Solo A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection III

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

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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection III

Postby Kelski on October 8th, 2018, 12:59 am

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

Continued From: A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection II


Okay… Kelski got up, stretched, and took a moment to clear her head. Grains per Inch was going to take some understanding. She wasn’t even sure it was something she could understand… even though she liked math. The Kelvic did a round of the training room, stretching, and kicking out her legs before she leaped up on the balance beam that was just a few inches above the ground and skipped down its length swinging her arms.

She tossed a leg up in the air, tried pirouetting, and then leaned down in a very simple cartwheel while balanced on the beam. It was what she needed to clear her head, some movement and grace. She tried two more, falling once off the beam as she tried to fit three cartwheels on it which was about one to many from her skill set. Landing on her rump, she laughed… unhurt, and got up to walk back to the bench.

GPI… grains per inch. How did she calculate that? Arrows, she knew, were propelled by energy produced by drawing the bow. It was like djed captured in the tense string. The energy transferred to the arrow when the crossbow string was released. The arrows weight would always determine how it flew… meaning its speed, drop rate, and its ability to penetrate the target. Her goal was to use the best arrow for the crossbow meaning maximum flight and penetration that the crossbow could handle without sacrificing speed or penetration.

Kelski was smart, but the thought of these calculations was enough to make even her head spin. According to Remmy, a badly weighted arrow … meaning the wrong one for the crossbow… could damage the crossbow and even hurt the crossbowman. So how did she figure it out? It wasn’t like she could just take the arrow upstairs to her workshop, rest it on a scale, and weigh it out. GPI was more complex. GPI stood for grains per inch. It was a formula that was calculated figuring in the arrows length, diameter, and shaft material. The nock, insert, point, and fletching wasn’t included.

Remmy stated light shafts were 5-6 grains per inch. Midweight shafts were 7-9 grains per inch, and heavy shafts were 10 gpi or more. And to top it off there were even more calculations. There was a GPP which was grains per pound and that included the weight of the shaft, insert, point, and fletching. Kelski’s mind was spinning at this point and she grabbed a fist full of hair, twisting it around her fingers, and frowning at the journal. GPP’s were 5-6.5 for light, 6.5-8 GPP for medium, and heavy weight arrows were over 8 GPP.

There were a series of calculations with examples which Kelski quietly went through… then went through again… then went through again. She then turned to her own bolts, was able to calculate the GPI of them, and nodded at the midweight range. She couldn’t calculate GPP on bolts because they had no fletching, nocks or heads. They were all straight steel shafts.
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They laugh at me because I am different.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection III

Postby Kelski on October 8th, 2018, 1:16 am

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Just as she was about to turn back to the page she’d been working on, another Appendix made itself known. Kelski groaned. More calculations? Was Remmy crazy? Kelski had to trust her though. In Jewelcrafting calculations were always important. Why would archery even a crossbow be any different? It seemed Remmy felt it was important to know how weight was distributed across the arrow. Kelski figured that the fletching was light and the arrow head was by far the heaviest part, so when she started reading the Appendix called Front of Center Calculations, she felt it was important. The FOC seemed to be the percentage of the arrows complete weight in its front half. As a FOC changed, the accuracy of long-range shots changed. Kelski felt like this might be a bit advanced stuff for her level, but the truth was the math drew her in.

All she really had to do to determine the arrows FOC was to do five steps, relatively simple steps, at that. The first step was to measure the arrow’s length which was the distance from the bottom of the nock groove to the shafts end by two. Then she had to find the balance point. She had to hold it in her hand and keep moving it until the arrow would balance perfectly. Then she’d mark the point and measure from there to the nock’s throat. So far easy…. Next, she had to subtract the center of the arrow’s measurement from the balance point… basically subtracting step one from step two. That answer she then multiplied by a hundred. Once that was done, she divided the answer from step four by the arrow’s overall length. That gave the actual percent of the weight of the arrow that was FOC…

Once she saw it she realized it was simple math. Remmy noted that a properly balanced arrow had a FOC of between 7-15 or 7-15% of the total weight of the arrow. THAT she understood. And according to Remmy, every time she bought or made arrows she was to calculate the FOC. If it didn’t fall into that range, the arrows were trash. Don’t buy them or never make your own again. Kelski laughed at the advice, thinking it solid, and turned back to the section she had been reading.

It turned out it was great timing that she’d read the appendixes because Remmy launched into a brief spatter in the section she was reading on how important it was to determine what the weight of the arrows and bolts best suited her crossbow and to stick with them by seeing the Appendixes.

It turned out that deciding to shoot lightweight or heavy arrows really boiled down to several factors. What was she hunting? What was the situation? Did she need longer reach? Did she need greater speed? Was wind a factor? Lighter arrows were far more forgiving on longer shots because they drop out of the sky more slowly than heavier arrows… but on the flip side, they could not penetrate armor as well. In wind, lighter arrows were harder to tune and more prone to be driven by the wind. In each case, it was ideal for a crossbowman to have a healthy supply of all three types of arrows and to use them accordingly because conditions changed drastically.
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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
Words: 1100424
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection III

Postby Kelski on October 8th, 2018, 2:23 am

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Going back to her reading, this time learning a bit about the crossbow arrow tips. They were called points or tips and varied in size from those heads designed for practice, small game, large game, and even points designed for fish or even human targets. Kelski looked thoughtful, and decided she needed to get arrows asap. The tips used for hunting always had sharpened blades called broadheads…. And the practice arrows had blunted tips called field points. Kelski nodded, as it made complete sense to her.

The back of the arrow had unique designs as well. The end caps were called nocks and came in many different types. They started with flat and worked their way to deeper crescent shaped indents called moon nocks that held the arrow firmly in the center of the string. Even deeper grooved nocks were called capture knocks. Kelski noted all of this and read on to see what the difference was. It seemed the heavier the arrow the deeper the nock that suited it. Flat nocks only needed field nocks. While heavier arrows, those with a GPI of 8 or higher really did better with capture nocks. It was intuitive for once and Kelski didn’t have trouble understanding the concept.

But she was still curious. What were bolts then?

Kelski flipped the page, then her eyes scanned the page as she researched the answer. Crossbow bolts were different. They were much shorter in length than arrows and were sometimes called quarrels. However, unlike arrows, they were heavy… sometimes as much as three times as heavy as crossbow arrows. They were powerful, deep penetrating things that killed by deep hard impacts. They did not have any fletching or feathers to guild them in flight. There was no finesse in quarrels. They were brutal war-like things that crossbows spewed. And if the crossbowman had any skill at all, they brought death with them. Bolts had no finesse, and often lost their ability to be accurate quickly. They were far better for close range targets than far distance firing.

Kelski thought it interesting, for the tips on the quarrel didn’t vary too often and didn’t give a razor sharp edge like a broadhead would. They were sharp, but tough… designed to penetrate not slice through flesh like butter. They weren’t much good for hunting game, because they tended to destroy meat more than preserved it. But they were good for killing monsters, close combat with bandits, and great for sorte’s into nefarious regions where crossbows would kill fast and quickly, especially if they repeated.

Kelski could appreciate that. And as a result picked up her bolts and eyed them with more appreciation, knowing too that she could learn on them, but if she wanted to get any good at all, she’d need to pick up arrows and study technique that the crossbow quarrels could just not provide training for. Half her reason for having a crossbow was distance. If the quarrels provided no distance, then she’d have to vary ammunition extensively. With that thought in mind, Kelski started a list of ‘needs’ in her blank journal she had sitting at her side.

The first on the list was ‘broad-head crossbow arrows’.
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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: 1100424
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection III

Postby Kelski on October 9th, 2018, 1:30 am

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Kelski was ready to move on. Once she got the broadheads she could practice her crossbow with real arrows and not just bolts. After reading Remmy’s work, Kelski was more than ready to diversify her thinking and utilize all sorts of arrows and bolts, making sure she could learn on all of them. She did have some questions about nocks and the purpose, but she could tell thumbing through Remmy’s journal on Crossbows that there was a section on that she could go back and review.

The Sea Eagle did that before she got too far along. Truthfully it felt important to know ever before she picked up her crossbow and started using it. She had a feeling… a nagging feeling that unlike daggers, crossbows were far more complex and if there weren’t a whole bunch of things she knew about them before she started using them – things would go badly for her.

So, she turned to the section on nocks and started reading. Kelski was immediately glad she did. It was super important to know about nocks before she started using a crossbow. The nock was so important because it was the singular place the crossbow transferred its power from the string to the arrow or bolt. The nock really truthfully always needed to fully come into contact with the string to transfer the power of the twang release from bow to arrow. Arrows seated onto barrels in specific ways, and if the arrow was loaded wrong – say upside down – the contact would be imperfect and strings could break, arms could break, and if the force was strong enough the arrow could misfire, shatter, and hurt the wielder.

Kelski took a moment to study her bow and only then and there realized how much was actually happening at the back end of a crossbow with an arrow or bolt loaded into it. It wasn’t much to look at, but she could tell the nock had to fully capture the string every time. Dry firing was dangerous to crossbows, to shooters, to even the people around them if the dry fire was bad enough and the arrow or bolt shattered into shrapnel. Different crossbows lined up strings differently across various types of arrows. Remmy used an example of a half-moon nock to even more firmly caution her readers. She stated clearly if the half-moon arrow was carelessly or hastily inserted into the bow at a 90 degree angle from where it should be…. Meaning rotated off its proper loading position… then the edges of the nock came in contact with the string and could cut it immediately. Nock grooves almost universally loaded into crossbows at a parallel angle which put the fletching down when loaded.

One careless moment and the weapon could fail you or worse. It could take your eye or even cause serious damage to others around you.

Remmy had touched on it before, but there were moon nocks, half-moon nocks, and capture nocks and they all fitted into crossbows differently. Moon and capture nocks were different in that the moon nock was only a slight curved end, while the capture nock was a deep socket. And the kicker? Kelski groaned reading the next part. Not all crossbows shot all types. One had to find out. Remmy underlined this part, emphasizing its importance.

“You can shoot half moon, crescent, and capture nocks from any crossbow that requires flat nocks without damaging the crossbow. However, if the pit where the arrow fit into required moon or capture nocks, flat nocks couldn’t be fired. Crossbows that required flat nocks only allowed flat nocks to be fired. Kelski glanced up at her bow, knew the crossbow could fire any, and looked relieved.

She was restless though… after learning that tidbit, she wanted to actually get around to firing it.
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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: 1100424
Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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A Deadly Art & A Deadly Connection III

Postby Kelski on October 9th, 2018, 2:03 am

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Shooting a crossbow, Kelski decided, was simplistic in its nature. All she had to do was cock the crossbow, load the bolt or arrow, aim, and shoot. But it couldn’t be that easy could it? After all that research on crossbows, their parts, their ammunition, and general safety, she was learning in leaps and bounds that the weapons were far more complex than daggers. So this couldn’t be that easy could it?

Kelski turned the page to see what Remmy said. No. It wasn’t that easy. Of course not. The Kelvic groaned as she read the words the Librarian had written. The first thing, underlined again for emphasis, was that ‘Cocking a crossbow takes calm and patience!’. Kelski was calm, for the most part, but patience was never a strength she had. She was impatient and reckless on a good day. On a bad day? She’d best never touch the weapon.

The Kelvic giggled, then glanced around to see if anyone could hear her. Nope… no one was around but The Gem itself. So she bent over her book and continued reading.

The idea was simple enough. She put her foot in the stirrup at the front of the crossbow and pulled the crossbow string back evenly across both sides… in a smooth upwards motion… until it locked in place and was considered ‘cocked’. Remmy cautioned her readers if one didn’t pull the string absolutely straight, that the crossbowmen could misalign the bow and throw their aim well off target.

Kelski picked up the crossbow from her counter, pointed it groundward, and slipped her foot into the stirrup. She pulled on the string and it glided upwards and locked into a notch specially designed for it. It wasn’t nearly as hard as she thought it would be, but it was not something she thought she could do over and over in rapid succession without a lot of arm fatique.

Next it was time to load the bow. Kelski picked up a bolt, checked the end and found it flat, and then slipped the bolt into the barrel groove and aligned the cock vane of the arrow in the barrel channel. Then she made sure the arrow was fitted securely in place. Satisfied, the Kelvic straightened, lifted the crossbow and pivoted away from her workbench. She checked the area to make sure it was safe to fire, and took aim on a target across the basement.

Remmy warned against wrapping her thumb around the crossbow tiller… so she adjusted her grip, fit the brace into her arm, laid her cheek along the wood where she could sight along the siteline, and then checked to make sure there were no obstructions that might get in the way of the crossbow limbs when they snapped forward after firing… and smiled.

She aligned the big cut of wood in her site on the end of the crossbow, gently squeezed the tickler, and the rope twanged loose with a great big noise and propelled the arrow forward, nearly knocking Kelski on her ass. The Kelvic whimpered at the pain of the kick the bow had against her shoulder and stared at the evil device like it was made with torture in mind all along.

“What the petch?!?” She said, bringing the bow down and rubbing at her shoulder. Just when she thought she was tough, she realized it wasn’t even remotely true. She had to get tougher and maybe pad a bit of leather in that area to prevent the brace from hitting her shoulder so hard.

Thread Count: 2846
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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: 1100424
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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