I know this is an older thread, but I just got the game and tried it solo this weekend. NONE of my starting items for my Quest came up. At all! Should I have returned to J5 and picked another one?...
According to the german solo games rules, you use the rules for the beginners game, except when listed. And in the beginners game, the first quest item for each of the 4 quests listed starts on the board.
Then it is stated that you don't start with a quest, but you have to travel to the kings court to pick up one of the 4 quests.
I haven't played solo myself, but i assume that you wait to get your quest until the second part of at least one of them is on the borad (unless you plan to pay for the draw at the 'Hellseher' - don't know the english name)