These archers, drawn from the many peoples of the Caucasus are skilled with the bow, though should not be placed into combat lest they find themselves overwhelmed and cut down mercilessly.
In the mountains of the Caucasus and the highlands below the people have lived a long and healthy existence, sustained as they are from the surplus fruits of the fertile valleys and rich mineral seams. But their history has also seen strife, for their mountain kingdoms are highly prized by those of the fertile crescent below. Not only the spear and sling, but also the bow are used by these hardy mountain-men, who protect their land from foreign looking for dominion and even rival kingdoms within the Caucasus region who seek to expand their lands. Lightly equipped, these archers are used to the trying terrain of the Caucasus and their training is more for light skirmishes than heavy battle upon an open field. Yet though they may find themselves fighting outside of home territory on the flat plains of the lands to the south, they should not be underestimated. Their bows are well made, learnt from the steppe nomads beyond the northern mountains and the Persians who conquered them later. They wear little in the way of armour, a leather jerkin over a warm woolen tunic, which offers little in the way of protection. Other than the bow, they carry a short knife, or other such simple melee weapon as they are not trained for and not meant for combat at close-quarters.
Historically, the Caucasus region was not well known for its archery, it was the cavalry that they were famous for. However, they undoubtedly used the bow just as they used the sling and javelin. Xenophon was unlucky enough to find himself at the wrong end of worrying tactics of such a people, the Karduchi, who may have been the ancestors of the modern day Kurds, as he and his force battled through the Caucasus highlands to the southern shore of the Black Sea. Xenophon mentions that the bow the Karduchi used was the three cubits long, whilst the arrow was two cubits itself. Xenophon further reports that "When discharging the arrow, they draw the string by getting a purchase with the left foot planted forward on the lower end of the bow. The arrows pierced through shield and cuirass, and the Hellenes, when they got hold of them, used them as javelins, fitting them to their thongs." Powerful weapons indeed.