An elfin warrior from a fallen house.
An open room lay before them, occupied only by a few cobwebs and dust. Upon entering, a phrase is seen on one wall. One of them utters the phrase out of wonder for its meaning, unknowingly activating the room. An eye opens on the wall in front of the poor souls and with a quick flash of light, the last thing heard from the room is heart retching screams... then silence.
This item is not listed in many tombs of magic, nor is it detailed in any text books among the arcane. It is however sung about in many a tavern and bar across the coastal cities. The tale is sung more about the man who created it. His tale has been embellished time and again until he seemed more a god than the coward that he was.
What if the sources of precious metal in the realm all failed, so that the only sources for gold and other precious metal were hostile foreign lands? Gold coinage might become increasingly rare, resulting in hoarding. Player characters that appear with masses of treasure might be suspected of being in the pay of foreign powers.