Most feared of the Regalia of Dominion, the Ruby Sceptre is a terrifying weapon in the hands of a skilled fire mage.
A set of mighty jewelled artefacts, each keyed to one of the eight domains of magic. Once wielded by the Lords of the High Council of Linnarson, today they have been scattered to the four winds: some lost, some destroyed, and some in the hands of the mighty.
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.
...In the hallowed halls of the University of Linnarson a glimpse may sometimes be caught of the Senior Masters, learned sages and masters of knowledge. They seldom leave their dusty studies full of learned tomes, other than to dine - each evening they will be found shuffling down the dimly lit corridors to the dark and shuttered Great Hall. After feasting at high table by candlelight they will be gone, returning once more to their studies. None but they know of their pact with death, how they have willingly embraced an eternal undeath in which to pursue knowledge, yet this is the reason for the darkened corridors and the shuttered hall, for those who are undead cannot abide the light of the sun…
Herbalist in the group mistakes one plant for another and mistakenly poisons the group. Not to death, but pretty darn ill with recurring symptoms until the cause and cure are realized. (Local people may be able to help rather easily. "You ate Dragon's Rot you fool, looks and smells just like mint except it has these small thistles on the root. Only grow in the Hornwood Forest, that must be where ya got them. Eat this and you will feel better in 4 hours."