From: ian (i.) gorlick (email@example.com)
Date: Wed 22 May 1996 - 23:41:00 EEST
A while back there was some discussion of aldryami weapons. It's a bit late but
here is an alternative view of the aldryami bow, that may or may not be true.
The Truth about Elf Bows.
Some authorities have claimed that the elf bow is grown from seed in the soil.
This is patently false as my researches have shown. The elf bow, in fact, grows
as a parasite upon trees in the same fashion as mistletoe.
The plant has an unusual form. It always grows with two branches, these form the
limbs of the bow. At the end of each branch grows a long slender withe, which is
so flexible as to be almost a vine, these are the two strings of the bow. (Only
one string is used, the other will be wrapped around the limb of the bow and
kept as a spare.) The two branches merge together at a slight angle where the
haustorium (equivalent of root for a parasitic plant) of the bow enter the host
tree. The leaves of the bow may be of many kinds depending on the host tree upon
which it was grown.
The seed of the bow is implanted under the bark of the tree with secret rituals
by its eventual owner. It must be tended with more rituals as it grows. When it
has matured then it must be cut from the tree with great care and ceremony.
The cut is made at the base of the plant's two branches where its haustorium
enters the tree, this is the place where the grip of the bow will be. The owner
cuts the palm of his bow hand and grasps the bow at the cut so that his blood
and the bow's sap mingle. This mingling of fluids completes the magical link
between bow and owner.
Then the hausorium of the bow is carefully cut from the tree and the tree is
Healed and thanked for its fostering of the bow. The haustorium must then be
eaten by the bow's new owner. This must be done so that the bow, which is now
cut from its source of sustenance can now draw nourishment from its owner. The
bow will not grow or flower but neither will it die as long as it remains with
its owner. If the bow is kept away from its owner for a prolonged period (over a
day) then it will wither and eventually die (usually not before a week is out).
How the plant actually draws nourishment from the owner is still a mystery. It
may be through skin contact or through some mystical channel.
It is deprivation of nourishment that causes stolen elf bows to die, not the
touch of outsiders (non-Aldryami). The bow will not work for an outsider. Should
one attempt to draw it then the bow will immediately turn as stiff as a dry
stick and it will break rather than bend. It is this that has lead to the belief
that an elf bow dies when an outsider touches it. In fact, such a bow is not
dead, and will recover if returned to its owner before it starves.
An elf will rarely set aside his bow for long. The only time it is common is for
breeding purposes. The bow can be grafted onto a host tree. This requires
special ceremonies to make the bow grow a new haustorium. Once grafted to a
tree, the bow will begin to grow again. It will set flowers in early Sea season.
Each branch produces only 1 flower. The flowers must be pollinated from another
bow, they will not self-pollinate. Each flower produces one fruit. The fruit
will mature in early Earth season. Each fruit contains one seed. The seeds will
keep for several years.
No one may own more than one elf bow at a time. So there is reluctance to give
it up for several seasons in order to breed it. However, the owner of a fine bow
regards it as a responsibility to continue the line. The owners use common bows
for the duration of the breeding period.
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