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My Ebony Bow was at first showing 78 damage - but when I look at the damage it does when I'm about to smith, it says 28 or somewhere in the twenties. After a few minutes, it then says 78 again. I'm not sure what actually happened, but this happens every time I smith.

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The 28 damage is the raw base damage of that type of weapon. When you see 78 after smithing, that's including all smithing and one/two/archery, etc damage perks added.

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Thanks. Also, I was able to smith my ebony armor and ebony bow but now I am unable to. I have the ebony ingots but whenever I click to improve the weapon it says something like: 'you lack the perk to improve this item'. Or something like that. Why does it say that? –  David Jun 21 '12 at 0:40
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@David Sounds like you have enchanted those items since then. You need the Arcane Blacksmith perk to improve magic items. –  Austin Daily Jun 21 '12 at 13:19

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