The Order of the Jade Leaf developed the swivel-mounted crossbow in response to poacher depredations. Increased outlaw activity demanded an escalation in missile range and stopping power. Now, all of the Order’s patrol skiffs mount this large crossbow.
A swivel-mounted crossbow sits cradled within the forked end of an iron rod, attached to each tine by stout pins so that it can pivot up and down. The rod measures about four feet in length and fits into a metal socket mounted in the bottom of the skiff. The rod can rotate 360 degrees within the socket, allowing fire in virtually every direction.
Larger than typical crossbows, the swivel-mounted crossbow has a longer range and causes more damage. This crossbow requires two hands to operate and load, and the base of the rod must be fixed. Crank arms on opposite sides of the stock pull the bow into firing position. The swivel-mounted crossbow fires special bolts that cannot be used in a regular crossbow. Most Jade Leaf boats carry a complement of 20 bolts stored in an oiled leather bag.