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!

 

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The story so far…Fisherman’s Guild

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Onto the Fisherman’s Guild

Fish

The Fisherman’s Guild is, as would be expected, one that is very common in the island nations of the Sovereign States. The team has been around for a few years but had been languishing in the lower divisions until the Guild’s fortunes changed when the nobility developed a taste for sea food. This resulted in Guild Houses appearing where they hadn’t been before and the team improving a lot very quickly.

Season 1 – Fisherman’s Guild

The Season 1 story begins with a Butcher’s team (Ox, Brisket, Boar, Boiler, Shank, (presumably) Princess) facing off against the Fisherman’s Guild (Corsair, Siren, Kraken, Shark, Greyscales, (presumably) Salt). The game culminates with Ox cutting Corsair’s foot off.

Following a meeting between the Lord Chamberlain of the Fisherman’s Guild, Vincent de Laurentis and the mysterious Longshanks of the Union, it is agreed that Corsair will be removed as captain of the Fisherman’s team and replaced. Shark is then appointed as the permanent team captain of the Guild.

The story continues with a match between the Alchemist’s (Midas, Flask, Katalyst, Mercury, Calculus, Mist (of the Union) and Fisherman’s (Shark, Salt, Angel, Siren, Kraken, Greyscales) Guilds.

There is an obvious tension between Siren and Mist (described as the wrath of a thousand year enmity – literal or figurative is anyone’s guess). There is at least an insinuation that either Mist has some ‘mind control’ abilities or Siren is prone to bouts of psychosis.  Siren is seen to imagine the world changing into a shimmering blurry image whilst she’s fixated with Mist, resulting in her screaming ‘Get out of my head!’ before she sees an image of herself as a child.

Next up is a match between the Butcher’s and Fisherman’s Guilds again. The game sees Ox, Boiler, Meathook, Brisket and Boar facing off against Shark, Kraken, Greyscales, Jac and Snakeskin (of the Union disguised as a rookie Fisherman). The game is going well for the Butcher’s until Snakeskin fulfils her contract and guts Brisket, leaving her for dead, in revenge for the attack on Corsair.

The story continues with another meeting between the Lord Chamberlain and Longshanks, which results in the Fisherman’s Guild imprisoning Longshanks, who is subsequently tortured..

Once again there is another match, this time the championship final between the Fisherman’s and Mason’s Guild, which the Mason’s go onto win.

Ox and a group of Butcher’s manage to infiltrate the Fisherman’s Guild House and kill Laurentis in revenge for the attack on Brisket.

Shark

Following the attack on Corsair, Shark is appointed as the Captain for the remainder of Season 1.  He is from Eisnor, on the northern fringes of the Empire, and is seen as a blunt, aloof individual, and so differs from the familial nature of the rest of the team.  Shark feels the weight of the captaincy upon him and is more concerned with the success of the Guild than his own personal glory.

Salt

The Fisherman’s Guild doesn’t have a strong history of bringing animals to the pitch, but the season 1 mascot is Salt, the sea otter.

Greyscales

The team’s vice-captain is Greyscales, a veteran of the game who provides the inspirational leadership that is lacking from Shark.

Siren

Siren is an enigma and how she came to be on the team is also a mystery. One story says that she and Kraken walked into a guild house in Boujonte and demanded to be on the team, whilst another is that Greyscales and Corsair found her in an abandonded shipwreck. Her origins are still unknown.

Kraken

As with Siren, the origins of Kraken are unknown but he is seen as a gentle giant. There is an, as yet unexplored, link between Kraken, Siren and Mist (of the Union). In a game against the Mason’s, Kraken and Siren  both reacted to Mist’s presence (Siren in shock and Kraken in rage).

Jac

Jac is believed to be from Butcher’s stock and is seen as hardy, reliable and loyal.  He was press-ganged into the Old Skaldic Navy during the Century Wars. Rumours abound that he is actually Ox’s missing brother Jacques.

Angel

Angel is the rookie of the team in season 1 and is generally liked by all. At least to Greyscales, she will become the biggest star the game has ever seen.

Season 2 – Fisherman’s Guild

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Corsair returns to captain the team in Season 2 and before being attacked by Ox was seen a sthe real driving force behinds the team recent on-field success. Rumour has it that Corsair travelled east to Indar and Numa during his recovery. The Corsair that returned was drunk, overweight and a shadow of his former self.

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The mascot in season 2 is Tentacles ,the octopus, who attached itself to Corsair ship on the trip back from the East and was subsequently taken along to a game.

Sakana

Sakana is from a large family in Numa, a poverty-stricken province of Indar. The Numasai usually take one of two paths in life; a nomadic existance on the land or a life on the sea crwing fishing trawlers and merchant barges. Sakana took a third path, that of the pirate. He became a privateer under the charter of the Indarii sultans. During Corsair’s exile he became captain of the crew Sakana was on and they became friends. When Corsair returned west, Sakana came with him.

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The Fisherman’s Veteran player in Season 2 is Siren.  Her story (and that of Kraken) remains a mystery but something has caused a change in her. Before she was seen as creeping, insidious and passive but now as a silent, furious banshee, charging in headlong into the fight. Where before she would often be seen to smile her face is now almost always in a snarl. Greyscales view is that it was something to do with the moon, the tides turning in the southern seas, and the old Lords of the Deep. Take from that what you will.

 

 

 

The story so far…Butcher’s Guild

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After a bit of a break we have the Meatheads…(it’s a bit of a long one).

Butchers

Season 1 – Butcher’s Guild

The Butcher’s Guild are known for their hard-hitting, attacking playstyle and aren’t averse to ‘forgetting’ the rules when it suits them. They are also one of the oldest and most prolific teams.

The Butcher’s Guild ruling house is in Piervo, seat of the Solthecian faith. The Piervo Butchers are the purveyors of sacred meat to the Baccus (Head of the Solthecian Church) and have been for generations. They also have a significant presence in Figo.

Ox

The team is lead by Ox, previously a mercenary who has drilled the Butcher’s into a dependable, unified team.

Princess

The Season 1 Mascot is Princess, who was owned by a previous player and although they have since gone she has remained.

Boar

Boar is a towering, deranged man who is only out for himself. He isn’t really interested in Guild Ball, merely using it as a legitimate way to kill and maim.Shank

Shank is a man with a dark past. Coming from a life as an inner city gang member, he traded that life in for a better paid one on the Butcher’s team.

Brisket

Brisket is a second generation Butcher, her mother was a low ranking guild official and her father a highly regarded Guild Ball player. She is touted as one of the most desirable players in Guild Ball history and is however stubborn, hard, cantankerous and spiteful. She is also the Guild’s highest goal scorer in decades.

Meathook

Meathook is from Erskirad and has a vicious, vindictive streak as cold as the land she hails from.

Boiler

Boiler is the rookie of the team, still finding his feet. He is already making a name for himself as a vicious killer, as cold as a Mortician. Although there is a question over whether some of his actions are accidental rather than intentional.

The Season 1 story begins with a Butcher’s team (Ox, Brisket, Boar, Boiler, Shank, (presumably) Princess) facing off against the Fisherman’s Guild (Corsair, Siren, Kraken, Shark, Greyscales, (presumably) Salt).  The game culminates with Ox cutting Corsair’s foot off.

The story continues at the Butcher’s Guild House in Albrecht with hopeful apprentices training in front of Ox, giving an insight into the hard life of a rookie.

Magister Lundt of the Butcher’s Guild then visits Magister Abendroth of the Mortician’s where it become apparent that the attack on Corsair was in payment of a debt between the Butcher’s and Mortician’s.

Ox then attends a game between the Brewer’s and Mason’s (in the Brewer’s end). As he leaves he walks upon a youth being assaulted by four thugs, where he reminisces about his lost brother, Jacques.

The story then moves on to the team getting ready for their next match in Erskirad, again against the Fisherman’s Guild. Prior to the match Ox and Boar are talking to the mysterious Longshanks (of the Union) who warns them the Fishermen are after revenge for Ox’s attack on Corsair.

The game sees Ox, Boiler, Meathook, Brisket and Boar facing off against Shark, Kraken, Greyscales, Jac and Snakeskin (of the Union disguised as a rookie Fisherman). The game is going well for the Butcher’s until Snakeskin fulfils her contract and guts Brisket, leaving her for dead. Ox vows revenge on the ‘unknown’ perpetrator.

The season 1 storyline concludes with Ox and Boar in Valentia, going to enact revenge against Fisherman’s Guild along with two guild thugs (one of which is actually Snakeskin in disguise).

They are lead down an alley and into the city’s sewer network. The group travels through the sewers and up into the courtyard of the Fisherman’s Guild house. It becomes apparent that Ox has taken Boar rather than Shank with him to kill Lord Chamberlain Laurentis as he doesn’t trust Shank yet and does Boar from prior experience.

The group make there way through the Guild house to the room previously indicated by their guide, they take down the guard waiting outside and Ox burst into the room to confront Laurentis. He grabs him by the throat and takes out a dirk that he claimed from a Raed officer during the Century War, before plunging it repeatedly into the Lord Chamberlain’s stomach.

Ox, Boar and the Butcher’s thug (Snakeskin has since departed for her own purposes) then run through the house grounds, trying to escape. Boar then breaks down an old wooden door, but not before the thug is killed with a crossbow. Ox and Boar then flee through the doorway into the city.

The pair walk past a church (presumed to be a Solthecian one given it’s size and location) and as they turn the corner to their final destination they are confronted by a man in clerical robes and ornate, lacquered armour who introduces himself as Michele Cesare de Corella, Knight Paladin of Divine Solthecius, First High Priest and august Lord of the Valentian Church of the Solthecian Cult. They are then surrounded by heavily armed guards. The Paladin then turns to Boar and gives him the chance to leave as his agenda is with Ox. Boar then leaves Ox to his fate and plots to take over the Butcher’s team.

The story ends with the Paladin drawing a claymore and Ox walking forward to accept his fate.

Season 2 – Butcher’s Guild

Ox is presumed dead and the once unified team is fractured and the killing of a Lord Chamberlain is having repercussions amongst all of the Guilds.

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The team in Season 2 is lead by Fillet, who is seen as fairly level-headed for a Butcher. The team itself has split into two main factions, with Ox’s old guard (Boar, Brisket and Boiler) facing off against the other’s behind Fillet who she has got on side by a variety of methods including taking Meathook to bed.

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The season 2 mascot is Truffles, Tenderiser’s pet pig who bites anyone that goes near other than him

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Tenderiser joined the team in season 2 and is a towering giant of a man loyal to Fillet, who has an intense dislike of Boar.

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Brisket survived the attack by Snakeskin but has returned a changed woman. Leaner, harder and more vicious than before. Where before she was content to manipulate others into fighting her battles for her, now she embraces conflict with a savage, spiteful mean streak. The only time her mood eases is when she is with Boiler. Brisket only has one true loyalty now, to the memory of the Master Butcher, Ox. She has also allied herself with Boar, whom she believes Ox chose to take over the captaincy in his last moments.

Unlike in season 1 there is relatively little direct storyline concerning the Butcher’s. Obulus is seen attending a Butcher’s vs Brewer’s game and discussing the possibility of the Butcher’s throwing the game with Magister Lundt. Lundt agrees, not least because the division in the Butcher’s team will prevent them proceeding without any external interference.

Butcher’s Civil War

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The tension in the Butcher’s team becomes too much and the fractured team finally breaks into the competing factions.

The Civil War story begins with an unknown prisoner (although presumably Ox) languishing in a jail. The prisoner has been beaten and tortured but had fought back against his captors and had broken at least one set of chains. The prisoner then ponders on the outside world and particularly the state of the Butcher’s Guild. He believes the ‘murder’ of the Master Butcher woudl have lead to infighting amongst the team and left the Guild in turmoil. Without Ox’s firm hand a bloody transition of power would be inevitable. The prisoner believes that the only logical choice for a successor would be Fillet, however had he been able to make on the Master Butcher’s choice for a successor would have been Brisket.

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The story continues with Brisket convening a meeting with a number of the major, currently active Guild Ball teams (possibly the first since the end of the Century Wars) in a bid to secure support. In attendance are Silence of the Mortician’s, Stoker of the Brewer’s, Harmony of the Mason’s, Decimate of the Union and Jaecar of the Hunter’s Guild, Pin Vice of the Engineer’s and Corsair of the Fisherman’s Guild. Brisket sets out her position that the Butcher’s Guild is fractured and she is seeking support and help when the time comes. Stoker, on behalf of Esters, agrees to support as long as it were reciprocated (after all the Brewer’s are not unused to in-Guild conflict). Pin Vice also agrees to support Brisket, but only for as long as it suits her. Decimate agrees to take the proposal to Rage, Brisket responds with an offer of coin for their support.

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Next Fillet meets with Rage in the undercity, he asks her what she seeks in the undercity to which she responds that she is after the truth about who killed Ox and asks whether it was the Union.  Rage offers to tell Fillet this largely unknown secret for a price – seemingly knowing more than he is letting on. The resulting exchange leads Fillet to believe that it wasn’t the Union that killed Ox and leaves.

Boiler then reminisces about how Brisket was before Snakeskin’s attack and how her attitude has changed since her recovery – her friendly, flirtatious nature replaced with aloofness and uncompromising hostility. The apparent death of Ox has hit Boiler hard and his loyalty to Ox is born out of him seeing Ox as the father he never had and Brisket as a sister. The story continues at the Butcher’s Guild proving grounds with Boiler discussing with Shank how things had got to where they had before Tenderiser’s appearance and threats cause Boiler to leave.

The story concludes with a meeting inside the Butcher’s Guild house between the two sides. The civil war had drawn in other Guilds, with different teams and individuals throwing their support behind one side or the other. this disgusted Fillet who believed that it should have been dealt with behind closed doors. Following a dialogue between Brisket and Fillet it is agreed that the two will undertake the trial, the pact sealed in blood. The trial is an old Butcher’s tradition  where disputes are dealt with in a gladiatorial fighting pit, where only one person is expected to come out alive (if any).  It becomes apparent that neither are strangers to the pit and it is the third time that Fillet has stood in the centre, principally due to her quick ascension through the ranks. Before the fight begins, Brisket tries to come to a final resolution with Fillet but to no avail. The duel begins using long curved ritual knives called khukuri (which gives Fillet and advantage as they are more similar to her usual weapon of choice than Brisket’s). The fight continues back and forward until Fillet manages to throw Brisket to the ground, mounts her and begins to pound her into unconsciousness (the knives lost previously).  Brisket desperately manages to throw Fillet off before smashing her head into the floor repeatedly, recovering Fillet’s knife and holding it to her throat. Against the odds, Brisket had managed to win. However, Brisket never delivered the final blow and allowed Fillet to live (but not before Fillet tried to impale herself of the knife). In allowing Fillet to live she had sealed her own fate and had betrayed the trial. The Butcher’s surrounding the pit turned their backs on Brisket exiling her from the Guild. Although Brisket had one, Fillet still retained control over the team. The story ends with the revelation that going into the trial she had planned this outcome and that her shame was the price she paid for the good of the Guild and to pave the way for the future.

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Until next time sports fans!

 

The story so far…Brewer’s Guild

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Next up I’ll try and summarise the story of the Drunks so far.

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Season 1 – Brewer’s Guild

The Brewer’s Guild have a strong presence in Raedland and Maldriven with the latter containing large production centres and Guild Houses. They also have a large presence in the Figeon capital city, Gacildra.

The Brewer’s Guild supporters are renowned in Guild Ball for their violent behaviour and criminal activities – something the Guild officials turn a blind eye to. The Brewer’s terraces are known to be volatile and violent repercussions are not uncommon. Unlike other Guild’s supports the Brewer’s ones are know to cheer the misfortune of the oppositions players rather than cheer the success of their own.

During the Brewer’s vs Mason’s match in the Season 1 rulebook, it’s demonstrated that the Brewer’s supporters throw objects at the opposition players including spit, ale, stones, bottles, rotting vegetables and knives. Pitch invasions and outright warfare aren’t uncommon either.

Unlike some of the other Guild’s, the Brewer’s are known to separate work from play and will regularly drink (unsurprisingly) with opposition players after games. Brick and Mallet from the Mason’s Guild are known to be friends with many of the current Brewer’s team.

The Guild structure also appears to be unlike many of the others and changes dramatically every so often.  All guilds have different houses and different families that fight each other for which gets to be the master architect and the Brewer’s Guild is no exception. The part that makes them different to the rest is how each of the houses are so different to each other. The Delenni Brewer’s are known for their sugary spirits which are popular with nobles, the Ghalsch Brewer’s make a thick stout, Erkirii Brewer’s are known for making a sharp, cold spirit. There is a lot of infighting within the Brewer’s Guild which often descends into outright gang warfare, unlike many other Guilds where everything happens behind closed doors.

The Brewer’s team in Season 1 are almost all from Raedland and Maldriven (and the associated Whiskey houses), prior to them the team was largely from Erskirad.

Tapper

The season 1 team is lead by Tapper, a native of Maldriven and known to frequent the Drunken Seamstress pub and as would be expected is an alcohol connoisseur.

Scum

The team mascot in Season 1 is Scum and is known to be a typical, lazy, bad-tempered cat.

Hooper

Hooper is the vice-captain of the Brewer’s, has been a fighter all of his life and is no stranger to the gang warfare that is common in the Brewer’s Guild. He is known as an imposing an relentless man, who would never back down from a fight. When not on the pitch he lives a life of hard drinking, bar fights and whoring. Hooper’s ambition is to be warlord of the Brewer’s Guild leading from the front, but is extremely loyal to his Guild.

Stave

Stave, known as the Artillerist, so called for his love of throwing exploding barrels at opposition players.

Stoker

Stoker is the Guild’s Master of the Stills and is known to be more than a little unhinged with pyromanical tendencies. Rumour has it that he joined the team after fleeing Eisnor after murdering a guild official.

Friday

Friday was born into the world of Brewer’s Guild gang warfare and is the daughter of two gang members and was adopted by a guild Magister following the death of her mother. As she grew older she joined the gangs, common in the Brewer’s Guild, and severed ties with her adoptive father. She relishes life as a member of the team and holds ambitious to captain a team one day – although she has no issues switch allegiances to another guild if needs be.

Spigot

Last up in season 1 is Spigot, who is his early days was seen as the best of the best but he fell foul of the demon drink and fell into the gutter (sounds like Gazza). Although his relationship with his teammates has deteriorated, he is still kept around as one of the team.

Season 2 – Brewer’s Guild

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The, now typical, Brewer’s in-fighting has resulted in a new captain for Season 2 – Esters. She’s a native of Eisnor and is seen as very feisty and prone to ferocious verbal outbursts. She is married to another player introduced in Season 2, Mash.

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Mash had previously been a member of the old Raedland Army and was stationed in Erkirad before joining the Brewer’s Guild. Other than Esters, Mash’s real love is not Guild Ball but Cricket and wields a bat on the pitch. He is as quick to anger as his wife.

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Quaff is Mash’s pet dog and although physically intimidating is a gentle loyal companion who carries a large barrel of strong ale which invigorates both players and fans on and off the pitch.

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Spigot has managed to kick the bottle and is now back to some of his past self. His abstinence has been achieved through his faith in Solthecious.

Season 3 – Brewer’s Guild

Hopefully the Brewer’s Guild story is expanded upon in Season 3, particularly as they are half the focus of the new Starter Set, Kick Off!

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Until next time sports fans!

The story so far…Alchemist’s Guild

gb-teams-alchemistsSo apparently I started writing this blog a year ago (who knew?!), so as a sort of celebration I thought I’d summarise the Guild Ball story so far. First up,

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Alchemist’s Guild – Season 1

Introduced in Season 1 as one of the newer Guilds within the Empire of the Free Cities, it’s ruling house is based in Ethraynne – known for it’s great inventions and scientific innovations.

Due to it’s forward thinking ideology it is met with suspicion by a lot of the general population of the Free Cities. The Guild’s Guild Ball team is seen as a way of ingratiating themselves with the people and making their science more acceptable.

midas

In season 1 the team is lead by Midas, an arrogant figure who is seen as one of the greatest minds known in the Empire of the Free Cities. The son of a noble Valentian family, he grew disenchanted with life as a noble and fled to Ethraynne on his 16th name day. There he found a community of like-minded individuals, but as brilliant as they were they lived as squalid life. This was not the life Midas wanted so he started to conduct his own experiments and created the Crucible, which gives him the ability to turn base materials into precious metals. This attracted the attention of the Alchemist’s Guild, where he has steadily been rising up the ranks.

flask

Flask was a gift from the Engineer’s Guild to the Alchemist’s Guild as a token of the long-standing relationship between the two Guilds. A relationship that seems to be becoming increasingly strained.

calculus

Calculus is the vice-captain of the Alchemist’s team and is seen as a level-headed and straight-laced individual and she’s annoyed by those not following protocol. She was seen as the future captain of the team until Midas’ arrival, but she is more interested in science than Guild politics.

mercury

Mercury is seen as a roguish, attention-seeking womaniser, a reputation he does nothing to dismiss.

katalyst

Whilst many of the Alchemist’s Guild are interested in chemistry and inorganic materials, Katalyst’s interest are in the organic. He was one of a number of scientist’s looking to do battle with time and extend the life of man. The compound that Katalyst developed, and apparently tested on himself, has resulted in his growth into a mass of muscle and brutality but also is slowly killing him. Katalyst was never known for his patience and strives to achieve greatness whatever the cost.

vitriol

Vitriol was once known as Meredith Tieger, a gifted child who grew alienated form her community in Skald and fled to the sanctity of the Alchemist’s Guild. Her abilities grew here and she soon outshone her peers. Meredith was working late one night in one of the guild’s laboratories when tragedy struck. The exact details aren’t known, but an inferno engulfed a wing of the guild house and woman that emerged was changed forever.  Although not personable before the accident she became a dangerously introverted and isolated woman. Vitriol now confines her experimentation to corrosive acids and sulphuric materials alone and is the only drive left to the broken woman and for her guild, leaves them only one suitable home for her, where her destructive capabilities can be fully appreciated.

Alchemist’s Guild – Season 2

The story in Season 2 starts with the Alchemist’s team travelling by boat to the Frontier’s Cup in northern Eisnor. The tournament itself is a regular fixture and has made or broken a lot of team’s seasons.

The Alchemist’s have high hopes for this season and head up early to get ahead of the game. The Alchemist’s Guild had decided to invest far more heavily than their rivals in a bid to gain an early foothold as an established team. The tournament had started well with wins against the Farmer’s and Fishermen’s Guilds but it had all gone wrong in a game against the Engineer’s Guild. There had been an ‘agreement’ that the Engineer’s would throw the game but this didn’t materialise and the Alchemist’s lost.

Midas was still Captain at the beginning of the Frontier’s Cup but was replaced by Smoke as the season progressed. Whether this was because of an injury sustained against the Engineer’s, the Guild’s unhappiness at losing or because Midas had lost favour for some other reason is unclear.

During the Frontier’s Cup match, Calculus is shot in the back by Salvo of the Engineer’s Guild for killing his ‘sister’ and almost drowned in a puddle and is only saved by Katalyst’s intervention.

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Midas is replaced as captain of the team by Smoke. A woman described by her lover, Calculus, as ‘as brilliant as Midas, although as compliant, obedient, and efficient as Midas is wilful, cantankerous, and wasteful’.

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Venin is introduced as a rookie for this season and has little time for either Midas or Smoke.  He is a rebellious character who is only looking out for himself. He is low-born orphan growing up in the slums and dislikes the nobility. He has an affinity with poisons and the new mascot, Naja, is his pet. He uses her poisons as the base for his alchemical projects. Venin has an ulterior motive for travelling to the Frontier’s Cup with the team, to complete a contract with his nameless benefactor (presumably Obulus given his description of Venin, “If he was not so useful in his current place, I would take him for my own team. I predict he will be a useful asset in the years to come”).

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The contract is to administer a poison to Katalyst, a man Venin sees as an imbecile, who being on the cusp of creating an elixir that could cure any illness, enhance the body permanently to near superhuman levels, but squandered the opportunity to sate his need for recognition and his lust for fame by damaging his own body by consuming the imperfect mixture in large doses, thereby stalling any further development of his research. The intent of the poison isn’t to kill Katalyst but to accelerate the effects of his elixir, leading to widespread mutations and driving him insane, which it does with spectacular effects.

compound

The other Alchemist player introduced in season 2 is Compound. He had darkened the name of the Alchemist’s Guild during the Century War when he was know as the Rat Catcher because he used canisters of lethal gas to break castle sieges; to drive the defenders out onto the swords and arrows of the enemy. He had earned his name by herding men, women, and children to their death like cattle to the slaughter.
The man was finally caught by some of the vast number of enemies he had made amongst the grieving survivors. He was horribly disfigured by them; forced to watch both his arms
melted down to the bone by the very chemicals that were the tools of his trade. Then they used those chemicals to burn out his eyes, ensuring his last sight was his own disfigurement. He was presumed dead but found by the Engineer’s Guild and given new limbs and sight by Pin Vice of the Engineer’s Guild.

Alchemist’s Guild – Season 3

We don’t know much about season 3 other than that the story is more a continuation of that from season 1, rather than season 2. There are some questions that need answers, particularly around Midas and his role in the Guild going forward.

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’