06-29-2009, 10:54 AM
If you have weapons (3D or pic.) for your race (swords, bows, axes...), please post them here.
I sure wish I had a pic of the "alvitract" ...
On the Haffer galleon’s maindeck, they had swung up hatches, and they were raisin’ a timber frame up from their belowdecks. I didn’t know what it were—never seen anythin’ like it. I stopped and stared. I got an eyeful of it, but still I didn’t understand it.
It were square-cut timbers, near thick as masts, elbow-hinged. They levered the whole thing up from their hold. Three Haffers sat on top of it, pullin’ ropes and ratchets. It were some class of war machine. In the middle I seen a huge arrow, or spear, or bolt of some class, metal-headed, twelve foot long, thick as my thigh and with a heavy chain hangin’ from it, and behind the bolt were a monstrous great hunk of granite in a sling. I squinted at it. I swear I first figured it were an inside-out catapult. I knew of deck-mounted ballistas as shipboard weapon, but I never seen a catapult on a ship before. Catapults ain’t practical for ships. But this weren’t no catapult.
Them three Haffers atop this thing triggered it. The giant bolt in the middle shot out, trailin’ its chain. Just as they loosed it, Red Herring rolled to an outside wave, leanin’ to port, so to tilt her whole self toward the galleon. The bolt come across our port rail abaft the mizzenmast and hit the aftcastle’s forward bulkhead, twixt the pupdeck and the quarterdeck, no more’n ten feet to starboard of where Billie stood just port of the passageway into the aftcastle.
Now, I had turned my head to follow the bolt as it come from the galleon across to our own ship, and I didn’t see exactly how the mechanisms in their war machine worked inside their frame. I seen only the bolt itself, as its chain yanked back hard, rippin’ out a twelve-foot span of our bulkhead. The planks snapped with a roar. Splinters flew everywhere. I seen, in a split-second, the head of their bolt: on the backside of the bulkhead, heavy spring-loaded fingers had snapped open, like barbs, so when the chain pulled the bolt back, the bolt didn’t come out clean, but took all that wood with it.
Red Herring rolled back upright just as the bolt—with a big hunk of our bulkhead—went back across our port rail. I seen Billie still on the quarterdeck, standin’ calm, belly-deep in the wreckage of the torn-up bulkhead. She looked pinned twixt the wreckage and the bulkhead behind her.
[excerpt from self-interview about the weapon ...]
Q. Fine. Splinter.
A. http://forum.mysteryandmagic.com/discus/messages/3/220.jpg Right, well, I had read all the Hornblower books, and I'd seen Pirates Of The Caribbean and other movies like Master And Commander; so, as I was planning Billie's story, the plot called for her to get injured--
A. --and I just kinda automatically thought of splintering wood as the way somebody gets hurt on a big sailing ship.
Q. And you didn't have any cannon to splinter the wood.
Q. And so you just arbitrarily made up something else.
A. Which is the fun part! Some wild new weapon, something fantastic--because after all this is a fantasy world--but also grounded in some real-world mechanical concepts. For example, if a barbed bolt--[expletive], I should have used the word "harpoon"!--if a bolt like that is going to convey enough pullback shock to an enemy ship that it rips out a giant portion of the hull--
Q. That shock would also apply in Newtonian equal-and-opposite fashion to whatever was pulling back the bolt from the other end.
A. Right, and that's the other ship. But nobody, not even a Klingon, would design a weapon that hurts himself as much as it hurts the other guy.
Q. So you rigged a heavy boulder to do the jerking, and insulated the attacking ship from the shock, using a series of suspension slings.
Q. It would be clearer with a blueprint or some cool action drawing.
A. Yeh, sorry, I didn't have an artist on hand at the time. Limited resources, yada yada.
Q. And you gave it a Latin name.
A. Yeh, because (I hope) it made it sound realer. I set that up by using the word hemostat and translating it as "blood-stopper," which is a real word, a real thing. Then when I said alvitract and translated it as "hull-puller," (I hope) it authenticized the idea. So the weapon is grounded (I hope) in both sound mechanical principle and in real language.
Q. But hemostat isn't Latin. It's Greek.
A. Whatever. Close enough.
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