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A Crystal Shard is one of the three fragments of the Vision Crystal.
The history of the Shards is one of pride, envy, and distrust. When the ancient Elonians came to the Crystal Desert to ascend, they created the Vision Crystal to focus the gaze of the Old Gods of Tyria on the Chosen. Unfortunately, the three main Elonian priests could not agree on who should be charged with keeping the Crystal. So, they divided the crystal and the charge in three; this, perhaps, led to their downfall. Hehmnut, the oldest of the three, believed that the charge should be solely his; he plotted relentlessly, even to the exclusion of the well being of his followers, to obtain the other two Shards. Kahdat did not particularly desire the charge, but, fearing the danger of any one faction gaining a majority of the Shards, he instructed his disciples to jealously guard their third. Nahtem and his disciples saw their brethren fall to the elements and the feuding, and lost faith; on a bleak night they prayed to the Gods to end their misery. They were wiped out by the Forgotten the following day.
Now the Shards lie in Elona Reach, in the ruins of the Elonian camps, watched over by the Forgotten and Enchanted. In the Elona Reach mission, the Ghostly Hero Turai Ossa leads the players to the camps and instructs them to retrieve the Shards from their Forgotten guards. Ossa then reassembles the Vision Crystal and the players get another step closer to Ascension.