Ranged Weapons
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ID: 488


January 19, 2007, 3:22 pm

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Twigs of Rot


“Bah!” The bowman cried, for his bow had fallen apart in his very hands, after firing but one arrow! “Wait until I get to that weaponsmith. These arrows are obviously cursed!” The bowman discarded the quiver of 200 arrows by the road, where scavengers found it, and each separate arrow went their own ways with different owners, as time passed. Some found them cursed. Others, found that they may not be as cursed as one thinks.

Karamus Wheilum the weaponsmith was not always a self-employed person. He was once the head blacksmith of the “leafsentry”, the elite bowmen of the forest of Demala - dedicated to preserving life and nature of the forest. They were the ones who eradicated loggers that set up encampments in there. For several years, he crafted arrows, constructed bows and forged swords and armor, dedicated to the defence of Demala.

One day, however, as the elves scryed the forest, they found that, during the night, an enormous encampment of humans had cut away all the trees for a large radius in the forest, and built a rough fort, with four unscalable, wooden walls, and many sentries posted at the entrance. Such a thing would be incredibly difficult to break through. Of course, they could not use fire to burn down the walls and encampment - That would endanger their forests! Since the trees had been cut back, they couldnt climb trees and leap over the wall, and there was no way the small group of rangers could get past all the sentries and slay such a large encampment! So, for many weeks, they pondered on this, whilst the loggers smugly razed their forest. Finally, Karamus had a burst of insight - they thought their walls impenetrable so rarely guarded it… What if there was a way to get through there of a night, and destroy them while they were sleeping…? Karamus left the forests, travelling several days to ask the wisdom of a reknowned seer, who gave to him, a solution.

So, Karamus returned to the forests briefly, then left once more with a druid of ‘Leafsentry’, travelling a week to a little known lake, deep within some unnammed mountain ranges. This lake bubbled darkly and had an obvious aura of death about it. The seer had told Karamus about this lake - The properties of the water were such that it would accelerate the life of any who touches it dramatically, causing those who came into contact to turn into ash before peoples very eyes.
And Karamus and the druid got to work. First, Karamus dipped an arrow into the liquid, bieng careful not to get any on himself. And then the druid would alter the properties of the water, making it effect only plant-life: Karamus did not want an item which would be capable of slaughtering people effortlessly. Besides, there were poisons for that anyway. The liquid was then dried, soaking into the arrows and instead of destroying them, suspending their life so they could NOT decompose.

two hundred arrows were made in total, brought back to the Leafsentry encampment, and that night, the sentries attacked.

The few humans not sleeping or on guard at the front of the place at the time, simply heard the *Thunk*ing of five or ten arrows into the back wall. But, before their very eyes, the walls began to move, altering its form and curling in on itself. In a rough radius about 10 feet from where each arrow sunk in, the wood rotted and decomposed before their very eyes, turning into ash and blowing away in the wind. the stunned humans did not have a chance to call out warning, before a score of black-clad elves slipped through the effortlessly-made holes, and slashed their throats. It was then simple business to slay the slumbering people. The elves did not even bother killing the sentries - let them come in for their shift change, and notice their entire encampment slain.

Karamus Wheilum left after this skirmish, taking 195 of those arrows, and leaving but 5 for protection of the forests to the leafsentries. He placed these arrows in a green quiver, and hung it behind the counter of his new weaponsmithing store, which he decided to open as a more peaceful life. He hung it next to the blue quivered normal arrows. He decided never to sell them - to keep them as a momento. They could not be bought from him for any price.

A bowman entered his store, one fine day, asking for a quiver of 200 arrows. It had been 15 years since he opened the store, and he was just beginning to get absent-minded. So, chatting jovially to this man, he plucked a quiver off, and gave it to the man, taking the 200 gold pieces in return. It was not for another twenty minutes until he realised there was no green quiver on his rack anymore…

- These arrows, after the bowman discarded them by the road, have been separated, passed all over the world. They look very similar to normal arrows, barring the distinguishing withering vine pattern along them. only 200 of these were ever made, so if someone uses one, they would often go to great troubles to get it back.

Magical Properties:

These arrows accelerate the life of any wood or plantlife they touch, whether that wood is still ‘living’ or not. This includes the bows that they were shot from. The bow will rot in the very hands of the archer, crumbling away into dust. It is therefore suggested it not be shot out of heirloom bows, or expensive ones.

Suggestions of things to be destroyed with this bow

-Wooden armor or shields
-Wooden walls
-wooden cage bars - one merely has to grab an arrow and run in across each of the bars to decompose them.
-Wheels of horsedrawn carts.

This item is particuarly useful when people need to destroy wooden items without use of fire (which may cause undesirable results - for example, in a forest, one fire arrow may cause a huge forest-fire, endangering much life.)

This item is a possibility to use in my Mojena setting, where fire is one of the more dangerous things on the entire planet. Perhaps in the middle of the null zone of Mojena, a single arrow is imbedded into the ground…

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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

May 31, 2004, 8:11
...and if you use it with a bow, you better use it fast! ;)

But such an arrow may be dangerous to the trees.You use it on one, and then on another, and another... without fire, without noticing, a single arrow may cause terrible damage to a forest, if someone is willing to use it enough times. Imagine finding such a piece of the woods, without any trace of fire or axe. What will a druid suppose? Black magic certainly. And so are the adventurers called, etc, etc, etc...
May 31, 2004, 8:16
:) Yep. Karamus made this item for a noble cause, but that does not mean people with darker intents won't use it for desctruction. But destroying a forest is gonna take a hell of a lot of bows if it destroys one per firing.
May 31, 2004, 9:39
Does this stuff work on treants? Shambling mounds? Giant venus mantraps? The brain-sucking tree-aliens of Omikron Beta 5?
May 31, 2004, 17:53
Hmmm. Odd.

May 31, 2004, 19:02
lol - if it's plantlife, it will slaughter it, Echo :) So in a world with dangerous plants, entrapping vines which suck your blood and and bulbs that uproot themselves and chase you, these arrows would be quite useful.
Barbarian Horde
June 1, 2004, 9:08
Regarding manfred's observation and Shadoweagle's reply.

You could indeed destroy an entire forest with little trouble and it wouldn't cost you any bows at all. You simply walk through the forest touching each tree with the arrow - no need to shoot the trees at all. Result - one dead forest.

This make the item much too powerful to be allowed in any campaign I run (or play in for that matter).

Nice back story though.
June 1, 2004, 20:16
True, Anonymous. But even still, a decent sized forest will take a lifetime to raze. Say one walks at a leisurely pace, and does not stop for any rests, 10 hours a day. The average person walks at 3-5 km/h so at their best, that is 50 kilometers IN A STRAIGHT LINE. If they are going to take out a small line, this would mean zig-zagging around. Forests can be hundreds of kilometers squared. It would take a lifetime to take out an entire forest. And dont think you could get 200 people to do this - there were only 200 arrows ever made and they have since been divided over the world, between millions of people. You might get 2-3 arrows, tops. The best thing in terms of destroying a forest I can think of, is that it would be good to make a small clearing (like the loggers did) in a very short amount of time, which would stop anything from coming at you from above.

Thanks for the comment, however ;)
Voted Zylithan
November 30, 2005, 23:16
I'm not sure why the arrows themselves didnt get destroyed, but "magic" suffices for me. I'm willing to let that slip because I love the rest of this post.
Voted valadaar
September 13, 2006, 11:31
Now, all one would have to use is one of those middle-eastern composite bows created mostly out of horn, or at least the portion of the bow where the arrow touches.

Sentiant plant beings should be able to resist the attack similar to normal death spells.
Voted Cheka Man
May 6, 2007, 16:49
I wonder why I didn't vote on this before?
Voted dark_dragon
May 8, 2007, 3:30
Thanks for the bump, Cheka, wouldn't have found this otherwise. Cool item, Shadoweagle, but man... these elves sound pretty evil!
Voted caesar193
June 30, 2013, 16:07
A useful tool. Would it work on paper, or perhaps papyrus? I assume it would, since both are plant-based. So these, if fire wasn't on possible (stealth mission with guard right over there, and you have to destroy the top secret documents here), could be useful for destroying letters and stuff.

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