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Symbol of the Grail

A depiction of the Grail, symbol of the Cult of the Lady.

"Knights who have sipped from the Grail are elevated above mere mortals; they truly are what is best in men."
—The ultimate goal of a Bretonnian Knight.

The enchanted chalice kept by the Lady of the Lake, known as the Grail, the Holy Grail and the Ruby Goblet, is not like any other precious or magical item. It cannot be taken from her or kept by any mortal person. It is recorded in Bretonnian annals that a wicked and foolish Knight claimed to have possession of the grail. In reality it was a false grail with which he intended to fool and confuse good and virtuous Knights so that he could wrongfully seize the throne of Bretonnia. He met his well deserved fate at the hands of the Grail Knights, servants of the true grail. This episode has passed into Bretonnian history as the Affair of the False Grail.[1a][4]

At one point the Grail was believed to be lost, captured by a foul warherd of Beastmen. When the Questing Knights known as Galeron and Joinville slew the warherd and thwarted the ritual to corrupt it, the Grail was once again revealed to be false. It had been a test of skill and bravery, orchestrated by the Lady herself.[3]

From time to time, Questing Knights return from their wanderings bearing ancient golden cups or similar items which they have found in old burial mounds or glinting on the bottom of forest ponds. Such things do not fool Grail Knights who have seen the true grail and know its true appearance! Such false grails are revealed for what they are by Knights of the true grail and their finders must return to their quest or be disgraced.[1a]

On remarkable occasions, the Lady will seek to test her followers by allowing the Grail to appear fleetingly on Bretonnian soil, usually hidden in perilous areas and guarded by fearsome monsters. Soon, reports of Grail sightings will spread across the length and breadth of Bretonnia. On these most sacred of occasions, small armies of Questing Knights will roam the land searching for the one artifact that will elevate them to living sainthood. However, the forces of darkness may also seek to capture the Grail in an attempt to desecrate it, resulting in large skirmishes around areas where the Grail has been sighted. If the Grail ever was to be captured by those with evil intentions, they would discover that it simply vanishes within their grasp, or that any desecrations, whilst weakening the Lady's power, are temporary at best. These tests ultimately serve a valuable purpose, for if the knightly armies succeed, they will drink from the Grail, greatly increasing the number of Grail Knights within the realm.[2]

Sources

  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Bretonnia (8th Edition)
    • 1a pg. 44-45.
  • 2: White Dwarf 288 - Grail Quest
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Bretonnia (5th Edition) - Short Story
  • 4: Total War: Warhammer