The Powder Rod is the long range weapon of choice for the Arbiter. They are commonly made to order, personalised for the Arbiter and are usually the same height as the owner. The rod is hollow, usually black with a matte sheen, and cool to the touch. The top of the rod has a hole, the diameter of a finger and a groove along the outside for accepting a bayonet attachment. The bottom of the rod has a screw-click device which lends weight to the rod as well as being the firing mechanism.
Powder Rods are kept unloaded but a skilled operator with a loading partner can fire a round every other second. Alone, an Arbiter will be able to fire off a round every 5 seconds. The round is a discrete unit containing munition, wadding, propellant and igniter. The munition load is commonly a single slug or a handful of flechettes though for training and “normal usage” it may aso be loaded with sand – this produces a distracting, blinding, stinging, nonfatal cloud.
Powder Rods are usually armed when they are to be used. The slugs used must be prepacked and are barrel-loaded. The slug is ignited by striking the base of the rod sharply.
With or without bayonet, the rod is an effective hand-to-hand combat weapon. The rod material is tensile without being fragile. This increases the versatility of the weapon considerably. The bayonet is usually worn by the Arbiter on a belt and only attached during very serious circumstances. It is a sharp stabbing or cutting weapon, balanced for throwing, made out of the same black material as the Powder Rod.