A horrific device only employed by the most black hearted of magic users.
A horrible torture device. Not for the squeamish.
There are a lot of bad people out there. That is why we must torture you: to keep you safe.
Many and varied are the ways of extracting a confession or ending a criminal’s life, and the one usually follows the other.
Magic is a blessing and curse, life and death, birth and undoing, a goal and a way.
When running a new party, get around the question of plot density by having the first discovery to be a deck of fate, or whatever you call it. If you use a real deck, you should definitely stack it to have the desired outcome, which is to curse the party to attract weird things to happen and involve them. This should not be told to the players at the time, so that they won't just up and try to get themselves 'decursed'. Though quite why they would want to is beyond me.