[Dungeoneer] Timing of the Epic Event?

My question is relating to the 'Epic event card', Sceptre of the Shadow Plague.

The card reads, "This card is automatically played face up in the play area at the start of your game."

Assuming we're playing the epic game (from lv7),

  1. does it happen only when a player has this card in his/her hand before the very start of the game, or 2) need to separate this card from the other cards and 'always' have to be played literally?

Thanks in advance for answering my question. :smiley:

It is separated from the deck and played at the beginning of the game.