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?
Real world scientists have accidentally opened a tear in the fabric of reality, transporting their laboratory into the game world. Unable to repair and/or refuel their equipment in this (to their minds) primitive world they are now trapped.