The Sling-Shot is a light and small missile weapon, mostly used by Brownies. In combination with hunting knives, it is effective against the smallest animals, for example rodents, bugs and beetles, and small birds. A skilled user can reach a range of 25 peds.
Image description. A Vale Brownie Hunter with a Sling-Shot used to hunt down beetles. Image by Quellion.
In size about two palmspans
(human Sling-Shot) or half a
Sling-Shot), this weapon consists of a branch to
handle it, and two others to which two elastic strings are bound, held together
with a leather strap (for
this is mostly mouse skin leather). The elastic strings usually last a couple of
weeks, after which they need to be replaced. The material for the leather strap
is critical too, because the heavier the pocket, the weaker the Sling-Shot will
be. The two upper branches are naturally attached to the handle, in a Y-form. As
for material oak is preferred because it is
The ammunition needed for using Sling-Shots consists of stones, of course big enough in order to hit the prey hard enough. The smaller the stone, the farther it will travel. The Brownie Sling-Shot can be decorated in a similar way as the blowpipe (e.g. feathers or leaves bound to it), but it is not necessary and primarily serves as decoration and only in rare cases to identify certain different types.
As already mentioned shortly, there are basically two kinds of Sling-Shots. Though the appearance is the same at both types, only the height differs: The human Sling-Shot, used primarily as a toy for children, and the Brownie Sling-Shot, a serious weapon for a small race like the Brownies, used to hunt.
The Sling-Shot, as mentioned, is very common tool among
Brownies, used every day to hunt beetles.
Vale Brownies are most seen
using the Sling-Shot, while the other tribes prefer the
blowpipe or the bow. The
LLaoihrr clan which
produces blowpipes and bow also
is known for making the Sling-Shot. Human
children use it as a toy.
Fighting Style. Quite simply, in order to fight with the Sling-Shot you need to place a stone (either big and round, or a little smaller with sharp edges) on the leather strap, then draw it back so that the ductile strings are stretched, and then let go. The lighter the stone, the farther it will travel, but they still have to be big enough.
For the hunt on beetles, a Brownie will find the weak spot of the beast, just between the head and the shield. If done correctly, this will numb the beetle, allowing the Brownie to kill it with his or her hunting knife. The most hunted beetle in the Vale is the Eioiei (Browniin, lit. "Black") or "Blackbeetle." This beetle is can grow up to one and a half palmspans and has a shiny black shield and a black head. It lives in and around the Vale and its flesh is a Brownie specialty you might want to check out when travelling in the Vale region.
To aim, there are several possibilities. If you're not yet too sure about yourself, you can aim by either looking through the fork, or aligning the target with the elastic strings. If you're experienced in the use of the Sling-Shot, you can aim on your feeling, holding the weapon at a fixed point, e.g. your hip.
Origin/History. Originally humans, especially nomadic tribes, used the sling as an easy-to-carry weapon. The Brownies had seen this through trade, and with their natural innovative minds, they experimented with other kinds of projectile weapons. Eventually this evolved into what we now know as the Sling-Shot, with the advantage over the sling that one could aim more precisely. The sling had a bigger range than the Sling-Shot though.
On the other hand it is said that again through trade, the humans become aware of the Brownie-made Sling-Shot, then making a bigger weapon of the same appearance, to be used as toys for their children. How the formidable elasticity of the strings is obtained in the Vale, remains a secret of the clan, but that doesnít make it less effective. Since it was first used, there hasnít been much variation in the Sling-Shot, except perhaps the material, which doesnít alter its initial appearance though.
Information provided by Irid al'Menie