The longbow is the Stenza's preferred hunting weapon, especially when the target is a game animal such as Basket Horns or Kʉrdeneχ. Fashioned out of the longest portions of Basket Horns antlers (sufficient that the bow is as tall as the archer) and strung with sinew, the longbow can, when properly shot, fire an arrow some three hundred feet. A good archer is said to kill a large Basket Horns without ever being detected.
The first order of business is to split and shape the antler, often in two halves of what will be a finished bow. The highest quality antler can be split along the grain with ease and requires only to be worn smooth, but lower quality materials need some shaping, carving, and other forms of attention. The two halves are bound to a third piece, often a section of leg bone, with leather; this forms the handle. The ideal sinew for the string comes from the back of a large beast such as a Basket Horns, which is then dried, moistened, and spun into a two-ply cord with the aid of a weight, a heavy specially designed spindle, or a helpful pup who thinks this spinning business is quite fun. The cord is dried again and the finished string is tied to the bow and stress tested at increasing draw lengths until it can reach full draw. The bow is then considered complete.
Raw materials & Components
The ideal material for the bow is the longest sections of Basket Horn antlers with as straight a grain as possible, a characteristic which makes it both easy to work with and easy to shoot. Hook ends out of bone, metal, or other materials are completely optional and not common. The bow is strung with sinew. Arrows have a lot more freedom. While they are commonly fashioned out of metal in modern times, with metal arrowheads, and fletched with thin sheets of crystal, ancient arrows were made of wood, laminated bone and antler, and other sturdy materials. Arrowheads of stone are very common in the archaeological record, as are fletches of Kʉrdeneχ feathers (or the feathers of other game birds).
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