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A bow was a two-handed muscle-powered projectile weapon used to shoot arrows at a distant target. Bows came in a variety of different sizes and could be made of wood, horn, or bone. Composite bows were made of thin layers of these materials laminated together for extra strength.[3] Often the price of a bow was greater than the price of a sword, and there was the added cost of arrows to be used as ammunition.[1]

Elves esteemed the art of archery and were proficient with long and short bows and the composite versions of each.[4] Rangers were proficient with all simple and martial weapons and could choose archery as a combat style. Rogues were proficient with the shortbow but not the longbow because it was not easy to conceal or carry while moving stealthily.[5]

Bows in the RealmsEdit

Catti-brie - Todd Lockwood

Catti-brie and Taulmaril.

Bows generally fell into one of two classifications: the shortbow, as the name implied, was smaller with correspondingly less range and penetration than the longbow. The strength of the archer could increase range and damage but the bow must be built to withstand the higher forces and this increased the cost dramatically. Composite bows were necessary to take full advantage of great strength.

One of the biggest problems facing any archer was deciding what to do when a foe got within melee reach. Elf bowyers crafted bows that could stand up to melee combat. Thanks to elven ingenuity, these weapons worked just as well as melee weapons as they did as ranged weapons. An elven bow was thicker and heavier than a normal bow.[6]

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