No relic is worth more than this coin to me. I'm leaving!
Impressive, you truly deserve the relic.
Next was Avidros. As he stepped into the chamber, which had reverted to the cramped state it once was, a booming voice would once more ask for their intentions. Avidros stated that he wanted the relic to expand his own knowledge and to gain power quickly. Once more, the spirit manifested, as with a wave of a hand, summoned tens of piles of books, placing them in front of Avidros. Avidros, stunned, asked the spirit about the items he summoned. The spirit explained that in order to use such a relic of awesome power, one must be willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to properly use it. Avidros, being the wise mage he was, tried to skim through the material, to gain the information easily rather than put in the effort. However, when he attempted this, the words appeared jumbled, meaningless, and nothing more than gibberish. Frustrated, Avidros walked out of the chamber, huffing and puffing as Malus went next.
You did it Ethil!
Malus was a cunning fox, merely wanting the relic to pawn it off and earn coin for himself. As he entered the chamber, yet another time, did the voice ring out a third time, asking him to state his business with the relic. Malus, after hearing the two before him try their luck, decided to lie, stating that he’d use the relic to help people in need and make sure it stayed in the right hands. This time, the spirit manifested, summoning a large box with a single coin slit. The spirit then told him that if he were truly willing to use such a relic, then that he must be able to put aside his money and instead, dedicate it, to using the relic to help people. Malus, not wanting to part with his coin, attempted to negotiate with the spirit, to no avail. In the end, Malus did not want to part with the coin that he had , for could not guarantee that he could sell the relic that was offered. And so, he too, returned defeated, bitter but at the same time, oddly relieved.
This short story is based on the parable of the sower, which was originally an allegory for the message of god. It tells about a man that went to sow grain in his field. Some grain fell on a stone path, where the birds ate the seed. Some fell in gravelly ground, with little soil. While the seed sprouted, it quickly withered for it could not properly take root. Some grain fell on thorny ground. When it sprouted,the thorns of the ground choked the plant, where it quickly died. Finally, some grain settled within good soil, where it sprouted and grew into a bountiful harvest. The grain is God’s message whereas the four soil conditions represent different scenarios. Similarly, the relic in the story, and the four characters represent the soil conditions. Petram and the stony path represents people who hear God, but are not willing to act upon it, and stick to their way of things. Avidros and the gravelly soil, represent those that are initially interested in God’s message, but quickly lose faith and lack patience to further pursue it. Malus and the thorny soil, represent those that have the message of God pushed to the side, and choked out, instead, focusing on their material wants. Finally, Ethil and the good soil, represent people who hear God’s message, act upon it, take the time to pursue his grace, and put it first before anything else. We should all strive to be like Ethil, patient, active, and ready to push aside unimportant things, so we can commit fully to God’s message.
And then, there was Ethil. After seeing his comrades fail one after the other, Ethil now was more determined than ever, wanting to succeed where his comrades had failed. When Ethil entered the chamber, the spirit asked what their purpose was with the relic. While Ethil did admit that he wanted to prove himself to his comrades, he also admitted that he did intend to use the relic for good. To test his resolve, the spirit summoned the box from Malus’ and the piles of books from Avidros, telling Ethil to give up his possessions as well as take the time to learn how to use the relic. Due to Ethil not being as talented nor as greedy as those before him, he was indeed, ready to sit through reading everything he had to, and pay the money he had, if it meant getting the relic.
Upon completing the tasks, the spirit disappeared, as the chamber shook, revealing a glowing trove. Ethil stepped forward, opening the trove to reveal a mystical tome, allowing him to summon anything he could think of, no matter it’s size, complexity or state. Ethil returned victorious to the rest of the group, several hours having passed since he first entered. Armed with the new relic, Ethil became one of the most capable within the group, having earned his power through hard work and sacrifice. From there,the four travellers continued their adventures, as Petram, Avidros, Malus and Ethil continued to live on.