Full Item Description
The Sundering Crystal appears as an amazingly spikey crystal - its spines appearing fantastically sharp. It also appears to be constantly changing the position of its spines though one never can seem them actually move.
The Crystal was created millennia past by the Giants of Stoneholt, the focus of a mystic ritual the purpose of which has long since been forgotten. The Giants know, but they are gone.
The Sundering Crystal was found in a ruined building in the massive city of Stoneholt. The building had been inaccessible until it was cracked open by an earthquake.
The looters who entered the shattered structure found the crystal floating in a puddle of liquid mercury, the massive bronze bowl that had held it tipped over by the earthquake.
The first looter to try and grab the spiny crystal found his hands shredded away before he could get a grip on it and ran screaming from the room.
Later attempts to pick up the crystal with tongs, chainmail blankets, and magic were unsuccessful until someone filled a large bucket with sand and scooped it up. The Crystal began slowly working its way into the sand, giving the gathered experts time to come up with a solution.
They decided to restore the crystal to the bronze bowl after laboriously collecting the spilled mercury and refilling the bowl. Instead of taking the crystal to a wizardly research lab, they moved the lab to the crystal and carefully rebuilt the structure where it sits to this day.
This crystal exists in many different dimensions apart from the normal three most are used to. When viewed, the crystal always seems to be in motion, but this is an illusion caused by the viewer's brain attempting to make sense of what is seen.
Any solid object in contact with the crystal will be subject to significant erosion - the spines of the crystal independently phase in and out of place without actually moving. Objects that get to close get speared by the crystalline shards. The crystal is much harder then diamond and all but the most powerfully enchanted objects are subject to erosion if they touch it.
Liquids are undisturbed by the crystal as they yield to it's fluctuations. Oddly enough, no ripples or turbulence is caused by this fluctuation.
The safest way to store this material is to float it in mercury. Water will not work, since the crystal will sink and then disrupt the bottom of the container. Sand or stone dust will support the crystal for a while, but it will eventually work it's way down into the material.
No uncontained samples of this crystal exist as they will grind even through bedrock. Eventually they will settle upon the molten mantle.
Magic such as telekinesis are not effective as even magical effects are subject to erosion when they contact the object.
This effect is one of the properties of the crystal which makes it of use to spell casters. It is capable of destroying in-place enchantments given time and cannot be effectively handled by magic.
One side effect of this crystal is that is also erodes reality in it's vicinity - opening tiny rifts between planes and dimensions. These are quite small unless it is moved significantly, in which case large rents can be opened. Thus when found, the crystals are always carefully stored to prevent motion and escape.
Plot Hooks and Campaign Use
The Crystal is an excellent spellbreaker - capable of cutting through steel, stone and spell with equal facility.
It is not used lightly, for it is difficult to transport, and when moved will cause tears in reality, producing all manner of odd occurences in its wake. The tears so far have been temporary, healing in a matter of minutes to hours, depending on the severity.
The Staff of Qualithine
A wooden staff found in the ruins of Stoneholt, suspected to actually be a wand used by the Giants who built the city.
It has a very small Sundering Crystal imbedded in a glob of unidentifiable tar-like goo at it's end. The goo holds the crystal fast and has defied any attempt to divine it's nature, largely due to the presence of the Crystal. The Staff can be used to cut reality or pretty much anything else it is touched against, able to rend about 1 cubic inch of material per minute. As with other sundering crystals, moving the staff will damage reality, so usually items are brought to it to minimize the damage to the fabric of reality.
The Machine of Asgura
Provided a vision by some malevolent being, Asgura, a mage seeking to understand the underpinnings of reality, has devised a machine to tear apart reality. The great wheel, turning like a great merry-go-round is equipped with sand-filled cups to hold a Sundering Crystal for a short period of time. The wheel is turned by water power at a fairly rapid rate.
Asgura will attempt to steal the large Sundering Crystal to mount on his device, and then spin it rapidly, creating a tear of such magnitude as to completely breach the fabric of reality, and allowing untold chaos to enter.
The theft itself will be well planned out and brutal, for Asgura is focused on success and will take no chances. His escape will be of course made more difficult by the inability to transport the crystal easily, and not by magic. Furthermore, a trail of rents and odd occurrences will mark the path to his lab. What will be difficult is timing. He will not take very long to mount and use the crystal after it is stolen, so the tracking and pursuit will need to be fast paced to stop him.
It is expected the PCs will become involved by being in the right place at the right time.
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? Responses (8)
Updated: Ugh - done with ye - mostly! Out! Out I say!
Seriously, will add a table of Odd Occurances if there is any requests for such...
*imagines a powerful undead armed with the Staff.*
Nice! I like exotic dispelling devices with weird side-effects. I don't need a table of Odd Occurances, but a few examples would be certainly useful. (Random energy outbursts? Weird mutants showing up? Extreme probability deformities?)
I agree that some examples would be a sweet addition. I imagine undulating snakes made of dreamstuff slithering trough the cracks of reality. Good one Val!
i dont know how many people are familiar with the TV series Threshold, but there is a hyperdimensional object in the show that is exactly what the crystal looks like. It has the fluctuations (but none of the backstory, erosive powers, or the like, it shows up and just kinda phases out of existance.
Thumbs up, I like cutting holes in reality.
Oops. I never even heard of this series. Ah well..
it's worth a watch once, cancelled after first season. The hyperdimensional crystal was the ultimate McGuffin, it caused the basic conflict for the entire show and vanishes after a few minutes. It is in the opening credits. I like your hyperdimensional object better since it has a rhyme and reason to it and wasnt implicating any sort of copying.
Good one! You have explored the subject well, and provided a solid backstory. Besides, it´s a great McGuffin if you want to make these cocky mages a bit less sure of themselves, and less likely to be a pest to the GM...