Spinelle is the French name for spinel, which is a hard mineral with composition MgAl2O4, having usually octahedral crystals and occurring in igneous and carbonate rocks. The red variety is valued as a gem and is sometimes confused with ruby.
In the game, a spinelle is a red gem which can be used to summon a hostile monster. This item has caused quite a few issues among players. Other than bullying new players by spawning high-level monsters in low-level maps, one of the first concerns was the disruption of the recruitment quest for Claire. While the pedobears are trying hard to get their paws on Claire, players with too much vis on their hands decided to practice a form of animal cruelty (well, sort of).
More Pictures by Mondial at Battle of the Loli Lovers!
After the Battle of the Loli Lovers in sGE during October 2008, history (sort of) repeats itself. In SNW Orpesia, the first (sort of) bear-hater was Squalo, who went on a spinelle spree in Bonavista River a day after v2.9b patch. But of course, this can never stop the determined bears for long. A few minutes after the spinelles were cleared, the map gets occupied by multiple families again.
Spinelles aren't only a problem for Claire's quests. They can also turn Colony Wars into Spinelle Wars. (See Colony War? Duh Think Again!) If the boss mobs don't kill you, the lag will! Others responded by forming a pest-buster squad to capitalize on the situation.
More pictures by Shalador at Colony War Spinelle Issue
Spinelles also disrupt Super-Fights, such as Poison Yard and Battle Colosseum. Since the low-level versions have level limits (e.g. Lv.70 General Poison Yard), the characters inside have no chance against a mob of Golden Spiders or similar bosses. Read about the QQ in Poison Yard and Battle Colosseum.
Spinelles can also disrupt events and annoy the GM who is hosting them. Naturally, the pissed-off GM might start swinging the ban-hammer inside the event zone. For example, the Amazing Race event once degenerated into the Spinelle Race...
More pictures by vonUtteresk at Someone is going to get it...
It caused so much issues that IMC had to do something about it. In v3.4, spinelles cannot be used near colonies during Colony Wars. Furthermore, the summoned monster disappears after 10 minutes of inactivity. In v4.0, it may be nerfed even more, possibly limiting only 1 summoned monster per family (needs further confirmation).
On the plus side, special spinelles have been introduced in sGE to make certain quests easier, such as Elite Lightning Cockatrice (for Claire), Amber Bee (for Sierra's medicine), and Frogfish (for Bahama quest). See Claire & the Red-Nosed Reindeer, ABS for Feb 2009.