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Shooting the Breeze, OTA

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The wind shifted to the west, and Torvus adjusted his aim a little to compensate. The weight of his crossbow was starting to strain his arms, but it was less strenuous than trying to pull a heavy horsebow, which was awkward on the best of days. Torvus's bow, the one he could shoot while strapping his right hand to the grip, was nearby but he decided not to use it today, as he had a horrible grouping of bruises on his arms from a brawl and they still smarted.


He was at the long range today, wanting to be away from the trainees shooting at close butts at the Tower complex. He didn't know which annoyed him more, their ineptitude or the ones that were already better archers with half the training.


There, steady, raise the tip just a bit... Torvus eyed the gap between his bolt and the hay-stuffed target, some two-hundred fifty paces away. He was lost in concentration, so deep in the void he did not see anyone approach. He realized he'd been holding his breath, and slowly exhaled, gently squeezed the trigger. The bolt hurled from the crossbow, shaking his sore ribs with recoil. He saw the quarrel speed away, the leather vanes stabilizing the flight. It was good... It was good... Oh wait...


"Blood and Ashes!" Torvus swore, as the bolt missed the target, falling just three handbreadths to the left. The bolt disappeared into the grass, which had not been cut for a while. It was not going to be easy to find that one. The Void was shattered and he felt frustrated and not a little angry. That was eight misses out of ten shots!


Setting his bow down, Torvus stomped off to where he thought the bolt had fallen. He knew from experience that if he waited, he would never find it. As he searched the ground, Torvus wondered why he had missed again. Was his form that bad? No, he consoled himself. It must have been the wind. It was ticky today, that was all.


He searched for a while, then gave up, and marched the long way back to his bow. He would probably find it whenever it was too rusty to use. On his way back he felt a twinge of nostalgia and bitterness. His father had first taught him the bow. His father, who could shoot at three hundred paces with a horsebow, a hundred pound draw at least, on horseback, and empty his quiver in only a couple of minutes! Torvus would never be as good as his father, especially since the accident ruinednthe grip of his right hand, but that didnt stop him from trying.


Torvus loaded another bolt, winding the crannequin device he had made for this heavy crossbow. It could pierce throug armor at close range, but hitting anyone at past a hundred paces was proving difficult. He sighed, let himself sink slowly back into the void, and tried again.


He was just about to make the shot, with an instinctive feeling that this time he would hit the mark, when he heard someone approach.


"What now?" He muttered, and he put the bow down. This had better be important!


(Anyone want to join? No idea where this thread might go)

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