96w, 3dHuman in Equestria
88w, 3dPony Warfare
88w, 3dThe Writer's Group
23w, 4dAction Stories
88w, 22hPonies in the Real World
23w, 4dAuthor Support
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88w, 22hPonies of War
81w, 6dRead Later
81w, 1dHumans Aren't Bastards
55w, 6dBattlefield: Equestria
23w, 4dAuthors Helping Authors
46w, 1dPonies in the Military
44w, 4dWarriors in Equestria
36w, 6dTechnology VS. Magic
4w, 6dMilitary In Equestria
35w, 3dThe Good HiE List
25w, 3dHumans are Superior
20w, 2dHeroes and Allies: The War Room
11w, 5dMy reading list
Funny, I said there weren't going to be any more A/N's. Guess I lied. Hi there, readers! I'm going to start adding in little factoids at the end of every chapter, starting with this one! Look out for them and enjoy the chapter!
Chapter Twenty One: The Excrement Impacts the Ventilation Unit- Part II
Discord strode into a darkened room.
"Ah, chaos bringer." A gruff and terrifyingly deep voice spoke. "I was wondering how long it would take you to find me. Tell me, why have you entered my lair?"
"I come with a warning." Discord calmly spoke. "To save many a lives this day."
"You?!" The voice erupted into laughter. "-come with a warning? Surely you jest! When have you ever cared for anyone other than yourself?"
"I know what you are planning. I know what you are willing to do, and I'm here to tell you that if you continue, you will unleash more chaos than even I could survive." Discord spoke with a halfhearted chuckle.
"You truly believe that, chaos bringer. Come now, are you frightened?"
"Celestia, Luna and I have witnessed many things in our time. The forces you stand ready to unleash are not to be trifled with! Celestia fears it. Luna fears it. I fear it. As a fellow demi-mortal, I urge you to reconsider this course."
The voice grew louder. "Pah! Trickster, you dare come to my lair and tell me what I am to do? It is only our past cooperation that kept me from crushing you for your betrayal! Now you have put yourself in mortal danger!"
Discord shook his head and picked an apple from a nearby table in the dark room. "Tisk. Tisk. It seems you are even more foolish than I remember. There really isn't anything going on beneath those horns of yours. I stood by the alicorns' side because your tricks would have destroyed us all! Even now you plot to destroy two innocent races that had nothing to do with our battles before. Leave them be."
The voice grew angry. "I will assume your pathetic devotion for them is only there so that they may amuse you later. Sadly that time will never come. The time of your friends, the alicorns, is over. Your time is over. You were foolish to come here. With your power intact you were no match for me. Now I will destroy you, these interlopers, and equine kind like the vermin they are!"
Discord chucked and bit into the apple. "We will see."
The general and colonel watched the last of the large convoy of tanks, battle wagons, and personnel carriers roll down the hill.
"I think we'll show our friends over there some good old fashion military hospitality," The general grunted. "Lets see how they like a few thousand tons of metal headed their way!"
The colonel didn't look convinced. "Sir, with all due respect, I think you aren't taking this seriously."
"What exactly do you mean?" The general thought out loud.
"Sir, I've seen what they are capable of. I've seen "griffin" sharpshooters land a shot on a man two thousand yards away with a single fire-bolt. I've seen these "ram" soldiers take 7.62 rounds at point blank, then proceed to trample the person that shot them. I was there when dragon mounts literally melted one of our helicopters from the sky with just their breath, then strafed an entire team of soldiers with bolt-fire. If anything, these experiences tell me that we are facing an enemy that is anything but primitive. We are facing an enemy that is adaptive, adjusting their tactics at ever turn. We can give them no quarter if we want to live, and anyone dumb enough to underestimate them now will be the first to go home in a box, if they leave anything to send home. They'll stop at nothing to beat us, and to top it off, they have the home field advantage."
The general hiked up an eyebrow. "Look, before, you were out numbered, uninformed. and on the run. Now you have full military support. Like you said before, we're going to take their best shots and come up standing. Now I have to leave. Try not to let the enemy worry you too much."
Colonel Highlander watched as the general climbed into the Abrams and directed the crew to drive it forwards.
Tim sighed. "I get the feeling that's what they want us to do." The colonel made his way to his vehicle.
"That's another one! That makes five BW's and a dragon!" A crewmen declared.
"And our losses?" Another crewman asked.
"That would be none!" The other crewman answered, forming a zero with his fist.
"I just bagged me two griffins!" The man on the tank's 50.cal shouted.
"Quiet down for a second, I'm trying to get in touch with command!"
"Zero, this is Lieutenant Cleaves of the AEE Battalion, call-sign Matchbox. General wants me to tell you that the town is directly in our sights, and we are going in blazing!"
..."Matchbox, Zero. Understood. Is the general available?"...
Lieutenant Cleaves looked at the other occupants in the tank. "He's busy, but he told me to tell you the assault is going well."
..."Very well. Coordinate with Steele Hoof and prepare to blitz the town center."...
"I'll tell him. Matchbox Nine, out."
"Why didn't you tell them, Charley?"
Lieutenant Cleaves sighed, "The general's affairs are his own. I can't do anything about it. If the old goat, no pun intended, wants to get himself killed, that's his choice."
"Chill out, sir. He's got one of the best tank crews I've ever seen rolling with him. He's in good hands."
"He'll need it if he's going to be at the front of the line."
At the front of the line, General Locklear's tank was being pelted with enemy fire. As fire-bolts pinged harmlessly of the hull of the Abrams, the crew inside remained at high spirits.
"Hey sir, that sound kinda reminds me of my four year old nephew banging on the pots and pans in the kitchen back home."
"Well I'd say he's a very good drummer then, because it's music to my ears."
"According to these maps the Equestrians made for us, we're getting pretty close to the town."
"Excellent. Keep up on the 50. look out for anything that tries to hit us from the sky. Targets?"
"Yes sir. Squadron of dragon mounts. Five, from what I can see. Griffins flying along side."
"Take 'em out!"
The space in front of the general's tank lit up like a box of firecrackers. Rounds from the large machine gun tore into the wing of one of the mounts, knocking it into a swooping spiral.
"Can you slow down a bit? I'm running out of places to mark our kills!" A crewman spoke with a sarcastic grin.
The general chuckled. "No holding back now. That's what got them into this mess. Mains, tag anything with wheels that gets too close."
"Yes sir," The main gunner answered. "Reloading," He called out as he helped insert a shell.
"BW, behind that shop!" one of the operators yelled out.
A large battle wagon lumbered from behind a small building.
"Cut it down!"
Almost as soon as he spoke the words, a shell made a supersonic beeline through the battle wagon's main structure.
"I'm serious sir, I'm almost out of space for these symbols."
"Cut that chatter. Stay on target here," The general warned.
"Yes sir. More flying lizards. Put them asleep for me will ya, 50.?"
The 50. Cal lit up once more. The pandragon mounts held formation, bobbing and weaving left and right to avoid the incoming fire.
"Stay with them, 50.!"
"Trying sir. It's like they went to school for this or something!"
"Less talking, more gunning. Tell the others to move closer to us, they're falling behind. Don't want to get singled out here."
"This is Matchbox One to all Matchbox forces. Try to keep up with us," a soldier spoke over the radio.
..."Will do. It'd be easier if you'd slow down. This ain't a race."...
"But it is a battle. Don't bog us down," The general barked.
..."Understood, sorry sir."...
"Take out those blasted flying rats already! They're scratching the paint!" a crewman complained.
"Be glad that's all they're scratching." Another answered. "We're closing in on their fortifications!"
"Keep up the pace. They're doing a lousy job at holding us back, but don't give them an inch!"
A loud clanking sound rang out over the all too common bolt-fire.
"That didn't sound like an arrow."
"Fire-bolts aren't arrows. Still no damage though," the driver responded.
....".... -To Anyone who can hear us! We're in a humvee near the back of the line and we're under heavy fire! They ain't shootin' arrows sir! We lost a wheel! We're pinned down and need assistance asap!"...
The driver rolled his eyes. "I just said they're aren't arrows."
The general shot the driver a mean look, then leaned back toward the radio. "Calm down son. What's your location? We'll get someone out there to help you."
"I don't know sir! We're taking hits! They're advancing on us! Seriously, we need some assistance!"
"Steele Hoof, this is Matchbox. Can you get to them?"
...."Wisp here. We have eyes on a downed human vehicle. Trying to push the enemy back so we can get to them. Downed vehicle, can you hear me?"...
..."Hayseeds! I'll send somepony to get them, I promise. But for now, everypony keep pressing toward the center of town!"....
General Snow Wisp put her radio down and turned to a stallion occupying the same battle wagon she currently commanded from. "Sargent, see if you can get at them. They sounded like they needed help."
Sky Blade saluted. "Yes ma'am. Sabre, form on me and let's get in there!"
"On your back, sarge."
The two former royal guards leaped off of their battle wagon and charged towards the wrecked humvee. Lethal fire raced by just inches from their heads.
"Keep your head down Sabre!"
"That's it up ahead!"
A human scout looked through her binoculars. "I see a pegasus and an earth pony charging up to the wreck. Looks like they found someone alive in there," She spoke through her radio.
..."Keep the enemy off of them long enough to pull them out of that mess."....
The scout set down her binoculars and began to assemble her sniper rifle.
"Great, now we're stuck here!" Star Sabre yelled as he shot his Earthfantry bow around the side of the downed humvee."
"C-could be w-worse!" a human occupant painfully mumbled. "You could have a shattered leg!"
"Calm down soldier, we'll get you out of this." Sky Blade spoke as he tossed a blast geode over his cover.
"Squad's gone! We're gonna get crushed! I don't want to go out like this! Get me out of here!"
Sabre crawled over and shook the man. "Hang in there human! Don't snap on us now, we need you to calm down!"
A group of daring rams climbed over the humvee and leveled their weapon at the three soldiers behind it.
Sabre sighed and set his weapon on the ground.
"Our boys have been cornered. Looks like about five goat- ram things," The scout commented.
...."Salvo Seven, would you kindly level the playing field for them?"....
"Yes sir. I can do that."
"Come quietly equines. Give us information and we will not execute you, or the interloper with you," One of the rams commanded.
Star Sabre bore a confused look. "Interloper?"
"I believe he's talking about the human." Sky Blade clarified.
"Let me make you understand. Come with us, or perish here."
"Can I get a third choice? I'm not liking these options." Sabre quipped.
"Last chance." The ram raised his weapon.
"Wait! Wait! Wait! I got a family back home! Let me go with them!" The wounded marine stammered.
"You lost a lot of blood, soldier. You're not thinking clearly." Sky Blade warned.
The ram pointed his launcher at the Sergent's head. "If the human would speak for himself, let him speak."
"Y-yes, and let me just s-s-say that-"
Several supersonic zips, followed by several loud bangs sounded out over the area. The offending rams collapsed to the ground.
"-say that you s-should have ducked. L-looks like s-s-sniper support is up, f-friends."
"I see," Sky Blade answered with dumbfounded expression. "I guess it's time to leave then. Let's get you to a medic."
"They made it back to the wagon, sir. Moving to secondary location."
..."You do great work, Salvo. I'm sure your friend Mace will be thrilled. Stay on your toes out there."....
"Got it chief. Staying frosty."
"Mr. Greene. I was told you wanted to see me?"
"Oh. Hey there, Twilight. Seriously, you can just call me Lenard, or Lenny like everyone else here does. And yes, I think you might be able to help me figure something out."
"Well figuring is one of the things I do best! What do you need help with?"
"You're a unicorn, right?"
"And you've used magic, right?"
"Under better circumstances, yes."
"Then maybe you can tell me how a piece a simple piece of metal and wood chased me at super sonic speeds."
"I don't follow."
"When we hit the leviathan to spring the princess, a dragon launched some kind of weapon at me. I though it was just some normal spear or something. But it followed me, kinda like the kind of weapons we build. Now, I've been looking through that stack of files we brought back from the leviathan, and among about twenty different schematics for battle wagon wheels, I found something called a "Magnerite seeker." You know what that is?"
Twilight put a hoof to her chin. "I don't know anything about the spear, but I do know what magnarite is. They're what we make magnets out of. Great for working with metal."
"What would it be used for?"
"Well, construction ponies use it to pick up heavy things with cranes."
"Magnets? So, theoretically of course, could it be possible that somehow they built weapons that seek out metal objects?"
"That's a bit far fetched, but if they were to use magnerite's natural magnetic properties in conjunction with some kind of magic, it's possible that the could have-"
"-made magically magnetic missiles. Great. Sounds like something some bored teenager would dream up in a trump contest. Who knows what else they've got waiting for us."
"I can take half of that back with me to study, if you'd like." Twilight offered.
"Why not. We all know you love to bury yourself in books, so by all means, go ahead, knock yourself out. You might find something useful in that mess."
Trying their best to ignore the distant sounds of warfare, the various residents of the Ponyville shanty tried their hardest to occupy themselves.
"You got any fours?" Lieutenant Mike Kaiser questioned the others at his table.
"You best start breaking out the ole rod," Lime Tree started. "-cause you're going fishing!"
Mike jumped to his feet. "Gah! That's it! Ponies don't even eat fish! How are you so good at this game?! Either you Equestrians have a different number system, or you're flat out cheating me under the table!" Kaiser screeched.
"You accuse me of lying about my hoof of cards? How would that work?" The green stallion cocked his head to the side.
"Accuse? We all know you're doing something fishy! "
"Was that pun intended?" Lime Tree questioned.
"As a matter of fact it wasn't! Now play fair already!"
Mace shook his head. "I know you're just jealous that he's stomping your title of Go-fish king, but you don't have to hate on the stallion."
"I am not a hater! I am a seeker of truth! The router of lies and deceit!" Kaiser proclaimed with a manly scowl plastered across his face as he struck a heroic pose.
Stuart looked up from his hand. "Hey Mike, could you go seek some soda from the back? We're running low over here and Mac says he isn't going to give us anymore freebees of Apples' cider."
Mike shrugged. "I guess." He got up from his seat, carefully concealing his hand, then slowly made his way to the back of the shanty commons toward the storerooms.
"Kaiser, do this! Kaiser do that! I out-rank the lot of them, so why do I listen to them anyway?" he mumbled to himself.
The young pilot walked up to the storeroom and quickly noticed two things: One, someone had left the electric lantern on; and two, the lock to the storeroom door had clearly been forced open. Mike snatched the lantern off of the wall and held it high, partially illuminating the room.
"Anyone in here? Come out, come out, whoever you are." Kaiser nervously spoke. He almost swore he saw a set of large, orange eyes staring back at him through the darkness. "Now what do we have he-"
The lantern, and all of the air in his lungs was suddenly lost to him as something forcefully shoved him into a wall. The figure, whatever it was, wore a cloak and carried a large case in its mouth. The shadowy figure charged towards the nearest exit, nearly running the pilot over in its mad dash for the exit. Kaiser got back to his feet shook off a bout of nausea. Whatever had struck him had hooves. Big hooves.
Mike's eyes went wide. "We've got rams in our base!"
The young pilot took to the chase.
Flare-detonators rained down around Steele Hoof battalion.
"Snow Wisp here! I've lost three transports! Tell me you're getting close to the town center!"
..."Not to much farther, ma'am. We're almost there. Air support should be there to aid you soon."...
"Right. Don't wait too much longer or they won't have anyone to help!"
...."Understood. Tree House, out."....
"I'm trying sir, but the engine just won't spin up!" A technician tried to explain.
"How is that possible?! We just serviced them a few hours ago to prep them for this very battle!" A Tree House operations overseer shouted.
Another technician climbed out from under the helicopter. "Sir this isn't some random equipment failure. It's pretty obvious we've been sabotaged."
"Sabotaged?! Are you absolutely sure?" The overseer questioned.
"Sir, this helicopter has several broken linkages, all sheared at just the right point to make it very difficult to repair. In addition to that, the on board computers have been seriously tampered with." The second technician answered.
"They vandalized the computers?"
"Not vandalized, sir. They stole them- well, parts of them anyway. Who ever did this knew that the loss of these parts would cripple us, and would be hard to replace."
The overseer put a hand to his face. "It's obvious this was an inside job. The perpetrator must be human."
One of the technicians stepped back. "Who? And why?"
Luna found Celestia sitting quietly on the cliffs of Zero base's large hills.
"Sister, I am pleased to have finally found you. It would behoove you to remain in a single location."
"Luna, Is something wrong?"
"Discord is nowhere to be seen. No pony claims to have encountered him throughout this place. This is more than slightly troubling. I fear he is plotting against us in some way, and we must find him before he can succeed!"
Celestia sighed. "He is not plotting against us. He's plotting with us."
"I am most certainly not in need for thy cryptic responses. Please elaborate the meaning of these words."
"He is off negotiating with our enemies."
"Please forgive me. I must be in need of a ear cleansing. Would it trouble thou to repeat thy statement?"
"He is speaking on our behalf."
"You cannot mean-"
"He will be killed! Why would you allow this without my shared agreement?!"
"Try to understand, Luna. We must stop them from using these new weapons at any cost. We have lives in our hooves!"
"Doth thou expect thy enemy to show mercy?!"
"No. But we both know Discord was once in league with these monsters. Perhaps he can give us the time or means we need to prepare a defense against them."
"Pray you know what you are doing here, sister. I feel you have put both him, and us, in grave danger."
The sounds of gunfire began to echo from below.
Celestia frowned. "Maybe so, but we have more pressing matters to attend to."
...."Steele Hoof to any allied forces! Air support is unavailable and we are taking heavy losses! We need assistance!"...
"Get Tree House on the line." the general ordered.
"Yes sir. Patching you through to Tree House ops."
..."Matchbox One, Ops here."...
"What happened to the air support?!"
..."We just received disturbing news that base has been infiltrated. We've already alerted everyone here and in the shanty, but no one has seen anything suspicious. As it stands, almost all of our aircraft are down for the time being."....
"What, did we not have guards protecting them?"
..."The chief here thinks we might have traitors among us."...
The general bared his teeth in anger. "That would explain why no one noticed. Listen to me very carefully. I want every single major asset we have on this rock under constant surveillance. Someone in our own ranks doesn't want us to succeed. Let's not give them what they want."
…“Will do, sir, but how do we know who’s in on it?”…
“We don’t, but we can’t just pretend that whatever it was, didn’t happen. We’ll find out who’s responsible, but in the meantime, you need to lock the base down. No one in or out without direct authorization from your commanding officers on base.” The general motioned for the operator to shut off the radio.
One of the soldiers in the tank turned his head to the general. "A traitor? What reason would anyone on our side have to betray us?"
"I don't know, but Ops is no longer a safe place, it would seem."
“Sir?” Another occupant shouted over the constant banging from bolt fire. “You think that guy might be behind it, and he’s just throwing us off?”
“No. Let's not get paranoid.” The general answered. “After spending more than my fair share of time around politicians, I know when someone’s lying. You can hear it in a person's voice, so he’s either an amazing liar, or just caught up in this like we are. We’ll just have to take those odds.”
“Understood sir! According to the maps, we’re here. This is the center of town.”
The almost overly stylized houses and shops of Ponyville appeared in the scopes.
“Hmm,” The general hummed.
“Something wrong, sir?”
“No, guess I was just expecting straw huts or something of the like. That looks like what’s left of a quaint little town in England or France.”
“Believe me, sir. I came in on the Shuttle-capsule before this whole mess started, and let me tell you, that town has definitely seen better days.”
“I’m sure. Get Steel Hoof on the line. It’s time to take it back.” The general ordered as he stared through the scopes.
“Steel Hoof, this is Matchbox One. Acknowledge.”
Static was the only answer.
“Steel Hoof, Matchbox. Please respond.”
Again, there was only static.
General Locklear frowned. “I don’t have to tell you how I feel about this.”
The general leaned toward the radio. “Matchbox Nine, One here. We have a task for you.”
…“Matchbox One, this is Nine, Lieutenant Cleaves reporting.”…
“Charley, I need you to find Steel Hoof battalion. They aren’t responding to communications. General Snow Wisp’s BW had a transmitter fitted to it. We’re not picking up the signal, but that could be for a number of reasons. I’ll send their last known location to you. Find out what happened to them. How copy?”
“Private, put Tim on for me.”
“Oh.” The operator flipped a switch on the comms unit. “Ops, this is Matchbox One. Is the colonel available?”
…”You’re speaking to him.”…
“We might have a problem.”
…“That’s two of us, sir. You first.”…
“Steel Hoof isn’t reporting in and we’ve reached to objective point. This may be highly irregular, but you have experience with this enemy, what do you suggest we do?”
…“You’re asking me for help? That is highly irregular. I would suggest eliminating the patrolling Pandragon mounts first. I suspect they may pose a risk to your forces, maybe even a high risk.”
The bolt fire went from an annoying pinging to something that sounded like two gorillas fencing with steel girders
…”Am I hearing their ordnance bouncing off of you?" the colonel asked in disbelief. "Is that what that noise is?”…
“That, or Private Solidad’s nephew.”
“Nothing. We can handle it. Keep the channels clear in case Snow Wisp tries to contact us. Matchbox out.” The operator flipped the radio microphone off again then turned to the general.
“Getting pretty thick out there, sir. We might want to hold back.”
“No. It’s time we gave these freaks a show of strength, show them they can’t push us around. Forward.”
One of the other occupants turned to the general. “Hey, Sir? Am I hallucinating, or is it getting really warm in here?”
"Praetor. Contingency is ready. HailFire is ready to launch."
Phalanx turned around. "Excellent. Is Heart Wing flock ready to escort it?"
"Yes, my lord. The council has given you the sole honor of giving the order."
"Yes, my lord. The council was most impressed with your actions in the sacking of Canterlot, and the covert siege of New Yoke. They have given you command over the mission to repel the enemy."
If you could see under Phalanx's feathers, you would have seen his skin go pale.
"This is, a grand honor! I am not sure I deserve this."
"My lord, If I may be sold bold, it would not surprise me if the council may be finally considering advancing you in rank, an honor which you most certainly deserve."
"You truly believe so?"
"Yes, and I am not the only one."
Gilda swooped in. "We'll follow you to the moon and back, Phal. And If my luck holds out the way it normally does, we all might actually have to."
A ram officer trotted in. "As would I. You have proven your mettle, griffin."
A distinguished pandragon minor strode in. "Indeed. The Pandragon Empire has made great strides as a member of this alliance of liberation. We are honored to serve with such a decorated warrior as yourself. Emperor Bane of House Pan sings praises of our combined efforts here to the rest of the council."
"My friends! You honor me with your words. Come now, I have heard news that the great lord himself will be coming soon. We mustn't fail him this day. We must repel this enemy. The ponies think we are evil incarnate. The humans believe us to be mindless savages. We will prove to them both that we are so much more powerful than any of that. The council gave me the right to give this order, so here it is-"
The building shook from a distant explosions.
"The enemy grows close. They will overrun us if we don't counter attack soon."
Another explosion dislodged several pieces of tile from the ceiling.
Gilda stood by Phalanx's side.
The griffin captain sighed. "The time is now. Who will rain down a fiery hail on our oppressors?!"
Every griffin, pandragon, and ram in the room stood at attention.
"We, the chosen few!"
Equestrian Catalog of Information Factoid #15: The "Equestria" Bow.
Nicknamed the "Equestria Bow," the EDF-3 Earthfantry Crossbow is a class of mass produced arrow-arms used as a primary armament by the vast majority of Equestrian forces. Though originally designed for Earth pony use, lighter versions of this versatile weapon have gained just as much affection amongst unicorns and pegasai. The EDF-3 can be crafted from a variety of different materials, from cast iron, steel, and sometimes even wood, each with it's own strengths and weaknesses. The bow was designed to attach to the universal combat harness that all Equestrian military operatives and law enforcement officers wear on the saddle area of the back, and is fired by a "bit trigger," which can be held one's teeth like a straw.
The EF-3 features a magazine of sorts, which contains five arrows loaded onto a set of metal springs. When a bow is fired, the bowstring strikes a lever which allows the springs to "pop" the next arrow into firing position. Then, one only has to pull the string back to fire the next shot. Veterans of the weapon have been known to be able to fire a shot every second with solid accuracy, even in the heat of battle. Several arrow designs have been thought up over the years, from the lightning-fast and almost completely silent standard metal combat arrows, to the much more expensive and dangerous explosive types. Because of the bow's ease of construction and simplicity to use, the EDF-3 can be found in virtually all law enforcement and military applications in Equestrian territory, giving it its nickname.
Liberation Alliance Central Command Factoid #29: The GR-2.7 Fire-bolt Caster
Contrary to popular understanding, fire-bolts are not arrows, rather very powerful, miniature, rocket like projectiles about the size of a cigar. The original design was based on the same technological ideals that have been said to have given birth to modern human rocketry in ancient Asia, (whatever this "Asia" is.) The bolts themselves are small metallic tubes, filled with a solid propellant and are fired with gun-like devices known as a casters. Inside the caster, the projectile is lit by a heated pin and allowed to accelerate through a barrel, releasing the very hot metal bolt tube downrange. (Hence the name, Fire-bolt.) Another possible weakness of Fire-bolt design is that the bolts themselves glow a dull yellow color in flight, making them easy to trace back to the shooter.
Depending on who's using the weapon, several different types of casters can be used, from more conventional talon held styles, typically used by griffins and pandragon minors, to the larger saddle-mounted, bit-trigger versions used by rams. Harnessing the bolt's firing recoil allows the weapon to be made into even more deadly fully automatic variants. Earlier fire-bolt designs were known to stay hot in the wounds they create. Ironically, this could cauterize the injury, keeping the target from bleeding to death. Newer designs use a more tempered metal that cools down faster, to retain lethality.