The aged wizard lay dying yet he still was able to muster the strength to lean out of his bed. It was a struggle as the bony and withered hands clutched at the sides of the bed which were carved from the bones of a red dragon. Despite the coughing and wheezing, the wizard finally sat upright and slowly stood up and dressed in his robes. Almost immediately his trusted servant and scribe rushed to side.

"Master, you must not exert yourself. This will place a strain on your heart as the healer had warned you. See? You are coughing again and do not dare to try and tell me its nothing."

The wizard smiled and placed a comforting hand on the shoulder of his aid. "Do not fret old friend. You and I know both know full well that my time here in this world is fleeting. Nothing can change that. This world is nearly finished with me and truth be told, I am glad. I tire of the constant struggle between good and evil with the forces of neutral off to the side waiting to see which side would be victorious. I was able to rule this world with peace and wisdom and I say this not boasting but as a matter of truth. I have lived many these years and I have been well served in this matter with the artifact. Bring it to me this one last time."

The servant shook his head but realized to argue with the wizard was pointless. While the wizard was old and decrepit, he was the ruling wizard of the land and demanded respect. Many years ago, the wizard had fought many battles, braved the forces of elements, assassination attempts, and the denizens of hell itself to reach the fabled crown. There were many others that had the same design. Many followers had flocked to their banner but he was in turn blessed with loyal and faithful followers as well. They had battled with sword and magic. They had battled creatures small and large.

Yet he was the one that had succeeded where so many had failed. In the beginning he was a novice adept yet through the course of his adventures he was able to breach the Portal of Power clutching the fabled Talisman. The wizard still recalled even to this day the pulsating light and warmth the Talisman offered when it was used. He recalled the glory and the fond memories of his followers but also recalled with sadness as not all of them had survived. But he would forever recall their names with honor. Those loyal followers were given high positions of office. But he was a kindly wizard and did not punish those adventurers that had opposed him. Some were killed during the struggle yet those that had survived pledged their fealty to him. He chucked as he recalled they had no choice but they were loyal. At least for awhile.

But now he knew that he had little time left. And the land knew it. There were rumors and gossip throughout the land. At first it was just in a few hamlets and villages but soon it spread to the city and even the tavern. Once it reached there it spread even into the inner lands where the undead thrived. And the wizards knew it in his soul that he was dying. There must be a successor he realized. Some hero must once again brave the traps and battle those that would oppose them and seize the crown. With the Crown of Command the hero would rule the land. Whether it was for good or evil he would not know or care. It was a time for new blood. The crown extended his life for centuries and it again a good reign and he felt confident that his name would be spoken with kind regard. But he was loosing control. The crown did not always respond as quickly as it had in the past and sometimes it did not work at all.

His servant brought the crown and placed it on his head. The Crown was a powerful and ancient artifact. It was alive in its own right. The Crown treated the wizard as a trusted friend and equal. The wizard smiled as he wore the crown this last time. He approached the enchanted orb and with a wave of his hand the clouds formed in the glass orb and then visualized into different places.

"Oh great orb of power show me those that would seek to take my place."

Slowly the swirling grey smoke in the orb formed into a city. It was the city in the northern outer land. The vision streaked to the streets of the city and two people appeared. The first was the Assassin.

The wizard spoke to his aid.

"This one knows the secrets of death. He would be one that would be hard place to kill. He will have the power to quickly eliminate those that would seek him ill. He will have the power to strike quickly and efficiently in the dead of night. While I do not agree with his methods I am sure he will have the power to rule with a strong hand."

The vision then stayed in the city and streaked towards another person. It was another person that was used the cover of darkness. It was the Thief. The wizard nodded and spoke again. "That one would also be a powerful ruler. He will be hard pressed to opposed and has the ability and power to acquire what he wants. He will have the ability to venture into places that few people have the power or skills to enter."

The vision then left the city and travelled south. Soon the lands grew hard and rocky until it reached the mountains. There the vision centered on the Dwarf. "Aha, it would not be the first time that a child of the mountains won the crown. He has a battle spirit that would route any clan of goblins or orcs. His battleaxes will I have no doubt cleave his enemies and he would do well. I sense that many brave kindred Dwarves would flock to his banner. Many eons ago the King Under the Mountain ruled with wisdom and grace."

Lastly the vision travelled to the deepest woods. There in a clearing surrounded in the Elvin glade stood the Druid. "Ah now the Druid will have the wisdom and the power of the land to serve him well. The power of a Druid is not to be taken lightly and I wager that this Druid will well have powers that the others can not fathom or understand."

The servant brought a simple chair for the wizard to watch the events as they unfolded in the crystal ball.