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Crystal sphere-2e

A crystal sphere depicted as being held in the phlogiston by the hands of a deity.

A crystal sphere, sometimes called a crystal shell, was a gigantic spherical shell that contained an entire planetary system. Each sphere varied in size but typically they were twice the diameter of the orbit of the planet that was farthest from the sun or planet at the center of the sphere (the system's primary).[1]

Description[]

Crystal spheres were made of a dark ceramic material that had no gravity and appeared to be impossible to damage by any normal or magical means. They always looked the same when seen from the outside.[1]

The surface of the sphere was called the "sphere wall" and separated the void of wildspace (within the sphere) from the phlogiston (which surrounded and flowed outside the sphere). Openings in the sphere wall called "portals" allowed spelljamming ships or wildspace creatures to pass through and enter or exit from a crystal sphere.[1] Portals could spontaneously open and close anywhere on the sphere wall. Magical spells (or magical items that reproduced their effects) could allow a portal to be located. Other magic could open a new portal or collapse an existing one. Ships or creatures passing through a portal when it closed could be cut in two.[2]

Crystal shells also marked the outer limit of a deity's influence. Divine magic that emanated from a deity worshiped on a world within a crystal sphere was severely dampened or completely non-existing once one crossed the crystal shell into the phlogiston and into other crystal spheres, unless the deity also enjoyed considerable worship in the new location.[1]

All known crystal shells in the phlogiston were spherical. The reason for this was unknown, but several hypotheses were mentioned by Elminster in a correspondence sent to Khelben Arunsun. Possibilities included the naturalness of a spherical shape in a fluid (akin to bubbles), practicality and ease of construction, and the balance of gravity produced by a sphere. Elminster also speculated on the possibility of different shapes in unexplored reaches of the phlogiston, such as cubical, ellipsoidal, triangular, irregular, and even toroidal shells.[3]

Relationships[]

Each crystal sphere had its own set of gods, with only some deities or their aspects present in more than one world. The gods shared planes and, in some cases, shared the same realms. However, the deities from different crystal spheres were bound by an ancient compact that guaranteed peace and prevented wars between deities from different worlds. A deity from one crystal sphere was not allowed to harm or negatively affect the worship of gods' from another crystal sphere. The only acceptable involvement was to take action against another deity that decided to break the compact. This rule also applied to deities whose aspects existed on other worlds. For example, Fizban was not allowed to get involved with gods from Toril harming each other, even though Bahamut was one of that world's deities.[4][5]

Creation[]

The birth of a crystal sphere was an extremely rare, lengthy, and beautiful event that even attracted the attention of deities. Torillian god Lathander, the deity of dawn, adored new beginnings and liked to observe such births. Once, he and his paramour Tyche spent an entire year watching a birth from the back of a space whale.[6]

The process of birth in some ways seemed biological. It started with an existing crystal sphere gradually growing in size, swelling, and then growing apart and splitting. The two crystal spheres remained clustered together for some time, akin to faerie dragon eggs. They remained close together while swelling to fully-grown size. The spheres were so close, that they gently chimed every time waves of phlogiston bumped them together. Eventually, crystal spheres grew big, and stars inside them sparked to life.[6]

History[]

The origin of the crystal spheres was unknown. It was conjectured by legends and some sages that they had been created by deities to protect worlds in their care from the phlogiston. Others believed that crystal spheres were even older than the gods and were designed to contain their activities and to keep them localized.[1]

It was believed that Realmspace was among the oldest of the known crystal spheres. Many scholars believed that crystal spheres warmed up as they aged and, since Realmspace was slightly warmer than other crystal spheres, its age was posited to be greater as well.[7][8]

Notable Crystal Spheres[]

Map of the Known Spheres

A partially complete diagram of several known spheres, including Realmspace.

Inner flow-2e

A diagram of the Arcane Inner Flow, including Realmspace's relation to it.

  • Earth's Crystal Sphere: an unnamed crystal sphere that contained the Earth solar system.[9][10]
  • Mystara's Crystal Sphere: an unnamed crystal sphere that contained the Mystaran solar system.
  • Athas' Crystal Sphere: an unnamed crystal sphere that contained the Athas solar system.
  • Realmspace: the crystal sphere that contained the Torilian solar system.[11]
  • Greyspace: the crystal sphere that contained the Oerth solar system.[12]
  • Krynnspace: the crystal sphere that contained the Krynn solar system.[13]
  • Clusterspace: a remote crystal sphere that contained the Astromundi Cluster, regarded by some sages as the place where mind flayers originated.[14]
  • Tuhgri: a little-known crystal sphere.[15]
  • Herospace: the crystal sphere controlled by the Rational Order of Magistrates, who only permitted exceptional individuals to settle on the planets they tended.[16]
  • Pirtelspace: the frigid, sparsely inhabited crystal sphere that resided in the Arcane Inner Flow, located close to Realmspace.[17]
  • Refugespace: the small crystal sphere that resided in the Arcane Inner Flow, located close to Realmspace. It is controlled by the Arcane, and is often referred to as the "Arcane Sphere".[citation needed]
  • Darnannonspace: the crystal sphere that resided in the Arcane Inner Flow, located close to Realmspace. The crystal sphere is often referred to as the "Elven Sphere".[citation needed]
  • Steel Star: the legendary crystal sphere reputed to be dominated by an ogre kingdom built by those who survived the elven purge.[citation needed]
  • Winterspace: the crystal sphere that played a significant role in both the First[18] and Second Unhuman Wars.[19]
  • Xaryxispace: the crystal sphere that houses a small star system in wildspace that was home to the Xaryxian Empire of astral elves.[20]
  • Faeriespace: the magical crystal sphere dominated by an enormous tree, illuminated by sixteen burning suns.[21]
  • Darkspace: the crystal sphere housing a dead and dark sun, ruled by a vampire. [22][23]

Appendix[]

See also[]

Appearances[]

Novels
Into the VoidTymora's Luck

External Links[]

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the following links do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of this wiki, nor does any lore presented necessarily adhere to established canon.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Concordance of Arcane Space”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), p. 9. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  2. Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Concordance of Arcane Space”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), p. 20. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  3. Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Lorebook of the Void”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), pp. 58, 60. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  4. Kate Novak, Jeff Grubb (December 1997). Tymora's Luck. (TSR, Inc.), p. 313. ISBN 0-7869-0726-6.
  5. Kate Novak, Jeff Grubb (December 1997). Tymora's Luck. (TSR, Inc.), p. 149. ISBN 0-7869-0726-6.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kate Novak, Jeff Grubb (December 1997). Tymora's Luck. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 1, pp. 5–6. ISBN 0-7869-0726-6.
  7. Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Lorebook of the Void”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), p. 92. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  8. Dale "slade" Henson (April 1991). Realmspace. Edited by Gary L. Thomas, Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-052-4.
  9. Ed Greenwood, The Hooded One (2009-01-05). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2009). Candlekeep Forum. Retrieved on 2021-08-08.
  10. Ed Greenwood, The Hooded One (2005-01-27). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2005). Candlekeep Forum. Archived from the original on 2020-08-14. Retrieved on 2021-08-31.
  11. Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Concordance of Arcane Space”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), pp. 82, 84. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  12. Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Concordance of Arcane Space”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), pp. 78, 80. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  13. Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Concordance of Arcane Space”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), pp. 74, 76. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  14. Sam Witt (1993). “Adventures in the Shattered Sphere”. In Michele Carter ed. The Astromundi Cluster (TSR, Inc.), p. 48. ISBN 1-56076-632-8.
  15. Kate Novak, Jeff Grubb (December 1997). Tymora's Luck. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 1, p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0726-6.
  16. J. Paul LaFountain (1990). Crystal Spheres. (TSR, Inc), pp. 9–13. ISBN 0-88038-878-1.
  17. Steve Kurtz (July/August 1992). “The Sea of Sorrow”. In Barbara G. Young ed. Dungeon #36 (TSR, Inc.) (36)., pp. 44–45.
  18. Elaine Cunningham (November 1992). The Radiant Dragon. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 153–156. ISBN 1-56076-346-9.
  19. Elaine Cunningham (November 1992). The Radiant Dragon. (TSR, Inc.), chaps. 20–21. ISBN 1-56076-346-9.
  20. Christopher Perkins, et al. (August 2022). “Light of Xaryxis”. In Judy Bauer, Kim Mohan eds. Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (Wizards of the Coast), p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7869-6816-9.
  21. J. Paul LaFountain, SJA3 Crystal Spheres, 1990, (TSR Inc.), chapter 3, page 18
  22. J. Paul LaFountain, SJA3 Crystal Spheres introduction, pages 2-3
  23. J. Paul LaFountain, SJA3 Crystal Spheres chapter 6, pages 39-57

Connections[]

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