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Parchment of Virtues

The Sangreal, the Holy Grail that is the key to Merlin's weapon capable of destroying ascended beings, had been hidden away by Morgan Le Fay and protected by a series of safeguards designed to ensure that only the most virtuous would succeed in claiming it. The Parchment of Virtues, a scroll with writings in the Ancient language, was purportedly left behind by Morgan herself as a guide for knights of noble spirit. When SG-1 visited the planet where the Sangreal had been hidden, they found the Parchment of Virtues and Osric, the keeper of the archives, in the village library.

The Parchment states: "Only those of virtue true may win the prize concealed. Beyond the reach of the flawed and tainted, the Sangreal shall instead belong to he who speaks the guardian's name. Prudence, wisdom, charity, kindness, and faith, let these be your guide on this perilous quest."

The Parchment of Virtues was intended to be interpreted literally. The qualities it named were required to pass Morgan's tests and claim the prize:

  • Prudence, rather than recklessness, was required to patiently and carefully negotiate the path through the time distortion maze.
  • Wisdom was required to answer the series of Ancient riddles that would open passageways and prevent the cave from collapsing:
    • "I'm struck and cut, shaped and cooled, then bound by rings to release what's stored." Answer: Clavia (Key)
    • "I shake the earth with booming thunder, fell forest whole and homes complete. I influence ships, topple kings, sweep down swift, yet remain unseen." Answer: Ventio (Wind)
    • "Battle-scarred in times of strife, resistant to…" Answer: Contegia (Disease)
  • Charity, rather than greed, was required to sacrifice something for the empty chest to escape from the force field trap.
  • Kindness was required to "choose the way that is just and true," to offer help to a crying child and open a passageway.
  • Faith was required to walk through the wall of fire untouched and find the vast cavern where the Sangreal was protected.
  • Finally, one had to speak the guardian's name, Ganos Lal, the name of Morgan Le Fay in Ancient, to cause the dragon to vanish.

Cross Reference: Force Field Trap, Morgan Le Fay, Osric, Sangreal, Sangreal Dragon, Sangreal Planet, Time Distortion Maze

Episode Reference: The Quest