Khostinak War-Bow – Martial, ranged, large sized (-2 atk for medium wielders)
Damage: 2D8 (P)
The war-bow is large sized and incurs standard penalties for medium wielders
The war-bow must be partially disassembled when not in use to prevent damage to the mechanisms, it requires 5 full round actions to assemble the war-bow for use.
Centurian Severus marched along the line of shivering recruits as the snow flurried across the training yard. The weather in Tor Acarne was particularly filthy in the winter, by the Lord how he hated this continent…
“Legionairres! You have volunteered to serve in the illustrious scout corps of the forth legion! You are officially the dumbest bunch of troopers I have ever met! You might think you’re hardasses in the line but in the scout corps you have to be able to handle one of these!”
Tito lifted a massively overbuilt steel crossbow from the bench next to him.
“This is the Khostinak war-bow, sixteen pounds of folded steel and wire, it can put a bolt eight inches long and three quarters of an inch thick straight through a wooden door…or a charging Northlander berserker, whatever mood you’re in. These crossbows are given to us by our wise dwarven allies, of course they use fancy repeater versions but they are much too wise to be giving us those so we are stuck with these single shot ones. These bows take weeks to fire without knocking yourself over, months to actually hit what you’re aiming and frankly no human has used one of these long enough to master it though I heard from a dwarf that it usually takes about four decades. That said, sometimes you really need to kill the son of a bitch who is charging at you intent on smashing your head open. I have seen some of these Northlanders carry on fighting with a crossbow bolt in their guts, the war-bow doesn’t have that problem and I owe my life to that fact!”
The Past – Tito fell to the ground, blood flooding into his eyes. The Liel with the spear was quicker than he’d thought, as he tried to clear his face he saw a second Liel with a long dagger closing in on his flank. Unarmed, wounded and outnumbered…he was screwed this time. Suddenly he heard the familiar snap-crack of a war-bow shot. A legionnaire had shot the Liel with the spear from less than twenty feet away, the bolt flew straight through the man’s chest, barely slowing down, and burrowed into the second Liel’s neck. Both dropped to the grass, stone dead. Tito, wiped the blood out of his eyes, picked up his gladius and headed back into the scattered skirmish, saluting the legionnaire as he did so.
The Present – “The war-bow fires these.”
Tito held up a solid metal bolt, a foot long scarlet ribbon hanging from the end.
“These are tempered steel, weighing three and a half ounces with an armour piercing bodkin point. Set into the back is a spiralling ribbon which acts as fletching since traditional fletching would be destroyed by the firing mechanism. Not only does that mean the bolt flies true but it also looks good and makes a fucking eerie noise. They look like they are making the fucking air bleed! Now! Let’s see if any of you volunteers can manage one of these…”