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The bow and arrows is a powerful projectile weapon set used to attack or defend from a long range. A bow is a long wooden piece of wood with a string stretched from one end to another. These are ranging to as tall as a person to waist height. The arrows are launched from the bow like a slingshot. Arrows could be barbed, poisoned, set fire to or fire hardened.
There are three types of bow; the bigger and more powerful longbow, the deadly and accurate crossbow, and the smaller and least powerful shortbow.
Longbows are more than twice the size of a regular bow and are the most powerful types of bows. They are easy to reload and very effective against attackers, but can only be used while standing and require great strength. Members of the Long Patrol are often experts in longbow archery.
Crossbows are the most accurate type of bow. This bow is laid out horizontally on a piece of wood. The string is pulled back and held back by a hook or trigger. It is slow to reload and clumsy to use. A crossbow sacrifices speed and range for accuracy and power (enough to easily pierce armor). Despite these advantages, they have only been used a handful of times in the series; Constance and the Solitary Beaver made a large, makeshift crossbow and arrow in an attempt to kill Cluny the Scourge, Braggio Ironhook built two giant crossbows onto the framework of the Greenshroud, and Ketral Vane and his foxes used handheld versions of the weapon.
A shortbow is the smallest and least powerful bow. It is a smaller version of a longbow and is very easy to use and reload, but it has the shortest range.
The bow and arrows is often used by Redwall Abbey defenders when their abbey is under attack. It is also occasionally used by villains such as Tsarmina Greeneyes and her army. In Salamandastron there has also been mentioning of toad archers. Vallug Bowbeast and Lonna Bowstripe were also known to be very skilled in archery, hence both of their names. Famous expert archers are traditionally found among many members of Long Patrol and squirrels in Lady Amber's command, as well as squirrels mentioned in Eulalia!.
Famous users of the bow and arrows in Redwall include:
- Lady Amber
- Lonna Bowstripe
- Vallug Bowbeast
- Colonel Clary
- Brigadier Thyme
- Honorable Rosemary
- Tarquin Longleap Woodsorrel
- Rab Streambattle
- Iris Streambattle
- Inbar Trueflight
- Tsarmina Greeneyes
- Grath Longfletch
- Swartt Sixclaw
- Martin the Warrior
- Rockjaw Grang
- Sagitar Sawfang
- Cleckstarr Lepus Montisle