The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
A rusted conical helmet, wrapped in a band of buff and blue, sits above the empty eye sockets of a skull draped in the rotting remains of a rotting Citadel arbalester's face. Residual juices drip from the head of the arbalester and down a ragged surcoat of buff and blue cinched with a tattered leather belt buckled with a rusted shield stamped with a large letter "E." A quiver hangs from the belt, flush with feathered bolts and within easy reach of the arbalester's gloved hands.
It's well advised to somehow prevent arbalesters from firing at all unless you are absolutely certain they cannot hit you. Besides having a very short roundtime between shots (about 3 seconds), successful shots hit the eyes often enough it's possible they are aiming for them. Stunning, inducing RT (e.g. Slow (504), Pious Trial (1602), etc), and removing an arm are all good options.
Arbalesters can set their arrows on fire, which can then result in flares:
A rotting Citadel arbalester pulls a linen-wrapped bolt and a piece of flint from her quiver. She strikes the flint against the bolt's metal tip and the linen is immediately set ablaze!
A rotting Citadel arbalester cocks her arbalest and loads it with a wooden burning bolt.
A rotting Citadel arbalester fires a wooden burning bolt at you!
AS: +312 vs DS: +306 with AvD: +22 + d100 roll: +96 = +124
... and hits for 4 points of damage!
Tap to the arm pricks some interest but not much else.
** As a rotting Citadel arbalester's burning bolt hits you, it emits a burst of flame! **
... 20 points of damage!
Flames incinerate muscle tissue in neck exposing the trachea. More than you ever wanted to see.
You are stunned for 4 rounds!
The burning bolt burns away into nothingness.