The Moss Arrow is a noise reduction arrow shot with the Bow, that covers an area with sound absorbing Moss.
Cost: 125 gold in all games
Stealth Bonus: No
Maximum amount in inventory (TDS only): 20
Symbol: Earth Element
Length: 2.96 DromEd Units
- to cover a horizontal surface with a 10 DromEd unit carpet of moss to effectively mute the sound of footfalls, or other impact sounds
- destroying the Air anchor of a Maw portal (end-game mission, T1 & Gold only)
- the quietest way to push buttons at a distance (T1 & T2 only)
- feeding the Elemental Cocoon and Pagan Cornerstones (TDS only)
- choking humanoid non-player characters (TDS only)
Thief: The Dark Project/Gold/The Metal AgeEdit
The moss arrow has only one main purpose, but it is an invaluable one. It creates small islands of silence, areas where Garrett makes no sound walking over them. To achieve this, one must aim the moss arrow at the floor and fire. Where the arrow hits the ground, it disperses patches of moss all around the impact spot. It takes a short time to finish bursting, until there's a small area on the ground covered by moss. If anybody, decides to walk over that area, they will make absolutely no sound regardless of the surface below the moss. Even though the pieces of moss seem scattered across the ground, the whole area where the arrow landed is "voiceless". This means there is no need trying to jump hitting each moss patch accurately. If the moss arrow should hit a wall or a ceiling (or even a person), it will still burst into moss drops which then cover the floor below the target. The covered area will be a bit smaller than if it hits the ground. Again, if the arrow hits the floor, but in the corner of a room or near a wall/door, the moss will burst into every direction, but it will be limited by the walls, so it won't use its full potential.
The best place to land a moss is determined by three factors. First, know which surfaces are loud and which are quiet. Metal, tile, and gravel surfaces would typically be the loudest in the game. Next are stone and wood, which while being quieter still make a lot of noise when running or jumping on them. The grass and carpets are the closest to moss. Thus, it is more than obvious that moss arrows are mostly effective on metal and tile floors. Secondly, a moss arrow should be aimed at a place where it can cover the maximum area. As said before; corners, walls, and even doorways are not good places for placing a moss patch, since they limit its dispersion area. These places should be silenced only when really necessary.
The best spot for an arrow is a wide open space like in the middle of a room, large gates or a large corridor. If there is a big tile floor, for example, and it can not be covered with only moss, the best strategy is to create islands of moss in such positions and distances that can be jumped from. It would be a waste to put mosses close to each other. And finally, a thief should put the previous two together and know when to actually employ moss. For example, if there is a wide corridor entirely covered in tile and no carpet, it strongly invites the use of a moss arrow. However, if the corridor is not used by any patrolling opponents, there is no need to waste an arrow. Or imagine the same corridor filled with patrols, but this time it has carpet on it. Instead of using a moss arrow, try jumping from one piece of carpet to another and still move silently.
There can be a lot of noisy floor even in a single mission, but there are not enough arrows to cover all noisy surfaces. Learn to save some until they are necessary for use. In general, a good moss arrow is on a tile surface in a patrolled area, in such a spot giving the possibility of jumping from it to another quieter surface ("moss to carpet to moss" is the most common combination). An arrow would be mostly wasted on a stone/grass surface in a back alley.
The moss arrow can be a two-edged blade. While it softens Garretts footsteps to give him a chance to backstab or knockout a foe, it also softens the foes footsteps. The most common case is when a player launches a moss arrow on a certain loud floor just in case, goes to explore and then upon his return, he gets discovered by a foe who has wandered silently into the moss patch. That is the time when those faint blunt sounds it makes when walking upon moss come in use. The enemies make the same noises when they too walk upon moss so listen carefully for them to try and determine where the enemy is.
Thief: Deadly ShadowsEdit
In Thief: Deadly Shadows moss arrow follow the same faithful purpose of silencing the path. But they get an extra feature: choking enemies when shot in the face. To achieve this, hit a person in their face. They will choke so seriously he won't be able to see or react to anything for around 10 seconds. This gives the time to slip by and adds a new weapon to the already rich arsenal of deceptions. In addition, when a mossy area is shot with a water arrow, it expands and increases the area of silence.
The moss arrow is mainly recognized by its dominant green color. Its shaft is the same in length and shape as the broadhead arrow and it has a standard three-fletched tail. Its main difference in T1 and T2 is that it is shorter than the other arrows due to its head: a highly-compressed ball of moss, apparently with a rubber-like quality. However, this doesn't ruin the arrow's flight path. Due to a discrepancy between two concepts for the moss arrow, there is no canon explanation for how a moss crystal is converted into this ball of moss tied with something like twine, which breaks, and theoretically the rubbery moss rapidly decompresses--springs apart--and scatters itself over a large area. The Manual illustrations show the ball is tied on to the end of the shaft, but there really is no explanation for how it works.
The moss crystal is highly praised by the Pagan culture, particularly in TDS. This is not only because it represents the element of Earth and Nature, but because it provides them with much needed moss to increase the potency of their magic. Upon impact (which makes a mild noise sometimes audible to nearby enemies) the small crystal is able to cover a remarkable area with moss in seconds. Moss crystals are a natural phenomenon and can be found in quantities in forest or in heavily planted areas.