From the Background:
Like the setting of the sun, the light from the crystal dominating the centre of the room, faded, then slowly died. The young mage, who had been clutching the gem as if it were a lifeline, slumped back into his chair, sweat streaming down his face, and shivers of fatigue running through his body. He looks to the older man, also a wizard. "It's no use, he's gone. Our last hope is gone". The old man sighs and slowly looks towards the young man. "There is one final hope", he exclaims sadly.
You are awoken from your sleep by the sound of pounding at your door. You groan. You only just arrived in the great city of Salamonis, and got a room at the Inn of the Silver Eagle, late last night after a long and tiring journey. You are about to tell the person knocking to go away clearly, when you suddenly become aware of the urgency of the knocking. You open the door to your room... and some time later, as you're being lead through the royal palace of Salamonis, you reflect that you are glad you did so.
The young, richly dressed courtier, whose lead you this far, has sketchily explained the nature of your mission. Followers of the Festering Lord, god of disease, have recently reclaimed an abandoned monastery and have begun a ritual that will cause a plague, greater than any before, to strike Salamonis. The ritual is well underway, and will be complete at midday today, the hottest time of day, in the hottest day of the year. It is believed that they hope to hold the city hostage to their evil powers, and force King Salamon to allow open worship in the city as the price of them ending the plague. "King Salamon will never agree to their terms. He would rather the destruction of the city and death of all within before he would give way to these terrorists", the young man explains, leading you through a sturdy, iron bound door.
The room you are lead into is small. Dominating your view is a small table, on which is heaped a small number of items, which, even from where you stand, seem to glow with the inner power of magic. "The only chance we have to stop this ritual is for us to magically transport you into the centre of the fortress and hope you can disrupt the ceremony. To ensure your success, we have gathered several items of great power for your use. Now you must choose".