The Crystal Shard is the famous name for a blood-red, crystal-like tower that stands in the centre of Clerbeliard. Built primarily to hold the Ruby Heart safe within it, it has soon transformed into a ritual place for numerous mages living in the town. Nowadays, the Crystal Shard is regarded as an important landmark and symbol of the town.
Purpose / Function
The main and primary purpose of the tower was to provide access to the Ruby Heart. However, due to its exceptional magic protection, it is often used for magic rituals and experiments. Among those are the graduation exams for the students of Clerbeliard's magic schools, which often pose a danger to those involved and everything around. The practical reasons do not encompass all of it though. In the late decades, the Crystal Shard has become a popular wedding place among the local populace. Couples swear eternal loyalty to each other while touching the Ruby Heart and believe it to punish whoever strays from that oath. Moreover, rumours of the Order of the Shield performing secret rituals on the artefact are popular in the local taverns despite the lack of evidence to support them.
Unlike the rest of Clerbeliard, the Crystal Shard's defences are not handled by the local citizen militia. Instead, it is protected by the knights of the Order. Normally, ten knights would be assigned, selected for their skills and loyalty. In addition, four mages are sent by the local guild to oversee the use of the Ruby Heart.
The Crystal Shard was built in 13 AC after the previous vault for the Ruby Heart was destroyed in a magic accident. By that time, Clerbeliard has already achieved high standings in the region, and the Ruby Heart was key to that success. As a sign of it, the new tower was built to represent the artefact it was meant to safeguard as opposed to the purely functional design of the previous one.