The Strassbard Grail
The story of the Strassbard Grail has been told and re-told from the grand halls of Scintilla to the slums of Footfall for centuries. It is the tale of Rogue Trader Marius Strassbard and his final voyage, and a tale of a crew pushed to its limits of loyalty to a fallen leader.
Strassbard’s crew discovered a previously unknown red planet, a dusty dead world with no signs of habitation past or present. Strassbard however was a keen explorer, and he stood at his vessel’s augers until he isolated a strange background radiation that seemed to indicate an unknown power source beneath the surface. Without delay, he took a party of armsmen down to the surface to investigate.
What Strassbard found beneath the surface of the red planet was an ancient and deserted xeno warren, filled with more forbidden treasures and technology than his men could ever have carried out. However, all that was forgotten when Strassbard glimpsed the huge golden cup that would become known as the Strassbard Grail.
The grail was a huge cup, two feet high, made from an unknown golden metal and covered in dazzling red jewels. Strassbard seized the Grail as his own, and from that point the tale diverges depending on the teller. Most tell that greed and lust for power instantly consumed him, and he became an uncaring monster to those around him. They caution against the evils of greed and covetousness of material wealth, especially in those who have been entrusted with the most power to serve the Emperor well. A few storytellers will suggest in quiet tones that it was not greed that overcame Strassbard, but darker alien instincts that spurred him into unspeakable acts. The morale of this tale is clear; contact with the alien is unclean and can turn the best of the Emperor’s servants against him.
Whatever the cautionary nature of the teller’s tale, all agree on how it ends. So horrendous were the acts of cruelty that Strassbard perpetrated on his companions, that they sealed him into the alien halls beneath that dusty red planet along with his beloved Grail. They took an oath to each other and their fallen companions that none would ever reveal the co-ordinates of the nameless world that held the Grail, and which became the final resting place of Marius Strassbard.
Since that day, many Rogue Traders, renegades and ne’er do wells have searched for Strassbard’s tomb and the Grail that it holds. Some of his crew eventually broke their oaths and, incentivized by promise of wealth or threat of violence sought to find their way back. However, Strassbard’s navigator was a craft sort and expunged all traces of the planet’s warp position. The secret of the planet’s location died with him, and none have ever found it since.
- As related by Aelfric Gracewine, Adept of the De Marco Dynasty