The Lords of Grey Haven, a large kingdom in the east, have a problem. They are running into a serious threat from bandits, their decision is to hire adventurers to clean out the bandit menace and bring the area back to a peaceful state. The nobles enjoy peace and tranquility, the peasents however do not, the nobles are not just and kind rulers, they play games with live pieces, chess with humans, the pieces actually have to fight to the death. The more games you survive the better your value as a piece becomes. Any piece that becomes a king can be granted noble status by winning a game against his lord. Failing puts him into the dungeon or the slave mines to rot and die. Few survive the dungeon, less survive the slave mines.
The bandit lands are next to the Grey Havens. The area was once a battle ground for ancient magics. Some say that their are things out there that destroy the sanity just by seeing. No sane man, according to the Lords, has ever returned from out there. The adventurers are asked to head into the bandit lands and deal with the bandits, for a sack of gold and a mansion in the Grey Havens, the mansion grants the owners lesser noble status(or expands their lands).
200 points 75 disads(including 5 quirks) (allowing one psionic ability of no more than 50 points)
Elves, dwarves, Half-elves, humans... all the rest on a case by case basis.
Mana level is high. Learning spells is readily available. There are guilds that will teach spells, but charge people without talent a year of servitude.