Crenshinibon, also called "The Crystal Shard", is a unique, magical Artifact of Legend (Artifacts of Legend cost more than major artifacts in the store) enchanted by seven liches of great power.
Crenshinibon is a vile relic of immense power, a crystal shard that draws its magical energy from the light of the sun. Crenshinibon is a sentient artifact, and it possesses a never-ending hunger for power and glory at whatever cost; therefore, Crenshinibon is not a reasoning being. It always desires a powerful wielder, usually a corruptible magic-user of some sort, and greatly enhances that wielder’s powers. The Crystal Shard also insidiously manipulates its wielder and would readily abandon him or her for someone more capable of furthering its goals of ultimate conquest. The relic can lure in thousands of evil-intentioned beings with its magical call, creating a grand army for its wielder and so-called master.
Perhaps Crenshinibon’s most magnificent ability is its power to create an enormous crystalline tower, known as Cryshal-Tirith (Elvish, literally meaning crystal tower). In order to create the tower, Crenshinibon first creates an exact duplicate of itself, a square-sided crystal that sometimes glows a green light. The wielder then places the copy of the shard on the ground and recites the words ibssum dal abdur. The duplicate crystal expands, growing into the crystalline tower, still an exact image of Crenshinibon, only now of mammoth proportions. The tower itself absorbs the sun’s light, giving it more strength during the daytime. The tower is impervious; it absorbs all attacks against its mirrored walls and reflects them back on their source. The only vulnerable part of the tower is its heart, the pulsating crystal of strength that was used to construct the tower, and that becomes hidden away within Cryshal-Tirith. The tower’s very door is invisible and undetectable to any beings inherent to the present plane the tower rests upon.
The nature of the artifact is to attain power to its greatest level. This desire transcends the normally established boundaries of what is right and what is wrong.
The Shard's primary attack is on the ego, collecting slaves with promises of greatness and riches. It has little hold on paladins and goodly priest, on righteous kings and noble peasants but one who desires more and is not above deception and destruction to further his ends will inevitably sink into Crenshinibon's grasp.
Crenshinibon is an enigma: a force of darkest evil that draws its strength from that which good-aligned beings find most precious - the light of day. For every hour of daylight the Crystal Shard (or Cryshal Tirith) is directly exposed to the light of the sun, Crenshinibon absorbs 12 power levels of energy. The artifact can store a maximum of 144 power levels at any one time, and additional exposure to the sun has no effect. Every two hours, Crenshinibon slowly loses two power levels. (The energy simply dissipates.)
The relic burns power levels to create spell effects at its bearer's will at a cost of one power level per level of a spell effect. Although spell effects can be maintained at night, no new spell effects may be created by the relic while the sun is completely below the horizon. When spells are cast, the ambient light of the sun diminishes as the relic actually steals its radiance.
Crenshinibon is sentient, with an effective Intelligence of 19, Wisdom of 18, and Charisma of 18. It is 100% magic resistant and immune to psionics and physical attacks. The relic prefers weak, indecisive bearers as they are easier to dominate. It desires to conquer and command and has an insatiable hunger for absolute power.
Crenshinibon burns any creature of good alignment who physically touches it with bare skin for 1d10 points of damage per round. Even while wearing leather or metal gauntlets, a goodaligned bearer suffers 1d6 points of damage per round.
The ultimate perversion of light, Crenshinibon radiates warmth with an ambient temperature of approximately 80° Fahrenheit. It provides the benefits of a ring of warmth to anyone holding it in direct contact with his or her skin.
The bearer of the Crystal Shard can create and maintain magical towers known as Cryshal-Tirith at a cost of 24 power levels per day. A tower is created from a duplicate of the Crystal Shard that splits off from the actual artifact and expands into a gigantic edifice when the bearer (or someone she or he gives the duplicate shard to) invokes it with the command Ibssum dal abdur. These incredible fortresses can serve as a shelter and home for those who dare to wield the artifact. Each Cryshal-Tirith can teleport without error (itself and all items and beings within it) at a cost of 12 power levels at the will of the bearer of the Crystal Shard, who also chooses the destination.
Each incarnation of Cryshal-Tirith has four palatial square-walled floors constructed of smooth, strong crystal. The first is entered via a dark hallway and serves as the main chamber of the tower and guard post. Stairs lead up from the back of the chamber to a small platform. A secret door hides a second stair that continues up to the second
floor, a comfortably adorned sleeping chamber. A stair leads to a landing opening onto the third floor of the tower. This room, known as the Hall of Scrying, is filled with numerous magical scrying devices, including dozens of mirrors, and a grand crystal throne. A small ladder leads to the fourth floor which houses the Crystal Shard (or a duplicate) and a single mirror. The relic (or duplicate) levitates in the center of this small chamber, powering Cryshal-Tirith and any other spell effects employed by the bearer.
Cryshal-Tirith and its occupants are invulnerable to all forms of external magical, psionic, or physical attack. No magical or psionic effect cast within Cryshal-Tirith can affect the bearer of Crenshinibon unless she or he so desires. All spell effects cast at the tower are reflected back at the caster. Only a creature not native to the plane on which Cryshal-Tirith is currently located or those allowed by the bearer of Crenshinibon (or by the artifact itself) can locate the entrance to the tower - an invisible door opening onto the first floor of the tower.
The bearer of the Crystal Shard can destroy any Cryshal-Tirith at will. The tower then collapses into a mound of black stonework that slowly disintegrates into dust. This also occurs precipitously if the artifact runs out of power levels. Anyone trapped in a tower during its destruction is instantly crushed to death. Both Cryshal-Tirith and the Crystal Shard can pulse with a burst of blinding light that temporarily blinds any sighted creature who observes the pulse for 1d6 rounds. This ability does not cost anypower levels. The Crystal Shard also, without draining power levels, functions as a maximum strength ring of telekinesis.
Crenshinibon enables its owner to cast numerous spell effects as an 18th-level wizard. Spell effects issue from the bearer if Cryshal-Tirith is not close by, but otherwise issue from the tower itself. All spell effects (except for those of the enchantment/charm school) appear as a ray of blindingly bright light. The Crystal Shard can act as a powerful instrument of destruction. Its bearer can cast any offensive wizard spell from the school of invocation/evocation at a cost of one power level per spell level. All such spells have unlimited range, but are effectively limited by the horizon. The relic can also serve as a means of manipulation; its bearer can cast any enchantment/charm spell at a cost of one power level per spell level. In addition, the Crystal Shard serves as a rod of rulership for its bearer without needing charges.
Few bearers have known that every 10 successful uses of the wizard spell domination through Crenshinibon's magic permanently lower both their Wisdom and Intelligence by 1 point.
Crenshinibon can act as a powerful tool for scrying. The magical mirrors located on the fourth floor of Cryshal-Tirith function as crystal balls. The bearer of the Crystal Shard can cast any wizard spell from the schools of lesser or greater divination or employ the rod of rulership functions through the mirrors at a cost of one power level per spell level.
If a mirror is removed from Cryshal-Tirith, it can function as a two-way communication device between the bearer of the Crystal Shard in the mirror room of Cryshal-Tirith and anyone who stands in front of the remote mirror. Simply standing in front of the mirror alerts a bearer of the Crystal Shard that communication is requested. By stepping through a tower mirror, it is possible for the owner to travel to a remote mirror. The shard also facilitates magical transportation of a more conventional sort. Its bearer can cast any wizard translocational spell of 8th level or less, including dimension door, teleport, teleport without error, and gateway at a cost of one power level per spell level.
Crenshinibon was created originally by seven liches who deemed to fashion an item of the very greatest power. As an insult to the races these undead wizard-kings planned to conquer, they designed the artifact to draw its strength from the sun itself, the giver of life. Upon the artifact’s completion, the liches were consumed by the overwhelming power of their joining magic. The conscious aspects of these evil creatures were obliterated by the relic’s sunlike properties and the shattered pieces of their spirits were absorbed by the artifact.
Crenshinibon first came to the material world millennia ago in the distant land of Zakhara. At the time, the artifact was merely a wizard’s tool, though a great and powerful one. It could throw fireballs and create great blazing walls of light so intense they could burn flesh from bone. Little was known about the Crystal Shard’s dark and sinister past until it fell into the hands of a sultan. This great leader learned the truth about Crenshinibon, and with the help of his many court wizards, decided that the work of the liches was incomplete. This sultan, however, had no dreams of domination; he only wanted peaceful existence with his many warlike neighbors. Using the newest power of the artifact, the sultan created a line of crystalline towers that stretched from his capital across the empty desert to his kingdom’s second city, an oft-raided frontier city about a day’s travel away in intervals. He raised as many as a hundred of these towers, nearly completing the defensive line. However, the sultan had overestimated the powers of Crenshinibon. He believed that the creation of the towers would strengthen the artifact, and normally they would if not so many had been created, but he was pulling the manifestations of Crenshinibon too thin. Soon after the sultan’s raising of the towers, a great sandstorm manifested and swept across the desert, shattering the weakened crystalline towers. This sandstorm served as a precursor to an invasion by a neighboring sheikdom. The hordes overran the sultan’s kingdom, and the merciless sheik forced the sultan to watch as his family was murdered. Crenshinibon absorbed a piece of the sultan’s spirit. Finally, with this "second creation" Crenshinibon was complete. The artifact, imbued with the twisted aspects of seven dead liches and with the wounded and tormented spirit of the sultan, would now begin its desperate quest to attain and maintain its greatest level of power, whatever the cost.
The sentient shard is thus a tragic 'character'; it is driven to pursue evil or amoral ends because it was scarred by traumatic, tragic events during its formative years; this part of the shard's history was revealed in Servant of the Shard, whose primary characters, Jarlaxle and Artemis Entreri, are also amoral individuals willing to commit unethical acts because they were scarred by tragedy and betrayal during their formative years.
The artifact crossed the trails of the psionic race known as Illithids on many occasions, who since then studied this unique item that could sometimes defeat their attacks of mindpower. Illithids or psionics of any race alone are beyond the reach of the Crystal Shard.
A powerful demon, Errtu, had been serving the seven liches who created Crenshinibon. When Crenshinibon stole the magical strength that preserved the liches’ undead state, the ensuing bursts of energy had hurled Errtu back to the Abyss, and the demon had thought the relic destroyed. Centuries later, Errtu discovered Cryshal-Tirith, a crystal tower with a pulsating heart the exact image of the Crystal Shard. Before Errtu could obtain Crenshinibon, an angelic deva named Al Dimeneira arrived, and with a single word, he banished Errtu back to the Abyss. Al Dimeneira then tried to destroy Crenshinibon, but the powerful relic burned his hands, so instead he hurled it across the very planes of existence, and it came to rest in the snow of a bowl-shaped dell in the Spine of the World Mountains on the material plane.
Crenshinibon has had six owners since that time. In the non-canon Black Isle computer game Icewind Dale, the first was a devil named Belhifet who, in a feud with his rival Yxunomei, was banished to the Material Plane. He stumbled upon the shard and formed an army using its powers of suggestion. He erected Cryshal-Tirith in the town of Easthaven, until a wandering group of adventurers (who had also killed Yxunomei) sent him back to Baator.
In the novel The Crystal Shard, the next wielder of Crenshinibon was a fumbling wizard-in-training named Akar Kessel. He stumbled upon the artifact at the Spine of the World Mountains. Though he could barely cast cantrips himself but with the power of Crenshinibon, he was almost unstoppable. Kessel tried to use Crenshinibon's power to enslave the whole region and even summoned the demon Errtu to help him with that task. But this supposed ally finally brought about the demise of kar Kessel, having his own designs for the Crystal Shard. In the end, Kessel was killed by an avalanche caused by Crenshinibon's own heat in a battle with the famed drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden atop Kelvin's Cairn.
In Passage to Dawn Stumpet Rakingclaw, a female dwarven cleric in the employ of Clan Battlehammer, came across Crenshinibon while hiking on Kelvin's Cairn. The shard quickly escaped her, as her moral code made it too difficult for the artifact to insinuate itself into her mind, by calling to Errtu. Errtu had finally gotten what he wanted and was the next wielder of the shard. Drizzt, with the help of Wulfgar (whom the goddess Lolth had given to Errtu as a prisoner and was subsequently used as a bargaining chip with Drizzt and his friends), once again managed to banish him to the Abyss.
In Servant of the Shard, the drow Jarlaxle tricked Drizzt into giving the shard to him by disguising himself as Cadderly Bonaduce and used it to carve himself a place in the city of Calimport. His lieutenant Rai-guy believed he could control the shard better than his leader and tried to take it. It was stolen by Jarlaxle's companion Artemis Entreri, who had managed to ignore the Crystal Shard's manipulative magic through sheer willpower. Entreri rescued Jarlaxle from his two lieutenants Kimmuriel and Rai-guy and convinced him to come along with him to take the shard to Cadderly and find from him a way to destroy the dangerous artifact. Rai-guy eventually succeeded in capturing the shard, though his possession of it was short-lived.
Crenshinibon was eventually destroyed by the red dragon Hephaestus when Jarlaxle tricked him into breathing fire on it (and its wielder, Rai-guy) whilst it was inside of a globe of magical darkness, the only known way to end the Crystal Shard's evil existence, as discovered by Cadderly.
Departure From Canon
In canon 4e D&D, Crenshinibon becomes part of the triad known as the Ghost King, due to the Spellplague. Since the Spellplague does not occur in this RP, things happened a little differently. Crenshinibon's latent magic power has still resurrected the illithid and dragon as a ghost and dracolich respectively. However, the three are not joined and act independent. The dracolich guards the shard, as does the illithid. The powers that were released from the shard upon its descruction still permeate the cave and the two undead, and have attracted hundreds of undead to the place. Theoretically, a spell of enough power (an epic spell) could be cast to funnel this power back into the shard to as to restore it.