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Ruthless punishers are rangers of a brutal and merciless temperament, known for their cruelty and terrifying reputation. Most ruthless punishers are hunters of a sort, though they prefer the challenge offered by sentient prey rather than the common beasts most hunters stalk. For good or evil, ruthless punishers are virtually unequaled in their skill at hunting down their foes.
Not all ruthless punishers have the same motivations or origins, but most commonly think of themselves as hunters rather than killers. The only difference between them and traditional hunters is their preference in prey, which they prefer to be capable of thought and rationality, deeming an animal's limitation to instinct and reaction dull. Humanoids on the other hand, and other sentient creatures, provide more entertaining game, or so ruthless punishers believe.
Though they excel in causing pain and fear, a ruthless punisher need not necessarily be evil. A great many ruthless punishers, for instance, act as bounty hunters or vigilantes, hunting down criminals or other villains either out of a personal sense of justice or in pursuit of a reward. However, other ruthless punishers give little thought to whether their quarry is guilty or innocent and even those who do often find themselves using methods that are, at best, morally ambiguous. However, ultimately, it's up to a ruthless punisher what they do with their skills.
Ruthless punishers, if nothing else, excel at killing and many of the abilities gained as part of their training reflect this. Ruthless punishers learn early on to be lethally accurate, missing fewer of their marks than lesser hunters. Around the same time, ruthless punishers learn to use their knowledge of anatomy and an enemy's natural weaknesses to inflict a greater amount of pain than they would normally. With additional learning, ruthless punishers learn to inflict wounds that fester over time, causing pain to a foe in such a way that they are hindered gradually over time.
The exploits of a ruthless punisher are more concerned, however, with prolonging an enemy's suffering than ending it quickly. Crippling shot is a technique learned early on by ruthless punishers that helps them cripple their quarries with pain. So painful and terrifying is being the target of a ruthless punisher that, with the named dread exploit, ruthless punishers can learn to actually cause their foes to quake with fear at the mere sound of their name, hindering the target's attacks.