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Crenshinibon is an evil, sentient artifact in the Forgotten Realms setting based on the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. The item was featured primarily in the novels The Crystal Shard, Passage to Dawn, The Silent Blade, and Servant of the Shard by R.A. Salvatore, though it also appeared as a major plot device in the computer game Icewind Dale.


Crenshinibon is a sentient artifact; a crystal shard which draws magical energy from the light of the sun. Evil in nature, it desires a powerful wielder it can manipulate and control, but will willingly abandon him or her for a more capable "master". It greatly enhances the inherent powers of the wielder, and can summon other beings of evil intent to create an army of conquest. The wielder of the shard can create an enormous crystalline tower, Cryshal-Tirith (Elvish, literally meaning crystal tower), an exact duplicate of the shard magically expanded in size and impenetrable to external attacks. It tempts and controls the greedy and deceptive with promises of power and wealth.[1]Illithids and psionics of any race are unaffected by the Crystal Shard.[1]:140


Crenshinibon was created by seven liches as an artifact of ultimate power; the artifact absorbed its creators upon completion.[1]:14 It first appeared in the Forgotten Realms in the land of Zakhara. At this time in its history, the artifact was merely a powerful wizard's tool. It came into the possession of a sultan who attempted to use it to enforce a peaceful existence with his many warlike neighbors, by creating a defensive line of crystalline towers between the major cities of his realm. The creation of these towers overstretched the powers of the crystal, and they were destroyed by a sandstorm which preceded an invasion by a neighboring sheikdom. The kingdom was overrun and the sultan executed, with Crenshinibon absorbing a piece of his spirit. This changed the artifact, giving it the drive to attain and hold ultimate power at any cost.[1]:14–16

The demon Errtu, a servant of the seven liches who created Crenshinibon, was hurled back to the Abyss on the creation of the artifact, and the demon had thought the relic destroyed. Centuries later, Errtu rediscovered the Shard but was again banished to the Abyss by an angelic deva named Al Dimeneira. Al Dimeneira attempted to destroy Crenshinibon, but failed, and it came to rest in the snow of a bowl-shaped dell in the Spine of the World Mountains on the material plane.[2]

In The Crystal Shard, a fumbling wizard-in-training named Akar Kessel becomes the next wielder of Crenshinibon. Using its power he becomes almost unstoppable, but is betrayed by the demon Errtu and killed by an avalanche during a battle with Drizzt Do'Urden.[2]

In Passage to Dawn, the Shard is recovered by a female dwarven cleric in the employ of Clan Battlehammer; unable to defeat her moral code, the Shard escaped by summoning Errtu to reclaim it. Errtu is defeated by Drizzt, who retains the Shard.[3]

In The Silent Blade, the drow Jarlaxle tricks Drizzt into giving him the shard, and uses it to carve himself a place in the city of Calimport. It is stolen by Jarlaxle's companion Artemis Entreri, and eventually destroyed by the fiery breath of the red dragon Hephaestus.[1]

Publication history[edit]

The Crystal Shard first appeared in R. A. Salvatore's book The Crystal Shard (the first novel in The Icewind Dale Trilogy) and later in the novels Passage to Dawn, The Silent Blade, and Servant of the Shard.

Other media[edit]

In the Black Isle computer game Icewind Dale, Crenshinibon was found by a demon 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 the Abyss.


  1. ^ a b c d e R.A. Salvatore (June 2005). Servant of the Shard. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3950-8.
  2. ^ a b R.A. Salvatore (March 2005). The Crystal Shard. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1606-0.
  3. ^ R.A. Salvatore (August 2008). Passage to Dawn (Mass Market Paperback). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0-7869-4911-3