The wizard Fizzonacci had a sick sense of humor which caused him to create the Bejeweled Herring of Flatheadia. This so-called artifact was nothing but a fish with some rubies stuck to it, which he designed to waste the time of adventurers. He mounted this red herring on the wall of one of the runined buildings of Pheebor with a note that read:

Hahaha! Take THAT, evil villain! You've probably spent YEARS searching for this elusive fish of power, and actually all it really is just a fish with some rubies stuck to it! You spent all this time looking for a red herring, you moron! Bwahahaha! That was time you could have spent hurling fireballs at orphanages, or kicking puppies, and I've wasted it! HA! I'm so smart it's a wonder my brain just doesn't explode.

In order to lure adventurers into seeking out this so-called legendary relic, Fizzonacci wrote a paper once on his mighty herring, where he claimed that he was so proud of his creation of unimaginable powers that he immediately hid it and then pretended that he had never invented it in the first place:

Robbery, evil, phear: the upper echelons of wizardry cannot just look on as these curses take hold in our lands and our people! We must do what we can to fight off the evil in this wondrous place and help to unite all people under our banner of peace and harmony! To this end, I have created one item to rule them all! It is the Majestic Bejeweled Herring of Flatheadia, and they who own it will have power unimaginable! But they must be truly intelligent, honorable and just to control power such as this, and to this end I have hidden it, safeguarding this most precious, jewel encrusted of treasures against any but the deserving. I have hidden it somewhere which can only be reached by those with one hand, can only be seen by those with one eye, and can only be recalled by those with one single memory. Whatever else may come in your quest, all this is bathed in the rubies of my prize. May you prove worthy, or all hope is lost for our lands.

There it waited until the Great Monster Uprising, when "Detective Softly" was unwittingly lured into recovering the pseudo-artifact.

SOURCE(S): Legends of Zork