Gadikios Asturanas - The Chalice of the Soul
Iazadagos was the last Emperor of the former Empire of Jamul, before it was conquered by the God-Queen of Zygaria. Her demonic champion slew Iazadagos in single combat on the Fields of Lemeie before the gates of Karsas Zabandos (the Fastness of the Holy Sisters). With the death of the Emperor, all of his mighty magics began to fail, including those he had helped to weave to protect the fortress. The Priestesses and Oracles within the fastness had devised many defenses of their own, but the powers of the demon champion and the God-Queen were irresistible. The fastness was razed and its storerooms plundered. The inhabitants were either carried off by the God-Queen's foul minions or put to the sword. While it is likely that Empress Kallistrate was able to recover many artifacts and relics of the golden age of Jamul, including the fabled Library, it is certain that she never found the Gadikios Asturanas - The Chalice of the Soul. This Chalice is described as a large metal cup, over a foot tall, wrought of gold, with two handles like wings on either side. Between the handles, the bowl of the cup is engraved and inlaid with precious stones. Its value simply as a treasure is incalculable. However, its value as a magical artifact is truly beyond compare. It is said that if a dying person takes a draught of consecrated wine from this chalice their soul is purified and will travel directly to the golden eternal lands of Bempusa, the Weirth Mother, there to reside for all time. The body of the drinker will have eternal rest and not be subject to the vagaries of memory. The sages record that Kallistrate's wrath was insatiable and that she personally slew her entire elite force of Exalted Guardians when they were unable to discover the location of the Chalice. She cursed the Exalted to Undeath and set them to guard the entrance to the Halls of Purification below the shattered fortress. Since they could not penetrate the secrets of those Halls in life, they would guard them for all time in death.
- Inhabitants of the former Empire of Jamul, particularly those of Xythian descent, hold that the Bempusan Virgins were able to carry the Chalice off the the Golden Fields before the fortress fell.
- Those inhabitants of Telantean stock, the descendants of the Zygarian invaders, have an expression for describing someone they believe is on a fool's errand, "He's seeking the Palace of the Virgin".
Variations & Mutation
An obscure sage living in the time of the Zygarian War records that the Exalted Guardians did not, in fact, fail to find the Chalice. Rather, one of them did indeed find the Chalice and made off with it. When the Captain of the Guardians attempted vile, demonic sorcery to stop her, there was a catastrophic backlash in the Holy Catacombs. Both the Chalice and the subterranean catacombs were translocated into the Dreamlands, a fabled alternate dimension.