After arriving in Airspur, capital of Arkanul, you find rooms for the night. You don’t know what time it was when you were awakened, for the room your party stayed in had no windows. All you know is that you have been roughly dragged from your cot by the palace guard, and that you now find yourself walking down a long, dimly lit corridor. With you are the four members of you party, each escorted by several heavily armed guards similar to the ones who walk by your side. In front of you a great iron door swings open, filling the corridor with an almost blinding light. Before you stretches a huge room ornately decorated with elaborate columns and finely detailed wall hangings.
Across the chamber sits a girl of sixteen sitting on a very elaborate throne surrounded by four other floating thrones. On the floor below her is a scowling male dressed as a rich merchant. The girl speaks, “ I am Queen Arathane, and you have been arrested for trafficking in stolen property. This man, Lord Hron has accused you have stealing slaves from the City of Suderham. How do you plead?”
The party argued that they were helping free the slaves (which is still stealing in the laws of Suderham). To Queen Arathane’s regret(who deeply abhors slavery) announces that the party is guilty in order to honor the treaty with Suderham which keeps the Slavelords from attacking her merchant lines. However, since Queen Arathane is deeply offended by slavery, she will not turn you over to Lord Hron for punishment which is likely a death sentence. But, since slavery is illegal in her city walls, all slaves will be immediately freed. Lord Hron raged against the decision but legally there is nothing he can do. He requests that the punishment is sever. Queen Arathane announces that the party’s punishment is to recover a powerful artifact from the Tower Inverness. Lord Hron is pleased as no one has ever returned from alive.
At this point, a mysterious magician known only as the Seer appears from the shadows to address you. His features are indistinguishable beneath the long robe, which hides all but his gnarled hands from view. “It is fortunate for all of you that the Queen is both a wise and merciful ruler.” His words are almost music like but have a strangely malevolent undertone. “She is willing to make you a most generous offer. You shall be freed if the five of you can perform but one small task for her majesty.”
“Yes,” the Queen interrupts, “Recently my adviser, the Seer, has discovered legends of a fabulous treasure rumored to lie somewhere in the ruins of the ancient Tower Inverness; an almost mythical jewel called the Soul Gem. If you can bring it to me, I will grant all of you your freedom.”
The Seer adds, “I will provide each of you a magical amulet . This amulet will return you to the royal palace when you press the center stud. It will work wherever you may be, for such is the extent of my power that I could locate a single grain of sand on some far distant beach. Also, the amulet cannot be removed by anyone other by me and if I determine that you have left the tower in order to flee your fate, I will cause it explode instantly killing you.”