The Chalices of Cartagena, also known as the Chalices of Ponce de León or simply the Chalices, were a pair of almost identical silver chalices. Stolen from the city of Cartagena, the Chalices have seen many owners and much blood has been spilled in their name over the centuries. Inscribed with either the words "Aqua" or "de Vida", the Chalices are first introduced in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Among other appearances, one of the Chalices appears in The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The Chalices are needed in order to make the Fountain of Youth work. The Fountain's water must be drunk from the two chalices. The person drinking from the chalice containing a mermaid's tear has their life extended, while the other person dies, their life drained from their body and their remaining years 'donated' to the other. The Chalices were eventually put inside a chest and placed in the Captain's Quarters aboard Ponce de León's ship, the Santiago, now wrecked on the edge of a cliff on the island where the Fountain of Youth was located.
When arriving to the island, Blackbeard sends Jack Sparrow to go and retrieve the Chalices from the Santiago. Climbing aboard the Santiago, Jack entered the captain's cabin where he found Barbossa waiting inside, only to discover that the Spanish had beaten both of them and took the Chalices from the chest. Barbossa and Jack join forces to sneak into the nearby Spanish camp to steal the Chalices. Even though Jack and Barbossa were initially captured, at which point they agreed to help Barbossa in his revenge on Blackbeard (his true agenda throughout the quest), they succeeded in taking the Chalices while subduing the Spanish soldiers. Jack returns with the Chalices, tied to a wild boar held back by Joshamee Gibbs, with whom he had reunited while assisting Barbossa. Jack and Blackbeard bargain for Jack's confiscated magical compass, no harm to be brought to Angelica, and Gibbs' release. In return, Jack vows to give Blackbeard the Chalices and lead him to the Fountain of Youth; Blackbeard agrees and takes the Chalices from Gibbs, who Jack gave his compass to as he departed with Blackbeard's crew.
After using magic words inscribed on the Chalices ("Aqua de Vida"), Jack Sparrow was able to lead Blackbeard's crew in entering the Fountain's chamber. Before they could use the Chalices, Blackbeard's crew were confronted by Barbossa's crew. A battle ensues, until "The Spaniard" arrived to the Fountain and took the Chalices from Angelica. Holding the Chalices, the Spaniard said "Only God can grant eternal life, not this pagan water" before dropping the Chalices and stomping on them. Throwing the Chalices into the water, the Spaniard ordered his men to destroy the Fountain. Shortly afterwards, Barbossa stabs Blackbeard with a poison-laced sword, and Angelica poisoned herself with Barbossa's sword, prompting Jack to find the Chalices. The Spanish left with their mission successful, while only Jack was left, still searching. A mermaid named Syrena appeared with the Chalices in her hands and warned Jack to not waste her tear.
With Blackbeard and Angelica wounded, Jack brings the Chalices to them and tries to convince Angelica to drink from the cup with the tear. But even after Jack says he must save his daughter, Blackbeard drinks the Chalice with the tear and requests his daughter to sacrifice herself. Despite her own father's betrayal, Angelica willingly drinks the other Chalice. However, Jack said "it might have been the other way around", much to Angelica and Blackbeard's anger. The waters from the Fountain consumes Blackbeard's body, turning him into a skeleton, and kills him.
The Chalices appear in the game.
Among the many props, a skeleton can be seen holding one of the Chalices.
Behind the scenes
- The Chalices of Cartagena were referred to by several names in Pirates of the Caribbean media. Although the name Cartagena never appeared in the final cut of On Stranger Tides, it was mentioned in the film's visual guide and as "Cups of Cartagena" in a production draft. They were most often referred to as "Chalices of Ponce de León" or simply the Chalices.
- According to the visual guide, the Chalices were stolen from the city of Cartagena and have seen many owners and much blood has been spilled in their name over the centuries.
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