I had my artist friend, Nancy Parsons, make a graphic image of The Grail. Not for any reason in particular, except for promotion opportunities and perhaps an eventual cover image. I must say, I’m delighted with the results.
Here’s the description from Chapter One:
Furtively I snatched it up, turning my back to the group at the other end of Erma’s. Close up it didn’t look all that much different than it had from a distance. Too tarnished to guess if it was real silver, but at least it wasn’t just painted tin. About a third of the way down the stem there were two plain inlaid bands, about an eighth of an inch apart, of a different metal that looked like gold but probably wasn’t. Along the top edge was an inlay of the same metal in a pattern that if you removed it, the cup would look like the parapet of a twelfth century castle. There were four carved symbols—”runes” was the word that came to mind—running down the stem, one above and three below the inlaid bands. The inside of the cup was filthy.
And the description from Kaffka, the Holy Grail, and a Woman that Reads:The Quests of Sir Kay:
“Well, at least tell me what it looks like, so I’ll recognize it when Galahad comes parading home with it.”
“It’s been a half dozen years, but I remember it pretty well. It’s not all that impressive, but it made an impression on me nevertheless. A graceful goblet, of a style I’ve not seen before. It’s made of a heavy metal like silver, but with a much duller—and much darker—sheen. The stem is thin, with two plain inlaid bands of a different metal that looked a little like gold but not really. Plus the top edge had an inlaid pattern of the same stuff. Oh, and there were runes worked into the stem. A very strange, very foreign feel.”
“Probably made on Atlantis,” I suggested, tongue firmly in cheek. “Still, I wonder how Jesus came to possess such a thing. If indeed, it was his.”
Even as I spoke, Morgan’s description tweaked a deep memory from way back in my subconscious. “You know, I’ve seen it. Merlin drank from it on occasion. I asked him about it, but he told me to mind my own business in a way that made me drop the subject. I thought his reaction a bit strange, but forgot about it and went on to more important things. Like algebra.”
And here (drum roll, please) is The Holy Grail.
The runes are actually High Elf Runes (adopted by psionic masters on Atlantis a very long time ago, I suppose). The second one down is modified to resemble a stylized cross, symbolizing the Grail’s time with Jesus. The others are:
* Saroir (eternity, passion), evocative of an alchemist’s flask and representing birth on Atlantis.
* Sarathai (world dragon). The dragon was the symbol of the Pendragon family, of which Arthur was the last king (maybe–could be another book there).
* Asur (the eternal flame). Chalice still alive and well in the world today, even after Jesus and Arthur have passed. Flaming chalice might be considered a Unitarian Universalist symbol, but that’s coincidence. Maybe.
In case you’d like to enjoy more of Nancy Parson’s work, here’s the link to her blog, Head on Down the Highway.