All magic is suddenly gone. No mage can sling sorcery anymore. This upsets all empires and civilizations. It is soon discovered though, trough the combined work of mystics, scholars and dreams, that all the magic has been drawn into a single orb in a vast tower located at one of the poles. Whoever gets there first wins the greatest price in history, access to all the magic in the world. But who owns the tower?
Actually a real-world fungus, just heard about it. A fungus that tastes well and all, no ill effects. UNLESS you consume some beverage, even 3 (three) days after eating it. Then you become really sick, pains, vomiting, all the fancy stuff. Was really used to cure alcoholism. May be a joke or to make sure the heroes spend their time focused on the mission.