From the Background:
When you first got the message that you were the sole beneficiary of someone's Will, you thought it to be a joke; most of your relatives were still living and of full health. Yet, the curious man in the suit was adamant. Three days. He said. You were to meet him in the offices of Serakub Ltd law firm in the Titan building uptown.
Arriving at the address, you still thought it a joke: The building was still under construction. Yet a hand painted sign got the better of you and directed you to the 33rd floor via the newly installed service elevator.
Upon the elevator doors opening you were struck with amazement when you were greeted by an opulent waiting room with large comfortable chairs, a well-tended indoor garden complete with a fountain and classical music playing in the background. You sit down in one of the chairs, the soft leather making you relax instantly. You think about all the people in your life that would...?
Your reverie is interrupted by the strange man you met the other day. Still wearing the same suit, he carries a briefcase and – if you didn't know any better – you'd say he had a metallic sheen to his skin.
The Lawyer ushers you into a large meeting room and closes the door behind you. He bids you to sit down at the oval mahogany table and goes to a stand by the window and pours you a glass of water. As you move to sit, you notice a tape recorder and a brass key on a metal chain arranged in front of you on the table.
Bringing over the glass, the Lawyer asks you to press play on the tape recorder. The recorded voice is muffled and indistinct. It sounds like the person is reading from a letter.
To Whom It May Concern:
It is almost twenty years since I returned to this city, bearing what now I call the 'Burden of My Life.' This burden lies hidden, in a Safety Deposit Box of the First National Bank downtown. The key that accompanies this recording will open the box. On no account must you-
I am sorry. I am getting ahead of myself. Where do I start? Twenty years ago I disappeared from the face of the Earth and returned here bearing an artifact of terrible power.
People want it. Powerful People. They will stop at nothing to get their hands upon it. If they get what they desire, they will unleash a terrible destruction upon the universe; it has the power to summon Death and those who worship the darkness will sit at his right hand and rule with him.
This artifact is the Talisman of Death.
I have returned many times to the standing stones outside of the city limits, beseeching the beings of Light that helped me recover the Talisman for more aid. They sent another of their kind - Suma - to find another Champion of Fate to bear the Talisman beyond the Claw of the Fleshless King. If you are listening to this missive now, I can only assume that Suma has done his work.
I must go. I need to draw them away from the Talisman. Go as soon as you are able and retrieve the Talisman from its hiding place. The Fleshless King is clawing his way across the dimensions and... wait... <sounds of a chair moving> ... <sharp metallic scraping sound>... <heavy breathing>... <muffled noises>... <static>
You press stop.
Looking up, you can see the Lawyer; his face is silhouetted by the afternoon sun coming in through the window, illuminating him in a golden aura. Shielding your eyes from the glare, you struggle to make out his features. 'How... .?' You begin.
His voice seems to come from all around you, rich and sonorous.
"My time here has ended. Go now, Champion of Fate. Recover the Talisman and leave the city. Beware the Agents of the Fleshless King; they wear many faces."
The glare increases until you are forced to avert you gaze completely. At once, the blinding light is gone. And you are left sitting alone. Looking around, you see a dusty storage area, cardboard boxes line the walls. There is no sign of the offices of Serakub Ltd. Was it all a trick of your mind?
Moving back towards the elevator, you kick an object in the sawdust and it skitters across the wooden floor. Bending down, you pick up a small brass key attached to a chain. Impossible!