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With Halloween approaching and the release of the Dark Harvest I though I would rework a story written around 1066 Wargamings in Hastings tournament brand "Field of Screams", 4 events have been held so far with a 5th being planned. Few remember the names or the rites of the old gods anymore, but there are corners of the world where their power can still be felt. There is an island several miles from the coast of the free city of Hastyngs that harks back to those old ways. Nobody living knows the reason why the ancients painstakingly carved away the granite to form a huge, plateau so far out to sea. The few select scholars who ventured to the island to study the strange carvings and monuments were unable to ascertain even the merest hint of its original purpose. They all reported that after they returned to the mainland an unnatural feeling of malice and fear followed them where ever they went. Bad dreams soon turned to night terrors, each waking up every night drenched in a cold sweat, screaming from some unrepeatable horror. Dreading the inevitable next sleep, they eventually all succumbed completely to the madness. In the taverns near to the docks, travellers will often hear tales of the eerie wailing that can be heard rolling across the waves on nights when the moon is full. Certainly, the resident fishing fleet keeps a wide distance from the island named by the locals as the “Field of Screams”, and they all continue the bizarre custom of spitting overboard when sailing past. However, there are a few days each year when the abnormally treacherous currents subside and the sea mists clear gifting those desperate enough a short window to row out, weaving through the rocky outcrops with offerings of food or coin, to petition the forgotten gods for favour. When Hastyngs hosted its first Guild Ball tournament, after heated deliberations following the bountiful gifts of a mysterious benefactor known only as the Quartermaster, the Elders shocked everyone when they announced that the Field of Screams would make the perfect pitch to not only test the skills but also the bravery of the finalists. Those that have witnessed the violence and bloodshed of the game all agree: The old gods would certainly approve. However the Elders worried that something even more sinister may be involved and feared the consequences of their unexpected decision, but the Quartermasters pockets ran deep and his lackeys were extremely convincing.veller will often hear tales of the eerie screams that can be heard rolling across the waves on nights when the moon is full. Certainly the local fishing fleet keeps a wide distance from the island with it's Field of Screams, and it is customary to spit overboard when sailing past on the way out of the bay. All recognise it as a bad place. Having worked his way round many of the groups in the tavern Greyscales noticed a disheveled, malnourished looking beggar tucked away in the darkest corner, his stench far stronger than the rest of the locals, everyone else was giving him a wide berth. Ordering another drink and a bowl of the local hearty stew Greyscales approached having identified a new ear for his tales. As Greyscales sat opposite the beggar he realised he was quietly muttering to himself, repeating the same phrases over and over, “don’t listen to ‘em…island’s evil… island wants you…it collects your screams”. As Greyscales looked round he could see the barmaid laughing, “that’s all you’ll ever get from him, been like it for years”. Knowing that having a worthwhile conversation with a madman was as likely as the chances of the Farmers winning a game, Greyscales wasted no more of his precious shore leave and moved on to some newly arrived locals, donating his stew to the beggar who clearly needed the meal more. As the fool’s hand reached out for the spoon Greyscales failed to notice the Scholars Guild ring on his finger.
Less than two weeks to go until the new rulebook comes out. Before it does, I was wondering which characters people think won't make it out of season three alive? Let's start the guesswork, and then we can check back in a fortnight and see if anyone got it right!
Hello Sports Fans! The Season 3 Book is nearly released (April 21), when it is available you'll be able to continue you to follow the overarching story in the world of Guild Ball. If you've been neglecting the story, joined recently or want a refresher then read these summary stories. Season One It’s the opening day of the season, and the Fisherman’s Guild face off against their fierce rivals in the Butcher’s Guild. But this is no mere game for the Butcher’s Guild, and unbeknownst to the men and women of the Fisherman’s Guild, tragedy awaits. At the behest of a mysterious figure from the Union known only as Longshanks, Ox, the Master Butcher, brutally maims Corsair, captain of the Fisherman’s Guild. The Fisherman side take away a victory, but leave behind their captain… It is but a handful of days since the bloody events of match day, and already the Master Butcher is back on his feet, overseeing the training of new recruits. He lords over a brutal regime in the yard, an exercise in drumming out the weak from the strong. Meanwhile, the Union are active once more; from the safety of the shadows, Avarisse and Greede break into the undercity, under contract from their shadowy and unknown Principal. Are these orders from the Union itself though, or another party? Guild Ball is not just about the action on the pitch, and the Union’s vile reach pervades everywhere. Whilst emissaries from the Butcher’s Guild and the Mortician’s Guild meet to settle old treaties and bonds of favour behind the scenes, it is the fraternity of Longshanks pulling the strings. In the ruling house of the Fisherman’s Guild, Vincent de Laurentis, Lord Chamberlain of the Fisherman’s Guild, also encounters such an individual. The demand is simple… exile the injured Corsair from the team, and replace him with Shark. It is a dark humour indeed that possesses a man such as the Master Butcher, his cold eyes finding mirth in the death and destruction left behind by rioting during a match between the Brewer’s Guild and Mason’s Guild. Although no man alive would dare cross his path, the same is not true of the dead; on his return to the Butcher’s Guild, Ox is forced to confront the memory of his long-lost brother, Jacques, a ghost from his past. His brother has been cold in the ground for decades, but what about Ox’s honour? With Shark at their head, the Fisherman’s Guild resume their Sovereign State Championship campaign, their opponents for this game the Alchemist’s Guild, led by the inimitable Midas. It is a young and untried squad which the Fang of the Seas has inherited, and they are pitted against a strong team, but through sheer determination he is able to steer their course true and take home a much-needed victory. And so, is the reign of the pirate over, and does that of the predator begin… Once more the Fisherman’s Guild faces the Butcher’s Guild in the semi-finals of the Sovereign States Championship, with more at stake than ever before. Yet, again it is Union involvement which will rule the day. Disguised as a rookie Fisherman, Snakeskin savagely attacks Brisket and leaves her for dead, distracting the Butcher’s Guild and allowing the Fisherman side to claim victory over their rivals. But even as the game is won by the Fisherman team, the Master Butcher vows a bloody oath of retribution… Frustrated beyond compare at the recent bloodshed, Vincent de Laurentis finally sees his opportunity to be rid of the meddling Union once and for all. Seizing his moment, he captures the Longshanks appointed to the Fisherman’s Guild, and imprisons the duplicitous man in the dungeons below the Fisherman’s Guild. Avarisse and Greede are charged with investigating their associates disappearance, their methods brutal, and their hunt relentless. Before long, they discover the truth – but what will be their next step? It is the final of the Sovereign States Championship, and the Fisherman’s Guild face the Mason’s Guild, led by Honour, the First Lady of Guild Ball. Their opponents take an early lead, and it falls to the old veteran Greyscales to guide the team, Shark’s natural talent and athleticism unable to replace a lack of experience. Despite dramatic attempts to keep the Fisherman’s Guild in the game, it is thanks to the tactical acumen of the First Lady and her inspirational leadership that the Mason’s Guild emerge victorious, and take home the title. The final may be over, the fanfare of the crowds now past, but the Master Butcher remembers his debt of vengeance all too well. After nightfall, Ox leads a gang of Butcher henchmen through the shadows, breaking into the Fisherman’s Guild’s ruling house, and assassinating Vincent de Laurentis in cold blood. As he drives the blade home, the Master Butcher leans in, and whispers the last words that the Lord Chamberlain will ever hear… ‘That was for Brisket.’ A disguised Snakeskin watches from the shadows, her satisfaction clear. But the evening is yet over. Even as the Butcher’s make their escape from the guards alerted by the fighting, Snakeskin must make her own escape. Fate is a fickle mistress, and for all that the darkness conceals the Chameleon from those who would seek to do her harm, so it conceals her enemies also. Mortally wounded in her flight, she escapes to the sewers, where she discovers the Union have been divided; Avarisse and Greede have turned on their masters, murdering both the Longshanks held by Laurentis, and then Snakeskin herself. Ox and Boar, the only survivors of the raid on the Fisherman’s Guild, are confronted by the Solthecian church as they return to the sanctuary of the Butcher’s Guild. Confrontation seems inevitable, but first, Boar is given a choice. Stand with the Master Butcher, and fight by his side, or walk away, and abandon Ox to his fate. In an evening of betrayal, this is but the last, Boar’s promise to his captain that the Butcher’s Guild will live on as hollow as it sounds. As the last moments of the night flee before the rising sun, Ox prepares to sell himself dearly… Season Two Months have passed since the final of the Sovereign States Championship, and the assassination of the Lord Chamberlain of the Fisherman’s Guild. All of the Guilds reel from the death of such a prominent figure, a vicious attack the likes of which have been unknown before. Whilst no-one knows who truly ordered this dark deed, one thing seems obvious – none of the Guilds can trust each other, any more than they did before. Is anyone truly safe? In the aftermath of the assassination, not all are at a disadvantage however, and for a pragmatic soul, there is opportunity. Free at last from his exile, Corsair is returned to the Fisherman’s Guild to retake his place at the head of the crew. Although Shark is content to step aside for the good of the team, others cannot but wonder what this might mean for the team; Corsair brings with him unknown allies from his travels in the far east, and a vicious approach to the game that the Fisherman have shied away from until now. The Alchemist’s Guild are the first to try and capitalise upon the upheaval, investing heavily in the opening tournament of the new season, the Frontiers Cup. Despite being a minor event, the prestige for a team that takes home the Frontiers is enormous, a statement of intent for the rest of the season. Manipulating the Alchemist’s Guild’s High Council into sponsoring Smoke as captain, Calculus intends for this to not only provide her Guild with fame and fortune, but to steal power from Midas also… The Alchemists are not the only figures with plans in motion, or that scheme and plot from the shadows. The strings of the puppet master, Obulus, captain of the Mortician’s Guild, are everywhere. At last is the time for a scheme he has nurtured for decades to go into motion, beginning as a clandestine meeting with the mysterious and savage Hunter’s Guild. The men and women of this brotherhood have not seen civilization of generations – what will they bring to the world of Guild Ball? Without the Master Butcher, missing since the night of Laurentis’ assassination, the Butcher’s Guild has been thrown into turmoil. The Guild have appointed a new captain, a young woman known as the Flashing Blade, rumoured as the most lethal duellist of her time. Still, Fillet is unable to unite the old guard behind her, clashing with a returned Brisket, now finally recovered from the grievous wounds she suffered at Snakeskin’s hands. The future of the Butcher’s Guild is uncertain for the first time in years… The Engineer’s Guild defeat the Alchemist’s Guild in the early stages of the Frontiers Cup, and they crash out of the tournament. In the aftermath of the game, their team has been decimated, a result of internal bickering and politicking. Midas has been forced out of the team, but Calculus’ own support will likely dry up in wake of their failure. Worse still, in wake of betrayal from within by Venin, Katalyst is reduced to a hulking monster, completely incapable of rational thought and leaving little trace of the man which once was. In a day that promises to change the face of Guild Ball, Blackheart, the Pirate King that terrorised an entire nation, and leader of the Union, is betrayed by Rage. The Usurper cuts down his master during a game, even a bloodthirsty crowd muted by his barbarity. But the deed is not done there, for next Rage guts Coin, and wrenches free the Pirate King’s fortune. If ever there was proof that jackals know only loyalty to the coin it is proven this bloody day, as one by one they cross the threshold to join their new captain, each taking a grisly doubloon in hand. With the dominant Mason’s Guild already through to the final, the second semi-final pits the Mortician’s Guild against the Hunter’s Guild. The team that wins will face the reigning champions, but the Ferryman remembers his debt all too well. With his scheme still in motion and his hand yet to be dealt, Obulus orders Scalpel to stand aside and not avert disaster; and so it comes to pass that whilst the horrified crowd and players look on, Ghast is sacrificed to the Hunters primordial gods, their fealty now sealed by the lifeblood of the Silent Terror. It is the day of the final, but only one team is here to play. Ignoring the proud banners and the glory at their fingertips, the Hunter’s Guild fulfil their promise to Obulus, leaving Honour crippled and unmoving, even as the crowds cheer Flint scoring the winning goal. The Mason’s Guild take the title once more, to add to a cabinet already full of trophies, but leave their honour behind, as the sun sets… what might this mean for the future of the most successful team in recent Guild Ball history? Well there you have it. You're all caught up with the Story of Guild Ball, let us know what you though by commenting below or by speaking to us on Facebook.com/guildball or twitter.com/guildball
A fan letter the Guild Ball workers and fellow fans. I just want to say I find the future of this game rather exciting as a player. Not from a game play perspective, but rather a story one. Already the game has shown bright with it's incorporation of game mechanics from the lore itself, (with most of the best examples being from the Mason's Honour and Harmony combo, and several other examples,) making the game tell the story rather then the stories in the lore. But what's got me getting literally goosebumps is letting my mind wander to where they could go with it. Imagine: Say for several season, you have a favorite team. Let's say the Mason's (as the best example), and as a team you have Honor as your go to captain. Then the coming season you find she is no longer playable, or that her model is discontinued and, to your surprise, Harmony has lost Family [Honour] and it's replaced by a new trait added, (made up for this example) called: Vengeful [Butchers] +2 Dmg to models from listed team. That alone speaks volumes of a story without the player even so much as picking up a book. (Again, a mere example.) That alone depicts the power of a game mechanic in the best way possible. And why not stop there? After a while you fine that Harmony is slowly growing stronger and stronger each season, becoming less of the squishy striker that she once was and more like her sister. You are watching a story unfold before your eyes with Harmony seeing her go from a young woman who was only in the game for the fame, to a season veteran who was vengeance for her sister, maybe becoming Captain of the Masons herself. No idea if that will even happen, but it's a fun thing to imagine. And that is why I want to follow Guild Ball. Not for the games themselves, (they are an added bonus), but for the story they could tell. If they choose to. They have an opportunity unlike any other game I've seen yet. And I pray that they will. All the best, Indogma, a wet behind the ears fan.