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Chalice of Abu-Maris

The ancient cup of Abu-Maris, Sorcerer of the Sixteen Winds, Mage of the Planes, and Maker of Majesty, was thought lost after the death of Torim Zurkies and the end of the Unholy Wars. Abu-Maris himself disappeared mysteriously one night, never to be seen again. It was thought that he had been murdered by the evil Order of Darkness, which followed the rule of the Mighty Zurkies, until it was revealed by a close friend's descendant that he had made plans to travel beyond the planes in search for the "man who wove the weave of magic." Whether murdered in mystery or lost to his search of the planes, the Great Mage, Abu-Maris, was never seen again. Behind him he left a legacy of magic and knowledge. Being one of the few mages to stand openly opposed to the War-King, and Necromancer, Torim Zurkies, as well as one of the few brilliant mages who strove to freely spread the secret knowledge of magic to all who came to learn, Abu-Maris was a powerful enchanter of tremendous fame.
    The Chalice, given to by a favorite student and lover of his, was a gift given to him upon celebration of one of his many discoveries, the releasing of the spirit to the weave. This skill he taught to as many as who came to learn the magics of the Greater Path. But few had the power to wield the magic as Abu-Maris. To commemorate his discovery he took the cup his beloved had given to him and disappeared unto one of his many secret sanctuaries for several months lengths, and when he returned he had created what is now called the Chalice of Abu-Maris.
    The skill of releasing the spirit to the weave still exists amongst mages of the Greater Path, it is known as casting spells spontaneously, or as some say, "on the fly."
    The Cup itself is rather unspectacular, plain and carved from a rosewood tree, the Cup sits about half a foot tall, with a slender, but short stem between the base and cup which are about as wide as it is tall. Several small symbols are inscribed about the outside of the bowl of the Cup, ancient symbols for Love, the Breath of Life, Eternity, and Friendship. Many scholars have attempted to divine if the symbols hold any magics, but the Cup resists all spells cast upon it whether for harm or otherwise. Along the bottom of the cup, inscribed in a indecipherable language (even by magics), are several strings of a strange and wispy writing which stain the wood dark with their print. No mage has ever discovered their meaning or knows if the writing was on the Cup before it was given to Abu-Maris.
    What powers are known to be imbued into the Chalice are only known by luck and chance. Legend holds that at times the Cup has mysteriously produced magics without catalyst, never to be reproduced again. The resistance of the Cup to magic is such that even dispelling magics and detect magics have no effect and detect not a drop of magic upon the Chalice.
    What is known about the Cup, passed on from the lips Abu-Maris himself upon returning to his home after its creation, is that the Cup allows any mage to weave magic "on the fly," to any magnitude. The Cup was meant to be used as a tool to help teach other mages how to let the magic flow through their person so that they might be able to weave magic spontaneously without the Cup. But the Chalice was much more then that. A mage holding the Cup could channel as many Spheres of Power "on the fly" as wished, even without proper experience in working the weave. Any mage of the Greater Path who holds the cup in both hands before him can weave up to all five of the Spheres of Power at the same time spontaneously.
    Unfortunately the power of the Cup was of such tempting power, that not long after the disappearance of Abu-Maris, fighting broke up over who had a right to the powers of the Chalice. His lover, who originally crafted the Cup, claimed right of ownership and he was supported by several of Abu-Maris' closest friends. When his lover was murdered in the middle of an open courtyard by a jealous mage, the Cup was taken and passed between hands, held only as long as each mage who took it could keep himself from death at the hands of another. Sadly, the Cup would occasionally pass into the hands of a greedy mage who would use its powers to do evil amongst the world, rarer still it would fall under the control of a mage who did good; but this was rare since any mage who held it quietly kept the fact to themselves, fearing betrayal at the hands of another mage. Perhaps Abu-Maris never returned from his searching of the planes because of the death of his lover, the one who had given the Cup, carved with Runes of love, to him in friendship.
    Other powers have been discovered since, which Abu-Maris did not share with his friends and apprentices. These powers and obligations are as follows.
    The casting cost of all spells cast by Greater Path mages is halved. The level cost of all metamagic feats is likewise halved (round up, minimum of +1 spell level).
    Placing Liquids in the Cup: Any drink placed into the Cup becomes pure, clean, and holy water; suitable for use against undead.
    Drinking from the Cup: Persons drinking the water receive a +2 sacred bonus to their intelligence and saving throws. This benefit lasts for one week. Any persons who drink from the Cup are obligated to seek out students to teach a craft to. Spellcasters who drink from the cup are obligated to seek out students to teach magic to. A metal smith or bower would be obligated to seek out apprentices to teach their craft to. This obligation compels the drinker to teach their student all that the apprentice needs to know of their craft to continue on their own. Failure to fulfill this obligation causes the imbiber to lose 2 points of intelligence each year that passes in which the obligation was not fulfilled. This ability damage is only repaired once the benefactor takes on a student.
    Peering Across the Cup: Any person holding the cup filled with water, who looks across the edges of the Cup gains the benefit of true seeing as long as they hold the cup thus level with their eyes. Any person who uses the power of true seeing must seek out and expose the truth to any lie they hear. The person is obligated to expose lies immediately upon hearing them, knowing all lies as soon as they are heard. Though the mage may know that a person is lying, they do not know what the truth is without hearing it. The mage is under this obligation until they no longer have ownership of the Cup. Failure to fulfill this obligation causes the owner of the cup to become blinded for 1d4 days.
    Tracing the Symbols: Any person who traces the symbols inscribed upon the bowl of the cup with an index finger is cured of all sickness and disease. Any who that person touches within exactly a day of tracing the symbols of the cup is likewise cured of any sickness or disease. Any person suffering from curse or magical affliction who touches the symbols of the cup in the same manner is cured, this is not passed on upon people who the person receiving the benefit may touch. Any person who traces the symbols upon the Cup and receives its benefit becomes obligated to go to all who they know is ill and pass on the blessing. They are obligated to speak of where the blessing came from if asked. This obligations lasts until exactly one day after they traced the symbols. Failure to fulfill this obligation causes the persons disease to return and progress at twice its normal rate.
    Spell Research: Any person touching the Cup while attempting to learn a spell automatically succeeds any check necessary to learn the spell.
    Obligations are irresistible by any means. No mundane or magical means will allow a mage to resist an obligation of this artifact. Once invoked, an obligation is permanent until fulfilled. Failure to fulfill an obligation in the allotted time causes the benefactor to suffer as described in the text of each power.
    Any mage who has held the Cup cannot lie if asked if he possesses it. The mage is obligated to tell any who ask a question about the Cup that they have it. Furthermore, any mage holding the Cup is unable and unwilling to lie for any reason.
    The Cup cannot be hidden. Its owner is obligated to place the Cup in a place where it may be freely viewed by any within ten feet. Some mages have gotten around this by placing the Cup in a room twenty feet across either way, and then hiding the room. Bags placed to cover the Cup disappear without explanation, boxes fall apart, curtains hang away from the Cup. The Cup resists being placed inside anything which may prevent its being viewed.
    Unfortunately, the ancient magic of the artifact is so tempting that any who touch the artifact must make a wisdom check (DC 10); failure indicates that the person will begin plotting how to take the artifact from the mage who holds it and will continue to do so until they have succeeded in securing it as their own. Abu~Maris did not place this power upon the Cup, rather it is the mystical consequence of the artifact's extreme power and the events surrounding its tragic beginning.
Weight: 2 lb.