THE BLOWPIPE

DESCRIPTION - USAGE - FIGHTING STYLE - ORIGIN/HISTORY

The Blowpipe is a weapon mostly used by Brownies and mullogs. It consists of a hollow twig or part of a plant and a dart that is blown through it. Generally used for the hunt of bigger animals, the tip of the dart is poisoned, either with a killing or a sleeping potion. The dart alone doesn’t do a lot of damage.

The Vale Brownies

View picture in full size Image description. A Brownie of greenbark ethnicity with a birdfeather cloak and blowpipe. Image drawn by Quellion.

Description. As mentioned, the Blowpipe is a hollow twig or part of a plant through which a dart is blown. The height is about half the height of a Brownie up to a fullsized Brownie, and it is quite light to carry. The used material is either naturally hollow – bamboo or elder twigs, although bamboo is usually preferred over the too soft elder – or hollowed out by the Brownies. Another material very often used is lifereed by the mullogs of the Silvermarshes. The material should be solid enough not to break when getting a bump or two.

The darts are made from wooden chips, with three or four very small feathers at the rear, the number depending on the maker of the dart. Depending on the poison used on the tip, the colour of the feathers vary, at least at the Santharian Vale Brownies. For example, red feathers signify a sleeping dart, yellow feathers are deadly. Yellow and red together renders the prey unconscious. (This arrangement is valid for the Santharian Vale and Akdor Brownies. It is not known how the mullogs deal with the darts.) The range of a Blowpipe is considered to be 12 peds.

Various decorations of the Blowpipe are made by the owner. These might include large dove or owl feathers, leaves, and other specialties that can be attached with a cord.
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Usage. Within the Brownie tribes, Blowpipes are most often used by hunters of the LLaoihrr (Vale Brownies) and Aohu’o (Akdorian Brownies). Milken Brownies tend to use it too, although they prefer Helcrani weapons. The flying militia of the Vale Brownies also partially uses the Blowpipe, because it is so light and easily carried around, and thus the best weapon to attack from above. In war, the militia will use lethal poisoned darts more than rendering their prey senseless or sleeping, but for the trainees the latter is used. This is to avoid accidents with a deadly consequence.

Another race which often uses the Blowpipe are the
mullogs. They cut it from lifereed, and they use it for hunting only. For bigger races its disadvantages are bigger than its advantages, so the only reason to let children play with it, obviously without the poison. Return to the top

Fighting Style. Wielding a Blowpipe is not hard at all. All a Brownie or mullog needs to do is put their dart in deep enough, on the blowing side, aim, and blow. The bigger the prey, the lesser one needs to be able to aim. An experienced hunter could be able to lay down a running mouse at 11 peds distance. Some hunters prefer the bow, others the Blowpipe.  Return to the top

Origin/History. Originally it is believed that the Blowpipe was invented by the Birni, the ancient Brownie race. At least so the old documents say, found by the hero Keekoo the Deliverer. He introduced the weapon again for modern Brownies in the same timeframe they started to use the bow. Experiments with different kinds of twigs resulted in the use of bamboo twigs or lifereed as the preferred pipe. Other kinds are seen too, as long as they are straight and hollow, but most hunters and members of the militia use these two, with their own decoration to show it is theirs. Lifereed can be bent, but it doesn't break easily. The militia favours bamboo, as it can't bend and this is not practical when flying. After the experiments, the appearance of the weapon didn’t alter anymore.
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