What’s in a name? – Alchemist’s Guild

Anyone who has read Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles will know the importance of names.

The names of the players in Guild Ball all have ties to their Guilds and I thought it would be useful to give an overview of each Guild as some are fairly obscure.

Alchemist’s Guild




Unhappy with noble life in his home province, Midas chose to abandon his ties and make a fortune for himself. Using his keen intellect and education, he was able to master the art of creating precious metals from worthless minerals, and this quickly attracted the attention of the Magisters of the Alchemist’s Guild. Ascension to captain of the Guild Ball team soon followed, another step up on the rungs of power.

Undoubtedly named after King Midas from Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. The ability to change base metals into gold was one of the principle aims of Alchemy and is known as chrysopoeia.



Flask was a gift in 17c from the Lord Chamberlain of the Engineer’s Guild as a token of the long standing alliance between the two institutions. A small, tracked automaton in appearance, Flask has many hidden defences to keep his secrets protected.

Named after a common piece of laboratory equipment used by Chemists and alchemists alike.



A dedicated Alchemist, Calculus was set to be appointed as team captain before the arrival of Midas. She is not distracted by such petty politics, and continues to demonstrate the power and benefit the advancement of alchemy can bring.

Calculus is the mathematical study of change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape. Elements of modern calculus were created by Isaac newton who was also known to have an interest in the occult protosciences including Alchemy.

Calculus is also a reference to the calculus albus (white stone) also referred to the philosopher’s stone,  a legendary alchemical substance capable of turning base metals such as mercury into gold or silver. It is also able to extend one’s life. It’s called the elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and for achieving immortality; for many centuries, it was the most sought-after goal in alchemy.



A compound is an entity consisting of two or more different atoms which associate via chemical bonds. There are four types of compounds, depending on how the constituent atoms are held together: molecules held together by covalent bonds, salts held together by ionic bonds, intermetallic compounds held together by metallic bonds, and certain complexes held together by coordinate covalent bonds.



For some scientists, the pursuit of extending mankind’s years and to emerging victorious against the ravages of time is a much nobler study. Katalyst is one such man, hulking and unnaturally muscled by the chemicals continually pumped in to his system, pushing his body to the limit in the search for eternal life.

A catalyst in chemistry is a a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.



Mercury is a serial womaniser, and seems more interested in flirting and showing-off rather than furthering the interests of his Guild. Despite all this, he is still an asset to the team, where his talent for throwing fireballs is put to good use.

Mercury is a chemical element with symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is commonly known as quicksilver and was formerly named hydrargyrum  A heavy, silvery element, mercury is the only metallic element that is liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure.

Alchemists thought of mercury as the First Matter from which all metals were formed. They believed that different metals could be produced by varying the quality and quantity of sulfur contained within the mercury. The purest of these was gold, and mercury was called for in attempts at the transmutation of base (or impure) metals into gold, which was the goal of many alchemists.



Meredith Tieger was a bright young woman dedicated to the furthering of scientific wisdom. An experiment designed to advance her understanding of the universe quickly turned in to a disaster, and consumed her and an entire wing of the guild house in a blazing conflagration. The women that emerged was hideously disfigured and broken. Now known as Vitriol, she specialises in the experimentation of corrosive acids and sulphuric materials, a knowledge she regularly puts to good use on the pitch.

Sulphuric acid is a highly corrosive strong mineral acid. It is a pungent-ethereal, colourless to slightly yellow viscous liquid which is soluble in water at all concentrations. The historical name of this acid is oil (or spirit) of vitriol. Oil of Vitriol was a commonly used alchemical substance.


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