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Snotbelly Octoberfest 2003 Photo by Crynolyn

Archery is a very appealing aspect of the sport for many people but unfortunately it is also one of the more dangerous aspects. The difference between archery equipment and the other weapons is that with the other weapons you are transforming pipe and foam into something safe to use in a game but with archery you are turning a deadly weapon into something that is safe for a game. There are many things that must be done carefully and correctly with archery or someone could get hurt.

Some realms have strict rules about who can arch and some have none. If you are interested in arching you should talk to your realm leader about who is allowed to arch and what you need to do to become qualified. At the minimum you should have been fighting for a month or more and have fought against competent archers. Once you have been given the okay to arch, you will need to properly equip yourself. In Belegarth there are two major restrictions to archery equipment. The first is that the bow must be either a simple or a recurve bow with a draw weight of thirty five pounds pull or less at a twenty eight inch draw. This means that it takes thirty five pounds of force to pull an arrow to its twenty eight inch mark. All bows are sold with a poundage located on them or the packaging somewhere. The second requirement is that the arrows must have a draw stop at twenty eight inches. These two requirements insure that the bows are only of medium weight so they can be properly padded.
Belegarth Archers, 2005

There are two distinct kinds of archery equipment- good and bad. If you are serious about arching you should equip yourself with the following equipment or you will not be nearly as effective as you would otherwise. First, you should not use a bow that is less than twenty five pounds pull. Even twenty five pounds is pretty light and it is highly recommended that you get the full thirty five pounds pull if you can. Secondly, you should use arrows that allow you the full twenty eight inch draw. If you cannot pull your arrow back the full twenty eight inches you are sacrificing a good deal of arrow speed and force. Thirdly, you need the correct kind of arrows. Wooden arrows are allowed, but they will break if stepped on and are not worth the time it takes to make them. Fiberglass arrows are durable but they usually do not come in lengths that will allow you to pull the arrow back twenty eight inches after you have built a head onto it. Aluminum arrows can be found in the appropriate length and are reasonably durable, but instead of breaking when stepped on they will bend. They can be straightened, but eventually the straightness of the arrow will be compromised and they will no longer fly straight. The best choice for arrows are carbon-graphite composite arrows. They are light and durable, although they are a little more expensive. Make sure you get at least 32” or 33” long so you can build a head onto them and still have a twenty eight inch draw. The best place to find them is either at a professional archery store or online.

There are distinct differences in Belegarth legal arrows and a regular hunting or target arrow. Because of this, Belegarth arrows do not fit well into a conventional quiver. Most archers either do not use a quiver and only carry as many arrows as they can fit in their off hand, or they use a modified quiver style. Most Belegarth quivers are wide loops of leather worn on the belt. The shafts go through the loop and the large arrow heads keep them from falling all the way through.

Archery in History

The bow is one of the first weapons developed by humans. It served both as both a tool for hunting as well as a useful weapon of war.

The use of archery in Belegarth differs significantly from its use in history. Historically, arrows were often used as a saturation weapon to slow, impede, wound, or otherwise kill the opposing forces. Even if the opposing forces were heavily armored, their horses often were not and it might take only a couple of arrows to cause the horses to go wild, possibly throwing their riders. In Belegarth, however, archers are the equivalent of the modern-day sniper. They actively engage specific targets instead of being used as an area-effect weapon.

See Also

Personal tools
For Fighters
For Craftsman