The Chocolatiers, true to their name, are chocolatiers—simple as that. The team met—as confectioners do—in a chocolate festival held in the mountaintop village of Bonsel, known to tourists as the “Sweetest Place On Marblearth”. The Chocolatiers worked in towns surrounding the base of Mt. Bonsel, with Choc from Giradel, Cocoa from Lindel, Mocha from Toblel, and Fudge from Ferrel. Bonbon, fittingly, worked in Bonsel itself and organized the festival, where the goal was to create the longest chocolate bar in the world and set a world record. Over ten days, the confectioners worked day and night to cook and shape the bar, and in the end, they succeeded.
Shortly after they broke the world record, the chocolatiers celebrated the occasion with an official ceremony and reception. The ceremony was attended by marbles from across the South American region, including “Royal” Candy of the Jawbreakers, who had entered the Surculo two years prior.
After delivering their keynote speech, Candy introduced themselves to Bonbon and the rest of the chocolatiers. They spoke throughout the night, as Candy exchanged stories of their successes in the Surculo and the five confectioners described their process of designing and perfecting the recipe for their chocolate bar. It was a night that would forever change their lives.
The next week, the five met up to celebrate, catch up, and determine what they would do with the leftover part of the chocolate bar, which was being stored in a gymnasium. As they were discussing, Cocoa rolled away from the group and behind the bar. They sprinted towards the bar and leaped off of a ramp, jumping over the piece of chocolate. The four other members of the group, after measuring the bar to be about 30 centimeters long, then took their turns. Each of them landed at around 20-25 centimeters, with Fudge accidentally landing on the strip of chocolate and snapping it in half.
The Chocolatiers, forming an official athletic team of four members, entered the Surculo just before the application deadline in 2013 and initially did not impress with a mediocre finish in the bottom half of the standings. The team hired a coach, Praline, early in the season to help them train and adjust to the competition, but they did not feel as if they were prepared enough. They debuted in the 2014 Surculo with a new trainer, Coach Truffle, and their results soared, qualifying them for the elite league in sixth. In the 2015 Surculo, the Chocolatiers earned consecutive medals during the first half of the season. They finished fifth overall, even after a questionable latter-half performance.
The Chocolatiers had heard of the Marble League from the Jawbreakers, who they were friendly with even in the Surculo. Candy had heard a rumor that the top three teams from the 2015 Surculo would be delegated to participate, meaning that the Jawbreakers, Rojo Rollers, and Quicksilvers would compete in the 2016 Marble League. The rumor turned out to be partly true—the top three teams would be invited, not forced to compete, and if a team declined, the invitation would be extended to the next best team. When the Quicksilvers and Jungle Jumpers both declined their invitations, the Chocolatiers accepted.
The Chocolatiers debuted in Marble League 2016 to finish fourteenth in the overall standings. Following their season, they returned to their villages and started searching for land to build an arena and training facility. They began construction on their Cocoa Arena in late 2016, which would sit at the foot of Mt. Bonsel, just outside of Ferrel. The stadium was completed midway through Marble League 2017, and its construction was supervised by Fudge.
In the meantime, the team trained in Jawnair, in a separate facility from the Jawbreakers, and traveled to Knikkegen in June 2017 for the Marble League Qualifiers. The Chocolatiers qualified and conserved their energy for the main tournament. Although the Chocolatiers earned gold and silver, their overall shortage of medals hurt their place in the standings. They finished their 2017 season in eighth place overall.
During the offseason, the Chocolatiers recruited Fudge to join as the team’s reserve, and they accepted without hesitation. The team was sorted into Group A for the Marble League 2018 Qualifiers, along with the Jawbreakers, Quicksilvers, and Rojo Rollers—all alumni from the Surculo—and the Minty Maniacs, one of their customers from Herbotamia. The stakes were high, and despite placing fourth in Curling, the Chocolatiers were not able to reach them in the other three events. All four of the former Surculo teams, along with the Jungle Jumpers in Group B, failed to qualify for Marble League 2018.
The five were not entirely inactive during the main tournament, though—they helped run concessions in the Arctic Circle and sold their homemade chocolate to fans. By staying in touch with their art, they were able to publicize their annual chocolate festival, which they hosted in Bonsel during the offseason, at the same time as the 100 Meter Water Race.
Although the Chocolatiers skipped the 100 Meter Water Race, they were eligible to participate in the Consolation Race, which featured the teams which did not qualify for Marble League 2018. Cocoa finished second after leading for much of the race, an encouraging performance from a team that desperately needed it. That said, the question of the Chocolatiers qualifying for the Marble League was truly a toss-up. Come January, the Chocolatiers were able to do so in twelfth place, just barely making it.
In the months leading up to Marble League 2019, the Chocolatiers released a special Marble League-branded mint chocolate ice cream flavor named “Mint Chocolate Condition”, but they were otherwise training hard for their return to the limelight. Coach Truffle decided that Choc would compete in the Underwater Race instead of Mocha, which Mocha was relieved to hear. This decision paid off for the team, as the Choc earned the season’s first bronze medal. Much like 2017, the Chocolatiers were off to a good start but began to falter until the midpoint of the season, when Bonbon earned a silver medal for their team.
What followed was yet another streak of the “Choke-latiers”, as critics joked. The team finished the 2019 Marble League in twelfth place.
During the offseason, the Chocolatiers became the first team to change their captain. Cocoa relinquished the role in early 2020, with Choc serving throughout the 2020 season and beyond.
As the summer turned to fall at Mount Bonsel, and the next chocolate festival quickly approached, the Chocolatiers focused more and more on perfecting their craft. The focus on confectionery responsibilities came at the expense of preparing for the upcoming Marble League Qualifiers. Training sessions were cut short in favor of sculpting magnificent chocolate creations, and training runs got skipped in favor of creating new flavors of chocolate delights. Even with some intense sessions in the weeks leading up to the competition, it was not enough to get them in top form.
The lack of form became apparent at Qualifying for Marble League 2020, where the team finished one point below the cut-off line in sixteenth and would miss the Marble League for the second time in three years. Almost unaffected by another poor performance, the Chocolatiers returned for the most exciting part of their year—the annual chocolate festival. There were seven weeks until the Marble League Showdown after the festival, and Truffle sat down to talk about the future of the team. Between Coach Truffle’s outside perspective and Choc’s new energy and optimism, the team realized that chocolate would always be there for them, but the chance to compete in the Marble League would not be.
With a new mindset, the team had a reinvigorated motivation in their training. The divide in responsibilities became more balanced, and the training routine became more consistent and more intense.
They arrived at the Andromedome a completely different team than when they were there the first time. For the first time since 2017, the team captured gold, standing on the top step of the podium after the Halfpipe. Adding a couple more top-half finishes, the Chocolatiers found themselves back on the podium at the end of the season with a third-place finish overall and 38 points.
As usual, the off-season was dedicated to making chocolate. The annual festival was over, but they continued their Marble League collaborations. As they were finishing a new wave of collaborative confections, they got a surprise letter. They had been invited to the Marble League Winter Special. With no Marbula One to train for, the main priority at the time was chocolate, but Coach Truffle accepted on the team’s behalf. They never really reached the potential that they showed during the Marble League Showdown. Their only notable result was in the final event when Mocha scored an overtime goal to beat the top-seeded Oceanics; the team finished fifth in the event, just enough to jump the Snowballs in the standings and end in 15th overall.
As the year progressed, and the team found a balance between making chocolate and training for the upcoming Marble League Qualifiers, there came news of the Jawbreakers going on hiatus. Caramel, joining the Chocolatiers as their manager, had spent a bit of time in the Jawbreakers organization and was brought on to help Truffle balance the training schedule and miscellaneous managerial tasks.
There was an excited buzz at the base of Mt. Bonsel as the team arrived in Felynia for the first time. They arrived and headed to the sand—not quite for qualifiers yet, but for a practice race. It was Bonbon in the starting gate, already with a fourth in the sand to their name. In a field of 28 this time, Bonbon was able to replicate their 2017 performance with a fourth-place finish. Instead of going back home, the Chocolatiers went to Jawnair in their time between the practice race and the Marble League. Training in the building where they trained before the completion of the Cocoa Arena, the Chocs kept up with their strict training routine while spending some time with the Jawbreakers before the team had to go back to Felynia.
One such training routine that the Chocolatiers disclosed after qualifying for the 2021 Marble League was horseback riding, a hobby that the team had taken up after a weekend excursion to Dappel, an old farming village located to the distant south of Mt. Bonsel. After lapping around the track at the Silver Dappel Farm, the team would dismount their chocolate horses and attempt to emulate their gait in an all-out sprint. It was this training that Bonbon used at the finish line in the Sand Rally to edge Azure and qualify with a silver medal, sixth in Group B.
The Chocolatiers followed a rough start to Marble League 2021 with a fourth-place in the 5 Meter Sprint and a gold medal in Funnel Endurance, earned by Choc and Mocha respectively. Standing in fifth place overall, the team struggled to keep up their momentum throughout the rest of the season but received praise for standout performances in the Sand Mogul Race, where Bonbon earned bronze, and Football, where the team earned silver. Coupled with other mid-pack results, the Chocolatiers finished in seventh place with a total of 145 points, their best overall finish yet.
Sometime after returning to Mt. Bonsel, the Chocolatiers received an invitation for Marbula One Season 3. They accepted, submitting Mocha, “Chocolate Champion”, and Bonbon, “Sweet Speedster”, to compete. Their promotional poster, illustrated by Jack Ironhide, features the two athletes training in Dappel on horseback.
Special thanks to Project Marblearth contributors Fouc, Roilan Estates, and Stynth for helping craft the lore of the Chocolatiers.