The adventurers have been gathering pieces of an ancient tablet, broken into four parts and scattered across the county. Sent at first by the Collector, they learned of a fabled cup made holy by Sidhe and Vleybor and feared that if it fell into the wrong hands great and terrible things could be done.
Now, at last, they have the location of where the cup is believed to have been hidden, and setting out they intend to take the final steps on their quest no matter the cost.
The adventurers who set out from Newcroft upon the final journey of Sir Etrin’s cup were:
- Ranger Conchobar of the Berwickshire Medium; Ranger Godman Armstrong and Venn of the Scouts Guild;
- Pirran Lanistly of the School of Thaumaturgy;
- High Father Ezekiel Wheeler of Vleybor; Father of Kharach;
Ambushed by dark elves along their way, they rescued a member of Frigg One-Eye’s clan who took Venn aside of a little chat. Offering a chance to prove his title of ‘hunter’ with valuable ‘prey’, the elf sets out the rules of his task.
Coming to the tunnel entrance they found the Collector and his bodyguard trying to get in. He attempted to convince the adventurers to retrieve the cup for him, but the company was adamant – untrusting of his motives and wishes. The bodyguard took Conchobar aside for a little chat and mentioned the strange sounds and rustling off in the bushes. Venn eagerly took off after the sounds and found his ‘prey’, but the rest of the party went to help him and when the Ferracunan elf came to pass judgement on him she mocked him for letting human whelps steal his kill. He raged at her mocking, snarling at the humans who did not understand his need for the hunt.
After accepting a translation of a document that indicated the tests within, the adventurers were able to fit the pieces of the tablet together and open the door. Beyond lay the tests and the cup, but who knew what would await them?
They were tempted by greed with a closed box, were bidden to speak truths and walked the path of suffering. Apparitions crossed their paths – one fearful of returning to the Konn, one thirsty, one having hurt their leg in a fall and others, including a man dying and terrified of death. Through prayers to Lady Vleybor High Father Ezekiel was able to bring that terrified spirit back, with Pirran looking on aghast and in awe. They faced a test of peace against a man who was angry and wielding a knife, braved impossible odds in a test of valour, suffered through a long sermon on the colour grey as a test of patience, judged a couple both guilty of escalating violence and crimes against each other (one stole a chicken, so the other burnt down the coop, so the first beat his son, so the second killed her son etc), before taking a test of faith.
A beam stretched out across a dark chasm, the other side out of sight. Faced by this Father stepped onto the beam and fell to his death. Horrified the others tried again – Pirran and Venn and Godman and Conchobar. All failed, all fell to their deaths.
And yet all walked on and came to the other side.
Walking in darkness they found themselves at the other side of the chasm. Looking back they were greeted with the sight of their friends and allies turning away, abandoning them to the mist and the darkness. But it was all a test, a test of their faith in their convictions and their beliefs, and as they all stubbornly pressed on they found themselves in a candlelit chamber. There was a presence amidst the flickering candlelight, a quiet song stirring on the wind that breathed through the chamber and beyond, like a doorway to a shrine. There was rejoicing as the rest of the company arrived, and a quietness as they considered what might be next.
Following the candles into the darkness they were led to another chamber where a Griffin knight knelt in contemplation. He stood as they arrived and greeted them, and asked them for the story of Sir Etrin. And then, with a smile, he told them another story.
Sir Etrin was a noble knight. He and four friends were sent with men of the Berwickshire muster to lend their aid to the defence of Ithron during the 2nd Axirian invasion. Marching them hard for days and nights, Etrin was to relieve the western flank but upon their arrival he found the western flank crushed and his men demoralised. Hope seemed lost. So he and his friends gave them hope. Taking a cup he filled it with wine and gave them a speech about how Vleybor and Sidhe had blessed the cup, about how those who drank from it would not die. His desperate fearful men drank from the cup and believed, and when their noble lord bade them charge the Axirian lines they did so willingly. And the Axirians, confused at the sudden confidence of their opponents, confused at their headlong charge, began to doubt. And doubt created a break in the line which led to a hole which led to an Ithronian victory. And Etrin was cursed. For he had lied, breaking his oath of Truth, to uphold his other oaths to his men and King and country. And Sidhe’s wrath was mighty, but at his daughter’s intervention, he gave Etrin a severe penance that led him to the chamber to consider his deeds and the cup that rendered him a liar. Until those worthy came to judge him truly.
The adventurers had passed the challenges and were thus worthy, and as they mulled over the judgement before them Pirran examined the cups. He asked which cup was the cup and the knight smiled wearily. They already knew the answer, it did not matter. What mattered was that they had believed. Between the company they decided that Sir Etrin had suffered enough and forgave him his indiscretion. Freed from his punishment the Griffin bid them take up the cup and then he succumbed to the passage of time and died. Taking a small cup the adventurers left the cave by a door that had formed in the wall, collecting the tattered tabard and rusted blades of the fabled Griffin knight, and bumped into the Collector outside with a bunch of his goons. He wanted the cup and he intended to take it from the, but not without a fight. The adventurers defended themselves and wounded the Collector, healing him only to drag his sorry form back to the courts for trying to kill them; and the cup cleaved to Pirran’s hand. For where there is enough belief in a legend, something will form to carry that belief and whilst this cup might not be the True Cup, it is still a cup of legend.
Deeds become stories; stories become legends; legends become myths and what once was becomes something utterly changed. Here endeth the tale of Sir Etrin.