The Crystrum of Tranquility was a perfect sphere of unblemished, colorless crystal about 1 foot (30 centimeters) in diameter.
In order to activate the power of the Crystrum, the sphere had to be immersed in running water, the water of a natural pool, or holy water in a bowl of stone, wood, horn, or bone. While immersed, a priest or priestess of Eldath then had to touch or hold the object in silence for at least twenty minutes.
If done correctly, a glowing blue script would appear on the surface of the sphere, providing an alphabetical roster of spells. If the name of any spell was touched, the complete text would appear on the sphere. Alternatively, the priest touching the sphere could also will the text to appear on any nearby still surface of water.
If any living creature who did not worship Eldath touched the sphere, the writing would instantly disappear. If the sphere was still immersed, the writing could be restored by an act of will by a devout Eldathyn. Otherwise, the ritual would have to be repeated.
The spell texts contained within the Crystrum comprised the following: banish blight, cloud of purification, control vapor, detect lie, detect snares and pits, find the path, free action, heroes' feast, hold animal, hold monster, imbue with spell ability, invisibility to animals, laughing water, locate animals or plants, locate object, mist of the goddess, moonbeam, neutralize poison, plant growth, rainbow, reflecting pool, reincarnation, silence, 15' radius, speak with monsters, starshine, tongues, transport via plants, tree, water of Eldath, and water walk.
The Eldathyn believed, based on instruction provided by Eldath herself to the priest Lorth Blaenarry, that a new spell would be added to the Crystrum whenever the sphere was brought to Elah'zad, a Eldathyn holy site in the Sword of Anauroch, by an Eldathyn in great need.
According to Lorth Blaenarry's book The Key to the Fastness, the Crystrum could also purify food and drink with a touch, levitate when thrown or dropped, and emit a faerie fire effect, with a hue, intensity, and duration determined by its Keeper. The sphere moreover could not be shattered, altered, or cloaked by illusion magic.
According to Eldathyn teaching, the Crystrum was created by the goddess herself not long after the Fall of Myth Drannor and placed on an altar somewhere in the vicinity of the Elven Court, where it rested undisturbed for more than two centuries.
The Crystrum is next described in the diaries of the ranger Eldrum the Silent, who saw the object in the spring of 989 DR. At that time, the sphere was in the possession of the Eldathyn priestess Analauthé Brenewood, who, along with a company of other Eldathyn refugees, had fled monster attacks in Cormanthor and traveled across the Thunder Peaks into Hullack Forest in Cormyr.
Analauthé later perished in a ritual to purify the Wyvernwater after the necromancer Elgarth of Westgate released a supernatural rot into the lake's waters. Custody of the sphere then passed into the hands of Shalgreth of the Wings, so named because he crafted wings for himself and attempted to father a race of winged folk with a series of swanmay consorts.
Shalgreth eventually, in 1112 DR, granted the Crystrum to the ranger society known as the Men of the Green, who later used the sphere in a confrontation with a beholder who had crafted a magical means of birthing forth other monstrosities in the manner of a deepspawn. The beholder was slain in the quest, known as the Hunt of the Beholder King, but only one grievously wounded ranger survived the final battle. That ranger, Aulburne Mathtarke, survived long enough to bring the Crystrum to Holyheart House in the Chondalwood before he finally succumbed to his injuries.
The Life and Death of Lorth BlaenarryEdit
The Eldathyn enshrined the Crystrum at Holyheart House, keeping it hidden there even from other members of the faith, and set the priest Roathoald in charge of its care. After Roathoald's death in 1148 DR, a formal office of keeper of the Crystrum was established to keep the sphere secret and secure. But word of the sphere's power spread nonetheless, and on Mirtul 5 in 1271 DR, Holyheart was attacked by members of the Cult of the Dragon, accompanied by the dracoliches Goarulskul the Black and Arlauthra Manytalons. Many Eldathyn were slain, but the young treetender Lorth Blaenarry managed to escape with the sphere.
Lorth reached Turmish with the Crystrum, where in the streets of Alaghôn and Telpir he was hunted by Red Wizards of Thay, who had recognized the power of the sphere. With the help of a Harper sorceress, Lorth narrowly escaped the Red Wizards in the woods near Starmantle Bay and booked passage toward Zhentil Keep. Unfortunately, the Zhentarim were expecting a young man with a magical sphere, having obtained the information through the torture of a Thayan agent.
Lorth, however, was saved when he was instead abducted by Harper agents before he could fall into Zhentarim hands. The Harpers took Lorth to the Border Kingdoms, where the group fell into a three-way battle with Zhentarim and Dragon Cultists for possession of the sphere. In order to save Lorth, the Harpers used a teleport spell to send Lorth on alone to Elah'zad in the desert of Anauroch.
At Elah'zad, the goddess Eldath herself appeared to Lorth and instructed him in the use of the sphere, before magically transporting the young man to the city of Neverwinter. There, Lorth lived out the rest of his life serving Eldath and working to bring back the wilderness to places in the Sword Coast North that he felt had been too aggressively tamed by civilization. There, he also founded the Fastness of Green Shadows, an Eldathyn temple, and wrote the book The Key to the Fastness.
When Lorth perished in 1336 DR, a tree sprung from his body the next morning, and as his fellow Eldathyn knelt about him in prayer, the Crystrum rolled straight from the fallen Lorth to a young half-elf named Ilphiira Alonthar.
The Later History of the SphereEdit
In the belief that she had been chosen by Eldath to bear the sphere, Ilphiira journeyed into the wilderness to seek the goddess's direction. Only a day after her departure, however, the Fastness of Green Shadows and much of the nearby forest was laid waste by the Arcane Brotherhood, who believed the sphere still rested within the temple and hoped to obtain it.
Ilphiira herself fled eastward, following the River Dessarin toward the High Forest woodland governed by the treant Turlang. It is believed that she was ultimately headed toward Silverymoon, but apart from a sighting of the half-elf by Harpers in Everlund, the whereabouts of the last known Keeper of the sphere remain a mystery. An enigmatic vision sent by Eldath to Meirthond Arbreet, Keeper of Fallen Trees Fastness in Amn, suggested that Ilphiira set down the sphere in a place "where only the daring will find it" and promised great reward to any Eldathyn who recovered the Crystrum and brought it back to Elah'zad. None, however, had recovered the lost artifact by 1370 DR.
Related Magical ItemsEdit
The Crystrum inspired the creation of a less potent magical item known as the Crystal Sphere of Singing Waters. When a flask of holy water was poured over the object, the crystal sphere would glow with faerie fire for twenty-four hours, during which time the user could cast purify food and drink at will and neutralize poison and scrying once each, using the sphere itself as the scrying focus.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 Ed Greenwood and Doug Stewart (1997). Prayers from the Faithful. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 22–24. ISBN 0-7869-0682-0.
- ↑ Sean K. Reynolds, Duane Maxwell, Angel McCoy (August 2001). Magic of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 156. ISBN 0-7869-1964-7.