Player characters cannot craft their own crossbows.
Crossbows can most commonly be found in Driikiläiset villages in shops and carried by Hunter and Adventurer villagers. Foreign Traders also carry them for trade. Outside of these sources, crossbows are very rare weapons.
URW Game Encyclopedia description
The official URW in-game encyclopedia (accessed by the key) describes the crossbow thusly:
Basically a powerful shortbow mounted horizontally on a wooden stock which has a trigger device to cock and release a short arrow which is called a bolt or quarrel. Unlike other bows they may be carried loaded and ready to fire, but this advantage is offset by their longer time to reload. They are rarely used in combat, but are commonly used for hunting. Crossbows are rather rare (but getting more popular all the time) among local people of The UnReal World and most of them are of foreign origin.
Real life context
Though crossbows are often associated with the more sophisticated versions from the later European Middle Ages or from various eras of Chinese history, some simple crossbow designs that didn't require metal parts at all had appeared in various disparate cultures throughout history. Below are some examples of all-wooden crossbows with mechanisms much simpler than the more famous crossbow nut system:
- Video of an eleventh century all-wooden crossbow with a lashed selfbow and simple trigger mechanism (1)
- Video of an eleventh century all-wooden crossbow with a lashed selfbow and simple trigger mechanism (2)
- Traditional Inuit and West African all-wooden crossbows with simple trigger mechanisms