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Chalice of Wrath

In the time of Magnus the Pious, the vicious hordes of Chaos tumbled down from the north, sweeping over Kislev and razing Praag. The hordes were poised to invade the Empire and with the lands of Sigmar divided by infighting and old hatreds, there was nothing to stop them. However, Magnus the Pious pulled together the factions and led his armies north to staunch the flood of Chaos. In the end he succeeded, crushing the enemy and driving them back to the Chaos Wastes far to the north.[1a]

The retreating armies left behind a great many artefacts, and it was decreed that they all should be destroyed. For the most part they were, excepting a few items, which included one important cup discovered in the ruins of Praag. The young priest of Sigmar who found the chalice had seen enough death and blood to last him forever. Though he found it amidst the bloated bodies of dead marauders, he foolishly believed the cup was a piece of plunder, wondering how it could be that such an innocuous item could be counted amongst the tainted relics left from the war. So, he hid the cup in his clothing and brought it back with him to the Empire. Upon returning to his monastery, he placed the item in the vault and promptly forgot about it.[1a][1b]

For nearly two hundred years the chalice rested, the essence of the bound Daemon asleep, quiet, and harmless. But then a new surge of Chaos threatened the Empire once more. Led by Archaon, the forces of Chaos swept through Kislev once more. But this time they penetrated the Empire, killing and plundering as they went. The sudden violence awoke the Daemon and it sent out a missive to the invaders, drawing them closer to its place of hiding. A horde of Beastmen answered the call and sacked the monastery, butchering everyone inside and hanging the corpses by their guts from the walls. The Beastmen and warriors searched for the vault for days, until they found the iron door barring their entrance. So consumed were they in their work to open the door, they did not notice the approach of a platoon of Imperial Soldiers. Led by the brave Nulner Rolf Vogt, they crushed the distracted forces embedded in the monastery, claiming the ease of their victory was a sign of Sigmar’s blessing.[1b]

With the last few horrors slain, the soldiers settled in the monastery until they moved on to reinforce Middenheim. That night Rolf explored the ruins, and came upon the vault—to his surprise it was filled with treasures. Though he needed nothing of wealth—his father was an important advisor in his home city after all—his eyes fell on the dusty Chalice. He had to have it. He grabbed the item and the Daemonic essence seized his mind, turning him into a raving madman. He crept up from the bowels of the temple, possessed by the rage of the Blood God and slaughtered his unit to the man. When the bloodlust passed, he forced himself to believe he was the last survivor in the attack. And so, he carried the Chalice with him, joining the forces at Middenheim, where he proved himself a capable warrior and courageous leader of men. Little did anyone realize that the insidious darkness of Khorne fuelled his fighting passion.[1b]

After Archaon’s defeat Rolf returned to Nuln, having had enough of bloodshed and death. But once he returned, he suffered from terrible visions of bloody battlefields, and an urge to travel north and take the fight to the Chaos Wastes. What he did not realize was the dreams were whispers from the Daemon’s essence, and, already corrupted by the Chalice in his frenzied fighting in the Storm of Chaos, he was even more susceptible to the maddening influence of the fiend in the cup. And from his madness, dark plots ensued.[1b]

The Chalice of Wrath is a wide mouthed silver cup resembling the Tilean bowls used for drinking wine. It has a short stem and a wide base to keep it stable. The stem is fashioned to look like a horned fiend bent over as if shouldering the bowl on its back. It has a tail that winds around its leg except for a sharp point that always seems to catch the skin of those who handle it. The bowl itself is fine, but otherwise ordinary in appearance, being silver with faint whorls engraved on its surface.[1b]

Its true character is revealed when filled with blood. Doing so causes the Chalice to lose its polished appearance and assume a dark and dull cast. Symbols of the blood god flare to life with red light on the outside of the cup, growing warm to the touch. Finally, the blood bubbles, issuing the foul stink of death.[1b]

A person grasping the Chalice automatically cuts himself on the fiend’s tail—even if the person takes precautions, he eventually nicks himself. When this occurs, the person goes somewhat insane and is brought to a frenzy. Each time the person touches the Chalice thereafter, he must have enough willpower to avoid going further insane. If the Chalice drives someone far enough to insanity he automatically gains Blasphemous Rage.[1b]

Weirdly, the Chalice can be used as a bludgeon, and rather well. However, using this artefact as a weapon forces the wielder to enter a frenzy, and he loses the ability to distinguish friend from foe. Someone wielding the cup gains some insanity if he kills an ally and realizes what he has done. Each time the wielder uses the Chalice to kill someone, the Chalice turns darker and cures the wielder of a significant amount of wounds.[1b]

The Chalice is insidious in its efforts to subvert its owner. For as long as the Chalice remains in the possession of a mortal, it sends terrible dark dreams to erode his will and mind. The subject of this psychic assault must have enough willpower or wake up, entering frenzy until he kills someone or something. If the person succeeds, he sleeps through the night, but suffers from intense nightmares, waking up tired and haunted. Every one-to-five times the Chalice is used as a weapon, it unleashes a pulse of terrible energy, forcing all within 10 yards to enter a frenzy until they all kill one person, at which point the effect ends and the victim gains some insanity.[1b]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Forges of Nuln
    • 1a: pg. 29
    • 1b: pg. 30

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