- "Majesty, he speaks of the Dawn Shard. That is the nethicite."
The Dawn Shard is a piece of deifacted nethicite cut from the Sun-Cryst by the Dynast King Raithwall hundreds of years before the start of Final Fantasy XII. Raithwall was chosen as the new Dynast King of Ivalice by the Occuria, who granted him the Sword of Kings to cut pieces of nethicite with from the Sun-Cryst. Raithwall cut three pieces of nethicite from the cryst, and one of them became known as the Dawn Shard. Whereas the two other pieces became royal heirlooms, the Dawn Shard was hidden in the Tomb of Raithwall, at the king's burial site.
The party seeks the Dawn Shard in order to prove Ashe's lineage, but after obtaining it, it is stolen by the Imperial Judge Ghis. In an attempt to measure the strength of the item, Ghis accidentally triggers two things, one being an uncontrollable rage within Fran, who as a viera is extremely sensitive to Mist, and the other a violent explosion that destroys not only the airship Dreadnought Leviathan, but the entire 8th Archadian Fleet.
Having lost the Mist trapped inside the stone, Dawn Shard is rendered powerless, but is regained by Ashe and company. Ashe takes the remains of the Dawn Shard to Jahara to ask the garif's advice on how to use it, but she is told that the Mist within the nethicite has been lost. After obtaining the Sword of Kings from Stilshrine of Miriam Ashe's party members ask her to test the sword's might on the Dawn Shard, but, prompted by a ghostly vision of her late husband, Rasler Heios Nabradia, in truth an image conjured by the Occuria to manipulate her, Ashe can't bring herself to destroy the nethicite.
Dr. Cid takes the stone from them at the Pharos at Ridorana and integrates it back into the Sun-Cryst. The Dawn Shard is presumably destroyed along with the Sun-Cryst, when Reddas strikes it with the Sword of Kings.
The Dawn Shard can also be used as an accessory. When equipped, magic defense increases by 20, but MP is reduced to zero. Equipping this item is vital to navigating the Stilshrine of Miriam. In the Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System version, it also reduces the Mist Charge gauge to zero.