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Candied Bowstrings

If you've ever been to one of those arbalist battleschools or crossbow ranges in the mountains, you'll probably have seen some of the instructors talk about how important it is to clamp your jaws down on the string, like it's some kind of rock candy, and pull like your life depends on it - because one day, it most certainly will. It's one of the most important techniques to learn for any Kobold who wants to get their hands on a crossbow. In fact, if you asked any one of the rocky archers which bone was the most important in the body, most of them would answer with "the jaw". It's easy to see why.

After all, if your teeth are strong enough to chew through all kinds of rocks, they've most certainly got what it takes to reload a crossbow. It's a simple, easy-to-learn technique: hold the crossbow steady with your dominant hand, bite back the string with your jaws, and use your remaining free hand to secure the bolt in place. With enough training, an archer can fire a crossbow about as fast as they can a regular bow and with higher accuracy, especially without much of the complicated mechanical parts seen in more modern designs.

At some point, the common crossbowman saying to "bite down on the bowstring like it's candy" lent its use towards the naming of one of the most popular archery stores in the Realms, called Candied Bowstrings. It's the foremost authority on bows, crossbows, and practically anything else that fires pointy objects from strings. Any discerning archer will be impressed by the selection of ranged weapons, archery accessories, archery magazines, professional instructors, and even the indoor archery ranges that were just recently expanded on. Naturally, there are in fact actual licorice 'bowstrings' for the few people who get confused and come in looking for a treat.
So long as you have a good attitude and know the difference between an arrow and a bolt, you're welcome to Candied Bowstrings any day of the week.

Kobold Crossbows, All Designed & Crafted Completely By Hand
Products Are Arranged In Order Of Size
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This is the smallest size a crossbow can reach without losing out on power and effective range - but that's mainly because of how much the draw weight has to be to compensate. Bolts fired from a wristbold are small, but reach out to a surprising distance. In addition, the size and design of the weapon itself makes it significantly easier to both fire and reload, as it frees up your right hand and also allows you to carry all your bolts in the left for rapid-fire capability.
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Among a small minority of the crossbowing community, the bowgun is seen as a weapon reserved for cripples and old people and doesn't count as archery - especially for Kobolds. Of course, if you aren't a Kobold, this shouldn't really affect you as the bowgun has a much more mechanical and design than the rest of the other crossbows, and is a solid choice for a Gnomish or Dwarven backup weapon. It's actually not a bad way to introduce children to archery, no matter the race.
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It's lightweight, rugged, and quite durable - perfect for surviving in the harsh outdoors. The draw strength of this crossbow is light enough that younger Kobolds and even those of other races can insert bolts without too much of a strain. Whether you're in the battle against hunger and wildlife or looking for something that can hold its own in any shooting competition, the splinterwolf is a weapon you certainly can't go wrong with when something simple is needed.
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This is the standard, classic Crossbold design in all its glory. There's nothing overly fancy or mechanical about it, but whereas a typical archer will need to spend valuable time to properly load and ready such a weapon, a Kobold can simply reload the crossbow by mouth, using the reinforced bowstring to do so comfortably. It is standard-issue for any regular arbalist, and it can also be seen in most archery stores across the Realms.
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While this weapon may appear heavy, bulky, and even downright unwieldy, it is in fact much easier to use than a more complex mechanical ballista, so long as the shooter is capable of utilizing both their arms and jaws in drawing back the immense weight of the string. It is typically used for sieges, but every once in a while there's a thrill-seeking Kobold who likes to rent out one of these for the sole purpose of demolition.
As a side note, Candied Bowstrings does sell custom crossbow strings for those archers who seek a more flavorful experience while shooting. If you'd also like to improve your dental hygiene at the same time as your shooting, see your local Kobold dentist for a recommendation before checking out one of our little niches we have on offer.

Bows, Arrows, & Bowstrings For Rangers Of All Races
Not A Kobold? We Have Other Options For You!
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If you're in the thick of combat, sometimes the action can shake you to your very core, leaving you afraid and unable to use your fingers in any correct way. Though it's never been seen actually happening in practice, there are some Kobolds who are convinced they need something they can use if their hands ever stop working - either because they've been cut off or their fine motor skills have degraded for whatever reason. Or perhaps they're inspired by a certain armless archer, who's famous for using only his mouth and legs when firing a bow.
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This bow is highly favored by exotic hunters, tribals, and the occasional assassin, and that's because of the unique poison it carries. It's crafted from some sort of living wood that oozes a poisonous sap, which can be turned into venom for arrows. Unlike your standard poison, this one has the potential to last much longer, eliminating the likelihood of a swift recovery by the target. Just make sure to water your bow every so often and you'll have a weapon worth holding on to.
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While niche weapons aren't nearly as popular due to their limits and weaknesses, there's no question about the stalwart performance of this one when it's used right. In the hands of a talented sniper, the momentum windslash arrows eventually gain can prove invaluable against any distant target - and it'll discourage them from keeping their distance from you, much to the delight of any allies who prefer to pick their fights up close.
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While it's not the most powerful of weapons around, the arrows or bolts carry one of the most potent blinding poisons known, rendering their victims sightless for a period of time. It's generally used to blind potential victims or witnesses without necessarily having to kill them, and as such any licensed assassin can purchase this without attracting suspicious eyes from most of the other customers.
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About a year ago, arrow ricocheting was officially removed from standard ranger training in favor of new abilities. For those who miss the old skill, this unique bow provides a solution. The interestingly designed arrows made for the needler have the capability of bouncing between targets before finally weakening and coming to rest in the third one. As long as you know where your foes are, they won't be safe even behind cover.

Famous Crossbows (We Sell Replicas Only!)
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Aside from the fact that this crossbow draws part of its strength from blood magic, the most curious thing about it are the five tally marks on the side, which are said to glow red with each kill made. There's a lot of heated speculation as to who the original five victims were, but as of today no one has ever been able to uncover a solid answer.
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No one quite knows what this crossbow and its bolts are made out of, but whatever it is must be rare, cutting-edge material. The bolts are notorious for easily being lodged in large targets, and cause a great deal of pain if they aren't removed. Spend about a week in hunting territory and even the most vicious of Vharks will show fear and respect upon recognizing this crossbow.
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"Tell me - are you afraid to join Phanto in death?"
Rumored to have been created from the ashes of Phanto himself during the Birth of Magic, this crossbow has only ever been described through artistic rendition, as it's said those who catch a glimpse of the real thing don't live to enjoy it for long. Merely whispering the name is enough to send shivers throughout any superstitious archer.

Aah, so you've reached the end of our selection! Tell me, what do you think of all these weapons on offer?
And if you were to ever visit Candied Bowstrings and try them out, which of them would be your favorite?


  • I love them! I'll take 6 crossbolds!
  • I want that Five. I'll be the best sniper ever.
    Or yunno, I can use the Windslayer, because it's your typical sniper bow.
  • Great cards, lots of flavor. When the standalone URealms mod comes along, I hope we'll have plenty of cards like this bunch.

    But, to be frank, I'm not a man of war. and I could really use some licorice right about now. Where is it?
  • I love the backstory to this candied bowstring place.
  • I love this place, and I really hope you don't mind me making this an actual place in some of my games.
  • Does this store have actual candy?
  • @Razgrey
    Licorice bowstrings
  • edited March 2018
    Yeah, I could've gone in the other direction and just recreated Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, but I liked the idea of Kobolds having a unique way of using crossbows and such (based on how they were said to triple-wield in the past) and decided there needed to be a whole archery store based on that idea. It used to cater exclusively to Kobolds, since that tended to be what most mountain men were in the region, but the place expanded greatly after their selection grew and became recognized by pretty much every other race in the Realm.

    I originally envisioned Candied Bowstrings as being kind of like a modern archery/hunting store, built into the side of a large mountain. Perhaps it could begin opening up elsewhere or eventually become big enough to provide an experience akin to walking through a Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops, but when there's magic involved I expect things may end up being much different than I think they will.

    @KaeawynShifter Oh yeah, go for it by all means. I could never imagine this place on a map yet, but I know it'll definitely be an interesting place to visit mid-campaign.

    @Razgrey When Candied Bowstrings first opened, they had basic stuff like licorice and rock candy since they knew there might be a customer or two that would walk in expecting to find candy somewhere. Nowadays, while it's not the main highlight of the store, there is a section that is totally dedicated to the sweet & sour tooth, with a little bit of novelty in the mix. Most of it is generic and just there for the taste, but occasionally you find something that definitely has more to it than just flavor (like these candies from an old October thread I made, scroll down a bit for a few more).

    Like I mentioned right after the crossbow section, you can either buy flavor coating or actual flavored bowstrings to add to your bow or crossbow, so you'll have quite a tasteful experience whenever you draw back the string or perform a reload. I have my doubts about Kobolds being able to chew gum easily so this is the closest they're going to get for now. Just suck on your crossbow when you're bored, no one will mind.
  • Excellent!
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