Stormhold Crystal is a magical type of crystal found in the tunnels beneath the Black Marsh city of Stormhold. There are two types of Stormhold Crystals: Filled Crystals and Hollow Crystals. Filled Crystals have many different enchantments, such as healing, magical buffs or teleportation; some crystals can also be used for offensive purposes, killing opponents instantly. Hollow Crystals are used to store evil and corruption. The Storm Crystal is a large crystal which glows with distilled power and has the ability to hold vast amounts of corruption.
The origin of the crystals is a mystery. They were created by the priests of a nearly forgotten religion. Given Stormhold's origins as an Ayleid city, the priests were likely Ayleids, a race known for harnessing Meteoric Glass to create magical crystals. Similar crystals include Welkynd Stones, Varla Stones and Star Teeth.
Some time after the extinction of the Ayleids, the Empire set up a prison in the old ruins beneath Stormhold. Warden Varus learned of the Storm Crystal and used the prisoners as slave labor, forcing them to dig in the tunnels. Varus made a large profit extracting the Stormhold Crystal, and planned to locate the Storm Crystal and use it to store all the evil in the Empire, titling himself the Slayer of Evil. The prisoners who dug in the tunnels, nicknamed "tunnel rats", kept some of the crystals for themselves, for use in smuggling or exploring the dangerous undead-infested tunnels. Varus overlooked this theft as long as tunnel rats were not greedy.
Over time, prisoners and their overseers began to go mad, fleeing into the tunnels and attacking workers clearing the ruins. Digging in the tunnels caused corruption to infect the workers, which led to madness and lizard-like deformities over time. Varus attempted to cure this by removing evil from one man to place into another using the Hollow Crystals. Varus afflicted far too many, and the prison camp's healer, Helga, was unable to cure all of them. This resulted in the earth itself oozing corruption. Many of the overseers began to show horrific deformities, and prisoners weren't expected to survive long.
Varus, driven insane in his search for the Storm Crystal, continued to open new tunnels and eventually tracked down the Crystal. A prisoner nicknamed the "master tunnel rat", with the help of Helga and several other prisoners, gathered enough equipment from the ruins to defeat the overseers and confront Varus. The two fought for the Storm Crystal, and the prisoner was victorious. Although the Crystal was unable to hold the evil of the Empire, the prisoner was able to use it to clear the prison camp of corruption, letting the inmates go free.
- For game-specific information, see the Stormhold article.