The Orcristh Ballista is a despicable, very accurate and destructible war machine crafted by the hand of the Black Orcs of Nybelmar, the Orcristh. It exceeds the size and destructive effect of the more common, lighter version of the ballista, which shoots darts and bolts only, by far. The Orcristh machine, resembling a somewhat gigantic crossbow, is loaded with missiles as big as spears and is capable of piercing multiple units with a single shot.

The Orcristh Ballista

View picture in full size Picture description. A heavy and extremely powerful Orcristh Ballista as constructed by the Black Orcs in Nybelmar. Image from the game Mystical Empire, used with friendly permission, drawn by Quellion.

Description. The stand, on which the machine rests, resembles two easel stands, each about a ped off of the ground, joined together by a thick timber also about a ped long. On this thick timber rest two posts, each about a 1/4 high and about 1/2 a ped apart. In between these two posts a thick timber, 1/2 a ped wide and 3 peds long, has a bolt forced through it meaning this timber can move up and down but can't be removed from the structure. This timber also has a shaft to hold the ammunition.

At the end of the timber there is a large, wooden rectangular box. The box is 2 and 1/2 peds wide and 1 ped high. The box is divided equally by three planks. The middle box has the timber lodged into it,this is where the missile is released from. The left and right boxes have pieces of wood which resemble clubs, that are also 1 1/2 peds long, which are tied up by two thick ropes spiraling around each other. The club-like pieces of wood are tied at the end of the largest timber and meet at the middle.They are also connected and spun around a wooden circle.

The left and right boxes are also supported by two planks, one for the left and another for the right, which are each about a fore wide and 2 peds long. At the end of the circle, on which the ropes are connected, there is a lever.
Return to the top

Usage. The Orcristh Ballista, a major improvement of the standard version of the ballista, was first used by a small clan of the Black Orcs of Nybelmar, but soon became widespread and a necessity among almost every orcish warlord in the highly advanced Orcal Kingdom. Here and there other tribes and races have tried to construct ballistas of similar sizes and force, but have not succeeded in achieving similar results in regard of the accuracy of the machine in comparison to the Orcristh. Return to the top

Fighting Style. First of all the ballista needs to be brought into a fixed position, from where it can reach the battlefield, as it cannot be moved during battle. Then the ballista is at first drawn. This can be performed by pulling back the lever, meaning that the spiraled ropes absorb the tension. The lever is still held and another orc would load the ballista by placing the ammunation in the shaft. When the lever is released the tension is also released, forcing the rope along the shaft, pushing the ammunation through the middle box and onto the battlefield.

Another way of using the ballista is by tying lots of arrows together with thin string.When the ballista is then fired, many arrows are released making it effectively impossible for the target to dodge. This is very effective when firing at groups of enemies.

One of the disadvantages of the ballista is the materials that it is made of. Several flaming arrows shot by skilled archers could quite easily turn the great war machine into a ball of flames if not looked after properly. However, the machine should be positioned carefully quite a distance away from its targets and it should not be easily possible to reach and destroy it.

The main advantage of the Ballista of course is the sheer force of the shot and its extreme accuracy - the shorter the distance (within a certain range) the more accurate of course. Return to the top

Origin/History. The
Orcristh Ballista was created by a struggling and often overlooked Orcal inventor Phraug the Intelligent (originally Phraug the Feeble before his talent was recognised). He had innovative ideas but they were not the most believable. His chosen profession was never accepted by his family. His family had been warriors for generations and felt he should have been a fierce warrior too. His father had disowned him, he said "You're a dissapointment, you should go and live with the vermin!" before beating him and chasing him away with his sword.

Fascinated by the incredible powers of siege engines, the young Phraug learned to understand the principles and mathematics behind such machines, and never ceased to stop thinking on how to make the inital concept of the ballista even more effective. The idea on how to further improve a standard ballista came to him in a dream, it is said, though not much is known about the dream itself, it is confirmed that he managed to proposed the idea to the Orcal, the Orcristh Godking, himself. The Orcal approved the idea and paid Phraug a pricely sum for its realization, and suddenly he became a very important person, especially after the first gigantic machine was completed and proved to have been worth the effort. His father tried to apologise but Phraug ignored him, seeing he was trying to get at his vast fortune.
Return to the top

Information provided by Norkin View Profile