Next up the Cogs.
Season 1 – Engineer’s Guild
The relatively new Sovereign State of Ethraynne (having broken away from Valentia) is known for it’s inventions and scientific innovations and is host to large, influential houses for the Astronomer’s, Alchemist’s and Engineer’s Guild.
The Engineer’s Guild themselves are still relatively new (although not as new as some) and was first formed just before the beginning of the Century Wars, as States began to build siege engines and fortifications. The Guild’s principle purpose was the technical knowledge and regulation of such construction, as well as the understanding of the forces that drive them. In the years since the end of the Wars they have focused their efforts on public developments and whilst elder members of the Guild are content with these accomplishments, the newer members only see this as the beginning. These newer members have focused their efforts on clockwork instruments and devices.
The Engineer’s team is one of the few where most or all of the players actually practice their craft.
The team is lead by Ballista, known for his diligence and attention to detail. He made his fortune (and that of the Guild) during the Century Wars by creating weaponry and siege engines. Some examples include giant trebuchets, bolt throwers, steel-clad towers and flame throwers. He tried to introduce the latter to Guild Ball once and had a lot of success until the Engineer’s came up against the Alchemist’s (the Guild who produced the fuel for the weapon) and an ‘accident’ caused the weapon to explode, killing his apprentice – the weapon hasn’t been used since. Ballista is known to be sentimental with a strict code of honour and pride.
The season 1 mascot is Mainspring (or at least one of the Mainsprings as there multiples) an automaton designed and build by Ratchet.
Salvo (also known as Salvatore) was born on the streets of Annamura and had always held an interest in the Engineer’s Guild and it was no surprise that both he and his older sister, Quistis, were both apprenticed to the Guild and specifically to Ballista. However, Quistis was the apprentice who died in the tragic flamethrower accident, but her death allowed Salvo to join the team.
Salvo, deeply affected by his sisters death, build Velocity in her image as a tribute to her and with Ballista’s skill, influence and knowledge the project was completed and Quistis lives on in Velocity.
Not every team boasts a monster like Boar or Ghast and such a disadvantage can severely hamper an team ambitions. Ballista was aware of this and along with the Raed Engineer, Axle, he built Colossus as an alternative. Axle pilots Colossus on the pitch to great effect.
Ratchet is a maverick and revolutionary as well as an exceptional inventor who created the Mainsprings. A native of Indossa, he left to escape the torment of being overshadowed by its backwards thinking. there is tension between him and Ballista who he sees as slow, lumbering and too stuck in the old ways. His first creation was an automaton that was shaped like a man and moved on tracked wheels (presumably Flask). The Mainsprings were a far greater success and the addition of outlawed explosives and a few design changes yielded a powerful new weapon. He did however meet with resistance from older members of the Guild who remembered the horrors of these weapons in the Century Wars, something he cared nothing for.
Season 2 – Engineer’s Guild
Season 2 begins with the Engineer’s playing the Alchemist’s in the Frontiers Cup (a game the Alchemist’s believe the Engineers are going to throw). However, the agreement between the two Guild’s isn’t kept and the Engineer’s win. During the match Velocity is ignited by Mercury which results in her being severely damaged. Salvo almost kills Calculus in revenge (whether for damaging Velocity or Quistis’ original death, or both is unclear). We also get an insight into the Guild’s goal post which is described as “a tall clockwork column which belched smoke into the air as it revolved around a central gear shaft”.
The team in Season 2 is captained by Pin Vice, who is as cold and calculating as any machine – exemplified by her killing her apprentice when they are no longer useful to her. She sees Ballista as flawed as he has a sense of empathy and sentimentality. Ballista is ousted as the captain for his betrayal of the Guild by not fulfilling the deal with the Alchemist’s. She plans to redesign the team as an unstoppable extension of her will. Outside of the game she is part of a secret sect whose goal is to reignite the wars between the Sovereign States, securing the influential status of the Guild. Pin Vice’s only interest in the game is to use it to further her own agenda. She is a mysterious individual who spends most of her time in a mechanica tower of her own design known as the Spire of Gears. The tower turns as the day progresses (for reasons unknown). Pin Vice sports many mechanical augmentations, believed to be as a result of her design to overcome her biological limitations. Pin Vice also sees the turmoil within the Union as a potential avenue to an unexpected ally.
The season 2 mascot for the Engineer’s is Mother, a mechanical spider and her brood. Presumably built by Ratchet again although this is unclear.
Following Velocity’s destruction against the Alchemist’s Guild, Pin Vice managed to obtain and rebuild her to her own specifications, much to the chagrin of both Salvo and Ballista. velocity is now less of a tribute to Quistis and more a practical and adaptable instrument.
Pin Vice also managed to discover the secrets of making semi-sentient mechanica whilst reconstructing Velocity and utilised this knowledge to create Hoist. Something that delighted Pin Vice as she can replace argumentative and emotive humans with responsive and controllable mechanica. Hoist was built as a replicator, able to adapt to the teams needs as the game progresses. Hoist has also caused a lot of controversy amongst all of the religions throughout the Empire of the Free Cities.
Compound is introduced a player for both the Alchemist’s and Engineer’s team in Season 2. An Alchemist during the Century Wars he was know to have developed chemical weapons used to break sieges and was known as the Rat Catcher as he lead men, women and children to their deaths. He was caught and disfigured by survivors and presumed dead. He wasn’t, however, and had been kept by the Engineer’s Guild in Svardlett. Pin Vice has rebuilt him, giving him new arms and eyes.
Until next time sports fans!