Bakukal, 15th day of Darkember, 432 AC
Waking Hour rising 9
Hoopaks - Not Just For Kender
by Carteeg Struve, Staff Writer
Palanthas – A few weeks after Hared Goodstaff celebrated the grand opening of his store specializing in hoopaks, it is becoming clear that kender are no longer the only race interested in these strange weapons. A number of young humans, half-elves, and even a few elves have been seen in the city carrying this long-thought 'kender-only' weapon.
One half-elven adventurer, M'lal Keeper (17), told why he purchased his human-sized hoopak. "Things are more expensive nowadays. Prices are up. Taxes are insane. A cheaper combination weapon makes more sense. It takes getting used to. I've practiced with quarterstaffs before, so I've got to get use to the weight of the steel tip on one end and the slingshot on the other. But overall, it's not bad."
Weapons expert and blacksmith Coral Shogus (58), formerly from Northern Ergoth, gave his opinions. "The flexibility and physical form of kender helps them overcome the unwieldiness that is built into the hoopak, so it works out for them." When asked about the human-sized hoopak, "Honestly I've never handled one, but it might work. Train enough with a spear, it could be used like a quarterstaff. The Y or U-shaped end for the slingshot would be most cumbersome.
The sling can catch some air on a swing and alter the path from a perfectly clean strike. You'd need to stay aware of how the slingshot is angled in relation to the swing to keep the effectiveness up. There is also more wood on that side, which means if you want one that is more solidly made, you've got an imbalance. The small metal point on the other end, known as the cap or shoe, isn't going to counter that. [...] I don't think it would be as good as having each individual weapon, but if someone needed to compact it all together, with a lot of practice it could work. And I'd be as curious as a kender to try a human-sized one out for a bit, just for fun."
One human woman, Wasare Alrys (19), purchased a regular kender-sized hoopak. "Ranged and hand-to-hand all in one. Do you know how many times I've had to club somebody with my crossbow? Do that too many times and the trigger jams or some other part breaks. Sure the hoopak's small, but it's easier for me to swing and clock somebody with the sling-end. It's certainly much more versatile on the fly than other weapons. I was even able to refit the tip on the bottom with a 9-inch spear blade that broke off from my last weapon.
Since I'm not using it as a walking staff, I don't think my foot will have much to worry about. Maybe they could think of attaching one of those legendary Dragonlance blades onto these. [laughs] But my biggest question is when will Hared's start to carry some of those other combo-weapons I hear the kender came up with?"