SAVAGE SPEEDERS (SAV)
Savage Speedway (Accelaise; ML & M1)
Marble League 2016 (Champions); Marble League 2017 (Runner-up); Marble League 2018 (Runner-up); Marble League 2019; Marbula One Season 1 (Champions); Marble League 2020 (Champions); Marbula One Season 2 (Runner-up); Marble League Winter Special; Marble League 2021; Marbula One Season 3
The Savage Speeders hail from Accellaise, Pace, and Vellis, three cities known for their cultural, artistic, and economical significance. Speedy and Rapidly are siblings and hail from Accellaise on the southern coast, Velocity hails from Pace, a coastal city to the east, and Swifty and Whizzy are friends from the capital city of Vellis. The five marbles met during the Tour de Vellis, a marble sports marathon held in the city and throughout the country. Speedy and Rapidly had already been competing in local tournaments in Accellaise, so when Velocity brought up the idea of forming a team, there was no hesitation.
The Speeders trained vigorously over the next two years to qualify for the marathon, fighting to make ends meet when it came to scheduling and traveling. Nonetheless, the team was able to qualify for the tournament and made headlines with a fifth-place finish after the tournament. For a rookie team, it was unheard of. They continued to compete in the next three Tours, never finishing below the top five. In the 2014 Tour, the Speeders clinched their first win, and in 2015, repeated it. News headlines throughout the world began comparing the team to the unstoppable force of early berserkers, referring to them as “savage”. The Speeders reacted positively to this, adding it to their team name to become the Savage Speeders.
While celebrating their back-to-back victory, the Savage Speeders were approached by marble sports aficionado, Greg Woods, with a request to join the up-and-coming Marble League. Confirming the request with Woods, the Savage Speeders announced that they were retiring from the Tour de Vellis to the disappointment and confusion of many fans. Their confusion grew when it was reported that the team had purchased a stadium in Accellaise.
Soon enough the team’s fans caught wind of the Savage Speeders’ presence in Knikkegen for the Marble League, and a small pack of diehards yelled as the main team of four rolled into the Bakker Bowl. Because of their more inconsistent performance during the Tour, Whizzy sat out of the main team but was on the front row in the stands, keeping the fan section invested during a season in which the Savage Speeders would win their first Marble League championship.
In retrospect, it’s easy to forget the Speeders had many average performances throughout the 2016 Marble League, sinking as low as second-to-last in the Team Pursuit. It’s much more memorable that they were the only team to win four golds and the only team whose medals were all golds. The team set a nascent Marble League record in the Relay; Velocity flew down the Water Race’s waterfall to take gold there; and Rapidly was lengths ahead of everyone else to win the 10 Meter Sprint. The final gold medal came when the Speeders were two points behind the Thunderbolts heading into the final event, the Hurdles. Apart from a mediocre Long Jump performance, it was the first time team captain Speedy started on their own, but they achieved glory, beating Yellup in a photo finish that would define their career.
The team’s victory tour was jubilant, as they traveled around the world with their four gold medals and all five members of the team. When the Savage Speeders returned to Vellis for the final part of their tour, the city hosted a day-long parade through the city on the same course used for the Tour. At the end of the day, the team was gifted an honorary key to the city, which inspired their hashtag, #SpeedIsKey. Over the next six months, the public heard nothing from the Savage Speeders, a practice that would become the standard for the team in the offseason. The team’s stadium was closed to the public and protected by security.
The Savage Speeders automatically qualified for Marble League 2017 and appeared in the opening ceremony with Whizzy back on the team in place of Velocity, the latter switching out with them so Whizzy could compete. After earning gold and two silvers, the Savage Speeders led the standings at the end of the first half, almost a gold medal’s worth of points ahead of the Limers in second. The team would earn one more gold after winning the Steeplechase, but the Savage Speeders began to slow down too soon. After holding first place for seven consecutive events, the Savage Speeders lost their lead to the O’rangers and finished as runners-up in Marble League 2017 with 150 points. It was a historic upset that has gone down in history as one of the greatest comebacks in marble sports.
The Savage Speeders made their next public appearance in the Marble League 2018 Friendly Round, an exhibition tournament starring the prequalified teams of the main tournament, placing fourth of the four teams. Opening the main tournament with two silvers and a bronze, the Savage Speeders reclaimed the top of the standings with a silver medal in the Snow Rally. The close nature of how results were decided is what many fans consider to be the reason that the Savage Speeders lost the 2018 season.
The team held on to the top of the standings until Curling when the Oceanics’ gold put them ahead. Earning a bronze in Ice Hockey, the Savage Speeders became one of ten teams that could mathematically win Marble League 2018 in the final event. As the Savage Speeders headed into the finals of the Sand Moguls, they realized that the Midnight Wisps would win the championship if they won the event…by just one point. And they did—pulling off another extraordinary comeback against the Savage Speeders to take their championship, as was the will of the wisps.
The Savage Speeders made two public appearances during the 2018 offseason for both practice events. Whizzy placed sixth in the 100 Meter Water Race, above most of the Speeders’ rivals. The team advanced to the semifinals of the Amazing Maze Marble Race with their strong second-place standing, shutting out the Midnight Wisps. They advanced to the finals and finished third. Their next public appearance was in the Marble League 2019 Friendly Round, as the Savage Speeders had automatically qualified for what would be their fourth Marble League appearance. The team finished fourth.
The Savage Speeders acquired Quickly as their coach on 25 February 2019 and appeared with them during the opening ceremony on 19 April 2019. They started the 2019 Marble League as well as they possibly could have, in a comeback that proved to fans to “never count out” the Savage Speeders. In the Underwater Race, Rapidly earned the team’s first gold medal since the Steeplechase in 2017, and in Funnel Spinning, Speedy earned a back-to-back gold medal.
The Savage Speeders led the standings during the first four events, leading fans to wonder if they would ever give. They finally did in the fifth event, the 5 Meter Sprint, when Whizzy finished dead last and the Hazers, who earned a silver medal, rose to first overall. The Savage Speeders hoped that they would be able to recoup, and returned to the podium in the Maze event with a bronze. But the next event set the tone for the rest of the season, when in an intense final stretch during the Dirt Race, the Speeders were passed to finish fourth in the event.
Rapidly, who started the season strong, finished fifth in the Sand Rally. The Savage Speeders finished Marble League 2019 in fifth place, three points behind Mellow Yellow in fourth, who had finally finished ahead of their rivals at the end of a season. It was the team’s lowest finish, placement-wise, in their history, and the first time in the history of the Marble League that the Savage Speeders neither finished in the top three nor automatically qualified for the next season.
After a disappointing fourth Marble League, the Savage Speeders were pleased to receive an official letter from JMR, inviting the team to compete in the first season of Marbula One. The Savage Speeders accepted and were confirmed as the first team on 20 October 2019. On the same day, they announced that Speedy, the “Speed Freak”, and Rapidly, the “Maroon Missile”, would represent the team in the upcoming tournament. The rest of the Savage Speeders did not sit idle, as JMR had also selected the team as the hosts of the first Grand Prix. Swiftly, Whizzy and Velocity got to work preparing the Savage Speedway for Marbula One.
Speedy made their debut as a Marbula One racer in the Savage Speedway Grand Prix Qualifiers on 15 February 2020, where they set a time of 31.20 seconds to beat. Unfortunately for them, every racer beat their time, and Speedy entered the first Grand Prix with a starting position of dead last—on their home circuit. However, Speedy was not ready to give up. By the third lap of the race, they had moved up thirteen places from their starting position to third, and they finished the race in fifth place, earning ten points and an extra point for setting the fastest lap.
Rapidly made their debut as a Marbula One racer at the O’raceway Grand Prix Qualifiers on 22 February 2020, where they set a lap time of 31.89 seconds and placed sixth on the starting grid. During the Grand Prix, Rapidly entered the top five during the sand portion of the track and remained there for much of the race, only exiting when bumping Wospy forward to clear their yellow flag. After returning to the top five in lap five, Rapidly closed in on Billy in the lead, but was ultimately unable to catch them, and finished in second place.
The Savage Speeders, living up to their name, continued to be a formidable force throughout the season. Speedy qualified for the race at the Momotorway in seventh and finished the third Grand Prix in sixth. Rapidly qualified for the race at the Hivedrive in seventh and earned their second silver medal at the end of the fourth Grand Prix, not even a second behind Pulsar in first. Rapidly lead the Racer Championship halfway through the season, and the Savage Speeders as a team sat in third overall.
Coach Quickly put Speedy in for the Short Circuit GP, a decision that put the team into the lead overall at the end of the Race. Speedy qualified in second with a time of 17.85 seconds and finished the sixth Grand Prix in third, taking the lead for four laps of the race. The team rose to the top of the standings with seventy points but fell in the individual standings, with Rapidly’s blunder at Greenstone dragging their points down.
Rapidly redeemed themselves in their last Grand Prix at the Razzway, qualifying in the third and finishing seventh, keeping the team fourteen points within the championship in second overall. Would Speedy be able to deliver in the final Grand Prix of the first season of Marbula One?
The final Grand Prix felt eerily similar to the final event of Marble League 2016: it was the feeling that Speedy would dominate, and prove once again to the world to never count out the Savage Speeders. Speedy captured pole position in the Midnight Bay Qualifiers with a time of 24.54 seconds, putting them in the prime position to rush away from the competition once the starting gate fell in the Race. They did exactly that the next night, only losing the lead once to Prim, and regaining that lead two laps later. Speedy never looked back.
The Savage Speeders won the first season of Marbula One with Speedy earning 59 points and Rapidly earning 42 points, placing first and sixth respectively in the Racer Championship. They won the team championship with a seven-point lead above the Hazers and a 42-point lead above the O’rangers, who stood to their left on the podium.
The stars glimmered above the Andromedome, and the Savage Speeders were competing in their team’s first-ever Marble League Qualifiers. Hounded by the press to comment on the chances of the Speeders not qualifying, other coaches declined to comment or were measured in their praise. The Speeders’ natural skill led to a comfortable victory in the Qualifiers, with 78 points over four events, three of which were medals. Swifty themselves was a sensation, winning the Sprint with a time of 5.203 seconds.
After the Marble League ball of flame was phased into the cauldron, the Speeders were last overall heading into Event 3. Whizzy took the event’s bronze, lifting the team out of last for the rest of the season – but where would they end up? With two bronzes and five top-five placements heading into Event 11, the Black Hole Funnel, Speedy and Rapidly won gold and held the highest-scoring run in the whole event, at 58.32 seconds. In the Relay, the Speeders won gold against the O’rangers and were now second in the standings.
Having beaten three teams on pure speed in the curious Team Aquathlon event, the Speeders in the final faced off against the Midnight Wisps, masters of tactics. With three Speeders rolling off to one side, one of the Wisps went over and got to nudge all of them off course. And yet, it was Velocity who made a last-minute push, forcing a photo finish. They were a hundredth of a second away from taking gold for their team.
The Speeders were 20 points behind the O’rangers going into Collision. It was an event that commentators say the Speeders were “historically terrible” at, but there was no precedent for this moment. Unlike in the past, the Speeders decelerated more going into the dominoes and knew how to avoid all the electrons and planet balls careening their way. They won every one of their group matches. It all ended with a safe formation and a tight Speeders win over the Thunderbolts, 4-3. The whole team, coach included, embraced after the Collision gold, and took the lead in the standings. They finished the Marathon in ninth to prove Coach Quickly right: the Savage Speeders had won Marble League 2020.
Unlike the urban legend among Speeders fans, the team does take some time off of practice in the summer off-season. Rapidly, by their admission, does not go on vacation often. Ahead of the second season of Marbula One, Rapidly led a team of four to travel across Marblearth. They raced up and down Colina Umerun in the Western Hemisphere, saw the gleaming skyscrapers around Zuro’s main boulevard, then retreated to the fjords west of Thorston. Another team would meet them there for the week: the Midnight Wisps, four of their friendliest rivals.
Despite multiple inquiries, no one within the Speeders organization or any other team recalls seeing Speedy that off-season. The one exception was Minty Fresh, 2020’s highest-scoring individual athlete. They recall a surprise appearance by Speedy on the Minty Mania grounds, a few weeks before the Grand Prix took place.
It was on Lap 5 of the Minty Mania Grand Prix when Speedy crashed. They bounced up the circuit’s conveyor belt rather than lodging on it, arching down into the belt’s side gear. The red flag lights flashed and the belt shut down, but not after the gears already scratched Speedy and juggled them in the air. Carried up the belt and off the circuit, Speedy was immediately checked up in the garage. When medics announced they had only minor scratches, the crowd roared and the race restarted. But, for the first time, Speedy watched a race roll on that they could not finish.
Rapidly would have their opening race at the O’raceway, and the potential duel with Orangin of the O’rangers was all the rage. But even as Orangin befell a similar fate, there was no satisfaction. Orangin placed second to last, but Rapidly ended dead last. The Speeders’ stay in the bottom three of the rankings was brief. As soon as Speedy finished their qualifying lap at Honeydome in the top eight, the air around them felt different. They drifted across the Bee Dance sector with ease and never slowed down in the Hive, sneaking around Bumble on the last corner of their hometown track to take pole position. Once Speedy built up a distance away from second place, the others faltered, and they won the race largely uncontested.
Rapidly caused the Savage Speeders to not qualify for the first time in any JMR event during the Arctic Circuit, fueling tension within Speeders management in regards to Rapidly’s poor performance within the first half. After the Arctic Circuit GP, the media only heard from Manager Savvy that there would be an unexpected delay in the Speeders press conference. From then to the Winter Special, the Speeders were a non-entity. They were eleventh overall in Marbula One, Rapidly was without points, and Manager Savvy had nothing to comment on any journalistic inquiry. The Marblebase would gossip back and forth on whether Rapidly would be sacked until a short JMR statement noted no M1 team made a final request to swap racers mid-season.
Finally, on a snowy night at the foot of the Himarblelayas, the Speeders’ team plane touched down and carried the whole team in it. Speeders fans crowded around every athlete they knew, their coach, and their manager. Silent as they rolled past upon arrival, the team issued a statement from Captain Speedy: the team would use the Marble League Winter Special to showcase athletes apart from Rapidly and themselves, so the M1 racers would not have to overexert.
Going into the final Ice Hockey event, Speedy and Quickly appeared together at a press conference for the first time since Tumult Turnpike. Their answers to questions were curt, but the idea was clear: Both marbles were sharing coaching duties in search of a Hockey Gold that eluded them in 2018. What followed was the peak of the tournament for the Speeders, starting from when they quickly dispatched the Green Ducks and the Snowballs. Playing against Team Galactic in the semi-final, the Speeders nearly lost by one if not for Rapidly checking a Galactic defender and letting it all tie up 3-3. Then the two teams went into a double-overtime grudge match, broken at the last second by a Rapidly back-hander into the Galactic net. In the final, the Raspberry Racers not only had more stamina but also had a whole separate section of Oceanics fans shouting for them. The Speeders were outplayed in the final 4-1, but still walked away with a silver medal. With every Speeder on a podium for the first time since Polaria, the warmth started to show in the team.
In less than a week, Speedy was across half of Marblearth and testing the straights on the Raceforest circuit. A repeat Racer’s Championship was possible, and the Captain fielded more questions about whether they could beat the Cat’s Eyes, Hazy, or Billy. The answers were generic: they would beat them all, no doubt.
That Grand Prix was the first time Speedy raced against Red Eye in Marbula One, and the first time Speedy was beaten by Red Eye. In the main race, we saw Speedy’s lesson from the Qualifier was “be more aggressive.” The Speeder cut right in front of polesitter Rima before the first turn, only to see Red Eye nudge them off the racing line and lead out of the first sector. Speedy was more consistent exiting the belt, but Red Eye’s superior handling of straights meant the lead traded back and forth between these two. After fifteen laps, it was Red Eye with the double gold medal this season. Much occupied Speedy’s mind at that time. They would explain that they had little time for personal training because after Coach Quickly’s ultimatum they were focusing on Rapidly. Whole days were spent practicing with Speedy’s sibling, trying to resolve what the Captain diagnosed as a “lack of drive.” At the Momotorway, the worst of Speedy’s predictions came true. Rapidly finished 20 seconds behind Yellow Eye’s championship-defining win.
Racing on the fastest track of the season, Speedy’s experience showed at Palette Park. While the dark horses like Pulsar or Tumult took the early lead, Speedy overtook them all by avoiding crashing out on the straights and banked turns. Then came the race’s second half. What seemed like strategy – Speedy swerving inside one lap and outside another – might have been hesitancy and fear as Wospy kept making up the gap. On the final lap, Speedy accelerated one last time to get right behind Wospy, but it fell short. Wospy became the first racer to go from last to first in Marbula One history.
Flying through the fog, Rapidly made it past Misty Mountain’s Q1 round for the first time in three races, starting in sixth. Once the race started, Rapidly swerved beautifully past one marble and another, sticking to the racing line down the pair of Z turns in Sector 2. Halfway through the race, the Speeder put some distance between their opponents, placing provisionally in fourth. Without much to do with the drama at the front, Rapidly went to third before the restart by profiting off Wispy colliding with Bumble at the sharp corner. Then, on the first lap of the restart, they sped up on the final straight and swerved between Starry and Cerulean to take the lead. For the first time this season Rapidly led a lap—two, in fact. In the end, some solid defense from Hazy and Mallard held the racer back to third place. But that third was a Marbula One podium placement for Rapidly over a year in the making.
As Rapidly’s redemption began, Speedy was in a bind. The Captain had a chance to defend their Racer’s Championship title against the two Cat’s Eyes, but their real objective was more visceral. The Captain was aware of Coach Quickly – if not the whole Speeders team – saying they should run at Midnight Bay as the best way to get a second gold. Yet, Speedy insisted they should run and win at the Savage Speedway, supposedly to entertain as many home fans as possible. Red Eye won a decisive pole position, Speedy in P2.
Red Eye clinched the Racer and Team Championships by running eight seconds ahead of all others. Speedy’s racing was more uneven and eventually, they were overtaken by Starry, finishing in sixth. Fate was unkind toward Speedy this Marbula One season. There was no comeback and the suspense for the Championships resolved in a way no Speeders fan wanted. In this season Speedy was consistently one of the best, but just got beaten for gold at the end of races again and again. Following a few words of congratulation for Red Eye, Speedy retreated from the fans’ view and into the garage.
Midnight Bay, the circuit marking the Speeders’ first taste of glory last year, was now a race without stakes. Rapidly raced for the team at a time when the fans were mainly worried Yellow Eye and Hazy could squeeze Speedy out of the Racer’s Championship Podium altogether. Ten laps in, Rapidly saw Razzy wobbling from a poor turn around the opening hairpin and darted past to take the lead. Even if Cerulean sped up to take second by the final lap, it was never bumper to bumper between them. Rapidly, to the fan’s cheers, won the Midnight Bay Grand Prix by over a second.
In the end, even if the Crazy Cat’s Eyes dominated Marbula One Season 2, the Speeders were the next best thing. Rapidly’s gold meant the team climbed from fourth to second, and Speedy ultimately saved their second place in the Racer Championship.
The Marble League 2021 Friendly Round came soon after Rapidly finished 23rd in the 2021 Practice Race, with the Savage Speeders as reigning Marble League champions facing off against rivals and friends: the O’rangers, Crazy Cat’s Eyes, and Minty Maniacs. Once a moment in the season that had eluded them, the Speeders put up their best Friendly Round performance to date, podiuming in each of the four events and finishing second overall. Unable to defeat the hosts, they stood to the right of the Crazy Cat’s Eyes once again, eager for a better outcome within the main tournament. Despite a difficult start to Marble League 2021, the Savage Speeders defended their reputation in the Relay, earning gold, and pulled off a close win against Mallard; Rapidly securing a second gold.
Safely in the top three of the standings, the Savage Speeders’ second half of the season became more competitive than the team anticipated, and several bottom-half finishes caused the team to drop outside of podium contention in the next few events. Rising above them was Mellow Yellow, who earned consecutive podiums in three events to take the overall lead with four events to go. Although the Speeders were one of eleven teams in contention heading into the final event, Speedy’s confidence seemed to be feigned in a joint press conference with Red Eye, and a one-on-one meeting with Minty Fresh. Claiming to the previous year’s Marathon winner that they were “running out of things to win”, Speedy struggled with an exit from the conveyor belt in Marblocross and was unable to recover, finishing fourteenth. Owning up to their loss to Minty Fresh, who won the Marblocross convincingly, Speedy’s poor result dropped the Savage Speeders to twelfth overall in the standings, where they would finish Marble League 2021.
Reporters would press Speedy in the hours and days that followed, asking their opinion of an overtake in the final lap that Yellup allowed Kinnowin so the O’rangers could finish in tenth overall with 144 points, four ahead of the Speeders’ 140. Coach Quickly, in a rare moment of solidarity with the Speeders’ captain, sent harsh cease-and-desist letters to each and every organization that challenged them. Inner conflicts within the team that led to their 2020 championship became public shortly after the season’s end, keeping the Speeders in the public eye and leaving many to question their future as a team, let alone a sports dynasty. In a comeback that proved to fans to “never count out” the Savage Speeders, the team decided to be transparent with their operations, opening their training facilities and properties to the public permanently and beginning regular outreach programs as a team. Perhaps most notably, they began training a new youth team, Cruise Control, for competition in the Tour de Vellis, investing in the future of other athletes’ sports careers and the good of the marble sports community.
Despite not receiving an invitation to compete in Marble ManiaX, a JMR tournament directed by Dion Bakker, the Savage Speeders looked forward to competing in Season 3 of Marbula One, with Coach Quickly once again submitting Speedy and Rapidly in hopes of repeat championships.
Special thanks to Project Marblearth contributors Ghostly, Fouc, and Stynth for helping craft the lore of the Savage Speeders.