The dread Tower of Inversion, lair of the vile lich Zarakoth Xorast, contains five layers, each containing different tools of dark magic.
Over three hundred years after the destruction of Linnarson, the ruins of Linnarson remain deserted; the warped magical environs inhabited only by the twisted and bizarre creatures that have been created. Amongst it all, however, the Senior Masters remain, continuing their eternal pursuit of knowledge. (UPDATE IN PROGRESS.)
Maranesh, God of Magic, wearied of the multitudes of humans who came to him, clamouring to be taught the secrets of magic. So it was that he devised a test that would separate the worthy from the unworthy.
You have all chosen to follow the Path of the Philosopher. Not for you the warrior Path of the Battlemage, fighter for justice, nor the Path of the Healer, worthy though it may be to heal the sick. Equally you have rejected the Path of the Artificer, the tinkerers, who work on devices and techniques, as well as the Path of the Loremaster, who merely delves and catalogues the knowledge of the past. No, you have decided upon the Path of the Philosopher, the highest calling, the way of true enquiry, where you will probe the realms of higher mathematics, ponder the meaning of truth itself and tease out the deepest secrets of nature and the workings of the world.
The air had grown chill the minute they descended into the strange valley, which was unmarked on any of their maps. It was so strange here, devoid of animal life and completely silent. The horses were nervous the entire journey through the vale. As they set about to collect firewood for the campfire they could hear their own voices as dim echoes through the eerie silence.
The food didn't taste anything that evening and their sleep was cold and troubled by nightmares. While they are clearing camp the next morning, one of them stumbles over a piece of stone jutting out of the ground nearby the horses. On closer inspection there seems to be runes engraved into the polished surface. The symbols true meaning is no more known among mere mortals and if they decide to dig deeper, they will discover that it is an ancient altar buried within the soil.
Any historically oriented party member will recognize the largest symbol to be the insignia of the powerful warlock who ruled this realm several centuries ago. At their departure from the area, something will seem amiss with one of the party members and all will remember the stories of the warlock's thousand curses.