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Akar Kessel was an unskilled mage who lived in Luskan's Host Tower of the Arcane under the tutelage of Morkai the Red.[citation needed]


During a trip to Icewind Dale in 1351 DR,[1] Dendybar the Mottled persuaded Kessel to kill Morkai in return for a place of power in the Host Tower. Kessel, blinded by greed, killed Morkai - the nearest thing he had to a father. Dendybar, in return, left him to freeze in the snow.

By chance (or perhaps not) Kessel came upon Crenshinibon. The crystal shard dominated his weak mind easily. Together, he and the artifact dominated an army of orcs, goblins and trolls as well as others over the next five years, allying them with the local Reghedmen and the Balor lord Errtu in an attempt to take over the Ten-Towns before moving on to loftier goals.[citation needed]

Kessel didn't count on the likes of the drow Drizzt Do'Urden, his magical companion Guenhwyvar, the barbarian Wulfgar, the dwarf Bruenor, his daughter Catti-brie, or even the halfling Regis - who unravelled Kessel's (Crenshinibon's) plans. Wulfgar caused the Reghedmen to switch sides and Drizzt banished Errtu back to the Abyss. While his minions fought below, Kessel and Drizzt battled on the slopes of Kelvin's Cairn where a poorly thought out spell caused Kessel to accidentally kill himself.[citation needed]

One hundred and twenty nine years later in 1485 DR, an Arcane Brotherhood agent's apprentice gathered an expedition of dwarves to explore Kelvin's Cairn for signs of Kessel's corpse. What they found was a wight - Kessel risen in undeath. Desperate to reconnect with Crenshinibon, which had been destroyed in the intervening years, Kessel was drawn to any remnant of the artifact's power. He led his discoverers to the site of his tower Cryshal-Tirith. Dust from Cryshal-Tirith when it was destroyed had fused with the ice - which came to be known as black ice - but it retained no remnant of Crenshinibon's intelligence. The dwarven miners in the group however began to attack each other after they had touched it - much to Kessel's amusement. The wight encouraged the last remaining dwarf, Baerick Hammerstone to begin crafting items from the black ice.[6][7]



Legacy of the Crystal Shard
The Crystal Shard
Video Games
Neverwinter: Curse of Icewind DaleDungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance
Referenced only
Baldur's Gate