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After making it past the three tests, "Breath of God", "Name of God" and "Leap of Faith", Indiana enters a small room with an old bent knight sitting and reading a Bible, a large table of gold grails behind him.

All but one of those grails, the Holy Grail, give whovever drinks of them death.

Donovan drinks out of one of them, and he turns into a skeleton. Who put the power to immediately kill into those grails?

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    Well, who installed the beheading saws and abyss traps and all? There seems to be a common homicidal theme there. Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 21:56
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    Maybe it was the same force that put the power to immediately kill into the Ark of Covenant. Whatever power that was behind it seemed to like rules that kill people who break them, a lot. Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 22:00
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    God, I guess? Or George Lucas. Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 22:59
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    @leftaroundabout That would be the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, or their original organization, according to the Ultimate Guide published some years back. Commented Oct 10, 2021 at 0:12
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    The power need not be in the false grails. It could be in the water or the room or it could be something like the Holy Spirit that is everywhere and acts when certain situations arise. For that matter, it’s not necessary for there to be power in the true grail either. Commented Oct 10, 2021 at 3:06

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The 'Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword' (the organisation which the titular three brothers founded and belonged) had access to Celtic magics, courtesy of their possession of the Book of the Spells of Merlin (or possibly access to the man himself), according to the Grail Diary book that came with the video game Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure.

The Brotherhood presumably used these magics to empower the Great Seal as well as the fake grails.

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