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Here is part four of the “Seven Deadly Virtues” series.

William Huntington was a man with deliberateness enough to rival Dimitrov. Everything he did was meticulously thought out. While William did not share Dimitrov’s obsession with efficiency, he certainly understood the dangers of reckless action.

Once the group escaped the clutches of the minor demons, they encountered the first of two challenges laid by those that imprisoned Abaddon in the 13th century. A veil of water concealed the tunnel that lead deeper into the earth. A sign at the side, the letters impressed in the soft gold, informed the reader:

For the safety of all that is good in this world, this veil of water is impassable save to those of purest heart. If you seek to pass beyond, partake from the holy grail of the water from these falls. Search cautiously, and be sure of your choice, for should water from another vessel touch your lips, no cure on earth or in heaven will save you.

Turning back from the veil, Huntington saw before him a cavern easily large enough to hold the sistine chapel twice over, filled with cups, glasses, and chalices of every variety. A thousand years might pass before every vessel was tested – even if such a thing were possible. While the others despaired of ever advancing, William set his wit to the problem.

He paced round the space, observing all there was to see, and pondering, for he reasoned that the challenge must not be unsolvable. His discerning eye soon realized that there was intent in the chaos, and that the objects were organized by region of origin. With a much smaller area of focus – hundreds of possibilities instead of hundreds of thousands, Huntington encouraged the others to help him puzzle it out. Eventually they came down to two possibilities – both were simple cups, made of materials available at the time. They seemed identical save that one seemed well worn and the other barely touched.

It was Huntington who voiced what all were thinking. With no way to pick between them, someone was going to have to risk it. And Huntington was the one to do it. Before the others could talk him out of it, he grabbed the more humble of the two, and thrust his hand under the waterfall. He brought the liquid to his lips and drank. A heartbeat of time passed, then two. Huntington handed the cup to Dimitrov with a bow, and stepped through the veil.

After their goal was achieved, and the final losses counted, Huntington moved away to Napa, and started a winery. He held the holy grail nearly as dear as the necklace bestowed upon him by Abaddon.

It didn’t take long for the Huntingtons to get into politics. Two different family members have served as governor of California, and several more have served in the US Senate. Many more have become lawyers. While the family is not as rich as the Tettemers or the Chalbergs, they certainly want for nothing, including their own, world renowned, wine label. In the last decade or so, the Huntingtons, like so many other political families, have had their share of scandals and accusations of nepotism.