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11-03-1998, 08:36 AM #1Tim NuttingGuest
Artifact: The Chalice of Haelyn`s
I promised it a while ago, and I hope everyone can read this, if not, let me
know and I will format it for RTF or something.
This artifact is VERY powerful, and is meant to be a balance for the Viper's
Eye described on this list and in the Book of Priestcraft. It is important to
note that modern folktale about the chalice places its appearance as a
fantastic cup adorned with gold and gems, much like the false Grail in the last
Indy movie. I know it's kind of cheap to use the same gimmick, but the idea of
making it into a soldier's drinking horn just seemed too apt.
Though I intend for my players to find this item, they will have to work very
hard for it, and wind up actually releasing Atar the Lost in the process.
Further, Atar IMC can sense the location of the Viper's Eye (again BoP). The
players in my game are on a search for this artifact to gain the aid of the
black Princess, who wishes nothing more than the purification of her bloodline.
The last thing I might put in the game is the misleading idea that the Chalice
restores the most prominent bloodline in the character (note that this assumes
that you use a system of bloodtheft where derivation can change because of it,
perhaps by taking too much of another line).
Enjoy! (and let me know what you think!!!!)
The Chalice of Haelyn's Tears
The Chalice is a drinking horn suited to a well-equipped and set up man of
about the time of the War of Shadow. It appears made from the horn of a cow,
lacquered and polished, with blue and gold lace designs meticulously painted on
its sides, and the pointed end is capped in bright silver, allowing it to be
driven to the ground when on the campaign trail. A shoulder strap has been
mounted, as well as a cap, permitting the horn to be carried over the shoulder.
This relic is only found in the Birthright campaign setting.
In the lands of Cerilia, history and faith are irrevocably tied to the near
mythical events surround the War of Shadow and the Battle of Mount Deismaar.
Well chronicled by other historians, the battle served as the turning point in
the eternal war between the light and the dark, forever changing the face of
Aebyrnis. When the old gods sacrificed themselves for their children of the
Five Tribes, the energies released were catastrophic. Each champion, having
been most like their respective patrons, was elevated to the status of gods,
protected from the chaos and devastation.
Each hero, each champion, was a mortal being. Each participated in the war,
surviving on a campaign trail that was years old as the final conflict drew
near. Modern recitals of the War of Shadow gloss over the mass bloodshed and
chaos that blanketed the lands, for it is recorded that the tribes, with their
allies amongst the dwurfolk, fought tooth and nail for every scrap of land, for
As mortals, each being had to see to his own welfare, and it was common of the
age for soldiers to carry with them a drinking horn to contain liquid
sustenance. The paladin Haelyn, in service to his god Anduiras, was no
different. Despite what he would become, he was still a man, and like any
other, he carried such a horn. When he was elevated after Anduiras' death,
Haelyn, like the other gods, sought to retain as much of their former humanity
as possible, thus each clung to former worldly possessions.
The time immediately following the Battle is commonly recorded as either the
Chaos of the Blood, or the Time of the Blood Madness, when virtually all of the
newly gifted scions sought to experiment on one another with their newfound
powers. One can imagine the horrors given birth then, for at that time there
were few among the Tainted, and many Great lines that would perish within the
From his place in the Eternal Heavens, it is said that Haelyn, still coming to
grips with his godhood, watched the Blood Madness consume his people, and he
wept. The myth tells that the drinking horn caught a portion of these tears,
which were shed over a lack of unity, over the madness of evil. For a very
short time, Haelyn turned from this world, and in his sorrow, he let fall the
horn. Thus did this object find it's way to Aebyrnis.
Initially the object was discovered by new converts to Haelyn's religion, and
what would eventually become the Orthodox Imperial Temple managed to use the
Chalice of Haelyn's Tears, as they named it, so unite the factious members of
the faith, and thus lend stability to Reole as he began forging the Empire. As
the true horrors of bloodtheft came apparent, so to did the powers of the
Chalice, for those that drank blessed water from it were cleansed of the evil
taint absorbed in the slaying of Azrai's minions.
Reole himself established the Knighthood of the Shield, a sacred order of
warrior-priests and knights dedicated to Haelyn, gathered around Reole, and
sworn to protect the good people of Anuire from the depredations of evil
forces. They held the legendary Rampart of Haelyn as their sacred symbol, and
a required step of initiation was a sup from the Chalice, administered by the
High Priest of the Temple. This order would eventually become the Holy Order
of Haelyn's Aegis, and they would separate, over time, from their parent
organization, the Orthodox Temple.
For a time, perhaps 300 years after the Battle, it was the Holy Order that took
possession of the Chalice. When the High Priest Aracome was slain in the
Temple Aerele, and a thief came to take the cup, it was two Knights of the
Shield that were there to prevent the deed. With the blessings of the new High
Priest, the Knighthood relocated the Chalice to their stronghold in the
The next century saw expansion on an unheralded scale by the Knighthood, as an
increasingly fanatical zealot named Blaede Avan assumed the title of Grand
Master of the Order. Soon the knighthood dropped the requirement for Knights
to be scions of the noble families of the land, and allowed any soldier of
sufficient skill at arms to join the ranks. Many of the Duchies were taken
aback at the vastly growing power of this military arm of the Temple, and a few
speculated that, perhaps the Temple no longer controlled the Knighthood.
The truth would become known in 379 HC, when Blaede Avan first pressed the High
Priest, then Lucas Moerelle, to declare holy war on the godless elves of the
Sielwode, and their former "allies" the foul humanoids of the Aelvinwode and
the Gorgon's Crown. When he was rebuffed, Blaede formally, and publicly, broke
the Knighthood from the Temple, and issued a decree claiming that no Knight
would rest while evil still walked. Seemingly mad with power, Avan and his
Knights scoured the lands of Aerenwe, and then drove deep into humanoid and
elven lands, destroying anything that desecrated the Light, and the anything
that even remotely seemed to dishonor the most hard line teachings of the
Emperor Hadrian I issued a direct order for the Grand Master of the Knighthood
to cease his actions and step down, thus earning the enmity of the Knighthood.
Soon Avan labeled the Emperor himself a traitor to Haelyn and the Temple, and
thus declared war on the Empire as well. Having bitten off far more than he
could chew, the next few years saw Blaede driven to his final stronghold in the
region now known as the Five Peaks, where the armies of the Empire lay siege.
Eventually Avan was burned at the stake for treason against the state and
heresy against the Temple. During the siege, the Chalice and several other
items of power were lost.
The Chalice has appeared time and again throughout the last Age, in no less
than five separate events. Each time, rumors of a prophet of Haelyn have
surfaced, and people flock to the banner of a heretic that seeks to cleanse all
evil from the land. The last appearance of the Chalice placed it in the lands
of Dhoesone, where an aspiring prophet sought to bring Haelyn's Light to the
Rjurik, a failed attempt if ever there was one.
The Chalice is a powerful relic of times past that has a confusing array of
powers. Of all the accounts, few specifically point to the Chalice as the
cause of many of the prophets' so-called madness, and all tell wondrous tales
of how the Chalice purifies the soul, removing the stain of evil and cleansing
the Blood of scions across the land.
The Chalice is mystically drawn to places where actual heresy against Haelyn
are present, and those locations where dark beings cursed of the Blood seek to
dominate their weaker neighbors. In three of the six appearances, the given
Prophet has attempted to defeat the Gorgon, though this remains a very little
With the realms now as fractured as they are, the Chalice could appear in the
hands of any heretic against a church of Haelyn that has grown too political,
or turned from the Light to preserve the ways of evil instead. It should
remain out of the hands of PCs as long as possible, and it makes an excellent
"questing beast" for any paladins of Haelyn or priests of the god, seeking to
restore it to its rightful place within a church of the "faithful."
Eventually a new prophet will come forward to cleanse the lands of evil and
unite the tribes of the Andu. A religious fire will sweep the land and unite
many common men against their noble lords and any factious temple. PCs could
be faced with a well intentioned madman on their doorstep watching their
actions while he ravages less kind neighbors. Always the Chalice escapes
capture by the armies of any established Church of Haelyn, no matter the
If the DM wishes to remove the artifact from game play, then an avatar of
Haelyn may come to reclaim the god's lost property.
Constant. The Chalice provides the holder with the ability to Detect Evil at
will, as per the spell. It's healing properties are extraordinary, and the
holder is somewhat resistant to damage while bearing the cup. Every time the
holder takes damage, two points are subtracted off every die. Bearer's of the
Chalice are always attractive to the Masses, and thus Charisma/Leadership gains
a +3 increase to Anuireans and any who recognize the Anuirean pantheon.
Invoked. At will, the bearer of the Chalice may purify a full horn of water,
thus making it holy water. If this water is consumed by an act of free will
directly from the cup with the bearer presenting it to the receiver, the
The receiver's bloodline, if any is present, instantly shifts to Anduiras, at
the same strength and score that it was before the change.
The receiver is Healed. All poisons are neutralized.
The receiver must make a Wisdom/Willpower roll to avoid being instantly
converted to the worship of Haelyn.
When held forth, the Chalice may cast Ice Storm (2/day), Cone of Cold (5/day),
Wall of Ice (2/day), Lightning Bolt (5/day), and Call Lightning (5/day).
Further, any creature of Azrai's blood or sworn to the Shadow and with less
than 5 hit dice is affected as if by Protection from Evil and must make a Save
vs. Spells at -2 or flee in terror for 1d10 rounds. Warriors devoted to Haelyn
are affected as if the holder possessed the blood ability Battlewise when in a
mass military engagement. Note that the Chalice will offer the holder the
necessary storm for the calling of lightning within 1d4 rounds, but the weather
is truly messed up as a result for the next month.
Once per week, the Chalice may cast Raise Dead on any true worshiper of
Haelyn, though lost bloodlines can never be restored.
Curse. From the moment the first power is used, and the artifact dearly loves
people to use its powers against evil, the holder must make a check against
Artifact Possession (a check against the item's Personality score of 50).
Those possessed are changed into fanatics of Haelyn, convinced that only
through the Chalice may they remove all evil from the world, and switch to a
Lawful Good alignment. The artifact seeks the complete reunification of
Haelyn's church under the guiding light of its bearer. It cannot abide by the
"senseless" bickering between the various churches, even though Haelyn Himself
permits it. When fully possessed (the PC must fail a number of times equal to
his or her Wisdom score) the bearer becomes an Anuirean Priest of Haelyn, with
all experience points earned instantly applied to the Priest XP track.
Suggested Means of Destruction
The Chalice must capture the spit and blood of Belinik, and the concoction must
be mixed with the life blood of 10 priests of Haelyn. The resulting concoction
must then be imbibed by one of Haelyn's avatars.
The Chalice must be used to purify the essence of an evil god (avatar or
demonic prince, etc.)
The Viper's Eye must be powdered and mixed with the sweat and tears of one of
the Lost. The resulting mixture must be poured into the seas over Deismaar,
and the cup will disintegrate.
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