GreyhawkCampaign Setting Logo

Climate/Terrain:Temperate and subtropical/mountains
Activity Cycle:Night
Intelligence:Non- (0)/Animal (1)
No. Appearing:Swarm of 200+1d100
Armor Class:7
Movement:Fl 6 (A)
Hit Dice:50 hp
No. of Attacks:1
Special Attacks:Light beams
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:T (1' diameter)
Morale:Steady (11-12)
XP Value:2,000

Crystalmists are interesting and unusual hive entities. Individual crystalmists look much like snowflakes, drifting about in the air and absorbing sunlight to power their crystalline structures. At the heart of each crystalmist is a pulsating pinpoint of light that gradually changes colors throughout the day.

When most people speak of a crystalmist, however, they are referring to the shape the swarm takes on when it is threatened. At such times, the various individuals drift together to form a sphere roughly one foot in diameter. The sphere throbs with a deep, ominous sound and radiates a shimmering white light. The statistics provided above are for this configuration; individuals are nonintelligent, AC 10, have 1 hit point (thus there are 50 individuals in a crystalmist community), no effective attack, and a movement rate of 18.

Individual crystalmists are not intelligent enough to have any language per se, but they are believed to have a rudimentary form of communication within their species based on color modulation.

Combat: While individual crystalmists have no combat capabilities, they can quickly form into a community being that is very dangerous. Coalescing into the larger form requires only one round, during which time the crystalmist can be attacked with impunity.

The globular crystalmist community can unleash a powerful beam of light each round, using the energy stored in the bodies of its component creatures. The beam has a range of 20 feet, beyond which limit it is too diffuse to cause injury. A normal attack roll is required for the crystalmist to hit a target with its beams. Each successful strike inflicts 1d6 points of damage.

If the crystalmist fails to hit its target, but still rolls above a 3 on its attack die, then the beam of light is assumed to have struck the target, but been deflected by armor, a shield, or some other object on the target's person (if possible). DMs should determine at random what has been hit, taking into account relative sizes and positions of objects.

Any flammable object (such as a wooden shield or padded armor) hit by the light ray must roll a successful saving throw vs. magical fire (see DMG, page 39) or instantly ignite. Persons wearing clothing that bursts into flames suffer 1d4 points of damage each round until they can extinguish the fire or remove the burning garb. Objects (such as lanterns) that contain very flammable materials may actually explode (10% chance), doing damage as the DM sees fit.

In addition to its light powers, the crystalmist is immune to a number of spells. It cannot be affected by sleep, charm, illusion, or other mind-altering spells. If the crystalmist is fighting in the presence of a bright light source (such as a continual light spell), the damage done by its beam is doubled to 2d6 points.

When a crystalmist suffers 10 points of damage, it fragments into its individual components. Each point of damage inflicted upon the community destroys one individual (thus 12 points of damage means the community fragments into its 38 remaining individuals). The remaining individuals cannot form another community for five rounds.

Habitat/Society: As the individual crystalmists that make up a crystalmist community have less intelligence than the average grasshopper, they have no recognizable society. Still, they do have a basic natural drive to remain with others of their kind and form communities of several hundred individual crystalmists.

Crystalmist individuals reproduce rarely, by binary fission like unicellular creatures.

Ecology: Crystalmists do not hunt, nor are they hunted. From time to time they may be scooped out of the air by a passing bat or avian in search of a few minerals to balance its diet, but as a rule they are ignored by the animals around them.

It is believed that the mysterious timeglass of the mage was crafted with ground crystalmists. While this has never been confirmed, it may indeed be true as the unique physiology of the crystalmist makes it very valuable to those who have an interest in arcane devices.

Other uses for the crystalmist include the creation of high quality smoke powder and dust of illusion. It is also rumored that the priceless oracles of Greyhawk are fashioned from crystalmist colonies captured and trapped forever by powerful magic.