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Blade dancers are rangers, typically of the two-blade, though not necessarily, whose combat style mimics dance in its grace and its refinement. To a blade dancer, their dual weapons, often blades of some sort, are as two dance partners with whom they train and choreograph constantly. Masters of footwork as well as fencing, blade dancers are as deadly as they are elegant.
It is believed that the blade dancer style was initially invented by halflings and was initially a dance form performed with music that mimicked swordplay. Gradually, the dance became a viable form of defense, though it remained tied to dance so as to enliven its practice. From the nomadic halflings it spread to other cultures, who picked up and passed the style on themselves. The mark of halflings is still visible, however, and masters of the blade dancer style foster a love of life and travel in their students much like that common among halflings.
Blade dancers differ from other rangers wielding dual weapons in their focus on defense, which much of their training focuses on. When wielding their dual weapons a blade dancer is difficult to hit, parrying attacks even as they make their own, a skill they advance as they grow in experience. Blade dancers also learn to make their attacks quickly early on and their swift reflexes gives them the ability to sometimes strike twice before their foe has time to react.
Blade dancer exploits carry this emphasis on defense further, as well as blending it in unusual ways with offense. For example, the cross-body parry technique, learned early on, enables the blade dancer to turn a simple parry into a deadly attack. Blade dancers also focus on disrupting enemy attacks and staying mobile so as to remain a difficult target. Both misleading bladework and blade dance follow this methodology, with the former distracting enemies from their marks and the latter allowing the blade dancer to dart in and out to make three rapid strikes against different targets.