A Sling is a very basic missile weapon. Simply put: It is an instrument for throwing stones, however, the Sling is an 'easy to learn but hard to master' weapon with a great range. It is one of the few ancient weapons people still use today, in the 17th Santharian century with a minimum of changes to its primary design.
Description. A Sling is a missile weapon. It usually consists of a short strap with two strings attached to its ends or with a string fastened to one end and a light stick fastened to the other. Is is a primitive small weapon with not much weight, which can nevertheless be quite effective. A main disadvantage is that the ammunition can be quite heavy if you need to take it with you. But that is, on the other hand, an advantage to, because you can grab the ammunition from the ground at location – if you're a bit lucky… The only things required to construct such a weapon are two strings of any type or a small stick and some hardleather. The only exception on the usage of the hardleathder to build a Sling are the Shendar people, who managed to make the pocket of a Sling strong enough from fibres of different plants (read more details below).
The Sling is an excellent
for combats because it outranges bows. The Sling is mostly
used by humans,
Brownies, the nomadic
Northern Sarvonia (Méladrhim
or Grey Elves) and the
dwarven clan (just for above ground hunting
and tunnel clearing). Especially the human
tribe of the Shendar in southern
Santharia has developed an extraordinary
accuracy in using the Sling, as have have the Penda'u nomads living at the
continent of Akdor. In general it can be said that the Sling is a very common
and for the hunt, especially for tribes with nomadic nature.
Brownies can also outweigh the disadvantage
of their modest strength with a
like the Sling, especially as they know how to handle poisoned ammunition.
The Sling, though unimpressive looking for those who don’t know the weapon, can be a very destructive in the right hands, knocking down a foe with one single, precisely aimed shot. In big combat most users of the Sling are placed on a high position aiming on the back lines of the enemy lines, so that they can’t hit a fighter of their own army accidentally… The Sling is a beloved weapon also in challenges by quick people who can run and shoot before the-man-with-the-sword gets near and engages the opponent in a melee fight! The Sling is even such a simple weapon even dads unexperienced in regular weapon usage can teach their sons unlike for an example the bow wich is mostly learned in the recruiting centres. However, though shooting stones with a Sling can be learned in moments, mastering the weapon shouldn't be underestimated and neither its impact it can cause.
Fighting Style. The sling is simple to use. By swinging the Sling around in various ways, one develops a strong force, which keeps the stone in the sling until you are ready to release it. If you aim on a target far away you can fire the Sling with the stone best above your head, and if you aim on a target with no man in front of you, swing the Sling clockwise at your flank and release when the Sling is down. The stone will go either up or straight. A disadvantage to this methode is that you can’t sling far.
The size of the stone used depends on the size of the wielder and the length of the material used for the Sling. The length needs to be long enough for the wielder and have a decent swinging width.
If you swing the Sling at your flank, you’d better not use your wrists for they would certainly break. But if you’re swinging above your head, it’s one of the most important things to use your wrists giving just that first start. This is an important fact you’d better not forget if you’re going to use the Sling and like your head.
It is not just stones that can be slung using a Sling however; various peasant uprisings have seen tomatoes and other assorted fruit and vegetables flying everywhere.
Origin/History. It can't be said that a single man or tribe invented the Sling. In the Era of Harmony it is said that Arvins, God of the Hunt, first taught the races to use the Sling for the hunt on smaller animals. He showed them how to hunt all beasts, starting with the smallest, with a Sling. When he had killed a lynx he said to the children that the lynx was the biggest animal they where allowed to kill with a Sling. When Armeros saw the Sling he started teaching it as a weapon for war to the children immidiately. Most people simply ‘forgot’ a human is bigger than a lynx or said a human is no animal so they could kill them with a Sling. Therefore the people truly loyal to Arvins never use a sling to kill a human. But this was a long time after the Era of Harmony, cause in that time no human killed an other human.
When the bow was invented most people preferred the bow over the Sling, but there were tribes like the Shendar that gained on with the developing of more efficient Slings. Shendar Slings for example managed to outrange the bow and whenever it came to fighting, the Shendar were known for the usage of their Slings. In the long run many hunters also of other tribes rediscovered the advantages of the Sling and still use bows and Slings today, depending on the occasion.
Special Types. The only different kinds of Slings are the Brownie-Sling and the Warrior-Sling of the Shendar.
Where a normal Sling is used to knock down an enemy with blunt amunition the Brownie-Sling uses poisened nails of a rat or a mouse attached on each side of the stone. This makes the Brownie-Sling even harder to work with because you need to Sling the stone with the right side to the target. The nails attach themselves with the help of the weight of the stone to the skin of the target and then the poison does its work.
A Shendar Warrior-Sling uses the skin of a ráhaz-estár, a giant rock snake. That Sling is harder to master, but it has a greater range than a normal Sling. It is a rare weapon and fighters who have mastered it can be very dangerous.
Shendar are known for these Slings, made of various fibres of plants. Only the Shendar know the technique of knotting the pocket so that it is strong enough. However, the Shen-Kha‘si (Clay-People) and the Shen-Siuu (Salt-People) use different techniques. The Shen-D‘auras (Scent-People) use both the techniques of the Shen-Siuu and the Shen-Kha‘si. Other Sarvonian tribes don't use the Sling as much as the Shendar and therefore still use leather versions (for more details check out the Weapons section at the Shendar entry).
The Shendar also have another advantage, they can use the burning stones as ammunition, because they are a common resource in their lands, at least in the Lands of Pain near the Norong'Sorno Volcano. Burning stones will only explode upon impact, so they are the perfect tool to make major damage by using a Sling.
Information provided by Maglor Grubb and Aylix Goth