Abadra Siege Barrel
Full Item Description
A sturdy, bronze bound barrel of obviously ancient origin.
Numerous engraved spears and arrows adorn it, all pointing to the top, which is covered by a metal lid.
The Siege Barrels where created as a means to deliver short barrages of heavy missile fire with a minimal number of troops, primarily for use in ambushes or even as traps. They were used extensively in the many minor wars between the Abadra and Helena-Thoth empires in the years leading up to the Dire Wars.
Most of these devices were powered by Thaumatrium, which has become depleted and have since lost all power, but a number of more conventionally constructed specimens have been recovered as grave goods. These have rapidly found employment in many a Lord’s arsenal.
The barrels are capable of ‘storing’ missile fire indefinitely. All one has to do is open the bottom of the barrel and fire missile weapons into it. These projectials are held in stasis until such time as the top of the barrel is opened, where they will continue their flight.
When firing into the barrel, it is best that skilled archers perform the task, as a stray arrow may damage the barrel if the edge is hit. If the barrel is seriously damaged, any stored projectials will escape in a wide burst.
Generally, these barrels could contain 10 normal projectials (arrows, bolts, sling stones, etc), or 3 large projectials (Spears, ballista bolts). Larger projectials such as catapult ammunition, Giant-thrown projectiles will not fit and trying to load the barrel with these will destroy the barrel.
Grenade-like missiles (flasks of harmful substances, explosive devices, etc) can also be used, but the risks of damaging the barrel during loading or transport may make this approach risky.
These are NOT accurate weapons, with the intent to provide fire against massed formations of troops, or in point-blank use.
A loaded barrel could be found in a dungeon, Evil Cultist’s armory, etc. It either could be intentionally used as a boobytrap or simply stored as a weapon for later use. In any case, a PC who ignores the warning given by the inscribed arrows and spears (one way of saying - this side towards enemy :)) will be in for a suprise.