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The Crimson Gem of Cyttorak (also referred to as the Ruby of the Crimson Bands or the Crimson Crystal of Cyttorak) is a fictional artifact created by the mystical entity known as Cyttorak in the Marvel Comics Universe. It serves as the source of the Juggernaut's power.
After being banished to the Crimson Cosmos, Cyttorak wanted to keep his influence on earth. He created the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak. He transported it to a Korean village. When a villager touched it he became the first Juggernaut. There would be a series of Korean Juggernauts until the village that worshiped him began to worship another. After this Cain Marko killed the previous holder of the power and destroyed the village.
One thousand years ago a gathering of eight great beings took place. These being were Balthakk, Krakkan, Farallah, Ikonn, Valtorr, Raggadorr, Watoomb, and Cyttorak. When gathered they disagreed as to who had the greatest power among them so to resolve the matter they settled on the Wager of Octessence. In this wager, each being created an artifact with a fraction of their respective power, in the case of Cyttorak the Crimson Gem.
According to rules of the wager, the first mortal being to make physical contact with the relics would become an Exemplar, a living personification of the relic's power and whoever was the first would trigger a spell that would draw other mortals to the remaining artifacts, creating a total of eight Exemplars. Cyttorak had obviously cheated in this regard since there have been many mortal Juggernauts. Then would come the Ceremony of the Octessence where all the Exemplars would gather to construct a great magical engine, which would overwhelm the wills of all human beings. After the enslavement of humanity each Exemplar would rule an eighth of humanity and a war would break out between each Exemplar and their armies. Thus, the patron of the last Exemplar left standing would be declared the most powerful. Each being arranged the construction of a temple in which to house their relic: Cyttorak's temple was built in a Southeast Asian country with a thrall demon named Xorak designated to protect it.
Description and specificationsEdit
Over the years due to artists’ interpretations of the gem its appearance has varied. It has been shown in different shapes (Including spherical, flat, six-cornered and oval) and sizes (From as small as a softball to as large as a basketball). Even the name of it has changed from writer to writer (Including Ruby of Cyttorak, Gem of Cyttorak, Crimson Crystal of Cyttorak and a number of other slight variants). The only thing that remained throughout was that it glowed red and possessed the now famous inscription "Whosoever touches this gem shall possess the power of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak! Henceforth, you who read these words, shall become forevermore a human juggernaut!"
The stone itself gives a fraction of the power of Cyttorak to whoever possesses it via acting as a portal to or containing a portal within it to the Crimson Cosmos.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
While his level of power varied due to various incidents while having the gem the Juggernaut generally had tremendous strength with the increased size to match, unlimited stamina, a total resistance to physical injury due to the mystical spell of invulnerability; an impenetrable force field that he could summon at will. The spell also granted him unbreakable skin and in turn made the force field more added protection. Due to the mystical energies within him he did not need to eat, breathe or drink fluids. As a vessel of mystical energy, he also possessed many abstract powers that had yet to be fully revealed. Finally, Marko possessed the ability to maintain motion with only the slightest initial inertia, meaning that once he began to move (walk, run, attack, etc.) it became virtually impossible to stop him while in motion.
To compensate for his most significant vulnerability, which was telepathic assault, he also wears a helmet of a mystical alloy, which prevents his mind from being read or attacked by all telepathic means.
Unlike Cain, the 2nd Exemplar, Stevie, a spoiled little boy from the Midwest, used the Cyttorak Ruby to spectacular effects unimagined by Cain Marko. He first used it to blast Marko. Beyond that he used it to monitor events far away with his computer (Presumably utilizing the ruby to enable him to access the feed off security cameras) as well as using the ruby to relay a message to the East Coast using a non-operational computer on the West Coast. Furthermore, he could alter mirrors so that the original Human Torch's flame was reflected back at him at a much more powerful degree. Stevie could also animate inanimate objects, which could also be turned intangible. These objects included wax statues, some which resembled monsters and others that resembled other Marvel characters such as Spider-Man and Doctor Doom. However, the animated statues tended only to have diluted copies of the originals abilities of those copied and also tended to move slowly. Beyond these other powers, he possessed all the same powers as the Juggernaut did at his peak.
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe the gem, seen in Ultimate X-Men Annual #1 was a cylindrical rod-shaped crystal stolen from the collection of the Fenris Twins by Gambit and Rogue. As the two made their escape they had the bad fortune to run into Juggernaut (who in this continuity is a super-strong mutant). Juggernaut had come looking for his old teammate, Rogue. During the fight, Gambit, having had no effect on Juggernaut with his cards, charges the Gem of Cyttorak with energy and throws it at Juggernaut. It is absorbed into his body without harming him. Juggernaut immediately announces that he has not felt anything like that since his power activated and that he feels stronger than he was before. Gambit then proceeded to drop a building on him. Juggernaut survives this event, and returns during the events of the Ultimatum Wave.
Appearances in other mediaEdit
- 1997 novel X-Men: The Jewels of Cyttorak (ISBN 1572973293 / 1-57297-329-3)
- In X-Men: The Animated Series the Gem of Cyttorak appears in the episode "The Juggernaut Returns". During this episode the Juggernaut is seeking revenge on his brother Xavier, as is his custom. At the same time, across the world in the mountains of Korea, inside what's known as "The Cave of Cyttorak", an archaeologist named Eugene Turbot Weiderspan discovers the Tablet of Cyttorak. According to the tablet, in order to gain the power of Cyttorak, it says he requires the Gem of Cyttorak. Meanwhile, the Juggernaut rampages through the X-Mansion, with it on high alert trying to stop him, as reinforcements in the form of Rogue, Storm, Cyclops and Wolverine arrive. In the battle that ensues, Eugene finally finds the gem and then recites the inscription off the tablet; upon reciting the power is ripped from the Juggernaut and placed into him. This results in the Juggernaut getting badly injured and he requires the gem to restore his health or he will die. Cyclops and Wolverine later fly off to Korea to seek the new Exemplar of Cyttorak: Eugene. Eugene finds life as the all-powerful Juggernaut a bit annoying, as he keeps breaking everything around him. Because of this, he then scraps the armor and replaces it with a leisure suit, all the while keeping his huge size. While at a club, Eugene is found by Cyclops and Wolverine trying to impress girls with his super strength, but to no avail. Though they say they can help him get back to normal, he refuses their help. In the ensuing scuffle they are able to find & grab the Gem of Cyttorak. After Cyclops and Wolverine return to the X-Mansion with the Gem of Cyttorak, Cain is able to recite the inscription off the tablet, stripping the power from Eugene and returning it back to himself. Though his power is restored, the events that proceeded, including his original incapacitation, cause him to leave the X-Mansion without any further confrontations with Xavier or the X-Men. Note: in this appearance, to gain the power of the gem requires the incantation to be read off a tablet, whereas in the comics the incantation was on the gem itself.
- In the animated series X-Men: Evolution, the Gem of Cyttorak was not a single magical item, but instead a rare type of gemstone that emitted a specific form of radiation that could accelerate mutations. In this series, Juggernaut is a mutant, and was described as having awakened his dormant mutant powers with "mysticism," though the later confirmation of the Cyttorak gems' existence may point to Juggernaut having used one himself. It was used primarily by Magneto to enhance his powers. Beyond him, the machine was also used on Cyclops, Havok, Sabretooth and Mystique in the two part episode The Cauldron, aboard Asteroid M. Though one of the Cyttorak gems owned by Magneto may have been destroyed along with Asteroid M, the fate of any others is unclear, as only one was ever seen. The effects of the gem are also reversible- when the enhancer machine was destroyed, it sent out a radiation wave that returned Cyclops, Havok, and (presumably) Sabretooth to normal. However, Magneto is later shown to be losing his strength, implying that his enhancement is wearing off. Mystique and Juggernaut, however, do not show any negative symptoms at any time in the series' run.
Effects in other mediaEdit
In the animated series X-Men: Evolution the Gem of Cyttorak possessed different effects and abilities as rather than be an artifact of mystical origins (although it had been believed to be so in legend and superstition). It emitted a specific form of radiation that could accelerate mutations. Though the effects varied on mutants as seen below the general effects of the gem can be considered as the following:
- The gem accelerates the mutation of a mutant to its fullest potential, usually resulting in their bodies undergoing a physical change to adjust to the new power boost.
- The gem allows those affected by it to control their new powers perfectly.
- According to Magneto the gem also affected the minds of those exposed to the radiation which would explain how Cyclops and Havok acted after being exposed to it however others affected did not exhibit changes in their mental state so the reliability of his statement is unknown.
Specific effects on mutantsEdit
- Magneto - While he may have said he used the gem, it was never shown actually being used on him in the series. However it can be assumed the gem increased his power to its fullest potential and gave him perfect control over the newfound power, as those were the general results for all mutants exposed to its radiation, also white hair is showed as a side-effect of Cyclops and Havok enhancements, implying that Magneto's own white hair might was also caused by it.
- Sabretooth - The effects of the gem changed him into a bigger more feral beast-like form with all his powers & abilities magnified accordingly. Just how much is seen in his fight with Wolverine right after his transformation as he deals with him much more easily than in the past and even beats him so badly he required the assistance of Storm.
- Cyclops - For Cyclops the gem brought his powers to their peak changing him into an adult version with white hair, beyond this it allowed him to fully control his powers enabling him to no longer need protection for his eyes.
- Havok - Like his brother Cyclops, the gem brought his powers to their peak as well as changed him into an adult version with white hair. And furthermore like his brother his hindrance caused by his power which was pain, vanished.
- Mystique - After coming out of the enhancer she looked very much like her movie counterpart as her body was scaly with a much higher muscle tone and shorter hair. As seen in episodes proceeding The Cauldron Mystique's shape-shifting abilities were magnified to the point where she could disguise her inherent smell which gave her away previously with Wolverine's heightened sense of smell and allowed to her to block those with telepathic abilities from sensing her making her finally a true shape-shifter as she could change on all levels.
- Juggernaut - It is unknown whether Cain Marko used the gem to accelerate his mutation. According to Xavier Cain possessed his X-Gene at birth, which was however dormant most of Juggernaut's life. He later awakened it with mysticism, possibly using the Cyttorak Gem.
While the gem's effects were great, there were limitations, such as that the effects themselves did not last, though this had never been resolved. Though the effects wore off on Sabertooth, Cyclops and Havok, they did not wear off on Mystique (or, apparently, Magneto). In the case of Cyclops and Havok, they are "burned" out a short while they are treated by the Gem.