Desert of Desolation
Prophecy of Martek
Martek, Grand Vizier of Raurin, was once called "The Greatest of Mages". One thousand years ago, he imprisoned an evil efreet of great power. He realized that the efreet would eventually release himself and would gather evil minions to wreak his vengeance on the land and peoples of the desert. He also foresaw that he could minimize the damage from the vengeful efreet with the Sphere of Power. Thus, he set up a magical quest for a band of heroes whose ultimate goal would be to break into his Inner Sanctum and recover the Sphere of Power at just the proper moment, about 1000 years after Martek's death.
Fearing that to leave his tomb open would be to risk its plunder and the foiling of his scheme, he would have to make the quest a difficult one, one of many parts, all of which were needed to be successful. He enchanted five large gemstones, which he called the Great Stars, or the Star Gems; all of these would be necessary to gain entrance to his tomb and recover the Sphere. He scattered these among the sheiks, pharaohs. and other rulers of the desert. He gave magical instructions about the way the gems would be treated and placed clues to their whereabouts in several places, knowing that the wizards of a later age would piece together parts of the story.