Gyre and Gimble
|Two quick blades joined by a chain. Swinging one compels the wielder to swing the other, as if they have minds of their own.|
+7 quick blade
Gyre and Gimble are an unusual weapon - thematically two weapons, they are treated in-game as a single two-handed weapon that just so happens to get twice as many attacks as a normal quick blade would. As quick blades already attack extraordinarily fast, this amounts to an absurd number of hits before the enemy can react to you. At minimum delay (requires a paltry 8 Short Blades skill), you'll essentially be getting in an attack every 1.5 auts. When hastened, this goes up to an attack every aut.
However, the actual effectiveness of these attacks depends on two things: your slaying bonuses and the enemy's AC. A quick blade doesn't deal very much damage per hit unless it has a set damage brand like distortion, electrocution, or pain; though the protection brand helps increase your survivability (particularly if you have low AC), it does absolutely nothing to increase your damage output.
Gyre and Gimble's rapid-fire weak attacks work just fine on low-AC opponents, as you'll simply spread your damage out over multiple hits, but you'll barely be able to scratch high-AC opponents. Enough slaying bonuses, liberal use of potions of might, and easy access to berserk rage will overcome this issue, allowing Gyre and Gimble to be effective against armoured foes and absolutely devastating against the unarmoured. Finding such extensive slaying sources may be easier said than done, however.
Alternatively, if you happen to have a reliable, renewable source of invisibility (or enemy blindness), Gyre and Gimble function as a phenomenally deadly source of stabbing damage. When invisi-stabbing your way through a pack of enemies that can't see invisible, you'll be delivering lethal blows at terrifying speed regardless of AC. Confusing enemies works just as well, though it's more useful for fighting single, powerful foes than for wading through a horde; Confusing Touch in particular synergizes well with Gyre and Gimble's high attack speed.
Do note that most tactics that make the best use of Gyre and Gimble can also work adequately with any other type of short blade -- Gyre and Gimble's main advantage is simply their exceptional attack speed. Whether or not it's worth sacrificing use of your off-hand is up to you, but a well-branded, fully-enchanted quick blade and a good shield (or perhaps an orb) may be the smarter choice in some cases. Formicids, of course, don't have to worry about losing their shield slot.
Gyre and Gimble are a reference to the poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carrol.
- art-data.txt:1402 (0.28.0)