The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

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Havard
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The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by Havard »

According to this youtube video I just watched, the Crystal Shard was created by a group of liches from a distant Crystal Sphere. Do we know more about the world this artifact came from or the Liches that created it?

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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by Khedrac »

OK, if you go by the original novel he's talking nonsense (or is not justified in claiming that).

What the novel says (in the prologue) is that when it was created the demon Errtu was hurled back to the Abyss (so we know it wasn't created there).
When the demon next found the shard an angelic being (named Al Dimeneira) "threw it across the planes" and that it eventually was found on Faerun.

Now the video linked does go on quite a bit, so more information has been revealed elsewhere, but if we take the original novel as canon (because it is the account of beings that watched it happen) then the later information is probably wrong.

So, across the planes does allow for the shard to have been thrown from one prime material plane to another (though unlikely), but it does not really permit from one crystal sphere to another crystal sphere as they are the same material plane.
(OK, it could go through a bunch of planes and end up back on the original plane, but there's no planar gravity-equivalent to account for that so it seems even more unlikely.)

Also the final paragraph of the prologue states "Crenshinibon came to rest upon the world." Now the novel is wirtten from the Faerun point of view, but if it has been thrown from a different world then the use of "the world" would still be unnatural - "a world" or "another world" would be better english, hence I conclude it was created on another plane not within a crystal sphere.

Edit: oh yes, we know that the liches were powerful enough to have bound the demon Errtu to their service, Errtu had a "horned, ape-like head" and although lesser demons served him he did not rule a layer (that was one of his goals in trying to obtain the shard). I think this makes Errtu a Nalfeshnee (Type IV) demon.
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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by Cthulhudrew »

Khedrac wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 6:05 pm
Edit: oh yes, we know that the liches were powerful enough to have bound the demon Errtu to their service, Errtu had a "horned, ape-like head" and although lesser demons served him he did not rule a layer (that was one of his goals in trying to obtain the shard). I think this makes Errtu a Nalfeshnee (Type IV) demon.
Errtu was a balor.

He didn't appear to rule an entire layer, although he may have ruled over a portion of one. (From The Crystal Shard: "With the shard in its grasp, Errtu could rise over an entire layer, maybe even several layers.")

(Emphasis mine)
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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by Havard »

Thanks guys!

It is possible that Jorphdan who made the video I liked to simply said "Crystal Sphere" when he could have said "different world" or "different prime material plane". But you are right Khedrac, it could also be a different plane of existence.

It would still be interesting to find out where those Liches came from...

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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by ripvanwormer »

Khedrac wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 6:05 pm
So, across the planes does allow for the shard to have been thrown from one prime material plane to another (though unlikely), but it does not really permit from one crystal sphere to another crystal sphere as they are the same material plane.
(OK, it could go through a bunch of planes and end up back on the original plane, but there's no planar gravity-equivalent to account for that so it seems even more unlikely.)
Volo's Guide to All Things Magical, page 99, says explicitly that Crenshinibon was forged "in a distant crystal sphere." Unfortunately there's not much detail apart from that. Volo's Guide goes on to say that "Crenshinibon had molded countless bearers into iron-fisted tyrants and orchestrated military onslaughts to deliver its purpose of destruction in many worlds," so it seems that the crystal shard didn't remain on its world of origin even before the solar Al Dimeneira seized it and hurled it "across the planes."

The difference between a crystal sphere and an alternate material plane is largely nominal; worlds described as alternate Prime Material Planes in first edition are described as being located in crystal spheres on the single Prime Material Plane in second edition, post-Spelljammer, and then described as alternate material planes again in third edition, then treated as worlds on a single Mortal Plane in 4th edition. Unless you're using spelljammers for travel, you won't notice the difference. But yes, it seems most likely that Al Dimeneira cast the shard into the Astral Plane, where it drifted for a time before passing through a color pool that led it to Toril. I'm not sure what you mean by "planar gravity-equivalent"—the Astral and Ethereal planes certainly have winds, storms, and currents that can pull objects in one direction or another—and there's nothing terribly unlikely about the crystal shard eventually passing through a color pool or other portal. If Al Dimeneira was really trying to get rid of it, perhaps he tried to throw it into the Negative Energy Plane, but it's not unheard of for portals, vortexes, and planar rifts to open there, either.
I think this makes Errtu a Nalfeshnee (Type IV) demon.
I understand that his face being described as apelike confuses things, but as Cthulhudrew said, Errtu is called a balor in other Salvatore novels (for example, Passage to Dawn) and in The Villain's Lorebook. The Crystal Shard calls Errtu a "fire-wielding demon... just below the demon lords in the hierarchy of the Abyss." Fire isn't one of the nalfeshnee's powers in the original Monster Manual. When Errtu battles Drizzt, he does so with a whip and flames, hallmarks of a balor.

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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by night_druid »

Actually, Errtu is not only a type VI demon (what we call "Balor"), he's one of the six named type VI demons from the 1e DMG (p 198). Which puts him at one of the most important demons in the Abyss ;)
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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by Khedrac »

Heh, I thought type 4 came out a bit weak - balor makes much more sense and I really should have spotted that he was one of the six named balor...

As for Volo's guide, well I did say I was just going by the original novel - I do regard Volo as canonical as it gets so that refutes the rest of my post, oh well.
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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by night_druid »

Khedrac wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 8:40 am
Heh, I thought type 4 came out a bit weak - balor makes much more sense and I really should have spotted that he was one of the six named balor...
Heh, no problem. Heck, I've heard speculation that the "named" demons from the 1e PHB are different types within the demon types, rather than individuals. So you'd have Balors, Errtus, etc.
As for Volo's guide, well I did say I was just going by the original novel - I do regard Volo as canonical as it gets so that refutes the rest of my post, oh well.
Volo is famously not known for his reliability in regard to the information he presents. ;)
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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by Khedrac »

night_druid wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 10:53 am
Volo is famously not known for his reliability in regard to the information he presents. ;)
That rather goes back to it being made on a different plane then, hmm.
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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by Big Mac »

Havard wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 4:59 pm
According to this youtube video I just watched, the Crystal Shard was created by a group of liches from a distant Crystal Sphere. Do we know more about the world this artifact came from or the Liches that created it?
Forgotten Realms Wiki has an article for this, but instead of using the name The Crystal Shard (which is used for the article about the novel) they call this artifact: Crenshinibon.

Here is a picture of the Crenshinibon liches creating The Crystal Shard:
Image

The seven liches who created Crenshinibon (and then accidentally got sucked into it and absorbed) from left to right were:
  • First Grandfather Wu - The first mage on his world, and a shadowy figure of extraordinary power. He accidentally let loose a plague of magic upon this world, killing a billion inhabitants.
  • Fetchigrol - He was originally a tribal shaman from another world. In order to become a lich, he sold each and every soul of the residents of his homeworld.
  • Zlan Clervish - He was an attendant of Shar, the goddess of darkness, and became one of the very first wizards to investigate the Shadow Weave.
  • Vaeristhelph Rex - He rose to power as wizard-emperor of a world beyond Toril. He sacrificed his position for lichdom and later fell into a state of madness
  • Argent Black - This was a monstrous being, from the Negative Material plane that fed on the pure energy of hate and darkness.
  • Vlad Xil Haerven - The most greedy of the seven liches. Vlad would do absolutely anything for wealth.
  • Solmé of Gharr - Solmé of Gharr learned of a way to live for millennia, using children as host bodies and moving to the next child when that body became old. Solmé transformed into a lich while in a body that had not yet grown to adulthood and retained that childhood form in undeath.
Zlan Clervish was probably born on Toril, if he was a servant of Shar. Argent Black comes from the Negative material plane. That means we are only talking about a possible 5 planets.

I suppose it's possible that "First Grandfather Wu's world" could be the same world that one of the other liches were born on, as you could technically accidentally kill billions, without killing everyone.

But with Fetchigrol selling all the souls on "Fetchigrol's world", I'd assume there were no souls left to continue life. So that's a dead-end world.

Vaeristhelph Rex gave up his position as world-emperor of "Vaeristhelph Rex's world", so maybe it is still out there.

There is no way to guess where Vlad Xil Haerven is from. The article doesn't even confirm if they are male or female.

So I think we can only infer four worlds from this.

And if Crenshinibon was created in a crystal sphere that was distant from Toril, that means that it is not likely that any of these worlds were celestial bodies in Realmspace.

I suppose one way to go is to have Shar worshipped in a distant (homebrew) crystal sphere and have four of the worlds in that crystal sphere get killed by four of the seven liches. The seven liches could then come together to try to suck in power from the sun, so that they can take over one or more of the remaining worlds.
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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by Big Mac »

Khedrac wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 4:16 pm
night_druid wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 10:53 am
Volo is famously not known for his reliability in regard to the information he presents. ;)
That rather goes back to it being made on a different plane then, hmm.
Either model works.

If someone likes Planescape and doesn't ever want to use Spelljammer, they can convert everything in Spelljammer into Alternate Material Planes.

If they like Spelljammer and don't ever want to use Planecape, they can convert all Alternate Mateiral Planes into Spelljammer crystal spheres on the one Prime Matrial Plane.

If someone likes Spelljammer and Planecape, they can have different in-character sages argue both models of how the multiverse works and allow the PCs to travel through the phlogiston or via planar gates.

And if someone likes Forgotten Realms and doesn't want to use Spelljammer or Planescape, it doesn't really matter, as their PCs will never be able to go there. ;)
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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by ripvanwormer »

Big Mac wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 4:29 pm
But with Fetchigrol selling all the souls on "Fetchigrol's world", I'd assume there were no souls left to continue life. So that's a dead-end world.
Perhaps, but you can sell your soul to the powers of the Lower Planes without it being collected right away. It's possible that these souls were only collected after the natural deaths of their previous owners, and therefore able to reproduce. But I think it's likely we're meant to assume he comes from a world separate from the others, as we would have to think other liches would also get their souls sold (at the very least, First Grandfather Wu would already be around).

Some of these liches could conceivably be from Nex, prior to its destruction. Vaeristhelph and Vlad and perhaps Solmé might have been, conceivably. Grandfather Wu was probably not, since his backstory implies he destroyed his world on his own, not with the help of other liches, though he might have moved to Nex after the destruction of his original world. Practical Planetology said that Nex was "inhabited by a race of warlike, and highly magically active, humans. These humans fought continually, in great global wars that swept back and forth across the surface of Nex. Several hundred years ago, they fought what they called 'the war to end all wars.' They were right. The mighty—almost god-like—magical forces that were released during this war destabilized the entire planet, and it exploded cataclysmically, killing all of its inhabitants."

It might be possible, if we're flexible with our interpretation of "several hundred years ago" (since Crenshinibon was created several thousand years ago), that it was the "bursts of power" accompanying the creation of Crenshinibon that destroyed Nex. Perhaps the liches forged the artifact in an attempt to win the War to End All Wars and destroyed their world in the process. It's also possible that Crenshinibon was created elsewhere, but it played a role in the war that destroyed Nex, since Volo's Guide to All Things Magical says that "Crenshinibon had molded countless bearers into iron-fisted tyrants and orchestrated military onslaughts to deliver its purpose of destruction in many worlds."

Realmspace says that Shar doesn't grant spells to those who leave Realmspace, and prior to the Time of Troubles refused even to accept them back into her fold if they returned afterwards. Certainly, it's likely the Shadow Weave doesn't extend beyond Realmspace's boundaries. Still, assuming that Zlan Clervish was human, that leaves Selûne, Chandos, Templar, Lumbe, Farworld, and Dragon Rock (the Tear, not the moon of Garden) as places in Realmspace with known human populations that he could have originated on.

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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by ripvanwormer »

night_druid wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 10:53 am
Volo is famously not known for his reliability in regard to the information he presents. ;)
Volo's Guide to All Things Magical is supposed to have been "edited and amended by Elminster of Shadowdale." In the introduction, Elminster says he "set to work on the only copy of the text remaining (safely kept up to that point in my library) to expunge the worst of his distortions and just plain errors."

In any case, there's no contradiction between the Shard originating in another crystal sphere and it being thrown across the planes before arriving on Toril.

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Re: The Crystal Shard: What Crystal Sphere did it come from?

Post by night_druid »

ripvanwormer wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 6:05 pm
Volo's Guide to All Things Magical is supposed to have been "edited and amended by Elminster of Shadowdale." In the introduction, Elminster says he "set to work on the only copy of the text remaining (safely kept up to that point in my library) to expunge the worst of his distortions and just plain errors."
I always take Volo's "unreliability" of the information in various "Volo's Guides" as being an out for DMs to decide what's valid and what's Volo blowing smoke, as well as being Ed Greenwood's personal joke. I personally figure those guides to be pretty much 99-100% accurate, unless I run across something I don't like ;)
In any case, there's no contradiction between the Shard originating in another crystal sphere and it being thrown across the planes before arriving on Toril.
I kinda doubt they'll ever detail the Shard's homeworld, so its a moot point. I wouldn't even be surprised if at some point they just recon it to Toril, or perhaps Abeir.
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