In a lair high in the mountains of the north, far away from any other living creature save those in his thrall, a great black dragon sits examining the latest piece of his hoard. The silver amulet looks tiny as it dangles from his claws, but he has learned in his centuries of life that size is not always an indicator of an item's worth.
The cave walls are lined with neatly-arranged wands, staves, orbs, and other magical items. On one wall, a bookcase holding rows of bottles and jars, each with a different coloured smoke shifting and roiling inside. On another, a shelf of metal lanterns, inside which a rainbow of tiny flames dance. A good number of the items in this cave are not so much magical in themselves as for what they contain: they are prisons, or containment vessels, for spirits and other magical beings. Over the centuries, Zuragazh has collected each one individually, most of them already contained in their present form, and either bound them to his service or left them trapped and starved until they gave in and agreed to serve him in exchange for their occasional release.
This amulet, which he acquired last week having spent several years tracking it down, does not contain a spirit or a demon or a djinn of its own. Instead, it should—if all goes well, which it hardly ever does—allow Zuragazh to summon such creatures from their homes in other planes of existence. Curling his tail round to hold the spellbook open, he holds the amulet aloft and recites the incantation that goes with it.
Bring me a creature with powerful magic, he thinks as he chants. Bring me something with power such as has never been seen before in this world!