Description. While bows are often used by orcish clans for hunting and warfare alike the Orcish Warbow was specially designed to be most deadly in combat and is used by the orcs living north of the Tandalas. It became well known in skirmishes against the Ashz-Oc where these bows proved their worth against elven archers.
Picture Description. The Orcish Warbow in action. Image drawn by Faugar.
The Orcish Warbow is a bow made of wood, horn and bone about one and a half peds high, smaller
than the average longbow used by humans and
elves, but considerably broader. Its hilt is about 3 spans high with rope or
leather straps wrapped around it for better grip. From the upper and lower end
of the hilt the bow curves outward at first and then back inward again forming
two bows above and beneath the hilt. At both ends the string is attached.
The different parts of the bow are glued with a mix of bitumen or resin which make the bow very sturdy and gives the wood a black tone. The size and materials might vary from bowyer to bowyer and from clan to clan but the shape is usually the same. Most Orc tribes have an own pendant to this deadly weapon.
Ammunition. Beside normal ones made of wood with iron tips, which are used in war and hunting, there also exist arrows made of bones which have a mould filled with poison and others. The most feared type of arrow - and the most often used one in war - has a saw-like tip which is about half a span long and has several hooks on one or both sides. Yet, the tip appears rather thin. These tips are able to penetrate most armor from quite a distance but have a tendency to break on impact making various splinters penetrate the flesh causing terrible inner injuries and making it difficult to cure the wounds. Even if they don't break, the saw-like tip of the arrow slices easily through the flesh causing serious damage and make it hard to remove the arrow without doing further injuries. In both cases the wounds cause a great blood loss.
Often orcish archers carry a whole bag of arrow tips for replacement and like to poison their arrows to make even a simple scratch a dangerous injury.
Usage. The Warbow is the preferred ranged weapon of the Ashz-Oc and Losh-Oc and usually used for war, though hunting with it during the campaigns is a common practice as well.
Every bow is made for one particular warrior and decorated with runes afterwards. When the bearer of the weapon dies, the bow is usually put into his grave or burnt. Among the Ashz-Oc clans the bow is seen as an extension of the arm of a noble warrior and therefore others can’t use it. The Warbow is also the most noble weapon among Orcish ranged weapons. Poorer warriors are usually using simple shortbows, slings or spears which they can prove to be as deadly but lack the range and force of a warbow.
The Warbow is more common among the Ashz-Oc as it is seen as a completion of the equipment of a real warrior so at least one bow in a particular family is a common sight. Among the Losh-Oc it is a status symbol and only used by veterans and leaders of war bands. All in all it is a very valuable and expensive weapon in orcish societies.
Fighting Style. The Orcish Warbow is used like every other bow. The special thing about it might be the use of orcish arrows. The orcs developed various arrows to be used for certain purposes (see Ammunition).
Origin/History. The Warbow has developed from various bows from ancient times and evolved into the final shape as it is known since many centuries. In many respects its design is a remnant from the civilized times of the orcs during the Era of Bartering.
Who invented the bow in the first place is unknown but the Ashz-Oc and Losh-Oc are known to have the most effective kinds of these weapons. The Injerín as well as the Kuglimz and their ancestors learnt to respect the power of these bows and the terrible wounds they can cause the hard way. In later times the tribes of Santharia had to learn this lesson as well when many soldiers died by sepsis and too high blood loss.
Information provided by Koldar Mondrakken