Solo A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection

Kelski learns about crossbows and what its like to have alternative connections in the city.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 7:01 pm

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Timestamp: 15th of Fall, 518 A.V.


The crossbow and bolts had sat and gathered dust since the day Kelski had bought them in the market when she’d first met Tove. There was so much she wanted to learn about the Crossbow, because she felt the need to know another weapon that wasn’t exactly a dagger. There were advantages to daggers. One couldn’t hide a crossbow in ones boot, for example, but the power the crossbow gave a bolt when it fired meant it could pierce armor when her daggers could only hope to pierce flesh. Kelski liked the idea of having a more powerful weapon force wise.

Since meeting the two Isur, she’d also learned that some creature’s skin was harder to pierce than others. Isur skin, could be cut by a dagger certainly, but the force it took was a great deal more. And that meant throwing daggers at took a lot more strategy and upper body force than she often had. And it wasn’t that Duncan and Typhos needed piercing, but the lesson being around them was quickly learned. Typhos almost never got cut by his kitchen knives, but Kelski took wounds all the time. Thus she knew it was time to expand her weapon’s skills.

However, there was one problem. She didn’t know anyone who knew how to use a Crossbow. She’d diligently gone back to the vendor but he simply stated he sold them, not taught people how to use them. So in a last ditch effort to find something out about the weapon, Kelski sought out the library. She was familiar with its location and walked there quietly, her backpack holding her dis-assembled crossbow, its bolts in their sheath, and quills, ink, and a blank book in case she happened upon a book that might have such knowledge.

Kelski slipped through the doorway, glancing around at the small space, and had no idea where to begin. She carefully began to search the stacks, running her hands along the spines, looking for any sort of section that read ‘weapons’ or ‘training’. There was quiet chaos in the library, the books sometimes placed haphazardly and randomly shelved. She looked a half bell or more, all the while the caretaker of the library – someone Kelski assumed owned it – watched her with deep suspicious eyes.

“You aren’t trying to steal anything, are you?” The woman asked sharply. Kelski had a hard time telling her age, but she seemed young. Not as young as Kelski, but indeed not nearly into her middle age.

“No, Lady. I am looking for a book on Crossbows. I picked one up from a vendor in town, but he knew nothing of them and had no suggestions for someone who could teach me. I thought perhaps there might be a book.” Kelski said thoughtfully, almost sheepishly at the keeper of the books.

The woman studied her intently, almost as if she were judging her, and quietly asked. “Why a crossbow?”

Kelski swallowed, feeling uncomfortable for a moment. But she took a deep breath, met the woman’s eyes, and said thoughtfully… “I’m very good with daggers. I’ve almost mastered them. It’s not a boast, but they have their shortcomings. One of those shortcomings is that as a woman I can’t throw them with any force so with someone wearing thick leather armor or worse yet plate, I can’t penetrate the substances. No matter how hard I throw. Daggers are deadly, but I want more options. I want to compensate against the strength I do not have now. I thought a crossbow would give me reach and force, both of which could be better in this city. I have no nefarious purposes, as I am but a jeweler. However, being anything in this city is dangerous. I don’t want to be vulnerable. And I feel vulnerable every day.” She said softly, confessing this to the woman, not knowing how she would react.

“I’m Remmy.” The woman said suddenly, and turned from her. She walked across the room and picked up a slim journal from above one of the desks and walked back to Kelski. She handed it to her. Kelski thumbed open the book, saw diagrams of crossbows, and pages and pages of the workings of crossbows. Then, at the last page when she was done thumbing through, she saw a single name scrolled… the authors signature. It read Remmy.

Kelski glanced sharply up at the woman. “You wrote this?” The woman nodded, a slow and easy smile crossing her face.

“You aren’t with the gangs are you?” She asked.

Kelski shook her head. “I was a slave to the Sun’s Birth. I hated them. I won my freedom, took loans from Goldfinger, and opened my jewelry business. I am a Master Jeweler. I don’t want to have anything to do with the gangs. They are poisonous to this city.” She said softly, glancing up and meeting the woman’s gaze again, right over the open fanned out pages of the book.

“I’m Kelski.” The Kelvic whispered, not sure what was happening between them. There was a moment though, something she couldn’t explain, and something she didn’t want to end.

“I know. I’ve seen you around. Read the journal, Kelski. And when you can get nothing more from it, come back, and I will teach you what I can.

Kelski nodded, understanding, and took the book. “You are letting me take it from here?”

The woman smiled. “Just for now. Bring it back tomorrow after you have read it, copied it, or however your going to use it. Bring it back in good condition. and we’ll talk further.” She said urgently, as if she were protective of the book but wanted something more from Kelski than she was willing to admit at the moment.

The Kelvic rose, tucked the book under her arm, and quickly left.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 7:46 pm

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Kelski took the book home and sat down with a candle in the training area of The Gem at one of the long work benches. She pulled out her crossbow from the backpack, tossed the bag at her feet, and carefully laid it out the pieces of the crossbow. She flipped the book to one of the first pages, where there were multiple diagrams of various crossbows until she found one that looked like hers.

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Then carefully she reassembled the crossbow the exact way she’d unassembled it to fit in her backpack and studied the diagram and the parts. The first part she recognized immediately was the bow. According to the book, the bow was the power center of the crossbow. It propelled the bolts. Bows came in two arrangements. The first type was a recurve, which was what her crossbow was. It consisted of a riser, two limbs and a string. She fingered the parts carefully, admiring them, and realizing this was what made the bolts fly true and powerfully.

The second type of crossbow had compound style bows, which consisted of a riser, two limbs, and two cables configured with a series of pulleys. The compound had more force, but the recurve was far more light weight and suited for a female. Kelski was pleased at her choice and read on.

The bow of the crossbow was mounted crossways, horizontally from the stock and was attached at the very front of the rail. Kelski read on, learning that the configuration equated to the draw weight of her bow. Recurves had a minimum of 125lbs of draw pressure, with some even double or up to 275lbs. Kelski was slightly confused what draw pressure was until she read on and found out that the draw weight was the speed one could expect the bolt to fly from the crossbow. From what the Kelvic could gather, the heavier the draw eight of her bow was, the faster her bolt would fly. It also indicated how forceful the bolt would be from the bow.

There was one more factor bows contributed that indicated how efficient meaning deadly they could be. The power stroke of the crossbow was important too. This measurement was the distance the string would travel from the point where the bow was at rest to the point where the bow was in its cocked position. The rule of thumb was simply the longer the power stroke, the more time the bow will have to transfer power to the bolt, thus producing a faster arrow. That meant the wider the bow, the longer the stock, the more power the bow had. Kelski’s bow was a good beginner one, but it wouldn’t suit her for all of her carreer if she took the crossbow as far as she meant to and got as good at it as she was with her daggers.

The truth was she’d want more upper arm strength, a wider bow, and a longer tiller or stock equating to an overall larger crossbow to get more and more power out of her arrows in terms of speed and force.

Remmy was a good writer. That much was obvious, because Kelski completely understood on the first read-through what she meant by power and flight.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
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Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 9:17 pm

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The next part was interesting. It had a lot of names. On her particular diagram it was called a bridle. But the reality was it was called a barrel, track, or rail. It was simply just the piece that connected the stock or tiller of the crossbow to the bow. The metal sleeve was complicated but had a sort of stiffening rod inserted lengthwise to add rigidity and straightness.

Kelski examined the bridle carefully, memorized how it worked, then moved on to the next part. The diagram called it still part of the bridle, but on other diagrams it was called the riser. It was where the limbs mounted, for sure, and afastened through a series of complex pins. Her’s had a bit of etching on it, making it a focal point of her bow. The whole engineering of the crossbow bridle/riser made it hold each limb at a particular angle.

The next part was easy to remember since her horse-riding lessons were so fresh in her mind. There was a metal loop at the end of the stock or tiller that looked exactly like a stirrup from a saddle. It was in fact called a stirrup. It was mounted at the end of the rail and riser, allowing the crossbow wielder to insert a foot through the loop and basically stand on the crossbow to put pressure and hold the crossbow in place while one was cocking it. Kelski studied the design thoroughly until she was sure she understood the process. Then she practiced it a moment without loading a bolt.

When she turned back to the book she discovered that the stirrup had more uses. It was protective. It acted as a guard for protecting the protruding bolt when there was one loaded into the crossbow. It actually protected the end of the bolt, especially certain tips like broadheads, from being knocked around while loaded but a person was running or riding, in the middle of battle even. Many of the stirrups were also wrapped with leather to help reduce any vibration or reflection that might happen as the crossbow was shot or moved about. It was common practice for crossbows, in fact, to have all their metal blackened unless they were decorative pieces. Since they could send bolts further and with more force than many normal bows, they were the preferred choice of snipers and those practicing stealth.

The next part was called the trigger or tickle. Kelski’s diagram was labeled with the word ‘tickle’ so she figured that was the proper usage. The trigger was definitely one of the most important devices. It was a small lever mechanism that released the string when pulled or squeezed. A proper trigger created a clean crisp break with little or no creep meaning when it was depressed the bolt flew immediately. Others had a great deal of play and were considered poorly adjusted. Kelski cocked her crossbow, gently caressed her tickle, and found almost no play in the release.

That was a good thing. At least the crossbow she bought was quality.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
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Medals: 5
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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 9:18 pm

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The book, as she read it, cautioned about people who developed a high level of excitement during a hunt or during battle. A light trigger with no play could get someone killed if an excitable crossbowman prematurely caressed their trigger and released a bolt too soon. This was also true of using a crossbow in winter when ones hands might grow cold, even numb, and not have a good feel for the tension on a trigger.

Kelski read on, curious, and found that Remmy had written quite a bit more about triggers and tickles. They were often called tickles because one lightly touched them to fire. It made sense, though she liked the term ‘trigger’ better than ‘tickle’. They came in two basic designs. The first type was almost standard where the trigger is located directly underneath the latch that holds the string pulled back into the cocked position. Kelski examined her crossbow and decided that while hers was almost like this, it was modified because her trigger was a long sweeping metal arm that she could grasp anywhere along the stock. That made it more of a ‘bull pup” type trigger. These modified standard designs had the string latch mounted behind the trigger and then connected to the actually trigger by either a complex internal mechanism or a sweeping arm. The idea was simple. By creating the sweeping arm, the power stroke of the crossbow was lengthened slightly without having to lengthen the overall stock length of the bow. Pull pup triggers gave added power without so much as compromising on the bulk of the weapon.

Kelski could appreciate that.

However, there were drawbacks. The larger longer trigger mechanism took away room that you could rest your face on the tiller or stock. It cramped everything together, which didn’t effect Kelski much since she didn’t have nearly as big of a face as most warriors did. There were sights on the tiller one took measurement from and with the longer trigger, it was harder to judge distances.

However, all of that could be negated with good training. And since this was Kelski’s first crossbow, she wasn’t having to unlearn already formed habits in order to use a modified weapon that deviated from what she learned on.

Another part she learned was that each trigger or tickle had a safety. The safety was just a simple latch that flipped up and closed off any chance of releasing the tickle prematurely by accident unless the safety was then thumbed back out of the way. It was just a simple thumb toggle that the trigger from moving unless it was slipped out of the way.

Kelski looked on, wondering about the other parts when she spotted something disturbing. The book warned about dry-firing and how dangerous it could be for the bow and its bolts. It seemed dry-firing could destroy the crossbow just as easily as someone smashing it across anything hard or even a human face. She winced because that’s what she’d done a few moments ago and hoped her crossbow wasn’t harmed.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 10:49 pm

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There were indeed two types of dry-fire prevention mechanisms. Evidently Kelski’s bow had neither which either made it of superior quality or the weaponsmith was lazy who built it. She read carefully of how much damage could be done to a bow if it dry-fired. One type of mechanism was a simple latch plate that didn’t allow for the crossbows to fire without a bolt being loaded into it. The second type allowed no firing whatsoever unless the latch was depressed by a thumb and then the tickler depressed. Kelski saw neither design on her bow and then her eyes lit on a final fact.

If bows contained neither mechanism, it meant her recurve crossbow was robust enough and of remarkable enough design to handle a few accidental fires. That didn’t mean they were good for the crossbow, but it generally reflected a superior design. The fact alone relieved Kelski who didn’t wish to hurt her weapon before she truly learned how to fire it.

Yet another prominent part was the stock or sometimes called the rest The stock tied the barrel, trigger mechanism and the sight bridge aka the bridle all together. It provides a safe area to hold the crossbow away from the firing mechanism and a very sturdy place to brace the crossbow against one’s shoulder where one could sight along the cheek. According to Remmy’s work, the best crossbows were made of long grain hardwood finished with a dull gloss that protected them form wind and weather, mud and the damp of outdoor wandering. The rests also had two types of grips on them. One was called a thumb or keyhole stock that had a grip on it. But the best of them had solid flared ends that gave the shoulder a wide place to brace with perhaps a tad bit of padding. Kelski’s crossbow was like this and it was something she appreciated.

The next part was called a sight bridge. Kelski ran her thumb across the on one on her own crossbow, getting a feel for it. It was a raised metal plate that had a series of pegs placed in it that allowed her to line up a target along the tiller as she was braced on the stock and take aim. It provided a solid base for accurately calculating by just having good vision, where your bolt would fall.

The sites themselves were called pin and peep sights. It was a very simplistic design that consisted of a piece of metal with a hole in it at one end. To use it, she had to simply look through the whole at your aiming point, and then at the front of the aiming point there were a series of three adjustable pins that could be set for specific distances while still providing adjustments so you could move your point of impact to right or left as needed. They had to be calibrated to each user, but once set if left tight they would not need readjustment.

A final part was the arrow retainers. And each crossbow had different types of retainers based on who built them and the style of holders each crossbowman preferred. Many bolts were carried in sheaths away from the crossbow, but in some instances bolts could be mounted on the crossbow itself for easy access. Kelski’s crossbow had a small five-arrow retainer at the bottom, but Remmy in her writing cautioned the bowman from using them. They were spring loaded metal tubes that held the arrows and they always made a noise when a bolt was pulled free. The resulting twang gave crossbowman away more often than not, so a thigh quiver or even an arm quiver was the best most quietest way for Kelski to go.

Truthfully, she appreciated the input.

Thread Count : 3181

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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
User avatar
Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
Posts: 857
Words: 1100101
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Trailblazer (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)


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