Engraving of Ichor in his classic text about archery for Cupids

Archery Tips for Cupids
by Ichor

After Ichor the Cupid became embedded in a floor structure during a teleport accident in Paradise Lost long ago, he suffered through a lengthy period of recuperation. To while away the painful inactivity, he began making notes about his years of repetitive spawning only to fire off an arrow and be quickly killed, over and over.

Like other authors in the IDU library, Ichor chose to deal with the obvious existential angst by turning his attention to practicalities. He devotes thoughtful chapters to body shaming, aerodynamics, archery tips, and the quest for stealth. “Don’t just hover there in the sky, flapping your wings like an idiot,” he urges. “This draws attention, and it will take you a while to turn to face incoming arrows. Always note the human’s location, and place yourself in a corner with similar coloring… or hide just on the other side of a tower where you can control the attack.”

Obvious enough, but he supports his argument with tables of convincing statistics showing what fellow Cupids were doing just before they died.

The delicate matter of corporeal aesthetics reveals a thoughtful side of the author. He is well aware of our joking about ugly naked butts, nicknames like shitbirds, and our general lack of respect for these formidable but hideous little adversaries. “Becoming emotionally invested in your physical form, whether with pride or shame, is foolish,” he points out. “These things are beyond our control, so to let them define our self image is a recipe for failure. We have more important things to do, and when we are at the top of our game we seriously kick ass. So enjoy the westward breeze on your bare skin, but stay focused on the thrill of piercing a human with your well-placed arrow.”

This segues into his most practical chapter… Tightening the Pattern. Ichor is aghast at the carelessness of his contemporaries, with arrows diverging at a wide angle. Compounded by sloppy aim, this is a recipe for alerting the enemy without inflicting damage. “Get close, remember the inverse square law, and hold the shafts parallel on the string by gripping them on the sides with their index fletches flat together, centered around the nocking point. If you compress the notches using the traditional single-arrow grip, you will force the tips apart and they will fly willy-nilly into buildings. Draw slowly, hold your breath, sight along the gap between the shafts, and loose the arrows. If they diverge even one degree, they may miss your target on both sides, so get in the habit of favoring the bottom arrow as you sight in the human intruder… remembering the drop formula from math class at the Cupid Academy.”

A sidebar addresses the slow velocity of Cupid arrows compared to those of other archers, with the missiles taking .75 seconds to travel 50 yards. With standard gravity acceleration of 32 ft/second² there is thus a drop of 12 feet over that distance. He acknowledges that IDU math is a little loose, but urges his readers to keep this effect in mind… there may be no chance to experiment and incorporate arrow drop in a follow-up shot, as you may by then be dead.

Our IDU library is fortunate to have this copy of a very rare book, as Cupids are generally not prolific writers.

This is part of the In Death: Unchained literature collection by Steven K. Roberts.