Rathori bows

From: Peter Metcalfe (metcalph@bigfoot.com)
Date: Tue 18 Apr 2000 - 12:39:05 EEST


Joerg Baumgartner:

> > I would expect the best bows to be in the hands of the strongest
> > and wealthiest clans and even then limited to the chief or his
> > henchmen.

>I would expect the best bows to be in the hands of the clans with the
>best bowyers.

Which would have a positive impact on their strength hence the
two categories would be full of the same clans IMO.

>As an aside: the bowyers with the access to the best material will
>likely be those close to the streams and forests near Rathorela, where
>lumber and raw material for fish glue can be obtained.

The Steppes of Erigia aren't uniformly flat and it is broken up
by streams and wooded glades. Furthermore, fish could also be
found in the white sea.

> > Considering that [the CharUn] don't have stirrups and work with an
> > army that uses phalanxes, I find it more appropriate to
> > model CharUn military technology on the Scythians.

>The English longbows worked with phalanxes (of dismounted knights) as
>well.

AFAIK the dismounted knights fought alongside other infantry
(to toughen them up and to stop them running away) so this
doesn't quite make a phalanx (or even a shieldwall).

>I don't quite recall - weren't it the Scythians who introduced the
>stirrups to Europe?

Developed in China before 477 AD, used by the Persians in the seventh
or eighth century and introduced into the west around Carolingian times,
according to: http://scholar.nyu.edu/~tekpages/stirrups.html

(over all pretty good, even if the web author does think the Vikings
wore horned helmets in pubs).

>In this specific discussion, Rathori cannot do anything like a parting
>shot without slowing down. If caught on the march, they have to make a
>stand, at a disadvantage of not being able to choose the terrain, giving
>the mobile archers the advantage.

I do not believe that the Rathori ever "march" or do anything resembling
modern military maneuvers. If you merely mean that if they are discovered
by several mounted archers while ambling from cover A to cover B, then yes
they would be in trouble. However the majority of such encounters would
be a lone outrider or two, and one kill at this stage might yield sufficient
booty to be worth the effort.

>If the mobile archers spread wide, the
>Rathori range advantage will be cancelled since it is nigh impossible to
>hit an individual moving target at near maximum range with anything but
>lots of luck or arrow guiding magic, and in the latter department the
>Char Un get a slightly better deal from their solar spirits.

The Rathori are friends with the elves and do have some access to
arrow-guiding magic so I'd expect them to have some magical ability
or fetish that helps in hitting moving target at extreme distance
(but then again so would the CharUn). I don't envisage the Rathori-
CharUn combat as both sides firing arrows at each other and hoping
something hits or even a running arrow-battle but an archery duel
with both sides making sure (with their spirits) that every arrow
hurts or preferably kills.

Massed arrowfire is for wusses and unsophisticated civilized folk
with puny bow magic.

- --Peter Metcalfe

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