Help Build A Story!

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So I have a team here (a ranger-pirate, a rogue-thief, and a bard-mechant) who is more interested in roleplaying and theivery than straightforward battle (which is fine by me). So I created a world fueled by magic, where each god's followers are after the crown since the last king died with no heirs (Catholic controlled Europe, basically). The setting is a steampunk world where all of the machinery is created using magic drained from crystals as the power source. The main story point is that the magic is slowly running out. So far, I've put a magical ruby into the hands of the party that (unbeknownst to them) can travel between worlds (kind of like the rings in C. S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew). It actually takes them to the world-between-worlds in the aforementioned book. The pirate is very well known, and actually stole the ruby from the king's navy as it was being hidden from the gods (the ruby is why they actually want the throne), but his ship was blown up by the king's armada as they tried to recover it. He escaped by floating to shore in a barrel, salvaging the ruby. He doesn't know of the ruby's power, he stole it because it looked valuable (which is part of his "money first, safety later" attitude).

I really need some ideas on where to go from here. They have the ruby. They know it has magical properties (the bard, realizing he can't sell it, threw it into the ocean, only to have it reappear in the theif's pack [which caused a hilarious roleplaying bit]).

Anyone have any interesting ideas on where to go? Or a nifty story arc? I'm having some serious writer's block for this.
I like the idea that it is able to travel between worlds, and if it were me, the next time that they attempted any sort of arcana check on the ruby to try to use it, or figure out exactly what it does, I'd subletly slip them into an alternate dimension.

Perhaps if you do put them in an alternate dimension, the king may still be alive, the seemingly chaotic neutral pirate may be a royal privateer, the thief may end up as the son of a royal guard and the bard may end up a deaf-mute monk.  Each would have their own new backstory, and  depending on exactly what happens, they may or may not meet their alternate-selves.  To be sure of one thing however, I wouldn't transport them by themselves (send along someone tremendously evil in both worlds), and have the ruby have lost its power after the trip there, with their only return being through the other ruby controlled by the king.  Thus they must steal or be diplomatic with the king, which may be hard depending on exactly what you have their alternates do in this world.  They'd also be responsible for whatever evil they may have brought with them, which would no doubt also seek the ruby as well as a means of travelling back and forth between worlds, and controlling the power of each.

That's just where I would begin, hope it helps you
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