Full Item Description
The Dragon Crossbow is a mundane weapon, a steel reinforced arbalest, or metal crossbow. It is a large and ungainly weapon weighing nearly 50 pounds and with the exception of the string and stock, is made entirely of high grade steel. The power of the weapon is provided by no fewer than 8 alchemically treated bowstrings each of which has a general pull of 80 pounds, giving the crossbow roughly 640 pounds of pull strength. This power is used to fire a finger thick quarrel roughly two foot long at great velocity. At medium to close range, the weapon is in theory able to penetrate even dragonscale, though this has never been substanciated.
The weapon has a signifigant forward pulling recoil when the bolt is released, the weapon almost wanting to lead out of the hands. Reloading is a simple, if slow and tedious process. The 8 bowstrings are pulled back via a geared pulley that is worked by means of a foot pump under the nose of the weapon. The crossbow is placed nose in the dirt, the foot pedal is folded down from its locking position and pumped in a manner similar to a bicycle airpump. Each pump moves the strings a short distance, so frantic pumping will pull the strings all the way back in five minutes or so. Placing the next round only takes a few seconds, and resetting the weapon to fire a few more.
It’s expense at several thousand pieces of gold, as well as its very slow rate of fire have made the weapon more of an oddity than a mainstay in any military force. The most common use of this mundane weapon is by a small number of aristocratic big game hunters.
Original name was the elephant crossbow, an emulation of the old British elephant gun, changed name in light of the scarcity of elephants as compared to dragons in fantasy.