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efreysson
09-14-2013, 06:41 PM
The second half of my WIP has the characters trapped in an abandoned city that was the site of a major battle two decades earlier. The archer of the group is almost out of ammo. Can she pick arrows from the old battle off the ground and use them? Is there a chance such a thin piece of wood might still be relatively strong after such a long time?

mirandashell
09-14-2013, 06:47 PM
What's the ground and the weather like there? Is it damp?

efreysson
09-14-2013, 06:50 PM
What's the ground and the weather like there? Is it damp?

It's a temperate forest mountain region. Not terribly damp but not dry either.

Torgo
09-14-2013, 07:01 PM
The second half of my WIP has the characters trapped in an abandoned city that was the site of a major battle two decades earlier. The archer of the group is almost out of ammo. Can she pick arrows from the old battle off the ground and use them? Is there a chance such a thin piece of wood might still be relatively strong after such a long time?

No expertise here beyond once having gone out with a carpenter, but quite apart from any rotting away, I think after twenty years they'd be warped; and I don't think the fletching would be likely to have survived. You could reuse the arrowheads. Perhaps they could make more shafts/fletching from whatever might be lying around? (Wouldn't be quick, though.)

(Could someone go on a risky stealth mission to steal supplies from whoever is besieging them, maybe pick up some arrows along the way? Could one character draw fire from opposing archers and see if they can obtain some usable ammo that way?)

alleycat
09-14-2013, 07:05 PM
It might be easier for her to find a cache of weapons (arrows and such) in the city if she needs that many arrows.

Christabelle
09-14-2013, 08:00 PM
It might be easier for her to find a cache of weapons (arrows and such) in the city if she needs that many arrows.
This was what I was thinking. Buried cache? A secret armor room? Something indoors?

King Neptune
09-14-2013, 09:29 PM
The cache could just be in the corner of a room in a stone building that had adecent roof and preferably was on the Southerly side of a building. If the arrows were wrapped in oilcloth, then they would mostly be useable, but there still might be warping.

Chris P
09-14-2013, 09:42 PM
I think the warping would be an issue no matter how they were stored, as changes in the atmospheric humidity wouldn't be controllable.

Wood easily lasts 100 years and much longer in arid environments. As long as the wood rot fungi and insects stay out of it the wood itself won't decompose. But warping would still be an issue.

debirlfan
09-15-2013, 05:01 AM
I'm assuming that this is set in a world/era where the arrows are wood, rather than aluminum or fiberglass?

chickenma
09-15-2013, 05:07 AM
Ewww. He goes into a cave and finds a mummified warrior with intact quiver on his shoulder? Or digs in the peat bog? I hear peat bogs preserve things forever.

jaksen
09-16-2013, 11:38 PM
My cousin and I used to shoot arrows into a field (next to his house) to see how far they would fly. When we were done we'd run through the field, or send his sisters out to fetch them. We never found all of them.

Forty years later my uncle, upon preparing to sell this piece of land, found six or seven arrows lying on the ground, some partly buried in the soil. Three of them were in almost perfect condition, which amazed us kids (now middle-aged adults.) They were wooden arrows with metal tips (probably aluminum) and real feathers, bought at K-Mart in the late 1960's.

So yeah, some arrows might be okay; others rotted through. All depends.

(I live in New England, hot summers; cold, snowy winters; a good amount of rain; temperate forest. The area I am talking about was once a pine and maple forest with open meadows here and there. So the ground is often wet, the soil slightly acidic.)