, you can check out the Atlanta, Warrior, Druid, Spiritualist, Rogue, Ardent, Invoker, and Archer on the EMBERWIND Classes page.