Crystals (dNetHack)

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For the object materials, see either glass or gemstone.

The Crystals are a set of five artifact crystal balls that appear in dNetHack and notdNetHack, and are associated with the Temple of Chaos variant of the Chaos Quest.

Four of the Crystals are found early on in the quest, but attempting to pick them up will cause them to evade a character's grasp and blast them - a Crystal can only be safely picked up once its guardian is defeated, rendering them useless if they appear in bones and the Chaos Quest in that game is a different variant.

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The first four Crystals are unaligned and found embedded within the walls of the Ruined Temple, while The Black Crystal is generated in the possession of Chaos.

As Chaos Quest artifacts, all five Crystals cannot be wished for since they are guaranteed to appear if you generate the Chaos Temple as your Chaos Quest branch; only the Black Crystal is counted towards the total number of artifacts generated in a game. Any of the Crystals can generate in bones files as mentioned above; if this occurs in a game with the Temple of Chaos as your Chaos Quest, the Crystals in question are replaced with normal crystal balls.


All five Crystals each have a weight value different from the standard 50 aum of a crystal ball in dNetHack and notdNetHack. Each Crystal also has an #invoke ability and an extrinsic property that roughly matches their element; carrying each Crystal grants knowledge of a specific spell and provides bonuses to casting that spell, along with increasing the skill cap for certain skills by one point.

In addition, carrying all five Crystals confers a single use of life saving that stacks with the life saving property of the Black Crystal - the life saving of all five Crystals is used first if possible, and the Black Crystal's life saving is used otherwise. The Black Crystal and the other four Crystals will appear as "cracked" to show that their life saving has been used up, though cracked Crystals otherwise function as normal.

List of Crystals

Name Color Guardian Weight (aum) Properties Invoke Spell Boosted skills
Initial Purified
The Earth Crystal ( ( Lich, the Fiend of Earth L 100 Half physical damage when carried Earthquake dig martial arts
upgrades bare-handed combat to martial arts
attack spells
healing spells
clerical spells
The Fire Crystal ( ( Kary, the Fiend of Fire & 10 Fire resistance when carried Area-of-effect fire spell fireball long sword
wand damage
matter spells
The Water Crystal ( ( Kraken, the Fiend of Water ; 40 Cold resistance when carried Area-of-effect ice spell cone of cold hammer
clerical spells
musicalize spell
The Air Crystal ( ( Tiamat, the Fiend of Wind D 20 Shock resistance when carried Area-of-effect shock spell lightning bolt bare-handed combat
healing spells
attack spells
The Black Crystal ( ( Chaos & 30 Magic resistance and warning when carried, life saving, 2x damage when thrown Area-of-effect 'death' spell (similar to breaking a wand of death, flavored as a "disintegration field") haste self
extra healing
two-handed sword
escape spells