From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Wed 19 Apr 2000 - 03:06:15 EEST

Peter Metcalfe:

>>> 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.

Good archery doesn't make good horse herds, so there may well be a
disparity of power and quality of bows.

Mind you, some of the top quality bows will be traded to wealthy clans,
but this doesn't exclude marginal clans to have them.

>>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.

Also: yes.

Still, the Rathori border provides access to good resources, and this
alone will give opportunity for mutual raiding. Which seems to be what
most people around here want, but don't agree about the details.

Haven't the Char Un had good opportunity to adopt them by now?

In DP they appear as shock cavalry rather than as mounted archers.

> I do not believe that the Rathori ever "march" or do anything
> resembling modern military maneuvers.

Agreed - I should have said "treck" or something similar.

> 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.

That's the scenario where several archers of one kind will face
several archers of the other kind, and the only case where bow quality
will become a factor.

> 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.

That's not raiding but sniping. Possible.

>>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

What do the elves have? I don't believe in "Arrow-Tranced" bearfolk any
more than in Rathor granting sureshot. Best deal they get are minor
guiding spirits - which are available to the Char Un in the same

Elf magic is too different to work for bearwalkers...

> 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).

Unlike the Solars, the Rathori have little mythical or practical
everyday reason to have such. If you're hunting in forested country, 60
meters are a long distance for an undisturbed shot.

> 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.

This scattering of arrows is exactly what Multimissile is about, too.

A snipers' battle at extreme rangeas you describe it is highly unlikely
- - this is not how horse archery works, or shooting at mobile targets.
Not even with spirits to guide them.

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

Or for horse archers playing at hit and run, or for foot archers trying
to stop horse archers doing just that.


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