bows & Grazer lore

From: Carlson, Pam <>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 95 14:17:00 PDT

Thank you, Joerg, for your lovely ode to the noble bow, and to James for all the detail on the Mongols. Another interesting item I saw at the exhibit was a photo of a modern Mongol boy, about 18 months old, disguised as a girl so the evil spirits wouldn't find him!

A Grazer Comment on Bows:

"Plenty water and flat ground to you, boys. Now, come and sit while I tell
you what you must know. Chu'kar, hand over that bison-broo puppet...

"What? Those traders from the Moon Lands wanted to trade you curved swords
for your bows? And what did you tell them? What do you mean you're still thinking about it? You already have knives!

"Your bows were made for you by your grandfathers, from the horn of captured
food-animals, the wood of the iron tree, and the sinews of fast horses.   The arrow-feathers come from Yu-Kargzant's other children - the Birds.  That's why arrows can fly! Your grandfathers craft these peices during the long evenings of Dark Season, by the pitiful light of open oil lamps. Then, once every season, the proper horses are sacrificed by the La-Ungariant priestesses. The hides, hooves, and bones are boiled for for days. The proper plants are added, and the proper songs are sung. Thus is made the sacred binding glue, used for bows and for arrows. Because it has seen fire for so many days, water cannot harm it. All this work you would trade for a simple peice of shiny metal?

"Ah - they said your arrows are weak and cannot pierce the armor of heroes.
Of course not. But arrows are clever. If you shoot enough of them, they will find ways through the armor even of heroes. And if you have walked the sacred paths of Golden Bow, your arrows will find their way to your enemy's heart much faster. Even your elder brothers, who ride for Jardan the Warrior, can make their arrows become fire and burn through most anything.

"You can use your bow from horseback. You can wound your enemy before he
can even touch you. Then your horse can dance away, so that your footbound foe, even one with the mightest sword ever made, can never catch you!   These are the gifts of Yu-Kargzant - Horses and Archery. Without them you may as well dig in the dirt like Vendref! That's where swords came from, you know... they are just pointy digging sticks made of metal.

"Enough nonsense about trading your bows for swords. Swords are only good
for cutting off the heads of your enemies, and an axe does a better job.  Now, what did you learn yesterday about grazing horses on new grass....?

Avar Talespeaker talking to the boys tending the herds of the Red Horse Clan of the Pure Horse People

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