After a bit of a break we have the Meatheads…(it’s a bit of a long one).
Season 1 – Butcher’s Guild
The Butcher’s Guild are known for their hard-hitting, attacking playstyle and aren’t averse to ‘forgetting’ the rules when it suits them. They are also one of the oldest and most prolific teams.
The Butcher’s Guild ruling house is in Piervo, seat of the Solthecian faith. The Piervo Butchers are the purveyors of sacred meat to the Baccus (Head of the Solthecian Church) and have been for generations. They also have a significant presence in Figo.
The team is lead by Ox, previously a mercenary who has drilled the Butcher’s into a dependable, unified team.
The Season 1 Mascot is Princess, who was owned by a previous player and although they have since gone she has remained.
Boar is a towering, deranged man who is only out for himself. He isn’t really interested in Guild Ball, merely using it as a legitimate way to kill and maim.
Shank is a man with a dark past. Coming from a life as an inner city gang member, he traded that life in for a better paid one on the Butcher’s team.
Brisket is a second generation Butcher, her mother was a low ranking guild official and her father a highly regarded Guild Ball player. She is touted as one of the most desirable players in Guild Ball history and is however stubborn, hard, cantankerous and spiteful. She is also the Guild’s highest goal scorer in decades.
Meathook is from Erskirad and has a vicious, vindictive streak as cold as the land she hails from.
Boiler is the rookie of the team, still finding his feet. He is already making a name for himself as a vicious killer, as cold as a Mortician. Although there is a question over whether some of his actions are accidental rather than intentional.
The Season 1 story begins with a Butcher’s team (Ox, Brisket, Boar, Boiler, Shank, (presumably) Princess) facing off against the Fisherman’s Guild (Corsair, Siren, Kraken, Shark, Greyscales, (presumably) Salt). The game culminates with Ox cutting Corsair’s foot off.
The story continues at the Butcher’s Guild House in Albrecht with hopeful apprentices training in front of Ox, giving an insight into the hard life of a rookie.
Magister Lundt of the Butcher’s Guild then visits Magister Abendroth of the Mortician’s where it become apparent that the attack on Corsair was in payment of a debt between the Butcher’s and Mortician’s.
Ox then attends a game between the Brewer’s and Mason’s (in the Brewer’s end). As he leaves he walks upon a youth being assaulted by four thugs, where he reminisces about his lost brother, Jacques.
The story then moves on to the team getting ready for their next match in Erskirad, again against the Fisherman’s Guild. Prior to the match Ox and Boar are talking to the mysterious Longshanks (of the Union) who warns them the Fishermen are after revenge for Ox’s attack on Corsair.
The game sees Ox, Boiler, Meathook, Brisket and Boar facing off against Shark, Kraken, Greyscales, Jac and Snakeskin (of the Union disguised as a rookie Fisherman). The game is going well for the Butcher’s until Snakeskin fulfils her contract and guts Brisket, leaving her for dead. Ox vows revenge on the ‘unknown’ perpetrator.
The season 1 storyline concludes with Ox and Boar in Valentia, going to enact revenge against Fisherman’s Guild along with two guild thugs (one of which is actually Snakeskin in disguise).
They are lead down an alley and into the city’s sewer network. The group travels through the sewers and up into the courtyard of the Fisherman’s Guild house. It becomes apparent that Ox has taken Boar rather than Shank with him to kill Lord Chamberlain Laurentis as he doesn’t trust Shank yet and does Boar from prior experience.
The group make there way through the Guild house to the room previously indicated by their guide, they take down the guard waiting outside and Ox burst into the room to confront Laurentis. He grabs him by the throat and takes out a dirk that he claimed from a Raed officer during the Century War, before plunging it repeatedly into the Lord Chamberlain’s stomach.
Ox, Boar and the Butcher’s thug (Snakeskin has since departed for her own purposes) then run through the house grounds, trying to escape. Boar then breaks down an old wooden door, but not before the thug is killed with a crossbow. Ox and Boar then flee through the doorway into the city.
The pair walk past a church (presumed to be a Solthecian one given it’s size and location) and as they turn the corner to their final destination they are confronted by a man in clerical robes and ornate, lacquered armour who introduces himself as Michele Cesare de Corella, Knight Paladin of Divine Solthecius, First High Priest and august Lord of the Valentian Church of the Solthecian Cult. They are then surrounded by heavily armed guards. The Paladin then turns to Boar and gives him the chance to leave as his agenda is with Ox. Boar then leaves Ox to his fate and plots to take over the Butcher’s team.
The story ends with the Paladin drawing a claymore and Ox walking forward to accept his fate.
Season 2 – Butcher’s Guild
Ox is presumed dead and the once unified team is fractured and the killing of a Lord Chamberlain is having repercussions amongst all of the Guilds.
The team in Season 2 is lead by Fillet, who is seen as fairly level-headed for a Butcher. The team itself has split into two main factions, with Ox’s old guard (Boar, Brisket and Boiler) facing off against the other’s behind Fillet who she has got on side by a variety of methods including taking Meathook to bed.
The season 2 mascot is Truffles, Tenderiser’s pet pig who bites anyone that goes near other than him
Tenderiser joined the team in season 2 and is a towering giant of a man loyal to Fillet, who has an intense dislike of Boar.
Brisket survived the attack by Snakeskin but has returned a changed woman. Leaner, harder and more vicious than before. Where before she was content to manipulate others into fighting her battles for her, now she embraces conflict with a savage, spiteful mean streak. The only time her mood eases is when she is with Boiler. Brisket only has one true loyalty now, to the memory of the Master Butcher, Ox. She has also allied herself with Boar, whom she believes Ox chose to take over the captaincy in his last moments.
Unlike in season 1 there is relatively little direct storyline concerning the Butcher’s. Obulus is seen attending a Butcher’s vs Brewer’s game and discussing the possibility of the Butcher’s throwing the game with Magister Lundt. Lundt agrees, not least because the division in the Butcher’s team will prevent them proceeding without any external interference.
Butcher’s Civil War
The tension in the Butcher’s team becomes too much and the fractured team finally breaks into the competing factions.
The Civil War story begins with an unknown prisoner (although presumably Ox) languishing in a jail. The prisoner has been beaten and tortured but had fought back against his captors and had broken at least one set of chains. The prisoner then ponders on the outside world and particularly the state of the Butcher’s Guild. He believes the ‘murder’ of the Master Butcher woudl have lead to infighting amongst the team and left the Guild in turmoil. Without Ox’s firm hand a bloody transition of power would be inevitable. The prisoner believes that the only logical choice for a successor would be Fillet, however had he been able to make on the Master Butcher’s choice for a successor would have been Brisket.
The story continues with Brisket convening a meeting with a number of the major, currently active Guild Ball teams (possibly the first since the end of the Century Wars) in a bid to secure support. In attendance are Silence of the Mortician’s, Stoker of the Brewer’s, Harmony of the Mason’s, Decimate of the Union and Jaecar of the Hunter’s Guild, Pin Vice of the Engineer’s and Corsair of the Fisherman’s Guild. Brisket sets out her position that the Butcher’s Guild is fractured and she is seeking support and help when the time comes. Stoker, on behalf of Esters, agrees to support as long as it were reciprocated (after all the Brewer’s are not unused to in-Guild conflict). Pin Vice also agrees to support Brisket, but only for as long as it suits her. Decimate agrees to take the proposal to Rage, Brisket responds with an offer of coin for their support.
Next Fillet meets with Rage in the undercity, he asks her what she seeks in the undercity to which she responds that she is after the truth about who killed Ox and asks whether it was the Union. Rage offers to tell Fillet this largely unknown secret for a price – seemingly knowing more than he is letting on. The resulting exchange leads Fillet to believe that it wasn’t the Union that killed Ox and leaves.
Boiler then reminisces about how Brisket was before Snakeskin’s attack and how her attitude has changed since her recovery – her friendly, flirtatious nature replaced with aloofness and uncompromising hostility. The apparent death of Ox has hit Boiler hard and his loyalty to Ox is born out of him seeing Ox as the father he never had and Brisket as a sister. The story continues at the Butcher’s Guild proving grounds with Boiler discussing with Shank how things had got to where they had before Tenderiser’s appearance and threats cause Boiler to leave.
The story concludes with a meeting inside the Butcher’s Guild house between the two sides. The civil war had drawn in other Guilds, with different teams and individuals throwing their support behind one side or the other. this disgusted Fillet who believed that it should have been dealt with behind closed doors. Following a dialogue between Brisket and Fillet it is agreed that the two will undertake the trial, the pact sealed in blood. The trial is an old Butcher’s tradition where disputes are dealt with in a gladiatorial fighting pit, where only one person is expected to come out alive (if any). It becomes apparent that neither are strangers to the pit and it is the third time that Fillet has stood in the centre, principally due to her quick ascension through the ranks. Before the fight begins, Brisket tries to come to a final resolution with Fillet but to no avail. The duel begins using long curved ritual knives called khukuri (which gives Fillet and advantage as they are more similar to her usual weapon of choice than Brisket’s). The fight continues back and forward until Fillet manages to throw Brisket to the ground, mounts her and begins to pound her into unconsciousness (the knives lost previously). Brisket desperately manages to throw Fillet off before smashing her head into the floor repeatedly, recovering Fillet’s knife and holding it to her throat. Against the odds, Brisket had managed to win. However, Brisket never delivered the final blow and allowed Fillet to live (but not before Fillet tried to impale herself of the knife). In allowing Fillet to live she had sealed her own fate and had betrayed the trial. The Butcher’s surrounding the pit turned their backs on Brisket exiling her from the Guild. Although Brisket had one, Fillet still retained control over the team. The story ends with the revelation that going into the trial she had planned this outcome and that her shame was the price she paid for the good of the Guild and to pave the way for the future.
Until next time sports fans!