Of dog days (and birthdays)
Midsummer in GWENT is over, but we are still mid-summer. One Heatwave after another, right in the middle of the dog days – I really wished the Wild Hunt paid us a visit to bring us some cold. Kindly without all the murdering and enslaving, please! Thank you! Instead of an Ice Giant I rather have a giant ice cream…
You can click the card names to see their premium versions.
All card art and premiums were taken from The Voice of Gwent.
We should have some to celebrate not the dog days, but Glittering Girly Gwent Gaming’s third birthday! It is hard to believe but the blog is still alive. Come to think of it, this cannot be said for everyone and everything in Easha’s vicinity…
Anyway! Let’s focus on the positive aspects, shall we? Even after three years people are still visiting our little bubbly blog. The majority of the GWENT community probably has never read of us, but we are still alive and kicking! I definitely do not really feel alive and certainly not like kicking during those sultry dog days, though…
As I am more of a cat
person, I am naturally not fond of the dog days – not only because of the heat but as a matter of principle. However, as yet another matter of principle GGGG is participating in this year’s Blaugust again just like we used to.
It is already in full swing so feel free to stop by and read lots of different blog posts on just as many different topics. This year we will participate with a whopping single post – you are reading it right now.
Way to reach for the stars… which leads us directly to our next topic.
The dog among stars
The name of the dog days has its roots in astrology. The star Sirius was also known as ‘Dog Star’ in Ancient Greece. Just like the weak-minded animals they are, always following their owner; Sirius follows the constellation of Orion on its way through the Northern Hemisphere’s night sky. Other names like ‘The Scorcher’ should also give you a general idea how the astrologers back then saw the star: it was even blamed to actually cause the unbearable heat and drought of that season, but also connected to sudden thunderstorms and similar ill weather phenomena.
The question is whether the same can be said for the constellations of the Continent. This star might very well not even exist there. Maybe there is a cat star in that world instead? Now that would certainly be the better option. Arguably not for Witchers, though. Not even for those of the Cat School as cats show open disdain to them. Cats can also absorb magical energy (but nobody knows why and I won’t tell them) and see through invisibility. Surely such remarkable and noble creatures deserve a star to be named after them.
The star among dogs
Let me handle the topic of nobility, Easha. I happen to have some experience there.
So without further ado: let us talk about the Duke of Dogs. This is a nickname Gascon Bussard from Thronebreaker gave himself as we was the pack leader of his bandit group The Strays of Spalla who got their names from the animal masks they wear. Rather unexpected given his career and behaviour, but Gascon is in fact of noble origin.
His family revolted under Queen Meve‘s husband and was meant to be eradicated, yet the young Gascon survived and got his revenge years later by pillaging Meve’s lands secretly tolerated by Count Caldwell. The count’s dog is not quite like its owner at least if we consider its body type – but no body shaming here, okay? Better shame Caldwell’s character instead.
Only later Gascon learned about Caldwell’s coup d’etat in favour of Nilfgaard and switched sides once again to help Meve with reclaiming her throne. He later founded a Mercenary group called the Iron Falcons and became their leader.
Quite the story, right? And while the Strays of Spalla are only wearing animals maks, Gascon found an actual dog in Knickers over the course of The Witcher Tales: Thronebreaker. If you are interested about him, you can read our thoughts about him in an earlier post.
Like owner like dog
We stay in the realms of nobility and have a look at the dogs of the Van Moorlehem family. Their Hunting Pack is used for entertainment as the name indicates. However, we are not talking foxes here. As described in Van Moorlehem Hunter‘s flavour text Rather than beasts, he prefers to stalk poachers. But they don’t come as often anymore into the woods surrounding the palace… they engage in manhunts – apparently often enough so the prey became rare on their grounds. Suddenly the hunter became the hunted when it is about aristocratic vampires being superior to mere humans.
Urgh, I rather want to pet a dog than go hunting….
While we can be sure about the dryad handing out pets in Dryad’s Caress, I am definitely not sure whether it is a dog she is petting. Or an animal to begin with, it does seem more like a plant infused with consciousness. It gets startled by the dryad working her magic despite the latter’s intention is to calm it down according to the card’s flavour text. I really like the premium animation which captures its curious, yet afraid behaviour. The size difference of the gentle giant compared to the frail dryad also impressed me.
Out of man’s best friend we made his worst enemy. The flavour text of Mutated Hounds sums up pretty well what happens when you apply stolen Witcher mutagens without rigorous training and careful preparations. The criminal organisation Salamandra’s goal was to reproduce human mutants with the strength of Witchers and started by experimenting on animals. Experiments which brought out the worst and most primal aspects of the dogs used, almost as if reversing the evolution and domestication process they have undergone to become man’s best friend back then.
Let me direct your attention to their armour: To sprint with plate mail like that the mutations must have enhanced their physical capabilities significantly, just as intened. Given those dogs were mere trials the results should have exceeded Salamandra’s expectation by far: A strong and highly aggressive breed – probably to the point even their handler has to be careful. Something tells me that desirable looks have not played any role in the whole project…
No owner - no dog
While mutations reversed the domesticationprocess, there are still the dogs’ ancestors roaming the Continent freely: common Wolf Packs, but also lykanthropes. Just mind that Werewolves are not rare wolves that were wolves. Some say lycanthropy’s contagious – get bit by a werewolf, you turn into one yourself. Witchers know that’s nonsense, of course – only a powerful curse can bring on this condition.
After reading this flavour text – now so do you! I still do not recommend to venture into the woods alone while wearing a red cap of velvet, even though I would not mind getting rescued by Geralt just like a fellow Princess ; )
Better visit your grandma alongside your family and once again: no body shaming! It’s okay if she has big eyes, large hands and a huge mouth.
That’s it for dog days and Blaugust alike. Make sure to stay hydrated. That includes your pets and elderly persons around you.
Also make sure you do not get coerced into writing a blog post about dogs against your better judgment…