A Chunk of Fantasy 2.06 – The Elephant Bow
“…and astride the Zhang the elephant he stood, his enemy before him, mocking him. His arrows were spent and all he had was his father’s spear and the bow of his mother. Praying to the gods he asked for their help ad blessing, to stop the abomination before him, for if he did not then it would go on to destroy the town and their temple, where all the children were kept safe. And gods, for they loved him so, answered his prayer. The bow began to vibrate and glow with power, causing him to drop it. Those who were there swore they saw it glow and Zhang then picked it up in her trunk, and it was now the size of a siege weapon. Zhang held it aloft and he took his spear and used it as an arrow, letting it loose towards the abominations heart where it struck true…”
The Elephant Bow, also known as Zhang’s bow, is an artifact of immense power, like many other artifacts. Believed to have been “created” over a thousand years ago, the story in the intro above is the most common version of the tale told about its creation. There are several variations, but at its core, they all tell the same story, where a young warrior-priest, astride his faithful elephant, prays to the gods to help stop something evil has his prayers answered by his bow transforming into a powerful weapon.
In its standard form, it is a normal short bow, with plain arms and simple leather grip. It can be used like a normal bow by almost everyone. The string is light and doesn’t cut into fingers too much when pulled back. Those who use it normally, or for standard usage, have said it feels like a bow crafted by a master of bow construction. Even regular users say it feel like the bow does more damage to the target.
In the hands of one deemed worthy by the gods or using it to defend innocent people, will find that on grasping it, their being filled with determination and purpose. The bow adjusts itself automatically to be the perfect size for the one using it. Any arrow loosed from this bow will strike the being it is aimed at in the worst, for the target, place possible. If they have a weak spot it will find it, if there is a break in their armor it will seek it out. It may not always kill them outright, but any damage potential is maximized.
In its enlarged form, the bow can grow to be so big, that it cannot be held by any one person unless they possess the strength of an elephant or greater. Any spear placed on the bow string has its power doubled, doubled again if fighting evil, and again if defending innocents. Legends say that in this siege mode, combined with the original spear, the bow has the power to even kill a god. It is in this form that the true nature of the bow is revealed in all its glory. There is no doubt that this is a weapon of power and even those without magical senses are aware of its power.
Like many artifacts and magical items, there is a downside to this bow. But unlike others, this downside only applies to those who wish to bring harm to innocents. The first time used in this manner, the arrow misses the target, even at point blank range. The second time, it swerves and hits an ally of the user. The third time, it causes the arrow to fly back and hit the user in the most damaging place possible either killing them outright or rendering them immobile to be killed by others.