Archery <> Murder

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Wed 03 Jun 1998 - 23:47:00 EEST

Philipp Hibbs asked:

> Someone please remind me, where does it say that (to the Orlanthi)
> killing with a bow is murder?

While I can't say that this hasn't been in print anywhere, I don't
believe that killing with a bow is murder to the Orlanthi. In that case,
for example the Runegate Triarchy tribes would be hard pushed to tell
what they train Kuschile archery for... Also there is Jarani Whitetop
who wielded the bow of Jorganos in the battle of Arrowtop Mountain.

I like to use the Icelandic interpretation of man-slaying: an
unannounced killing is murder. Anything else is a man-slaying with the
slayer announcing that he killed his opponent, thereby taking legal
responsibility for the kill. I doubt it matters much whether the killer
used an axe, burned down a stead, or let an arrow fly true.

It is harder to have a honourable duel with bow and arrow, true, unless
the participants do something as silly as the gentleman pistol duel with
bow and arrow. But I do believe that the Orlanthi are too pragmatic to
ponder the differences in honourable behaviour throwing javelins or
shooting arrows.

You don't let an arrow fly at an enemy champion challenging your
champion, but if your champion is an archer, he may well step forth,
accept the challenge (in shouting range) and get bow and arrow ready
while the opponent rushes in. It takes a lot of coolness to do this,
since after the shot you are shieldless (before as well). It helps to
have a weapon ready to continue the discussion.

Remember, too, that a single arrow, even hitting critically, is unlikely
to kill an opponent at once. The opponent may still have his chance to
get at the archer if a honourable fight is the objective of this
exercise - effective range for reliable hits varies with the quality of
the archer, but would be about shouting range. And these shots still
could be dodged, though admittedly less efficiently than javelins.


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