Black Blood Hunter's Bow
The Black Blood Hunter’s Bows are a set of bow used by the elite Black Blood Orc clan. While there are many reproductions in existence now, the original set was made up of 12 matching bows. They were carved in the clan’s earliest days from the bones of a great dragon. Legend says that when the clan was still nomadic, they found themselves desperate, hungry and lost in a great storm. In a matter of hours, many of the elderly, young and women of the clan would perish if left to the elements. Fortunately, they came upon a great network of caves, large enough to shelter the entire clan from the storm. However, upon entering the cave, a great dragon rose up from the depths of the cave to meet them. Tired and storm-beaten, the chieftain approached the dragon and explained their plight. They needed only rest inside the cave until the storm passed, and then they promised to leave, taking nothing from the dragon but shelter, and offering the service of their greatest hunters to bring a tribute of wild game in thanks.
The dragon laughed at their proposal. “Why should I need the service of your hunters to find a meal, when one has walked right up to my dinner plate?” the dragon asked. “Surely you will be dead if you leave, but give me 20 of your women and children to sate my appetite, and I shall allow the rest of you to wait the night. Should the storm remain, 20 more of your clan shall be paid in tribute for each day.” By this math, half the clan would be devoured if the storm lasted more than the night, and by the third day, not enough would remain to stay a clan.
One of the hunters, second to the chief and his oldest son, spoke up to his father. “Father chieftain, surely this deal is to mean the death of us. Though we are few, we must face this beast, for the lives of our sisters and wives depends on our strength.” The chief agreed, and told his best hunters to ready themselves. When the chief declined the dragon’s deal, the dragon roared in fury, preparing to breathe down hellfire itself upon this insolent mortal that dared trespass and refuse tribute. As the dragon opened his great maw, the twelve hunters stepped from the shadows, drew back their bows and fired straight into the mouth of the beast. The dragon howled in shock and pain, and then lashed out with claws and tail at the shadows from where the hunters had fired.
“By our blood, foul beast, you have threatened the lives of our clan and have made enemies of our descendants. This offense cannot stand. We shall bring you low and your power shall serve our blood from now until the end of time!” roared the chief. A strange glow came over the arrows that fired in the second volley. Though there was nothing remarkable about the bows or the arrows, they were fired with the desperation of entire bloodlines, seeking to end the greatest threat the clan had ever faced. The power of that conviction drove each arrow home, piercing the thick hide of the beast, each one finding its mark with deadly accuracy. The beast fell, and the clan claimed the caves as their own. Though they became rich with the treasure of the beast, they did not fall into decadence. Their nature as hunters of the land did not change simply because of their new home. As a result, every piece of the great beast was used. Armor fashioned from its scales, food from its meat, powerful drink from its blood, and from its bones and sinew, great weapons were carved. Among those weapons were a dozen matched bows. Each one carved with the greatest of care, imbued with the power of the beast from whom they were taken.
The original bows have been passed down through the tribe, most staying within the bloodline of its original hunter. Similar bows have been crafted and given to great allies as a sign of respect. Many of those reproductions are powerful in their own right, but the original bows carry a special power all their own.
Each of the bows is a Composite Sizing Longbow +1. Upon attuning to an owner, it adjusts its size and pull to perfectly fit its new owner. The bow’s primary power is its ability to create its own arrows. Arrows created by the bow appear black and rough, but fly straight and true. If the string is pulled back without an arrow knocked, the bow automatically creates one. It can only create one arrow per pull, so it is impossible to use the bow’s natural arrows with the Multishot Feat. Arrows must be provided if the intent is to fire more than one at a time.
When firing its own arrows, the first shot against a target is treated as nothing more than a masterwork arrow fired from a magic bow. However, if the target of that arrow has damage reduction requiring the use of a special material (such as silver or cold iron) or uniquely imbued arrow (such as lawful or good), all subsequent arrows fired at that target are treated as if they matched the exact requirements to overcome that damage reduction. Additionally, once the wielder has drawn blood against a target, the bow can sense the target over any distance, as long as they remain on the same plane. This grants a +4 equipment bonus to survival checks made to track the target. This functions until the target dies or the owner engages another quarry. The bow can only track a single target at any time, but it can “remember” old targets and can regain their trail once every newer target has died. Additionally, should the wielder be slain, the bow changes this property to seek out the killer of its bonded owner, tracking no other prey until the killer is brought down. When this function is active, the current wielder can concentrate for a full round to immediately know the direction and approximate distance (close less than 5 miles; far 5-100 miles; or distant 100 or more miles) of the target.
The bow possesses additional abilities for a bonded wielder. To bond with the bow, the wielder must sacrifice a piece of himself to the bow daily to retain its powers. To do so, each morning, the wielder must grasp the handle and draw a small amount of blood (1hp worth) which is absorbed by the bow. From this, the bow becomes an extension of the wielder, a constant companion and deadly ally. The bonded powers are detailed below. The levels indicated are based on the level of the wielder when they pay their daily point of blood. Should the wielder lose a level due to level drain or negative levels taken, the loss of power is not reflected by the bow until it is next fueled.
Omen – When fueled, the bow retains the faint smell of fresh blood. This is not a sufficient scent to track by.
Level 5 – Creature Compass. Unlike the standard version of this ability, the creature compass effect targets the last creature type damaged by the bow. If the bow has not damaged a creature that day, it defaults to Dragon.
Level 6 – Mount. This function has two versions. The first is a standard mount type for the wielder. The second function is a hunting companion. In this form, it appears as either a black hawk or a black furred wolf. It understands basic commands and can communicate emphatically with the wielder. It does not, however, engage in combat in any of these forms. None of the other powers of the bow are available while it is in another form (though the bow itself can use its own tracking ability to utilize the Creature Compass function.
Level 7 – Skill Enhancement – The bow grants a +5 enhancement bonus to Survival checks. As it is a differently named bonus, this bonus stacks with the bonus granted to track a damaged target.