Hemlocke – Wanted: Dead or Alive?

Hemlocke

So this year’s Guild Ball Community event is looking at the schism in the Union team caused by Rage slipping his leash and the Solthecian Church coming in to take over the running of the team.

Details can be found here: https://steamforged.com/union-in-chains

Eight of the original Guild’s have been paired up and are fighting to gain a member of the Union as a Guild member. The pairings are:

 

  • The Fisherman’s Guild & Butcher’s Guild will be competing for Gutter.
  • The Brewer’s Guild & Mason’s Guild will be competing for Decimate.
  • The Mortician’s Guild & Hunter’s Guild will be competing for Hemlocke.
  • The Alchemist’s Guild & Engineer’s Guild will be competing for Harry the Hat.

Each of the Union members will get an alternative sculpt depending on which Guild they finally settle in.

Hemlocke is being fought over by the Mortician’s and Hunter’s Guilds (Go Morticians!) and her alternative sculpts are:

 

Her back story is:

A fate unknown

Light flooded into the empty chamber, coloured in faint hues of red and green from the faded staining in the glass dome above. Motes of dust fluttered through the air like tiny fireflies, tumbling ever downwards in lazy spirals. A peaceful stillness had taken hold of this place and refused to relinquish it, entirely at odds with the sinister darkness lurking in the catacombs below.
Grace stood in quiet contemplation of the scene, light reflecting from her pristine robes in a blinding glare. Her lip curled. She cared little for this place. A long-abandoned chapel built atop an ancient temple ruined some centuries past, the neglect of this sacred ground was an offence against Solthecius himself.
The Inquisitor’s dilapidated surroundings offered little to placate to her condemnation. The elements had not been kind to a building standing unattended for so many years, her eye picking out places where walls had crumbled and fallen in, and dark metalwork was spotted with orange. Tall windows, once proud and vibrant, had grown dull in their frames; the panes from several others shattered over the floor in pointed shards of multicoloured glass.
This remote shrine would be impure forevermore, sins of the past having rendered it far beyond the limits of mortal sanctification. The order had allowed the lonely site to be quietly forgotten over the years as the trail of attendant worshippers had slowly reduced to a trickle, content that the pious should never know of its existence. It was probable the dusty flagstones had known neither foot nor knee for decades until the arrival of the Inquisition, the carpets once covering them having rotted away long since.
But, Grace was not here to kneel in supplication.
A warren of tunnels hid underfoot, a sprawling dungeon first created for the primitive temple a thousand years ago, made into a labyrinthian maze by the architects of the chapel erected in the time since. They had not been alone in their attentions. Nature too had touched the confusing hive of forgotten cells and foetid cellars just as it had the land above, shuddering tremors and flooding causing irreversible destruction in the depths. Fraught with collapsed ceilings and impassable corridors, even the most recent map was hopelessly obsolete.
It was the perfect prison for as vile a fraternity as the Union.
Despite the length of leash allowed him by the new Bacchus, Rage had quickly proven too wild a dog to be left to his own devices, his rebellious instinct too fractious to be of use. Grand plans for the treacherous cadre spoiled, Pious VI had not sat idle in retaliation. His Inquisitors’ mission of stewardship soon become one of hunter and prey, Grace and Benediction ordered to entomb each member of the Union underground, far from the eyes of man.
Their first quarry had been Rage himself, the vicious thug now imprisoned in a cell as bleak as his blackened heart. His capture in particular had been a dark enough deed to cost of the lives of three initiates, each bloodied by his wicked cleaver until their bodies moved no more. Pursuit of the other wolves in his ruthless pack had been less barbaric, yet none had come easily.
The Saint would have lied if she did not admit to a sense of satisfaction in persecuting such reprehensible scum. She had readily paid penance each night, quickly reaching forgiveness for her behaviour in service of the August Lord. Her conscience remained as pure as her unbroken innocence.
Footsteps cut through the silence and from the corner of her vision, Benediction’s immense frame appeared. Unlike Grace, he wore his armour and faceplate, his robes dirtied from travelling through the depths below. Behind him he dragged a long chain, metal links clinking together as they writhed, the final malefactor struggling in vain against the hard iron.
The witch had arrived.
The woman had been a dishevelled mess even before she had been dragged from her den, clothes a tattered collection of unwashed rags, her hair matted into thick dreadlocks. She reeked as only an individual with an aversion to bathing could, a musky stench of dried sweat and mould.
Grace’s eyes narrowed, a sadistic smile creeping across her features. Hemlocke deserved cleansing in more ways than one. Amongst all of her miserable brethren the witch offended the order most, by defying the very word of Solthecius with her sacrilegious profanity. She belonged in the dark ages past, a slave to the pagan beliefs of man when he had paid fealty to the elements and the stars above.
Sensing the contemptuous stare, the witch turned her head towards Grace, only to wilt and avert her tortured eyes as she shrank away again. The brief glimpse revealed pupils dilated to monstrous proportions, all trace of colour replaced by heavy black orbs. Doubtless, Hemlocke had been sampling her own stock.
A vicious yank of her collar dragged the witch under the light of the grand dome, painting her in dappled hues. She reacted by clawing at the chain and shrieking at her tormentor.
‘No blind man should see as you, giant. You are unnatural, an abomination!’ The sudden outburst was the first collection of legible words the woman had offered since her capture, the rest only gnashing of teeth and forlorn wailing.
Hemlocke’s spite earned her a backhanded slap across the mouth, the impact whipping her delicate neck backwards. When her head swung back again she glared murderously, bloated eyes unblinking.
A thin trail of red trickled over her chin, and the witch defiantly spat a mouthful of bloody phlegm onto the floor, crimson covering a cross carved into the stone.
She grinned, teeth stained pink. ‘The Old Ones care little for your pretend lord, or the misguided fools who follow him. You are as powerless as the lies your kind peddle, and these worthless icons crumbling under my heel.’
Benediction punished her blasphemy again, a huge hand seizing Hemlocke by the throat and roughly hauling her into the air. His head swung around to Grace as the witch’s hands scrabbled at his grip, blank mask somehow conveying his silent question.
Grace took a moment to savour the undiluted panic over Hemlocke’s features. Her face was turning a painful shade of purple, her legs frantically kicking on tiptoes. The witch was clearly running out of breath, her sullen tongue silenced but for a strangled gasp.
The Saint shook her head.
Benediction gave one last cruel squeeze before hurling the Union scum away, her body tumbling through the air until she landed amongst the rotting remnants of a row of pews. The witch struck the wood with a sickening thud, an agonised scream torn from her lungs on impact. Her voice trailed into a rasp as she slipped to the floor like a child’s discarded ragdoll.

Hemlocke lay still amongst the splintered wood, only movement a tremble as she sobbed
pathetically. The line of red across her chin had become a wide river, pooling on the old stone beneath her.
‘I will not pretend you do not deserve death for your sins, witch. You are barely a trial in our holy mission, a trivial distraction at most. Perhaps death would provide the best form of censure for one such as you, rather than imprisonment.’ Hemlocke didn’t react to the words, her eyes still closed.
Grace glanced at her companion. His mask hid any hint of expression, but Grace knew his judgement would match hers regardless. The heathen woman’s fate was sealed in a moment of unspoken communion.
‘Illuminate her.’ With the slightest nod, the Virgin Sister signalled her guardian into action once more. An armoured boot stepped forward from under his robes, catching the light in spite of a thin layer of grime.
Hemlocke lurched up into the air, a marionette with her strings suddenly pulled taught. Her hands scratched at the air, nails clawing like talons clutching invisible rungs. Back straight as a rod, the witch’s head snapped towards Grace, eyes rolled back to become milky orbs. She bared her teeth in a feral grin.
Benediction broke into a run, hands reaching for her, but the witch slipped away as though possessed by a devil, her nimble agility at odds with how erratically her limbs moved. She reached the nearest window in moments, the tall glass pane already shattered inwards. Without breaking her unnatural gait Hemlocke launched herself through the opening, disappearing but for a bloody scrap of cloth.
Benediction roared in frustration, punching an armoured fist into the wall. He looked back towards Grace, tilting his head downwards in self condemnation.
The Saint’s smile returned. It was time to persecute the hunt once more.

Hemlocke’s eyelids slowly parted, her vision blurry and indistinct. Whatever spirits had aided her escape had scattered, leaving her entirely mortal once more, a broken shell stretched over weak and bruised flesh.
As her senses returned she became slowly aware she lay at the bottom of a shallow ditch, muddy water soaking through her clothes, icy cold against her clammy skin. It seemed some time had elapsed since her flight, the avatar of the Father fallen from the blank skies to usher in the dominion of the  Goddess. The landscape was coloured a pale hue, the faint and ethereal light birthing a deep shadow in the recess where she now  languished.
Her ears detected nary a hint of pursuit, but Hemlocke knew the accursed holy men would still be searching for her. She was the last of the Union to have evaded them, and their kind did not rest easily.
They would hunt for her until her last breath, the chase as relentless as their passion for their falsehood god.
She groaned, knowing she was poor game presently.
Her forehead was warm and fevered; from her short breath and a dull ache in her flank she was likely wounded inside, the taste of coppery blood painted over her lips. Two of the fingers on her left hand were broken, pointing in unnatural directions. With her frenetic scramble apparently ceased some hours before, Hemlocke feared that if she tried to move her body would not obey.
She was a shattered figure, collapsed in a bolthole and awaiting death.
Hemlocke closed her eyes once again. If the gods wanted to take her, she would gladly relinquish her life to them. Even in this state, she was their servant, and she dared not betray the ancient oaths of her order. In a faltering mumble, she began to mouth ancient words from the rite of ending.
An image appeared in her mind, her voice faltering as the words inexplicably caught in her throat.
She felt herself frown outwardly as the vision expanded and a fine lunar mist eclipsed all, covering every surface and leaving her numb. Somewhere in the distance faint silhouettes moved, their forms indistinct and wreathed by billowing clouds. Whenever she would strain her eyes to concentrate on one it would become intangible, only to maddeningly reappear some distance away.
Their voices echoed through the murky gloom, words illuminating each spirit momentarily with sparks of colour against the grey background.
‘What do you want for this one’s release?’ Even distorted the first voice was deep enough to be undeniably male, strong and powerful, the speaker glowing bright amber.
‘A gesture, support in coming trials.’ The second voice was a sinister hiss, the slither of a serpent baring its fangs.
‘Very well.’ Hemlocke felt uncertainty creep into the first speakers tone, and saw a shard of cold ice break through his aura, a jagged line of canker, twisted and bitter. He reluctantly spoke again after a pause. ‘We shall enter into agreement with you.’
The second spirit did not reply, instead sweeping around to face her as the mists surrounding them whipped up into a storm. His eyes bored into hers for a moment through the turmoil, and a cold sweat dripped down her spine. The vortex span faster, accompanied by the shrieking of a thousand crows, swirling forward to envelop her within a cloak of charcoal feathers.
His face coalesced inches before her own, the spirit become a horrific visage of a cloaked devil, a skull with sharpened teeth leering from the folds of blackened sackcloth.
‘You are not supposed to be here, witch. Why have you transgressed into this past?’ His dark words were the chill of the grave, morbid and flat, bereft of any trace of warmth.
Hemlocke found herself unable to answer, terror seizing her breath and suffocating her.

Her knees buckled as her essence ebbed away, drawn on strings leading to his skeletal fingers.
The devil’s hold was broken in a howl of agony, a spear of light skewering the enveloping darkness, warmth flooding through the rent to return life to the world once again. On the other side, she could see the first speaker, his golden aura strong and restored. He shielded another figure, a bestial creature which snarled furiously, and clacked her slavering jaws.
‘Come, Hemlocke! Quickly!’ This voice was female, the animalistic snarl familiar somehow.
‘Salvation!’
Hemlocke’s reply was drowned out by the murder of crows, a jagged cacophony which lashed at the golden figure and reopened the rent in his soul, allowing the ice to pour in.
She felt herself slipping away, the vision pulling itself to the edge of her consciousness. She desperately tried to reach her hands outwards, still unable to wrest meaning.
‘Run! Run, Hemlocke! Whilst you can, come to us!’ The urgent voice broke through once more, faint and quickly fading, swallowed by a tide of rolling mists, retreating away into the aether.
Hemlocke’s head recoiled, a great breath forcing itself into her lungs with a violent shudder. Her eyes open, she saw that day had come once more. Somewhere nearby, she could hear footfall in the undergrowth, dried leaves cracking under booted heel.
It was time to flee her hiding place. The gods had seen fit to send her portents once more, and where they beckoned she would follow without question. She scrambled to her feet, forcing herself to ignore a sharp spike of pain in her chest. Her role in the machinations of the Old Ones was far from over, her future undecided, a path untraveled.
And her side yet to be chosen.

Some exciting times ahead. Both sculpts are great – I really like the snake that the mortician version has.

Time to play some games and head on over to the Forums and get Hemlocke in the Mortician’s!

Until next time sports fans!

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The story so far…Hunter’s Guild

hunters-team

The Hunter’s Guild were a team introduced in Season 2 with only a passing reference in Season 1 (on Hemlocke and Minx’s cards).

Hunters

Season 2 -Hunter’s Guild

The Hunter’s Guild is not a new one, but one of the oldest there is. However, they don’t have Guild Houses like the others nor do they ply their trade in the cities. Their Guild Ball team is a recent addition, however.

Most Hunter’s are pagan – believing in the old gods of the Moon Goddess and the Sun Father. The Moon Goddess is the mistress of the hunt. She blesses them to steal from the Sun Father, who nurtures the world.

The original purpose of the Guild was to hunt the great beasts of the forests in the north and deserts of the south.

The Hunter’s story starts at the Frontier’s Cup with the Mortician’s keeping Minx caged and them being guided by Hearne. Obulus barters the support of the Hunter’s in the forthcoming tournament for Minx’s release. Hearne, however, warns Obulus that the Hunter’s will seek recompense for Minx’s captivity – something Obulus seems unconcerned by.

The story continues with a match between the Hunter’s and Mortician’s. The Hunter’s are said to not play the game like any other team – rather than having established playbooks and practised tactics they stalk their opponents on the pitch by instinct.

Ghast is taken out by Jaecar before being patched up and sent back on. Zarola scores to give the Hunter’s the lead. Ghast and Jaecar then fight again and Scalpel manages to take down Egret. She then moves to help Ghast (now facing Seenah) but is stopped by Obulus from the sidelines. Seenah then attacks Ghast, ripping his throat out and killing him instantly. The game ends and Obulus is satisfied the Hunter’s progress to the final.

The story concludes with the final – Mason’s vs Hunter’s. The game is watched by Obulus from the sidelines to ensure the Hunter’s fulfil their side of the arrangement.

The game ends with the Mason’s winning but with Honour crippled, presumably by Hearne at Obulus’ behest.

Theron

The team is captained by Theron, Champion of the Sun Father. A career soldier during the Century Wars, he felt betrayed by the political unions reached at it’s conclusion. He spent the subsequent years wandering, trying to find somewhere to belong – eventually walking into the wilds of the north. Soon after he encountered an emissary of the Hunter’s Guild, Hearne.  Theron finally found somewhere he felt he belonged.

Fahad

Fahad is the team mascot, a midnight devil from the forests of the north.

Jaecar

Jaecar is the team vice captain, a natural born killer known to do all that is necessary to ensure the kill.

Zarola

Zarola is a skilled hunter and makes no distinction between humans and animals that hunt – seeing them as siblings and hunting with them as a pack.

egret

Egret is unusual for a Hunter as she is neither an abandoned orphan nor an exile. She is the daughter of an old Castellyian noble family, a well-educated child born of privilege. However, a noble existence felt like a noose around her neck and she escaped to the wilderness to find peace. She was watched by the Guild before being taken to the Lord Huntress. For many this would mean banishment or death, but Egret was met with a smile as the Huntress sensed a kindred spirit and potential successor.

GB-S2-Hunters-Hearne-TGN

Hearne is the eldest of the Hunter’s and no living soul remembers his life before the Guild.  None also know how he became the spiritual conduit of the Sun Father. All that is known is that the benevolence, wisdom and serenity of the deity shines through him. Hearne is present at the initiation of all new novices into the Guild; he occupies a unique position for devout Hunter’s. The Lord Huntress is the ceremonial and political head of the Guild and is chosen by the Moon Goddess. She must have her opposite though in the Scion of the Sun Father (currently Hearne) as both ally and rival.

GB-S2-Hunters-Chaska

Chaska is known as a stubborn, coldhearted, intractable man, but is probably the friednlist of the Hunters as he does interact with the outside world. He is a skinner within the Guild.

Seenah_zpsavdmjqpm

Seenah, the great bear, is a remarkable member of the Guild team. A wild beast seemingly tamed to aid the Hunter’s cause. Rumours abound that Seenah has the soul of a man trapped inside like the ancient tales of lycanthropy.

Until next time sports fans!

Solthecius!

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Given the recent teasers of Benediction and Grace as well as ‘Union Captain’ there is a bit of a buzz around the community about Solthecius and the Solthecians so I though I would recap what we know so far:

The Solthecian Cult/Church is one of (probably the) biggest organised religions in the Empire of the Free Cities and is built around the worship of Solthecius (presumably montheistically) and draws a lot of parallels with the historic catholic church.

Solthecius was originally just a sun deity (hence the symbol) but seems to have developed into something more.

The Solthecian Cult is widely regarded as being heavily involved in the creation of Guild Ball as a sport.

Although Skald and it’s people are known to have their own style in all things; from fashion to eating habits, they are extremely resistant to outside influences from the other Sovereign States. The only element that appears to have been able to permeate this cultural ideal is religion. Skald is almost exclusively given to the worship of the Solthecian faith, robust churches standing proud in most villages and towns. In the cities, the walls and roads are lined with spectacular stonework and artistry of saints and blessed angels, spectacular cathedrals dominate the skyline.

Piervo is the holy city of the Solthecian Order, which has offered the Sovereign State a great deal of protection.

The head of state of both Piervo and the Solthecian spiritual faith is known as the Bacchus and is elected by mandate of the god Solthecius; his divine will manifested by the archbishops and cardinals.

The role is unlike any other clerical or royal position throughout the Empire of the Free Cities; the Bacchus is able to influence several Sovereign States where the faith has any sort of foothold and even more so where it is the predominant religion.

During the Century Wars, Bacchus Alexandria IV and his successor, Bacchus Galbratii, were able to successfully negotiate with any Sovereign State that turned her sights to Piervo. They spared its people from the horror of the conflict beyond the walls and saved the city and its ancient religious landmarks from ruin time and time again.

Although to believers this leader is the chosen of Solthecius, in reality, any election of a Bacchus is a process of shrewd manoeuvring, underlying threats, and careful alliance. Thus, the head of state is often possessed of a considered political mind. Many followers would likely be surprised to learn how deep corruption runs within Solthecian faith and how self interested its leaders tend to be.

The Holy City is home to spectacular architecture and beautiful gardens; high domed cathedrals compete against monasteries with spires that point into the skies like crooked fingers. Statues old and new line every boulevard and street. Every hour, bells ring out and the scent of incense is thick in the air. Wherever an individual might stand in Piervo, there is at very least a low hum of penitent followers deep in prayer and every day the city is flooded with pilgrims come to demonstrate their faith.

This is not to say that industry does not exist within the walls, far from it. The Butcher’s Guild’s ruling house is in Piervo and has existed as the sole purveyor of sacred meat to the Bacchus for generations; something which its many Magisters and Chamberlains are keen to remind both visiting officials and those of other guilds. The Mortician’s Guild also holds significant influence amongst the clergy in Piervo; the two bodies frequently working hand in hand in the day to day lives of the population.

The symbolism of the Solthecian faith draws a lot of parallels with the Christian church and images of Angels (such as Angels of Conflagration) and devils are rife. The Church also denounces Mechanica constructs as devils.

The Churches of Solthecius are organised by Sovereign State and have their own military orders, as demonstrated by Michele Cesare de Corella, Knight Paladin of Divine Solthecius, praise be to his name and noble legacy, First High Priest and august Lord of the Valentian Church of the Solthecian Cult who captured Ox in Season 1.

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Spigot is a reformed character, now sober he is a devout (but secret) follower of Solthecius.

Bonesaw

Bonesaw was once a priest in the Solthecian Cult but has been exiled. He still offers prayers to Solthecius during the funerary rites when working with the Mortician’s Guild. Solthecian priests and monks are known to participate in calisthenics as a way of purifying the body.

gb-s1-ltded-union-mist

Mist also has an as yet unexplained link to the Solthecian Church. There also appears to be a strong but as yet unexplained link between the Union and the Solthecian Church.

Until next time sports fans!

 

Field of Screams

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So on Saturday 20th Feb 2016 I ventured to my first ever Guild Ball tournament (I think it’s my first tournament for any game in over 20 years of gaming) and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

The event took place in Hastings and was run by the 1066 Wargames Club, if your in the area check them out, they’re a very friendly bunch.

I’d like to thank all of my opponents for five great games (although the results didn’t always go to plan); Dom Symes (Fishermen), Tim McDonnell (Morticians), Chris Wills (Morticians), Barry Nixon (Morticians), Henry Clark (Fishermen).  I was playing as the Mortician’s Guild (on of 9 at the event). Also surprisingly there were no pure Union teams.

I managed three wins (against the three Morticians; 12-10, 12-8 and 12-6 respectively) and lost to both the Fishermen 12-2. This landed me a 16th place finish, which I’m quite happy with.

The event was won by Alex Hall, who played a fantastically painted Alchemist’s team (he also won the Best Goal). Alex will be on the Who Cares Who Wins podcast in the near future to discuss how to play the Alchemist’s and I will certainly be tuning in.

I did however, managed to pick up a couple of spot prizes. In round 1, I won the Fisherman’s Guild Art Cards for conceding the first goal (against Dom’s Fisherman) and in round 5 I won a Blotz Gibbet Goal for the quickest game (against Henry’s Fishermen).

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I stuck to the same lineup for the whole tournament, as it wasn’t one I’d tried before and wanted to get used to it. It was Obulus, Dirge, Silence, Ghast, Cosset and Bonesaw. On the whole I was happy with how they played out.

Things I learned

+ Bonesaw: I really like how he plays, although he did spend more of the games as a defender/midfielder rather than an attacker. He is resilient and did a good job of holding the opposition up when required as well as pushing Mist off the board a couple of times (once when he had just scored and another when he was just about to).

+ Cosset: She got some very important take out and her speed is fantastic

+- Ghast: He isn’t someone I have run in the past and although he is good at holding the midfield, I don’t really get him. Definitely something to work on.

– Obulus: In most of the games I played it was almost always better to give him 8 Influence rather than spread it around. I’m not sure I enjoy the focus of one layer doing most of the work for the team.  It also left me at the mercy of the dice gods when he put 16 Influence of attacks into Shark and only did about 8 damage.

+ The lineup was more effective when it was on the attack and I’m looking forward to what Scalpel can bring

– I don’t get how to defend against scoring teams (particularly the Fishermen) and need more practice.

On the whole I think I prefer casual games rather than competitive ones in a tournament, but still had a great day.

Looking forward to Field of Screams 2!

What’s in a name? – Mortician’s Guild

Now onto my favourite guild…

Mortician’s Guild

Morts

Obulus

Obulus

Obulus casts an intimidating shadow, death’s chill afflicting all who pass. He is blessed with a sharp mind, using his cunning to gain more power through manipulation and intrigue. His ascension to Guild Ball captain is only the beginning, and will not let death claim him until his power over the Mortician’s Guild is absolute.

An Obol or Obolos was an ancient Greek coin, usually made of silver.  The dead  were buried with an obol placed in the mouth of the corpse, so that once a deceased’s shade reached the underworld—he or she would be able to pay the Ferryman, Charon, for passage across the river Styx.

Dirge

Dirge

Dirge is the crow that the Mortician’s have chosen to be there mascot. Pecking at player’s faces at the worst possible moment has earned him the accolade of most annoying creature in the game.

A dirge is a somber song or lament expressing mourning or grief, such as would be appropriate for performance at a funeral.

Casket

Casket

 

A huge, bedraggled man, Casket is a terrifying sight to behold. He shambles towards his targets, mumbling nonsense one minute, laughing manically the next, enough to disturb even the most seasoned of players. The coffin on his back is a hint of the hideous fate awaiting those who do not turn and run…

A casket or coffin is a funerary box used for viewing or keeping a corpse, either for burial or cremation. A distinction is sometimes made between coffin and casket. A coffin being funerary box having six sides, while a casket generally denotes a four-sided rectangular box. In which case Casket has a coffin.

Cosset

Cosset

Cosset may look cute and innocent, but appearances can be deceptive. She is absolutely crazy, just as likely to smile at you as she is to claw your eyes out. Even her fellow Mortician’s players give her a wide berth knowing how quickly her mood can turn.

Cosset means to care for and protect in an overindulgent way, to pamper or to pet and is probably a reference to her perceived demeanour rather than her actual mentality. She reminds me a lot of Cordelia from Buffy.

Ghast

Ghast

Ghast is a silent, brooding and melancholy man, totally at odds with this towering appearance. His gruesome face is kept hidden by a white mask, never removed for fear of what might be unleashed.

A Ghast is a fictional creature that is usually a stronger breed of ghoul or ghost. Ghast’s also appear in H.P. Lovecrafts Dreamlands.

Graves

Graves

Graves takes great pleasure in making people suffer. He learned many talents during his time in the Physician’s Guild, and his evil disposition gave him many a reason to practice those of a darker nature. He is not really in Guild Ball for the sport; he just likes to spear you in the gut and watch you squirm.

A grave is a location where a dead body is buried.

Silence

Silence

The man known as Silence is considered the quiet but loyal enforcer ensuring Obulus’ commands are followed. In truth, he is a traitorous viper, biding his time, awaiting the perfect opportunity to seize power for himself. Obulus, never one to be outmanoeuvred, saw through the façade long ago, and ensures Silence is manipulated to his own ends, even if he doesn’t know it…

Silence is the lack of audible sound or presence of sounds of very low intensity and is often associated with sombre occasions such as funerals or commemorations.

Bonesaw

Bonesaw

A bonesaw is a surgical instrument used to cut or remove bones, also used during an autopsy or embalming.

What’s in a name? – Fisherman’s Guild

Next up the Fisherman’s Guild.

Fish

Shark

Shark

A loner by nature, Shark is adept at patiently hunting his prey, a calm and deadly predator. Whilst the latest captain of the Fisherman’s Guild may feel isolated from his team, he is an exceptional footballer and one of the hottest talents in the game right now.

A shark is a cartilaginous (rather than bony) fish famed as hunters of the deep.

Salt

Salt

Unlike some of the other animals dragged in to Guild Ball, Salt isn’t a savage creature or constant annoyance. The Fisherman’s mascot is adored by the team and fans alike, and supports the team by harassing the opposition as they approach.

The most commonly referred to salt is of sodium chloride (NaCl). Salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite and it is present in vast quantities in seawater, where it is the main mineral constituent.

Greyscales

Greyscales

Greyscales is as old as the game itself, and a firm favourite with the fans. He is one of the few players who truly enjoys the game, refusing several offers of retirement to keep on playing.

I couldn’t find a direct link, but possibly grey- as a reference to his age and -scales referring to the skin of fish.

Angel

Angel

The young and attractive striker of the Fisherman’s team, Angel has been playing for less than a season but has already made her mark on the Guild Ball map. She is destined for greatness in the game, if she manages to avoid the numerous bounties on her head.

Again hard to pin the name down (just like the team themselves). The term angel derives form th Greek and Latin for Messenger. Triton in Greek mythology was the messenger of the sea. Another possible link is to the species of fresh and saltwater fish known as Angelfish or possibly the small swimming sea slugs known as Sea Angels.

Jac

Jac

Jac is known as “The Brawler” by his team mates, regularly besting several opponents in the drunken fights he partakes in. His talents make him an ideal defensive player for the Fisherman’s team – a tough old rock standing against the sea.

Possible reference to Jacques Cousteau, the famed French oceanographer. The real question however is, is Jac, Jacques? Ox’s brother.

Kraken

KrakenKraken is a man that emanates power. He is an immovable object, a cliff facing down the waves crashing against it. Like a mighty creature of myth, he smites his opponents with a mighty swing of his tattooed arm.

The Kraken is a legendary sea monster of giant size that is said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. A number of authors over the years have postulated that the legend originated from sightings of giant squid that may grow to 12-15 metres in length, despite the fact that the creature in the original tales was not described as having tentacles and more closely resembled a whale or crab. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the kraken have made it a common ocean-dwelling monster in various fictional works.

Siren

Siren

Distant and aloof, the Siren is a mystery to all. There are many rumours on how she came to play for the guild, ranging from the fantastic to the utterly mundane. The Fisherman side have come to rely upon her positional play, tempting opposing players away from the action rather than beating them in to submission.

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were dangerous yet beautiful creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.

Sakana

Sakana

Sakana is a Japanese term referring to food eaten as an accompaniment to alcohol. Because fish, especially dried fish, was a popular choice for these dishes, over the years the term sakana also came to mean “fish”.

Sharing the Guild Ball Love

One of the things that has really attracted me to Guild Ball is the really helpful, vibrant community that has sprung up around the game.

I feel that it would be helpful to compile a list of some of the members of the community that are driving the game forward and can be found below:

Guild Ball Tonight

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A podcast hosted by Bill and Phil that always has good guests and feature slots.

http://www.guildballtonight.com/gbt/

Twitter: @GBTPodcast

Also find them on iTunes.

Guild Ball Informer

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A YouTube channel hosted by Jay and Chris. It contains a lot of useful information, tactics, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxKMVI6BtprAOSPt-vPXDOw

Twitter: @GBInformer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/370358893163371/

Who Cares Who Wins podcast

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As they describe themselves “An UK based Guild Ball Podcast by idiots for themselves. Explicit content.” One of my favourites and my podcast of choice for doing the washing up.

http://www.wcww.co.uk/the-podcast/

Twitter @wcwwpodcast

Smashed Shins podcast

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Another UK based podcast that does some excellent narrative match reports.

http://smashedshins.podbean.com/

Twitter: @smashedshins

OzBall 

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A new comer to the scene but is already backed with interested articles – definite one to keep an eye on!

http://ozball.club/

Twitter: @OZ_Ball_Club

TheBattlehammer

Just plain nuts, but you need to check them out!

http://thebattlehammer.com/

Twitter: @thebattlehammer and @VitruvianGoblin

Miniature Musing of a Bear

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A blog that contains some great articles, particular giving a breakdown of each player and their tactical abilities. Always worth a follow.

https://minimusingofabear.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @docbungle

Facebook groups

Guild Ball Supporters (Gu.B.S)

Guild Ball Player’s Club

Steamforged Forum

http://forums.steamforged.com/

Twitter

The community on Twitter seems to be the most active of all. Good follows are:

Mat Hart: @C4RP3R

Rich Loxam: @Loxam

Jamie Perkins: @GB_Jamie

Northy: @GB_Northy