Your party consists of youths from the land of Rocata, of an adventurous spirit but trapped in a strict-caste monarchy where magic is illegal, advancement is impossible, and adventure is scarce. Once in a blue moon news will float from the southwest of a newer, more exciting land—Helvetica, recently discovered, highly coveted by new-money merchants, traders, trappers, farmers, and all manner of lesser conquistadors looking to claim a slice of the island continent's fertile lands or thriving economies—and you agree that a little of this excitement is just what you need.
You have signed on to travel with a reasonably wealthy Rocatan merchant by the name of Ciruzzo DiLauro, who needs a cadre of intrepid young persons to transport for him a few magical items of questionable legality to the Rocatan port city of Cygmei, and from there to a buyer in Wasson on the southern coast of Helvetica. The items have been left for you at a drop point some miles West of your home town. Once you have reached the ship docked at Cygmei and exited the waters under Rocatan rule you will be home clear, but until then you are subject to persecution if caught; punishment for transport of magical items is ten to thirty years as slave labor in the dwarven Silver Mines. Remember, the magic arts themselves are also illegal in Rocata, and, though you may be trained illegally in the arts, if you are discovered in their use before you leave Rocatan borders you will be subject to life imprisonment in the Mines.