What’s in a name? – Blacksmith’s Guild

Blacksmiths-Forged_from_Steel_-_PaintedBox

The first 6 of the second Season 3 Guild, the Blacksmith’s Guild, has been released, so we have a look at the origin of their names. The Guild has a unique structure on the pitch as there are no mascots and the team is comprised of three Master’s and three Apprentices with a Master being named Captain each game:

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Blacksmith’s Guild

Anvil

Anvil01
An anvil is a metalworking tool consisting of a large block of metal (usually forged or cast steel), with a flattened top surface, upon which another object is struck or worked.

Anvils are as massive as they are practical, because the higher their inertia, the more efficiently they cause the energy of striking tools to be transferred to the work piece. On a quality anvil, the smith’s hammer should rebound with almost as much energy as the smith puts into the downward stroke, ultimately making the smith’s job easier and less physically strenuous.

 

Sledge

Sledge01
Almost certainly named after a sledgehammer rather than the vehicle. A sledgehammer is a tool with a large, flat, often metal head, attached to a lever (or handle). The size of its head allows a sledgehammer to apply more force than other hammers of similar size.  Although they are used in a variety of professions they are used in Blacksmithing to  shape heavy sections of iron.

 

Furnace

Furnace03
A furnace is a device used for high-temperature heating. The name derives from Greek word fornax, which means oven. In an industrial setting they are used in the extract of iron from ore and in steelmaking.

 

Cinder

cinder_01
Cinder is a material derived primarily from volcanic materials and are similar to pumice. An ember (a glowing, hot ‘coal’ made of greatly heated wood, coal, or other carbon-based material) is sometimes referred to as a cinder too.

 

Ferrite

ferrite_01
Ferrite is a cubic form of iron and it’s structure is what gives steel and cast iron it’s magnetic properties. Much like ‘Get Over Here, Iron’.

 

Iron

iron01
Iron is a metallic chemical element and along with it’s alloy, Steel, are the principle metals used in blacksmithing.

Until next time, sports fans!

 

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What’s in a name? – Farmer’s Guild

Farmers-The_Honest_Land_painted

The first 6 of the first Season 3 Guild, the Farmer’s Guild, has been released, so we have a look at the origin of their names:

 

Farmers

Farmer’s Guild

Grange

Granges were landed monastic estates used for food production, centred on a farm and out buildings and possibly a mill or a tithe barn. The word grange comes through French graunge from Latin granica meaning a granary

Peck

A peck is an  unit of dry volume, equivalent to 2 gallons or 8 dry quarts or 16 dry pints and was often used to sell grain and other goods like fruit and vegetables.

Peck also has another apt meaning which is the action a bird (like a chicken) makes with it’s beak, particularly when feeding.

Bushel

A bushel is another unit of dry volume and is the equivalent of four pecks and was mostly used for agricultural goods such as wheat. The name comes from the Old French boissiel and buissiel, meaning “little box”.

Harrow

A harrow is an agricultural implement consisting of many spikes, tines or discs dragged across the soil to break up and smooth out it’s surface.  It is distinct in its effect from the plough, which is used for deeper tillage. The purpose of harrowing is generally to break up clods (lumps of soil) and to provide a finer finish, suitable for seedbed use. Coarser harrowing may also be used to remove weeds and to cover seed after sowing.

Jackstraw

A jackstraw is an obsolute term used to describe a straw-stuffed figure of a man or scarecrow.

Windle

A windle is another unit of dry volume, particularly used as  a measure of corn, wheat, or other commodities, equal to approximately three bushels.

Until next time sports fans!

 

 

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!

What’s in a name? – Season 2 Mascots

It’s been a while and as the Season 2 Mascot models are due to be released shortly, I thought I would round off the ‘What’s in a name?’ for Season 2. Some of these are fairly obvious, but others have more depth to them.

Alchemist’s Guild

Naja, Venomous Viper

Naja

So Naja is Venin’s ‘pet’ snake and ties in well with his poison theme.

Naja is the taxonomic game for the genus of snakes more commonly known as cobras and derives from the Sanskrit for snake, Naga.

 

Brewer’s Guild

Quaff, Faithful

Quaff

Quaff is modelled on a St Bernard, a breed of working dog common to the Alps and bred for mountain rescue. They are famous for carrying a barrel of brandy around their necks.

The verb quaff means to drink ( a usually an alcholic drink) heartily.

 

Butcher’s Guild

Truffles, Cantankerous Swine

Truffles

Truffles is a pig and the name is likely to arise from the domestic pigs (also known as truffle hogs) used for locating and extracting truffles from forests in Europe.

 

Engineer’s Guild

Mother, Arachnid Queen

Mother

A mechanica created by the Engineer’s Guild that resembles a spider (although the art work has 9 legs) and it’s brood. The name is a possible reference to Broodmother from DOTA 2. She is possibly modelled after Wolf Spiders which carry their spiderlings on their backs.

 

Fisherman’s Guild

Tentacles, Eastern Mystery

Tentacles

Modelled on an octopus and named after the flexible, mobile, elongated organs the species is famous for.

 

Mason’s Guild

Wrecker, Giant Shrew

Wrecker

Although described as a shrew, it doesn’t really resemble one and is modelled after an armadillo, a small armoured mammal. The name probably follows the Mason convention of names deriving form tools and is a possible reference to a wrecking ball.  There is also a link to Rammus from League of Legends due to the game being a favourite of many at Steamforged games.

The Rolando is in homage to the Guild Ball Tonight desire to have a baby elephant Mascot.

 

Mortician’s Guild

Vileswarm, Fearful Tide

Vileswarm

Vileswarm is a swarm of rats, which are often reviled. Not much more to say…

 

The Union

Strongbox, Tribute to the Pirate-King

Strongbox

Strongbox is a tortoise carrying a chest on it’s back. A strongbox is a small lockable box, typically made of metal, in which valuables may be kept.

Strongbox is ‘Rage’s idea of a tribute to the Pirate King apparently, one last piss-take. Strap a treasure chest to the top of it, fill it with Blackheart’s gold, and parade it around’

 

What’s in a name? – Hunter’s Guild

Although they aren’t released until the 16th April, the Hunter’s Guild names have been spoiled so here are what I’ve found out about the origin of their names.

Hunters

Hunter’s Guild

Theron, Champion of the Sun Father

Theron

 

Theron is a name of Ancient Greek origin deriving from θηραω (therao) meaning “to hunt”.
Fahad, Midnight Devil

Fahad

Fahad is a name of Arabic origin meaning ‘Panther’ amongst other things.
Jaecar, Shadowborn

Jaecar

Jaecar is a derivation of the German word Jaeger meaning Hunter.
Zarola, Wild Mistress

Zarola

Zarola is a name of Persian origin and means Hunter.
Egret, Promised of the Moon

egret

An egret is a type of bird which was historically hunted for it’s plumes.  It is likely also a play on Ygritte from Game of Thrones on which the model bears an uncanny resemblance.
Hearne, Scion of the Sun Father

GB-S2-Hunters-Hearne-TGN

Likely named after ‘Herne the Hunter’ a ghost associated with Windsor Forest and Great Park in the English county of Berkshire. Although it could possibly be a reference to English explorer, fur-trader, author, and naturalist, Samuel Hearne. He was the first European to make an overland excursion across northern Canada to the Arctic Ocean.
Chaska, Ironheart

GB-S2-Hunters-Chaska

The name Chaska is traditionally the name given to the first born son of Sioux Native Americans. It is also a city in Minnesota which was originally the homeland of the Sioux .
Seenah, the Great Bear

Seenah_zpsavdmjqpm

I am going to have to admit I have no idea why the bear is called Seenah, anyone have any thoughts?

Edit: Had a chat with the guys at Salute and it’s because they wanted a John Cena reference in Guild Ball.

Until next time sports fans!

 

What’s in a name? – The Union

Next up, The Union

Union

Blackheart

Bheart

Blackheart was the ruthless Pirate King of the sea, terrorising every Sovereign State of the Empire of the Free Cities. The day he gave up the life at sea was a bloody one indeed, slaughtering the entire crew of his ship to ensure its safe location remained a secret until he needed her again. He now makes his fortune through Guild Ball, murdering anybody who becomes between him and more wealth, or getting one of his crew to do the deed for him.

There are a number of possible reasons for Blackheart’s name. It could be based upon the pirate Blackbeard as he was previously a pirate before joining The Union. It’s also possible that it is a description of his personality as someone who is black hearted is cruel, wicked or evil.

Coin

Coin

Coin is a huge snake that Blackheart feeds his fortune to. There is no love for his unorthodox bank, which he daily subjects to the suffering of being forced to swallow indigestible gold. The alien eyes of the snake show no comprehension of Blackheart as anything other than the source of its torment, as he has been for so many years now.

A coin is a piece of hard material used primarily as a medium of exchange or legal tender.  This has strong connections with the mercenary ethos of The Union.

Decimate

Dec

The woman known as Decimate is properly known as Svetlana Leonid Volstov III, a princess of Erskirii nobility. Born late in to a wealthy and influential family with no hope of succession, she quickly found a far more exciting life for herself in an organised and well-funded Brewer’s Guild gang. Ever ambitious, she quickly rose to a place on the Guild Ball team, becoming Decimate the duelist to her roaring fans. This all came to an end when a coup was staged within the guild by a rival gang, and Decimate was forced to flee following a failed assassination attempt. She now plays as a free agent for the Union, her flashing blades swirling in a dance of destruction.

Decimate means to kill, destroy, or remove a large proportion of something, usually a body of people. The term derives from a form of military discipline used by the Roman Army to kill one in every ten of (a group of people, originally a mutinous Roman legion) as a punishment for the whole group.

Gutter

Gut

Once a princess from the far north, Gutter’s life soon took a dark turn when she was captured by Blackheart. When he realised there was no profit to be made in ransoming her, she became a slave on his ship, living a miserable life below deck. In a strange twist, she fell in love for the ruthless captain, an opportunity he soon exploited by making her first mate, completely loyal in her insane devotion for him. She now plays the game at his side, using her deadly skills with hook and chain to ensnare her victims.

Again there are a number of different possibilities with this name it could derive from the description of one who guts (disembowels), or from the word to make channels or furrows in something (again a description of her usual method of attack) or something that flickers or burns unsteadily as a reflection of her personality after her ordeal on the ship.

Harry ‘The Hat’ Hallahan

Harry

A crossover model from Infamy. He has a big hat. Rumour has it that the Hat has powers and has taken possession of Harry (inspired by  the Buffy episode ‘Him’ where a jacket makes whoever wears it irresistible to women).

Hemlocke

Hem

Hemlocke pays fealty to an ancient and primordial divinities, those with shrines overgrown by weeds, and ancient monoliths long since toppled. To most that have dealings with her, she is an eccentric hermit, a deluded outcast that seems an odd fit for the shadowy and sinister Union. She is unusually popular for a Union player, due to the gentle manner with which she administers herbs and potions. This hasn’t stopped her killing dozens of people that have crossed her path, influencing the fate of the universe at the will of her gods.

Hemlock is a highly poisonous flowering plant, previously used as a method of execution. It also is strongly associated with witchcraft in folklore.

Minx

Minx

Minx is a savage, undomesticated animal. She is kept chained like a dog in the depths of some dungeon by her master, starved and beaten until she bites any soul foolish enough approach her. When a particularly brutal match is scheduled, she will be lead from her hole, blinded by the unfamiliar sunlight and disorientated by the loud cheers of the crowd. Once she is truly rabid, she is unchained, stalking the opposition; no thoughts of the sport, but only an opportunity to hunt, becoming a lethal predator once again, her ample scalps testament to her skill.

A minx is an impudent, cunning, or boldly flirtatious girl or young woman. Minx is a cross over model from Ax Faction where she is a Lycan Hunter.

Mist

Mist

An elusive and shadowy individual, the only clue about Mist’s origins is his otherworldly link with Siren. His talent lies in deception, disappearing from plain sight, vaulting with acrobatic grace to strike from an exposed flank. Before his victim can react, they have lost the ball, their clumsy strikes no match for his agility.

Mist is a cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth’s surface that limits visibility, it’s amorphous and impossible to catch.  The aesthetics of Mist are based on Vin (who is female) from the Mistborn Trilogy which might explain some of the gender confusion.

Rage

Rage

Some call him dirty scum, others a vile murderer, but this does not do justice to the man known as Rage. He is a thug for hire, willing to get his hands dirty if it earns him some gold and reinforces his brutal reputation. Underhanded guilds often use this to their advantage, using his fearsome skills with knife and cleaver to settle old grudges on, and off the pitch.

Violent uncontrollable anger. A perfect way to describe him.

Snakeskin

Snake

Known as The Chameleon by her fans, Snakeskin is a master of disguise. A sinewy and powerfully built young woman, she is the master of the hidden kill, using poisons and venoms to compliment the viperous bite of her blades. She is an invaluable tool in the eternal war between the guilds, her ability to silence a target quietly being put to regular use, all for a price of course…

Snakes shed their skin when they outgrow it, so her name is representative of her constantly changing appearance.

Fangtooth

Fang

Nobody is quite sure if the ponderous hulk known as Fangtooth is man or monster. He is a hideous sight to behold, covered in pus-filled boils and pox scars, but this is nothing compared to his horrific stench which has people retching if they stray too close…

A fangtooth is a type of deep sea fish. A fang is also a type of tooth so his name is actually toothtooth – weird.

Avarisse

AG

Avarisse & Greede make for an unusual sight on the pitch. Don’t let their comical appearance fool you though…these two are hardened criminals, performing the most underhanded deeds if the right coin is on offer. Greede can be considered the brains behind the operation, but Avarisse is far from just being muscle, his ruthless cunning proving invaluable in their chosen line of work.

Avarisse is a homophone (word that sounds like another) of avarice, meaning an extreme greed for wealth or material gain.

Greede

From greed meaning an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.

 

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.