Crystal is the daughter of Laurel Kennedy. When Laurel married Orion Assante, the first Grendel Khan, Crystal became his step-daughter. Orion later gave birth to Jupiter Assante entirely on his own. Before then, Laurel and Crystal were Orion's heirs; now Jupiter became his direct descendant. This was a problem for the scheming Laurel, but not her more innocent child Crystal, who got along well with Jupiter. In fact, even though she was not his blood relative, she developed a psychic bond with him, so that she was sometimes able to sense his presence or moods.
Major Story Arcs
Grendel: War Child
After Orion dies, Laurel Kennedy takes over as Regent, because Jupiter is too young to rule. She keep him and Crystal stuck in a compound in the Dakotas, where they are never allowed out in public. They are essentially under house arrest. Laurel uses this time to consolidate her own power and schemes to take over on her own eventually. Crystal and Laurel have a fractious and distant relationship.
Eventually, Grendel Prime rescues Jupiter and takes him on a long journey to escape Laurel and her Intelligence Minister, Heath. Crystal is still stuck in the Dakotas and misses her brother. Now she has even less to do. Over the ensuing months, she falls in love with her guard, Susan Veraghen.The two of them conspire to escape after they hear that Jupiter has been killed, and that her mother may be planning an arranged marriage for Crystal. Due to her empathic bond with Jupiter, Crystal doesn't believe he's dead, but she can't stand her mother's increasingly insane actions. Crystal and Susan break out and travel north into Canada in disguise. Crystal has been sheltered so long she doesn't know how to handle herself in the outside world very well, but Susan protects her from a gang of rapists and other problems. Over time, Crystal becomes more self-reliant.
They finally get up to Alaska, where they find Benjamin Martel, a former political analyst for Orion Assante. He is now a hermit, and takes them in.Over the next ten years, the three of them develop a three-way relationship, although Susan begins to feel like she is on the outside. Then Crystal feels Jupiter's presence, and they run into him, Grendel Prime, and a band of rebels led by Azif A Barouk, on their way to overthrow Laurel and Heath's reign. Crystal and Jupiter are happily reunited, and she goes with him and Barouk to find Laurel. Susan and Grendel Prime go on to attack Heath's center of power. Martel stays behind in Alaska.
Crystal and Jupiter confront Laurel, who has degenerated into a mad crone. They show her a hologram from Orion, where he says he knew about her machinations all along. Then they make a telecast to the whole world, announcing Jupiter's return. Jupiter becomes the new Grendel Khan and is welcomed back happily by the world's populace.Crystal becomes Jupiter's Chief Advisor. She marries Barouk, but they divorce after a few years. Her relationship with Susan Veraghen also deteriorates; Susan feels that she has become manipulative, like her mother. She later marries Martel and has three children with him. She writes two books, one on Jupiter and one on Orion.
In Other Media
Grendel: Past Prime is a novel, written by Greg Rucka and heavily illustrated by Matt Wagner. It is considered canon within the overall Grendel mythos. It largely focuses on Susan Veraghen's search for Grendel-Prime after the death of Jupiter, but has flashbacks to Jupiter's reign.
Crystal schemes to get Susan out of the way so she can pursue her more profitable relationship with Aziz. She asks Jupiter to make Susan the head of security at the Dakotas, his private retreat, and he does so. However, neither Jupiter nor Crystal ever visit the retreat. After five years, Susan realizes that she has been exiled, and quits in disgust. Soon after, Jupiter finally visits the retreat, where he is assassinated.