Cowardly to the core, Gnolls delight in slaying foes from a comfortably safe distance while hiding in the undergrowth. Gnolls possess puny muscles in their arms, which offer only a feeble draw-strength with bows, but this is not true of their legs. Leg-drawn Oakbows were a natural development – missile weapons imparting massive force to bolts shot from a reclining position.
For targeting individuals on the battlefield the Oakbow has an effective range of 50 meters, at which distance a single arrow can drop a man dead. The bow itself is a composite made from oak, yew and horn, bound together and reinforced with metal bracers at the center. The 4.5 ft (1.5 meters) long arrows are carved from hardwood and tipped with crude iron heads that can punch through bronze.
The Skullsmasher archers are celebrities within their tribe, renowned for their kill-count. Nothing sends mobs of Gnolls into shrieks of delighted mirth more than watching a famed enemy hero die from a dastardly shot in the back launched from across the battlefield. Each bow is a treasure with its own name, handed down through generations, for oakbows represents technological apex of Gnoll society. To be a Skullsmasher is a great privilege reserved for families who possess one of these artifacts.
Skullsmashers typically deploy on hillsides where they command a view of the whole battlefield, to pick off the enemies with the biggest egos and the shiniest armor. Some Skullsmashers prefer to set up at the edge of forests for added protection. Other prized targets are monstrous creatures and well-armored foes such as heavy infantry, against which their tremendous power is best employed. Like a scorpion, these diminutive pests are elevated from an annoyance to a lethal threat by a single weapon, making them one of the most powerful units in the warren.