As was pointed out by the great answers of my first question regarding biological siege weapons, organisms can be rather capable of making it through fortified defenses at close range, but what about longer distances? That shall be the focus of this question.

With the life creation/manipulation/modification abilities of biomancers in mind, as I doubt any real creatures exist that'd be able to fulfill this purpose, Is it possible to design a creature/organism that would be able to effectively perform the role of launching large and heavy projectiles for siege purposes such as a trebuchet?

Minor clarification: The end goal is that the organism must actually be the trebuchet. If it's not possible for an organism to perform this role I'll accept that answer as well.

  • $\begingroup$ Not quite what you are asking, but depending on how far away the biomancers can cast a spell from, they themselves could be the ranged attack platform via the tree answer to your previous question. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Dec 10, 2021 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki How would accelerated growth allow this? If you're saying they may be able to puppet the tree into flinging it, their control of an organism isn't like telekinetic force, but rather being akin to taking over control of their creature's muscles or, if the plant is capable of it like a venus fly trap, activating its 'hydraulics' $\endgroup$
    – Rubrikon
    Dec 10, 2021 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ I am saying that flinging a stone may be all together unnecessary. If you can cast over range. Then a biomancer can simply summon trees or any of your other possible weapons directly in/under/on the enemy fortification nullifying any reason to make a trebuchet like weapon. Not quite what you are asking, but something important to consider which is why I made it a comment, and not an answer. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Dec 10, 2021 at 23:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PatrickArtner Whoops. Fixed. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Rubrikon
    Dec 11, 2021 at 16:54

3 Answers 3



Have the animal or creature be the projectile.

Flight is the best way to carry a projectile over the walls of any location. Even the strongest animals can only throw an item so far. Birds, however, would be able to easily fly over the walls of most encampments. Then they could easily dive down into the city, lock on a target, and strike anyone that moves.

Peregrine falcons are able to dive at remarkable speeds. I believe some have been recorded falling at about 240 miles per hour. Imagine a massive bird of prey or an even larger animal flying down and falling straight on top of the encampment of your enemies. All the creature would need to do is fly at a high enough altitude, then stop and let gravity do all the work for it. It would effectively be a living missile.

The people making these creatures could come up with all sorts of horrible additions to the creatures as well. Spikes, spines, or other protrusions on the body would make it such that, once they fall on top of the person, they effectively skewer them. You could go the opposite way too, and simply make these flying dive-bombers as massive as possible to crush the opponent.

A particularly devious idea would be to have these creatures be particularly fragile. When they hit the ground, they burst open, spilling a vile substance that was locked inside their guts. What is the substance? It could be any number of things. Acid comes to mind. Human gastric acid is pretty dangerous on its own, so imagine a creature where its guts are designed to be as acidic as possible. Anything that touched its stomach acid would not be looking pretty afterward.

Poison is another option, but the most devious idea by far would be hiding a virulent pathogen inside these creatures. When they die, the creatures release it into the air and the specially designed disease would sweep over the city. You'd bring your enemies to their knees pretty quickly.

Presuming the attackers have the only cure, the city would have no other option but to surrender if that was the case.

With ranged attacks, flight is by far the best option, and you can get extremely creative with it. Give the birds rocks to carry, and they can dump them on the heads of their opponents. Forget catapults and cannons. Imagine a flock of birds raining down a thousand rocks on your opponents. Going back to my acid idea, imagine thousands of birds that spit toxic acid. Then, imagine that raining down on your enemies.

If birds are not satisfactory, insects are more than capable of filling the job. Not only are they horrifying to behold, but they can swarm en masse and attack everything they see. Once they're done wreaking havoc, go back to the pathogen idea and have them die off, carrying some horrible disease to every corner of the city. Anyone bitten gets it. Killing them is not enough to stop it, though, because just being in the presence of their corpse spreads the ailment.

I think such an attack is far more practical and scary than hurling a massive rock at your opponent, but there are ways to do that as well. You just need something big enough to pick up a massive boulder and then fling it in whatever direction you point at. It just needs a grip. Giant hands would probably be fine.

You might also have a giant lizard with a tail capable of holding a rock. That would be intriguing. The tail would flip back and then release the stone as fast as it could. Tentacles in the shape of trebuchets would also be interesting, though I'm not sure if a giant squid would be able to hold such a thing.

If you're looking for sheer effectiveness in combat, though, my recommendation is giant birds that spit stomach acid on their enemies below. Then, when they are unable to attack anymore, they go as high into the sky as they can and dive onto their enemies with as much force as possible. When they die, their toxic insides sicken their opponents and carry virulent pathogens that only the people who made them know the cure to.

That's the best I can come up with. I hope it was a satisfactory answer.

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    $\begingroup$ Using the existing biological limits, a Quetzalcoatlus could be combined with a plant that produces enormous flammable seeds with a content similar to napalm. Any species capable of producing oil-bearing seeds can reasonably produce a thinner, more flammable version with endless biological thickeners. Combine with a wick/coals or simply rely on the enemy to have open flames at the site of the drop. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Dec 10, 2021 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ For that matter, make it screech and dive-bomb the enemy. Stuka, anyone? $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Dec 10, 2021 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ Now that you said it, all of the pigeon around the city could be biological weapons. I suspect this question was made to uncover Nurgle's spies among us, and it did a damn good job. $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2021 at 16:42

There are a number of plants that can launch their seeds with force.

Some examples are here. From their list:

Plants in the Fabaceae Family

One of the largest groups of plants that uses ballistichory is the pea family, or Fabaceae. This is just one type of plant that shoots seeds when touched and the pod is cracked open. Lupins (Lupinus spp.), a garden favorite that's hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, form columns of pea-like fruits that burst open when dry. Orchid trees (Bauhinia spp.), hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11, bear large pods that can fling seeds nearly 50 feet. Gorse (Ulex spp.), an aggressive broom-type plant that is considered a noxious weed in some states, makes a popping noise when the seed pods burst open.

Of course, those plants cannot cause any real damage with their seeds but use this method to get the seed farther from the parent plant than if the plant just dropped the seed.

The plant would have to be much larger to have a bolder sized seed. Unfortunately, the cubed root law is not your friend. The force needed to expel the seed would scale up faster than the size of the seed. This is only viable if magic can boost the force of the seed launch.

If magic can boost the force of the seed at launch, then this makes a somewhat viable firearm (that takes days/weeks/months to reload).

This site has examples of exploding seed pods that give another option. It also has a video and some short animations to show what they are talking about but I can't post the videos here.


I think it has already been achieved by natural selection: the articulation of the human shoulder and arm makes it highly effective at throwing objects, that's how our ancestors got a competitive edge by using projectile weapons.

Throwing with accuracy and speed is a skill unique to humans. Throwing has many advantages and the ability to throw has likely been promoted through natural selection in the evolution of humans.

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You can scale up the whole concept on something the size of an elephant and have fun with it. I would not be willing to play baseball against this thing.

  • $\begingroup$ Would muscles and a supporting skeletal system be able to handle the task of throwing a boulder though? With this answer I'm imagining a wide base and a tail-like prehensile appendage(whale-sized?) with a gripper at the end... not really sure if that would suffice, assuming the organism has the energy to function(is fed and has the heart to pump the blood to where it needs to be). $\endgroup$
    – Rubrikon
    Dec 11, 2021 at 19:43

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