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.

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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!

 

The story so far…Engineer’s Guild

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Next up the Cogs.

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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.

Ballista

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.

Mainspring

The season 1 mascot is Mainspring (or at least one of the Mainsprings as there multiples) an automaton designed and build by Ratchet.

Salvo

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.

Velocity

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.

Collosus

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

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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

A splash of paint

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Hello sports fans,

I will caveat this post that I finding painting to be my least favourite aspect of the hobby (it’s a chore at times), so you won’t find any outstanding paint jobs here.

So, I was looking for inspiration for my Mortician’s Guild and initially though I would do them in a traditional black gothic theme with hints of pastel to give a splash of a fairly unusual colour. So I started hunting for images to use and thought that something like this would look good for Cosset:

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However, it quickly became apparent that (although I’ve been painting for 20 years) I don’t have the skills or patience to pull something like that off. A WIP:

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This then lead me into a rethink on the theme. I still wanted to keep them fairly ‘dark’ but also unusual. Two things that sprang to mind were either an ‘Egyptian’ themed mortuary cult with turquoise, blue and gold or an ‘Indian’ theme.  Having done some digging I decided that I would base the team on the Sadhu and Aghori in particular.  The Sadhu are Indian holy men and women and the Aghori are a subsect who  are known to engage in post-mortem rituals. They often dwell in charnel grounds, have been witnessed smearing cremation ashes on their bodies, and have been known to use bones from human corpses for crafting jewellery. Some examples of Sadhu and Aghori:

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I’ve so far finished the Starter set and Casket’s almost there, I am fairly happy with the result. I’m just going to tweak Casket’s face slightly to give it more definition and then it’s on to the goal, before I pick up the models for Silence, Dirge and Ghast before Season 2 hits the Morticians.

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Until next time.