Welcome to Episode 30!
Another gin infused episode of Ammertime Podcast(This is becoming a tradition). Casimir the Swede and Henry discuss in detail the new Warriors of the Dark Gods Background(and little about the Artwork).
We take almost a page by page view of the book. This episode does contain a small discussion about the new "Favours of the Gods" rules but is mostly just background discussion.
A mighty 4 hours of profanity, this episode is not for the feint hearted! Let us know what you think!
HPM [Read More]
Crossbows, Rangers, and voluntary exiles.
Much have been written on the subject of dwarven rifles, by a lot of people who know very little on the subject and thus embarass themselves with every word. Not as many words have been wasted on the dwarven crossbow. and for a very good reason.
A crossbow is a crossbow, no matter who makes it, the dwarven one is more solid and can be used as a club with very little damage to the weapon but is otherwise identical to those used by out own regiments.
Dwarven militias from poorer settlements or lower classes will often choose the crossbow over the rifle for simple reasons of economics, the former being much cheaper to produce and many dwarfs with woodworking skills can produce their own with ease, instead of having to commission a master gunsmith.
Public, or Militia regiments recieve a small stipend to cover the time spent in training, but its members much buy their equipment theirselves, often leading to a very varied appearance compared to the Proffesional, or Queen's regiments, who are provided for and equipped by the queen.
For that reason, it is very common for public regiments to have a wealthy female sponsor who provides for them in return for social capital reaped from the regiment's success.
Crossbows also have the advantage of silence which can be vital is the more unstable regions of the under-realm, where the sharp retort of a rifle-shot may bring the ceiling crashing down or bring undue attention. As such it is also a common weapon for political assassination in those few dwarfholds unstable enough where that is a occurrence.
With Queen Haephestia having ruled it with a gold-steel fist since time immemorial, that thankfully is not the case for Hammerhold.
In open combat, the crossbow fulfills the same role as the rifle, allowing even a poorer settlement to unleash a withering volley of fire to support the massed regiments of heavy militia speardwarves and axedwarves. Such a combined force is usually enough to see off all but the most determined attack from anything less than a professional army, heavy armour and stout shields rendering counter fire all but impotent.
(Banner painted by pro painter Jonas Wideen.)
The regiment depicted in these woodcuts is Habrik's Shafters (and yes, the Hammerhold dwarves have enough Imperial visitors to fully understand and embrace the double-meaning of their name) and their banner depicts Habrik himself, now long-dead, in the normal ancestor-worshipping manner of public regiments.
Of far more interest is the rarer crossbow-armed style of regiments; the Rangers, and their role in society.
Rangers dwarf a small stipends much as all public regiments do, but unlike others who are only part-time warriors, being a Ranger is not a choice to take lightly. Once the Oath of a Ranger is taken, the dwarf cannot return to any Dwarfhold for more than a single week a year as long as they adhere to the role of the Ranger, unless forced to do so by injury or illness. For that reason, a troupe must be almost entirely self-sufficient and most rangers carry all their belonging with them at all times, their crossbows and long knives being equally suited to hunting and cleaning game as they are at slitting throats.
It should be noted that the Oath of a Ranger, unlike the Oath of the Seeker is completely completely voluntary, does not bring shame of the Rangers family, and can be renounced at any time. It is not uncommon for young dwarves who have trouble adapting to the very conservative dwarven society to spend a few years as a Ranger before settling down. Such runaways seldom stay for long. It is also seen as a good, if unusual way to see the world, as Rangers travel far and wide, both within the Dwarfhold's holdings and far beyond.
Rangers spend all their days in the field, on the move, often under open skies, always on the move.
For many outlying settlements owing fealty to the Queen, especially those not dwarven, a yearly visit by a Ranger troupe may well be the only contact they have with the Dwarfhold at all.
They also provide accurate fire support for the Hold's army, skirmishing and scouting, as well as wildlife rescue in peacetimes.
It falls to ranger troupes to patrol the Dwarfholds lands, making sure roads are safe and banditry is short-lived, either at the end of a volley of well-aimed bolts, or under the steelshod boots of a massed dwarven throng, summoned by said Rangers.
[i]The majority of Rangers are females and most stay a Ranger for their entire life, seeing it as more of a calling and a mobile community than the martial profession it officially is.
Rangerhood is also one of very few professions for a dwarven female that allows them to remain unmarried (the others being Seekers, Runesmiths and priests, the Forgemaiden bodyguard of the Hold's Runemistress, and a number of ceremonial titles, such as the First Hammer, First Shield).[/i]
It is also a good "out" for any dwarf that does not fit in… [Read More]