Solo A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection II

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 II

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 10:52 pm

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




Quivers were indeed respectable alternatives and acted as a guard to protect the bolts one loaded into them. They could even be mounted under the bow, on top of the bow, or even parallel to it if the bowman didn’t want to wear them on their body. They were almost a necessity in transporting arrows safely and soundly to the area the crossbowman wanted to hunt in.

Kelski looked up, took a break, and smiled. She was learning a great deal, but she was also ready for a momentary distraction. She got up, walked around, and shook out her hands. She left the new crossbow sitting on the workbench and cleared her head with a few minutes of heavy punching bare-fisted at the punching bag. Minding her stance, she twisted her neck getting the stiffness out of her body as her arms went to work in rapid fire one-two punch motions, getting the sleepy lull of study out of her body so she could sit back down and finish doing her reading. There was more to learn, and she was excited to learn how to load a bolt into her crossbow, but first, there was a section on troubleshooting she wanted to read first.

After ten chimes of a workout at the bag, Kelski gave it up in favor of returning to the book and the crossbow with its 40 bolts laid out on the work bench. Then she picked up the book and thumbed through its next section. “The Mistakes and Mishaps of Crossbows.”

Okay. Interesting. This was something she definitely should learn.

The book went on to talk about how fun crossbows were to hunt with but also how dangerous they could be if people ignored safety. Remmy cautioned the reader not to ignore safety or get distracted and forget to do simple steps that could damage the crossbow or lead to a misfire or worse yet a dry fire. Crossbows inherently had a lot of strength in them, and by dry firing they could break strings and break arms willy nilly. Remmy cautioned on having a crossbow without having spare arms or strings, which meant Kelski had to go back to the vendor and get the extra supplies asap. Again, Remmy defined a dry fire as firing the crossbow without a bolt loaded into it. They tended to occur when someone was nervous, hurrying, or were getting excited or distracted while going through shot sequences.

The quickest way to avoid dry firing was to always double check to make sure there is an arrow loaded in a cocked strung-tight crossbow before pulling the trigger. It was simple enough advice, but the urgency in Remmy’s writing stressed how uncommon it was for such double checking measures to occur.


So, Kelski thought. This was yet another situation where she'd have to form a habit to check, over and over again, as part of her system to make sure she'd actually never fire without a bolt in place. To Kelski it was easier to form good habits from the get go than to untrain bad habits after they’d been learned.
Last edited by Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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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Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection II

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 11:07 pm

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Kelski wanted to know all the common mistakes so she read on, flipping the pages in Remmy’s book and keeping one hand on her new weapon. She was sorry it had taken her so long to research the use of a crossbow, but last season had been busy and there was so much she’d gotten done.

It seemed another common mistake new crossbow users did was hitting their thumb or finger with the string when the bow is fired. This often happened when the shooter holds onto the crossbow by the foregrip and has either their thumb or one of their fingers sticking up higher than the barrel and in the path of the taught string. It was dangerous for two reasons.

First a person could lose a finger or suffer extreme injury, bruising, etc when firing. Kelski flexed her fingers, not wanting to lose any digits to stupidity. Her craft as a jeweler depended on all her fingers working in unison. If they did not, things would be rather difficult for her. And as she thought of it, Kelski decided when she returned the book to Remmy, she’d thank her personally for this section.

AS she read on, she saw that many crossbows had a flared out section on the tiller that helped prevent people’s grips from creeping up too high on them and getting fingers in the way. But the bottom line was that she needed to start out shooting her crossbow with the sheer determination that she would not get her fingers in the way of the string. A good way to do so was to make a set of indentations or grooves on the stock or tiller that her fingers needed to feel for and remain covering so that if she hit smooth wood above it or below it, she’d know her grip was out of place and her fingers were out of place.

Kelski examined her tiller and thankfully found tiny carved indentions in a neat row just where a hand would safely grip it. Her smile was broad at this, the presence of this safety measure indeed indicating that her weapon had been manufactured by someone who knew what they were doing and who was concerned with the wielder’s safety as much as they were about producing a quality weapon.

There was one final small note in the section, which to Kelski was less of a safety situation and more of a ‘keep in mind’ type thing. It seemed that Remmy liked people to practice with the bolts they were planning on using. If they did not, there was a mindset that all bolts flew the same way and the truth of it was that each different type of bolt – and there were many – plus each different type of heads from practice heads to broadheads – flew differently and would travel various differences or fly with oddities from one bolt to another.

That meant the path of a practice head would soar differently than a broadhead and if a crossbowman wasn’t conscious of this, they would often miss their targets not compensating in the change from one arrowhead to another. Thus… in her words “Always practice with the bolt you are going to hunt or fight with.” Kelski took it to heart.
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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
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
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Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)

A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection II

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 11:23 pm

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The next section was more than interesting to Kelski. It also made her think why she decided to learn a crossbow instead of a traditional vertical bow. Remmy seemed to have a chip on her shoulder as she wrote, giving about five reasons why crossbows were different than regular bows and the advantages and disadvantages of them. Kelski was curious enough to read on, knowing that the information in the long run would do nothing but help her out.

Remmy started out by claiming that most regular bow hunters would say crossbows are easier to use than a vertical bow. The author claimed this was flat out bunk… that being able to shoot more accurately more quickly made hunting easier. She couldn’t stress enough that the weapon did not make the hunter… the hunter made the hunter… or warrior… whichever one people preferred. Getting into bow range was always a challenge, no matter what type of bow one shot. And keeping that in mind, crossbows were heavy, cumbersome and awkward.

One needed more upper body strength to fire them. Crossbows, for example, weigh twice what vertical compound bows weigh and upwards of three times what simple recurves weigh. They, according to Remmy, were a pain to carry afield. They are wider, and prevent sneaking through thick foliage or forest easily. When carried on a sling, they are top heavy and tend to slip off the shoulder unless connected by a three-point harness or weapons harness that makes pulling them off more time-containing than an average simple slung bow that just has to be quickly strung.

The width of a crossbow tends to preclude many shots because they require more room for clearance and swinging around than vertical bows. This means that when hunting in blinds or urban areas, one needs to design cover and concealment differently to give the crossbow room to swing around. The wielder needs to be more flexible and able to bend and twist at the waist if firing from horseback or even firing from an ascended position as if someone scaled a wall or mountain.

That being said, the force the bolts fly more than made up for some of these shortcomings… and once someone got proficient at a normal crossbow, if they could switch over to a five shot repeating crossbow with cartridges that automatically loaded, they could be absolutely deadly in a fight. Kelski smiled at that thought, knowing she already had a repeating crossbow ordered and it was being manufactured as she read.

The Kelvic liked being one step ahead of the game…. now if she could just acquire any proficiency in this amazing weapon, she’d be happy.

Remmy had a few other points to add to the negative sides of crossbows. There was absolutely no good way to tune a crossbow. Normal bows had arrow rests to move in or out. They had nock points to adjust up and down. And normal bows could have turns taken off the limbs or put in the limbs to help with the arrow spine issues that cropped up for bowmen. Crossbowman just had to shoot what the bow called for in terms of arrow weight and most of that was found by trial and error out in the down and dirty of the practice field.
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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 II

Postby Kelski on October 7th, 2018, 11:44 pm

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Kelski truly did appreciate all laying out of all the negatives of using a crossbow over a normal bow. She understood her arm fitness would have to be worked on, as too would her upper body strength. Duncan would be the man to go to for that. She’d have to ask him, for sure… because he out of everyone in the Gem would know how best to work on her upper body strength.

Getting back to the book, Kelski learned Remmy had a few more good points about crossbows laid out in regards to their negative factors. One that truly surprised her was the sound factor. Crossbows were just flat out loud. None of them, no matter how dampened their owners made their actions, were completely soundless. Some were quieter than others and there were ways to make them even more muffled, but still… the quietest crossbow was still louder by far than the loudest vertical bows. Mostly that meant that when hunting animals or men alike, the crossbowmen had to account for ‘spring jump’ in all sorts of prey… that is the action or reaction a creature made when it heard the bow fire. That spring jump could cause all kinds of shots to go wide/high/low etc. And that accounted for the one of the other complaints Remmy had about crossbows.

Crossbows rarely got a second shot, especially in stealth situations. Targets flat out didn’t hang around and give you a chance to shove your foot into the stirrup, load another bolt, aim, and fire again. They ran. They fled. Most crossbowman couldn’t cock their bow by hand, they needed their foot, and so cocking a bow rapidly took practice. And it was hard to practice rapid fire cocking safely. Using a stirrup while clinging to a wall, up a tree, or even in a belly down location under brush was near impossible. The alternative was carrying a second loaded crossbow which no sensible bowman would actually do.

The other and most final factor was that people didn’t like them. Crossbows could absolutely destroy an enemy if fired correctly. They could pierce straight through plate mail and were all kinds of deadly, which made people fear them. People packing crossbows, especially repeaters weren’t often socially acceptable or considered fair honorable fighters. Remy went on to liken it to a warrior bringing a double handed bastard sword to a simple rapier dual. The weapons themselves were often considered ‘overkill’ even though they kept people alive. If someone actually knew how to use one properly, they were deadly. And there was also the silent stigma that they were skill-less weapons that required just a point and fire, no tactical knowledge involved. That was the furthest thing from the truth. But still, bowmen of traditional vertical bows often felt that crossbows were for women and children only, or perhaps for the lame or otherwise handicapped fighter.

Kelski gritted her teeth at that. Mere bows did not run the risk of taking off a finger if one got their hand too high on the grip and stuck their digits into the string line. Crossbows were far more dangerous than vertical bows and could misfire in the faces of their wielder if the wielder didn’t know what they were doing. She hated that Remmy said this in her book, but she was very glad the girl spelled it out for her so she’d know what to expect.
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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
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection II

Postby Kelski on October 8th, 2018, 12:42 am

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Kelski flipped the page in Remmy’s little journal on crossbows and studied the next section intently. It immediately cleared up a confusion she’d been long suffering under in regards to Crossbows and their ammunition. Did they fire arrows? Did they fire bolts? She’d seen Remmy refer to both so far and that was no small source of confusion. So, she read on, taking a clue from the section entitled “Arrows verses Bolts”. By this time, Kelski was feeling a little close to Remmy having gotten to know her through her words just a little bit. And she hoped, when she returned the text, that Remmy would have a bit of time to sit down and discuss it with her. Kelski looked forward to the next day for that reason alone, even as she settled back in her seat to do yet a bit more reading.

She was colorful in her writing, actually stating things like “Wait, arrows? Didn’t you just talk about bolts? Did you mean bolts?” Kelski laughed, as Remmy wrote out what she was thinking exactly then launched into a well written explanation. It seemed people had a vast and repeated tendency to confuse crossbow arrow with a crossbow bolt. They weren’t one in the same and contrary to what one might assume, crossbows could fire both.

Kelski paused at this. So crossbows fired two different projectiles? What was the difference? Kelski researched further. It seemed, according to Remmy, that crossbow bolts were nothing like crossbow arrows. And in true Remmy style, she launched into the vast differences between them.

Crossbow arrows have fletching in the form of feathers or other organic material that help stabilize and guide the arrow as it will fly through the air. They were found in three vanes called fletchings spaced at 120 degrees apart from each other around the circumference of the straight shaft. Kelski lifted an eyebrow and pulled one of her bolts free of their quiver. None of them had any sort of feltchings. They were true bolts. Laying the item aside, she kept reading.

It seemed that crossbow arrows were anywhere from seventeen to twenty six inches long, with the best most balanced arrows around twenty to twenty two inches in length. The arrows weighted in a unique measurement that Kelski didn’t understand. They were three hundred and fifty to four hundred grains for recurve crossbows. They often had some sort of tip or point that was most commonly a broadhead. The arrows commonly flexed when shot and required a good center balance point for them to fly accurately even when aimed. Kelski made a mental note to ask Remmy what exactly a grain was if the book didn’t explain it further elsewhere.

She took a moment to flip through and see if that was the case.

Sure enough, there was an appendix that explained it. GPI. It seemed, according to Remmy that arrows come in three weight types. Light, midweight and heavy. The lighter the arrow the faster it flies, but while they can group more tightly, they are often harder to tune. Heavier arrows fly slower, but resist wind better and have a greater ability to penetrate targets more deeply. The trick in being a good crossbowmen was to know when and where to pick which arrow… or bolt. Kelski grinned. Crossbows were almost as complex as jewelcrafting!

Thread Count: 2751

Image
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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