The arquebus, also known as a hackbut, was a type of firearm.[5][6]

As far as can be determined, the arquebus is good for making gods-awful noise that will either scare the Nine Hells out of an enemy, or possibly anger the target into attacking with even more ferocity.
— Grymwand, a professional mercenary[5]

Description[edit | edit source]

An arquebus consisted of a wooden stock and a metal,[7] smooth bore barrel, which often had a hook-like projection on the underside. Where some firearms had a trigger, arquebuses had a curved piece of metal called the "serpentine".[5] This was known as a matchlock firing mechanism.[8]

Arquebuses that came from Lantan typically had the symbol of Gond stamped on the butt of their stock.[9][10][11]

Weaponology[edit | edit source]

Detail of arquebus matchlock:
(A) pan cover
(B) priming pan with smokepowder
(C) serpentine clamp
(D) slow match.

An arquebus required both hands to fire,[7][5] with arms absorbing the recoil,[5] and unlike a musket they didn't require a stand to support their barrel.[1] They were also sturdy enough to be wielded like a club, but they could be damaged in the process.[7]

Arquebuses were loaded by pouring smokepowder from a powderhorn into the muzzle, firmly packing it with a piece of paper, and then ramming in the projectile (an iron ball). Once the barrel was loaded a user needed to fill the firearm's priming pan with smokepowder, close it, and place a burning slow-match within the serpentine. Putting pressure on a metal plate would then release the serpentine into the pan, thereby firing the weapon.[5]

If an arquebus ever backfired it was fouled and couldn't be used further until it was cleaned, a process that could take at least thirty minutes.[5]

Variants[edit | edit source]

Blunderbuss
a variation of the arquebus that offered more versatility in terms of ammunition.[7]
Caviler
a lighter variation of the arquebus.[7]
Musket
a heavier variation of the arquebus.[7]

History[edit | edit source]

On the world of Toril, the arquebus originated on the island nation of Lantan,[1][9][12][13] during the Time of Troubles, after the deity Gond revealed to his followers how to make reasonably safe and accurate firearms that utilized smokepowder.[1] From 1358 DR onwards, the Lantanna priests of Gond (mainly the specialty priests) would work to spread the use of firearms, shipping them to Western ports.[7][11]

When arquebuses first showed up off of Lantan they were considered mere curious, but after five or so years they became increasingly common.[1] Their increasing prevalence on Toril was due in part to spelljammers bringing in arquebuses from elsewhere.[14][15][16] With one source being the Smiths' Coster trading company, who conducted business with the Lantanna, Waterdhavians, and elsewhere.[16]

By 1370 DR, one could purchase arquebuses among other firearms from The Brigadier, a giff gunsmith, in Skullport.[17]

Price[edit | edit source]

In the first three years that it was available for purchase outside of Lantan, an arquebus cost roughly 5,000 gold pieces. Through the third to fifth year, as the weapon became more common, the cost lowered to 1,000 gold pieces. Following the fifth year, an arquebus on Toril consistently cost around 500 gold pieces.[1]

Reputation[edit | edit source]

Arquebuses were thought by some to be as dangerous to their user as they were their target.[5][6]

Notable Users of Arquebuses[edit | edit source]

Classes[edit | edit source]

  • Lantanna rogues were noted for their use of the arquebus.[13]

Groups[edit | edit source]

Individuals[edit | edit source]

  • On the plane of Acheron, a cambion by the name of Thrao was known to sell arquebuses.[19]
  • The deity Gond was able to instantly summon a fully loaded arquebus whenever he desired.[11]

Races & Sentient Creatures[edit | edit source]

  • It was not uncommon for giff to carry around an arquebus.[20]
  • Approximately a quarter of any scro fighting force were likely to be armed with arquebuses.[21]

Regions & Settlements[edit | edit source]

  • In the city of Bezantur, the clergy of the local Temple of Gond were outfitted with arquebuses.[22]
  • These weapons rarely saw use in the Domains of Dread, being considered primitive by technologically advanced domains and unreliable by primitive domains.[23]

Religions[edit | edit source]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Adventures
Ruins of AdventureDungeon #64, "Grotto of the Queen"
Novels
Prince of LiesPassage to DawnThe Council of BladesTymora's LuckUnder Fallen StarsThe Stowaway

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  2. Ed Greenwood (February 1983). “A Second Volley: Taking another shot at firearms, AD&D style”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #70 (TSR, Inc.), p. 33.
  3. David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 94. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  4. Grant Boucher, Troy Christensen, Jon Pickens, John Terra and Scott Davis (1991). Arms and Equipment Guide. (TSR, Inc.), p. 108. ISBN 1-56076-109-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Grant Boucher, Troy Christensen, Jon Pickens, John Terra and Scott Davis (1991). Arms and Equipment Guide. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 53–54. ISBN 1-56076-109-1.
  6. 6.0 6.1 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 13. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  8. Ed Greenwood (February 1983). “A Second Volley: Taking another shot at firearms, AD&D style”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #70 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 31–32.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 50. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 62. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 109. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  13. 13.0 13.1 William W. Connors (November 1995). Wizards and Rogues of the Realms. Edited by Anne Gray McCready. (TSR, Inc), p. 115. ISBN 0-7869-0190-X.
  14. Curtis Scott (1992). The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook. Edited by Barbara G. Young. (TSR, Inc.), p. 12. ISBN 1-56076-347-7.
  15. Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Lorebook of the Void”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), p. 93. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Roger E. Moore (August 1996). “Sorcerous Six-Shooters”. In Pierce Watters ed. Dragon #232 (TSR, Inc.), p. 37.
  17. Joseph C. Wolf (1999). Skullport. (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-1348-7.
  18. Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
  19. Cite book/The Planewalker's Handbook|16}}
  20. Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Lorebook of the Void”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), p. 77. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  21. Scott Davis, Newton Ewell, John Terra (1991). Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix 2. Edited by Allen Varney. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-56076-071-0.
  22. Anthony Pryor (June 1995). “Campaign Guide”. In Michele Carter, Doug Stewart eds. Spellbound (TSR, Inc.), p. 36. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  23. William W. Connors, Steve Miller, Cindi Rice, David Wise (1998). Champions of the Mists. Edited by Cindi Rice. (TSR, Inc.), p. 31. ISBN 0-7869-0765-7.
  24. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 978-0786903849.
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