I encountered the term Sippenhaft while reading Greg Isles(?) Spandau Phoenix, and it is a germanic term that goes back to the more brutal norse times. Sippenhaft is the practice of eliminating not only one person by assassination, but the complete and total eradication of his or her blood family. This includes all of the elders, the women, and the children. The practice was 'revived' (not 100% sure on that) during the Nazi era of WWII, where some germans who tried to assassinate Hitler were imprisoned and only executed after their entire family was killed first.
It is her working name, one adopted for the brutal definition of the term. In a sense it is a demonstration of her methodical and vindictive work ethic. As for the local tongue, I would assume that the name means nothing in particular, and generally accorded it as a term of an archaic language. Go to Comment
Only discrepancy I thought I saw was that when she looked into the goblet and saw the domestic dispute, the wife hits him and he doesn't show retaliation or anything but at then end of the paragraph is mentions he was a monster and a violent man. That wasn't shown unless I read it wrong.
Added plot-The PCs are sent by an Archmage of a certain country to find the Chalice of Remorse, so he can use it to prevent a royal wedding from happening, and thus prevent two other countries from uniting against his country. Go to Comment
The introduction of the Shard of Storm backstory elevates this from a conventional cursed item. The physical description of the chalice is evocative too.
Small nitpick: "It had been her constant companion in many things, be it in the casting of spells or in the form of her familiar, a small tawny cat that demanded constant attention." Here, I'm not sure what the 'it' refers to. At first I thought it meant the Chalice but then in this paragraph the Chalice hasn't even been created yet. The other alternative is magic but then it's also weird: of course casting spells involves magic but would someone think of magic being a companion in the casting of spells? Go to Comment
I like groups like this, where the criminals are impressed into duty. One would have to be fairly sure that the Captain was very loyal to the governement, because if the Captain goes rogue, the whole company follows him. Also, it's a fairly good bet that some of the criminals they want to dispose of aren't suited for combat (not really a problem, I know, it just means you need more of them). A possible off-shoot of that is a dedicated spy or covert ops company based on the same principle. Go to Comment