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Amerindian Arbalists, full title Cross My Heart, This Is My Crossbow: An Allohistorical Tale Of Amerindian Arbalists is an Alternate History timeline/story written on by "Petike" in August 2020. You can read this timeline here, in the Pre-1900 forum of The Wiki's article can be found here and the "what if" discussion thread from July 2018 that inspired the whole timeline, can be read here.


Put simply, the story looks at the premise of "What if Native Americans discovered how to make simple crossbows before 1000 AD ?", and the consequences of such an alternate technological development in the history of the New World. It is a story told in three distinct chapters, an afterword by the author, and some additional appendices.

The first chapter, titled "Invention", is set somewhere in northeastern North America during the mid-to-late 10th century AD. A crippled and limping native bowyer has more time on his hands due to his badly-healed leg injury, and is forced to reevaluate his life. One day, after a little boy from a family in the bowyer's village plays an innocent prank on the bowyer, the limping craftsman suddenly finds a strange bit of inspiration. Gradually, he befriends the boy over their shared interest in archery and the man creates the beginnings of the Native American crossbow...


The second chapter, titled "Diversifying", is all about the gradual and complicated spread of the bowyer's invention throughout North America and into northern Central America, from the 11th to the 15th century. Told in a series of episodic vignettes, this chapter is something of an anthology of shorter stories, looking at the native crossbow's later technological developments, and how it influences the lives, customs, economy and warfare of North American indigenous peoples.

The third chapter, titled "Legacy", is once again told in vignettes, this time ones focused on the post-Columbian history of the New World, and what role the native crossbow played after the coming of European colonists. It also dives into what mark the humble invention left on the archaeological research of native cultures, as well as on the popular imagination and folklore of the Americas, in both more recent centuries and the alternate present of the 21st century.


Tropes appearing in this alternate history

  • Alternate History: A confluence of ordinary life circumstances triggers two very minor divergences that lead to the wholly independent invention of a simple native crossbow in the Americas. Over the centuries, this design evolves further into several forms and affects pre-Columbian (and post-Columbian) history in subtle, but tangible ways.
  • Annoying Arrows: Forget it. Two vignettes in separate settings cover ranged weapon use in siege warfare (both attack and defence) and a few others demonstrate bows and crossbows in hunting wild fowl and even bowfishing. Needless to say, for flying pieces of wood or even sling-launched stones, these missiles and projectiles can wound a lot and are easily deadly if shot well.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Averted with the actual Native American crossbows of the story, which are realistically limited by existing native technology. The trope is also parodied in the third chapter, with the 21st century munchkin-like speculation of some alternate history fans on how Native Americans "could have totally invented" Chinese repeating crossbows, or had the Chinese randomly bring them over to the Americas.
  • Badass Bookworm: The bowyer of the unnamed Eastern Woodlands tribe in the first chapter. He invents the basics of a native crossbow partly by accident, partly by thinking really hard about the sudden inspiration he received and working on developing a few prototypes in his free time. As he's physically disabled, he has ample free time on his hands, in-between work for people needing bow repairs or new bows.
  • Badass Native: More of a subversion throughout the story, but in a positive way. The inventor of the Native American crossbow himself is no warrior, but a Badass Bookworm craftsman. The people defending their settlement from raiders are entirely ordinary, but show plenty of courage, moxie and smarts while fighting them off. One hunter teaches his son a Badass Bookworm way of hunting waterfowl, where brains and good aim count more than brawn. Repeatedly, the individual people in the stories are shown as ordinary, vulnerable people, so their badassery is downplayed, all the while they do show more subtle variations on the trope. The author wanted to emphasize Native Americans' smarts, inventiveness and mundane humanity, while still dropping hints that plenty of them can be Badass Normal whenever the situation calls for it.
  • Bamboo Technology: A realistic take on it, as part of the premise. All New World technology is stuck at a pre-metallurgical, Neolithic to Chalcolithic level. That doesn't mean the cultures using that technology are unsophisticated or backward. Far from it, and not only in Mesoamerica, as the story's intentional focus on North America shows. Part of the story's historical point is that you don't really need metals to create functioning and effective crossbows, whether for hunting or warfare. Native Americans were far from unable to manufacture good quality crossbows, they just never invented them in our history.
  • Black Comedy: Some of the injuries and mishaps sustained by the band of raiders in the pueblo siege defence vignette of the second chapter have this undertone. There's even an amusing (and popculture-referencing) crossbow-against-crossbow standoff between defenders and a crossbow-armed raider, with the raider ending up with a nasty wound in his side.
  • Boring, but Practical: Though they play second fiddle to native bows and crossbows in the story, slings. The author makes it abundantly clear several times that a skilled native slinger shooting small stones from his sling can be just as deadly as a skilled archer.
  • Bows Versus Crossbows: A major historical, technological and storytelling component are both types of archery weapons. Their pros and cons are portrayed through the course of the story in a scientifically informed manner, rather than fanboyish arguing over superiority. So much so, that when an argument like that appears in one of the vignettes, it's clearly meant as a gentle spoof of all the surface-level "No, the bow / crossbow was better, because it's cooler in this way..." arguments.
    • The crossbow locks (trigger mechanisms) of all New World native crossbows in this timeline are either of the "thumb lever" or "rising peg" variety. These are the simplest crossbow locks known, and both of them feature a groove in the stock of the crossbow, used for holding the bowstring in place until it's released. The "thumb-lock" is mounted behind and below the bowstring in the groove, lifting the bowstring with a small pivoting lever pressed by the shooter's thumb. The "peg-lock" consists of a hole drilled underneath the string groove, with a wooden peg rising or descending through the hole with the movement of a more conventional bottom-mounted crossbow lever. Crossbows that use these are differentiated as "thumb-bows" and "peg-bows" even by the natives, in various languages. Before being discovered by New World natives in the timeline, these two crossbow locks were already known in the Old World. Some real examples of these include traditional Southeast Asian crossbows and a French archaeological find from the 10th-11th century ("thumb-lock" type) and traditional west African crossbows and a Swedish archaeological find from early 16th century Skåne ("peg-lock" type). In this alternate timeline, Native American crossbows specialised for military purposes have peg-locks far more often than the older system, especially as the centuries go on. (The reason behind this seems to be greater ease of use while aiming at enemy warriors, as there isn't a top-mounted lever in the way, obscuring part of the horizontal aiming plain.)
    • Native crossbows are limited by several material and technological factors. chief among them being the lack of metallurgy in the New World. Therefore, you can forget about the development of steel-lath crossbows, entirely steel trigger mechanisms and stirrups, or even steel spanning levers (such as the famous all-steel "goat's foot" of medieval Europe) and other steel spanning devices. However, the timeline makes it a major point to show the ingenuity of native craftsmen in overcoming these very limiting obstacles. The results include the creation of crossbows with sinew-reinforced wooden bows, and in western North America, also horn-and-wood composite bows (more similar to the European and Asian composite bows on some medieval crossbows), as well as the creation of some simpler spanning devices that can be built even without metal parts. These include devices similar to European and Chinese "belt-hook" spanners, and to the wooden "gaffe levers" used for some early modern European hunting crossbows. Generally, native war crossbows are more likely to be equipped with "foot-loops" (i.e. stirrups), have composite bows of either type or be spanned with belt-hooks. Most native hunting crossbows seem to stick to their roots, having only a simple trigger, often being all-wooden and undecorated, and not much more than bows on a wooden tiller.
    • Crossbows change the warfare of some of the Eastern Woodlands peoples in subtle ways. Crossbowmen need more time to span and reload their bows, so existing native padded armour is developed a bit further, to the point natives have a rough equivalent of the medieval European gambeson cloth armour. They also develop a form of reinforced hat for native crossbowmen, similar in function and appearance to the widely popular European "kettle hat" helmet, or the jingasa armoured hat of Japanese ashigaru commoner soldiers. However, unlike these, the native crossbowmen helmets are made from a sturdy wicker mesh and covered by hardy leather and hide, acting almost like a head-worn version of a small leather-covered shield.
    • Native crossbows also revolutionise the siege defence capabilities of the towns and dwellings of southwestern cultures, as the crossbow is more practical for aiming and shooting at attackers from a protected interior than a bow or sling. The pueblos of this timeline frequently have the native architecture equivalent of arrowslits, not unlike on European and Asian castles ! These are used for both bows and crossbows, but particularly crossbows, which seemed to have popularised the arrowslit concept among the natives.
    • Native Americans never discover a "rolling nut" crossbow lock, like in European crossbows or the slightly more complex crossbow locks consisting of three roller parts, as seen in Chinese single-shot crossbows. (Technically, building a fully-working nut-and-lever mechanism isn't impossible with wood and antler materials only, for either of the parts, but the natives just never get to inventing such a thing on their own.) Native North American craftsmen only start emulating nut-equipped crossbows in the late 18th century, at a time when many ethnicities have already learned and taken up blacksmithing and ironworking as new crafts. Most of these crossbows are a blend of native and European influences, including native crossbows equipped with traditional triggers, or a wood, antler or steel nut instead.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • Downplayed, as it's meant to be a realistic alternate history. Some of the invented native vocabulary for crossbow technology is, of course, different to Old World terms, e.g. "tillerbow" or "trunkbow" for a crossbow itself, "foot-loop" or "spanning loop" for a crossbow stirrup, and plenty of other fictional terms for real things Native Americans didn't use in our history. There are also things like the Orbis-Mesh ("World-Mesh", i.e. Internet) and bandesine (comic book, a contraction of French bande dessinée) in the 21st century of the timeline.
    • The names of some of the native nationalities mentioned in the story tend to be their lesser-known names or variations on them. E.g. Hauden as an abbreviation of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), Wendat instead of Huron or Wyandot, Kirikirish instead of Wichita, Mexica instead of Aztec, Tawantinsuyu instead of Inca, etc.
    • In an amusing bit of Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit", one of the European-founded countries on the east coast of North America in the 21st century is the Dutch-speaking New Zeeland. Named after the province of Zeeland. Yes, two "e"-s in a row, rather than an "e" and "a".
  • Footnote Fever: Averted by the author. Most of the additional useful notes are backloaded to the afterword, appendices and the visual material sections, as the overall story is fairly short and the author didn't want to bog down readers with excessive footnotes in each chapter. In the second chapter, each vignette is concluded with an epilogue of sorts, written in italics. These epilogues are written from a more out-of-universe perspective, with the narrator commenting on how the native crossbow concepts spread (or didn't) to this or that region of the Americas, how they developed further and how they influenced local cultures.
  • Genre Deconstruction:
    • The story is intentionally written in a down-to-earth, slice-of-life manner. Rather than focus on "epicness", the author instead focuses on the daily lives of native people and also on their ingenuity at bypassing the inherent technological limitations of their archery invention.
    • The first minor diveregence from history is that a serious injury sustained by a Native American bowyer, leaving him with a limp. This forces him to look on the brighter side of things. He has more free time on his hands, and certain events that transpire lead to him experimenting with a concept that will evolve into a native crossbow.
  • Great Bow / BFG: Crossbow variation. The impressive "wall-bows", large siege defence crossbows invented by eastern woodlands cultures during the 13th century, equivalent to medieval European and Chinese wall-defence crossbows. They are also adopted by the Mississipian cultures and southwestern cultures in later centuries. In the latter case, they are developed further, to the extent that some settlements use them as a cheaper counterpart to a ballista or scorpion, mounting them on wooden and slide-rail pedestals on flat roofs of pueblos. Many of the most advanced wall-bows are big enough and have powerful enough composite bows (either sinew-reinforced, or more rarely, horn-and-wood composite bowstaves) that they need to be spanned with the native equivalent of a gaffe lever (a type of European wooden spanning lever design for crossbows, common in early modern Europe).
  • The Greatest History Never Told: Though there are other alternate histories on and elsewhere that focus on Native American cultures and settings, this story focuses on pretty obscure areas even within that subgenre. It is focused largelly on the impacts of a single technology (native crossbows), it diverges from our history in the mid-10th century (most North American Indian AH often focusing on later eras) and has some neatly believable subversions or outright aversions to technological Alternate History Wank.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Played with. Natives don't give up archery the minute they get their hands on firearms, but the author notes clearly in the Appendices that the use of bows and crossbows in warfare declined by the early 18th century, with the last use of traditional native crossbowmen tactics being as late as 1727. After that, the crossbow is effectivelly relegated to a hunting weapon, including among the trappers and fur-traders of alternate Métis. Natives adopt some European crossbow innovations too, and even manufacture crossbows for European colonial customers, in addition to native customers. True to our world's history, bows are kept as ranged weapon in warfare for longer, especially in Plains horse archery or as specialist stealthy weapons, due to the slower reloading of the muzzleloaders and early breachloaders of the time. By roughly the middle of the 1800s, when this timelime also develops fairly accurate repeating rifles (similar to our lever-action rifles of the time), the Native Americans finally abandon archery as a warfare tactic and fully adopt the more modern and more practical firearms.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Given the pre-Columbian setting, completely averted. The only mention of swords is through the fact that, just like European archers and crossbowmen carry swords and other weapons as sidearms, their Native American counterparts also carry sidearms. However, wooden "bladed" clubs are by far the closest thing to a sword, and they're rare, so most melee sidearms are ballhead clubs, picks, axes, knives and other weaponry possible with Neolithic technology. None of the protagonists in any vignette wields a bladed weapon and only one character in a vignette is a trained warrior of any kind... who happens to be a native crossbowman !
  • Insistent Terminology: Whenever the story's told from the perspective of Native American characters, it uses crossbow archery terminology unique to this divergent timeline. As the author lampshades at one point, through an excerpt from a non-fiction article by a 21st century researcher, the natives obviously couldn't have used a term like "stirrup" many centuries before they knew what a horse or stirrup are, so they invented a different term for that part of a crossbow.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: The story of the first chapter, focusing on the growing friendship of a cheerful nine year old boy interested in archery, and a limping, slightly bitter 40-something bowmaker, is all about this trope. To the author's own surprise, some readers of the story even found it endearing !
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): Subverted. None of the pre-Columbian and post-Columbian settlements mentioned in the narrative are ever identified with the locations of villages, towns or cities from our real history. Some might be analogous, some might be entirely fictional. However, though their location is not specified, a few of the post-Columbian cities of North America are at least mentioned by name, such as Cabotville ("Cabot town") in New France, Indjanhavn (Danish for "Indian Haven/Harbour") in New Denmark, and Willemstad (Dutch for "William's City") in New Zeeland.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Strangely for such a fairly short timeline, there are plenty of different characters, particularly Native Americans, and in the third chapter, also some descendants of European settlers or descendants of natives, Europeans and other peoples.
  • Magical Native American / Noble Savage / The Savage Indian: Completely skewered.
    • The many Native American characters throughout the story are written as people, rather than romanticised stereotypes or uncharitable stereotypes. They laugh, grieve, trade and exchange ideas, do daily chores, explore, invent, build, hunt, fish, do agriculture, transform the environment around them through their work (though still clearly respecting nature), create not only camps and villages, but whole cities, they come in a lot of cultural, technological and linguistic varieties based on where they live... and above all, they don't talk like stereotypical dispensers of folk wisdom, but in a believable manner.
    • About the only (mocking) nod towards "magical Native American" notions is in the first chapter, where the child protagonist says the bowyer of his tribe is "almost like a magician", coming up with an invention like that. He himself later admits that, no, he is no magician, just a clever, skillful craftsman.
  • Mayincatec: Played realistically instead. Interestingly enough, they are not the inventors of the native crossbow in this timeline, and even though the Mexica (Aztecs) learn of the invention by the 15th century, it takes them until the middle of the century to stop dismissing it as "little more than a toy". The Tawantinsuyu (Inca), in contrast, are a bit more eager to adopt it, though the concept only reaches them during the second half of the 15th century. Tellingly, partly due to the difficult terrain of the Andes and the slower spread into southern Central America and South America, the native crossbow never spreads further south than the Inca.
  • Mighty Whitey: Averted. Whatever happened in the Americas, and particularly North America since the 16th century, it seems that the Native Americans had more luck in asserting their political and cultural independence and relevancy. There are even clear indications that a lot of contemporary North Americans (especially in New Connacht) have Native American and European ancestry in equal measure.
  • No Antagonist: There are openly depicted moments of fighting in the story and allussions to warfare, but it's told from a rather matter-of-fact and pacifistic perspective. There are no Big Bad villains to overcome for any of the characters. The story has a more "slice of life" approach to looking at how such a simple archery invention could lead to gradual, but tangible changes in New World history and world history.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted. Crossbows do shoot projectiles in a straighter fashion than bows due to their construction, but crossbow bolts are just as affected by gravity, momentum and wind as arrows shot from bows.
  • No Name Given: All of the Native American characters, sans a handful of examples in the timeline's present (an alternate 2020), are never named outright. Despite this and the rather short stories these characters appear in, they are often rather fleshed-out in terms of personality and attitude. Most of these characters are thus given the Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" treatment, described by the function they fulfill in the story, or in their daily lives, or described by age (as there are also some child characters and young characters, in addition to adults).
    • In an Awesome McCoolname subversion, the third chapter has a brief vignette that focuses on a Pawnee indie game developer named Raru Echo-Hawk. This isn't the author being cute, as Echo-Hawk is a real world Pawnee family name, and Raru is meant to be an abbreviation of a certain Pawnee male given name.
  • Overly Long Title: The title is a bit longer, so even here on TV Tropes, the shorter version of it is used.
  • Pre-Columbian Civilizations: They're the main focus of the entire story. (Though the third chapter and appendices also provide some insight into the post-Columbian history of this setting.)
  • Short-Runner: Intentionally so, per the author's own comments on the writing process. Rather than write an overly long, "epic", glacially-paced alternate history, he presents the whole story in a beginning-middle-and-end, three chapter approach. It has the background of a historical epic, but isn't trying to tell an epic, merely show vignettes of how history subtly but visibly diverges thanks to this simple archery invention in medieval North America.
  • Shout-Out: Both historical and popcultural.
    • The third vignette in the second chapter is about the defence of a "pueblo"-style settlement/town by a southwestern Indian culture, against a band of troublesome local raiders. When one of the younger townsmen is running home down a hillside, he can see that his fellow townsmen are running inside, sounding alarm drums to call the others in, pulling up access ladders... With each garrisoned townsman, there is an increasing number of arrows, bolts and stones flying from the pueblo at the approaching raiders. You can say the pueblo dwellers are... garrisoning the town center. Some of the raiders, when injured, also let out suspiciously familiar, over-the-top screams, like "Yoooowww !" and "Hyoooh !".
    • There's a scene in that same vignette that references the famous theme tune and some of the gunfighting cinematography of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Just with crossbow-wielding Native Americans doing the standoffs and duels, instead of cowboys with sixshooters in the Wild West.
    • In a vignette in the second chapter, one of two medieval Cherokee (or proto-Cherokee) hunters references Mr. T's famous "I pity the fool..." catchphrase verbatim, though in a blink-and-you'll miss it way. The conversation of the two hunters is also rather reminescent of all the "What's better ? Bow or crossbow ?" fanboy discussions on some medieval history Internet forums and the like.
    • The third chapter's Scrapbook Story approach has a lot of fun with this.
      • The author includes alternate written accounts by Cabeza de Vaca and John Smith, though similar to those they would write in our world's history.
      • One of the early vignettes consists of a folk ballad from the North American colonial nation of New Connacht. The lyrics cited are actually a riff on the lyrics of Proměny, an early 2000s ballad song by the Czech band Čechomor and singer Lenka Dusilová.
      • There's an excerpt from an alternate history discussion forum on the Orbis-Mesh (an alternate Internet) that is clearly a gentle send-up of and its members, including the author himself. The discussion itself is a play on the author's own discussion from our history, where him and members discussed the plausibility of Native American crossbows and how they could spread throughout the New World. Unlike in our history, this discussion is beset by a trolling member, who is promptly banned by the admin for trolling, racist ranting and conspiracy theories. This guy is a Composite Character send-up of several banned trolls from's past.
      • The same vignette also references some notable works, including native technology themed timelines, such as The Guns of the Tawantinsuya (the Incas discover and develop native gunpowder and firearms) and Lands of Red and Gold (Australian natives develop agriculture and advanced civilizations).
      • The indie game studio Tale-Weaver Entertainment and its successful pre-Columbian themed debut, Warclub and Bow, developed by husband and wife team Raru and Inês Echo-Hawk, is a nod at our world's Tale Worlds Entertainment and their Mount & Blade game series, developed by Turkish husband and wife team Armağan and İpek Yavuz.
      • Per-Jürgen Kutil, a home tinkerer who vlogs on the Tua-Vid video site of the Orbis-Mesh and invents the "Instant Hiawintu" crossover between a Native American crossbow and a Chinese repeating crossbow, is a tip-of-the-hat to YouTube vlogger and tinkerer Jörg Sprave, who invented the "Instant Legolas" arrow magazine for regular handbows. The fictional Per-Jürgen is something of a Composite Character, as he has a few things in common with the timeline's author, another crossbow-building enthusiast. The Kutil surname is also an in-joke, meaning "tinkerer, handyman" in Slovak.
      • Further shout-outs to the historical archery and historical martial arts vloggers crowd from our history's Internet include nods to Leo "Tod" Todeschini of Tod's Workshop ("Todd 'Leo' Nardi"), Matt Easton of Schola Gladiatoria ("Marke Paston of Lynx Blade Academy"), historical documentary TV presenter Mike Loades ("Martin Heaps") and historical archery craftsman expert Hector Cole ("Achilles Mann").
      • Hiawintu himself, a fictional Native American hero who wields a crossbow and is something of an over-the-top Marty Stu, created by a pulp writer from New France in the alternate 1870s. He fights for the downtrodden, against various slimy baddies, and is an overly troperiffic Badass Native who seems like a Composite Character of several fictional Indian-related heroes from our world's fiction. He combines traits that are reminescent of the legendary Hiawatha, Karl May's Winnetou and James Fenimore Cooper's trapper Nathaniel "Hawkeye" Bumppo from The Leather Stocking Tales (with a crossbow, rather than a flintlock rifle). He is also capable of over-the-top archery antics (shooting absurdly fast while running, taking out four bad guys with a crossbow while escaping a collapsing bridge), reminescent of Legolas' feats in Peter Jackson's Tolkien films - hence the "Instant Legolas" / "Instant Hiawintu" connection. Also, like May's Winnetou, Hiawintu has a whole series of internationally co-produced adventure films about him, considered classics.
  • Shown Their Work: One of the main goals of the author was to write a story that would not only be engaging, but well-researched (not only in terms of archery technology, but generally) and be overall plausible, without massive leaps in suspension of disbelief. Tellingly, part of the author's afterword is basically a history lesson on the known history of the crossbow, including the "more primitive" designs, and after that, the Appendices to the timeline and two separate collections of artwork and images, read almost like an unofficial fifth, sixth and seventh chapter. One of these addendums has a whole section listing various resources on the subjects of Native American (and other native) archery technology, including simple crossbow technology, and also traditional native weapons, agriculture, housing, and even resources comparing the European and Chinese crossbow lock.
  • Tipis and Totem Poles: Averted big time. The author is very mindful of distinguishing the different cultures in terms of the environment they inhabit, their dwellings and architecture, the economy and livelihoods they have, and their differing culture and customs. On a more literal level, one vignette is set in the Pacific Northwest, so totem poles are possible, but never mentioned. As for tipis, they never appear. Even a vignette set at the edges of the Great Plains presents a local family as living in a conical hut plastered on the outside, rather than an entirely nomadic tent. (There are implications that tipis do exist among other Great Plains cultures, though, especially after the adoption of the horse in the post-Columbian era.)
  • Unobtainium:
    • Native Americans don't have knowledge of iron ore, ironworking or steel, and this naturally limits and influences the range of tools and weapons they can manufacture and use. Native crossbows are influenced by this technological gap, but still make inventive innovations over the centuries. New World cultures are most familiar with copper and even that is used mostly for decoration.
    • In eastern North America, fully composite bows. Historically, in our world as well, the manufaturing of horn-and-wood composite bowstaves (similar to Asian composite bows) seems to have been largelly limited to the western half of North America. The alternate timeline takes this into account, and so fully-composite hornbows are rare east of the Mississippi River. The ethnicities and tribes that don't have access to fully composite bows use either selfbows or sinew-reinforced wooden composite bows as the tech solution for their regular bows and crossbows alike.
  • War Is Hell: The very first vignette in the second chapter is all about this trope, and in a rather slow-burning way, to let it all sink in. Though the author doesn't shy away from describing the violence of a hill fort siege from the perspective of an ordinary crossbow-wielding warrior on the attacking side, the vignette also intentionally avoids any gratuitous descriptions of violence. As a lot of the battlefield is conveyed through the eyes of this native soldier, the vignette has a more personal feel to it, while also providing a very honest look at all the nastiness that could occur during a medieval siege.


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