Today’s discussion is one of my favorite weapons for a youthful character, the sling. The best thing about a sling — not to be confused with a slingshot, which is not as universal — is its ease of construction and inexpensive materials and the ammo is literally lying on the ground in front of you. Of course, it is not a weapon that you want to put into someone’s hands for the first time and expect accuracy. Using a sling to good effect takes a lot of practice. At least the ammo is free.
There is evidence of slings being used all the way back to the Neolithic era. A pair of hunting slings, much like this modern recreation were found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb. Some other historical slings can be seen on the Slinging.org Project Goliath wiki.
Slings have been found in almost every country and culture in the world throughout history, though it is more common to find sling bullets or stones in ancient sites than the slings themselves because of the fragile nature of their materials.
In The Right Hand of Velachaz, Sally — one of the main character’s companions uses a sling to save the party from attacking brigands. It makes her very useful to have around. A sling can add ranged attacks to a group armed only with swords.
In my upcoming novel The Luckless Prince, the mysterious thief, Daerci, uses one to great effect on several occasions explaining “A scrap o’ leather and a bag o’ rocks are practically free, milord—even I could afford that.”
What about you? Do you have a favorite weapon for your characters to use? And why?
If you would like to make your own sling, this site has instructions on how to make one from a plastic grocery bag — efficient and recyclable!