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"A thief stealing keys? He must have broken all of his lock picks to get these. How ironic!" Said one of the guards who handled the blue hooded klepto.

Awkid remained on the ground as they three Anstian guards tied the hands and feet their prisoner and lunged him over the back of his horse. The horse was stolen too, it was easy to tell since it's saddle matched the others. The guards turned to Balamor and Awkid before continuing to Anstia. They all looked the same, so noticing the original guard from before was impossible until he spoke.

"I hope you get that Simik bite taken care of, thank you for aiding in this arrest. The Kingdom is grateful. Good day."

Awkid nodded as he was lying on the cobblestone road, Balamor followed suit and waved to the men as they left. He turned to Awkid and tried to help him to his feet. Awkid laughed at his attempt and managed to get himself up after a moment. He dusted off his clothes and looked at Balamor with a smirk before opening his wrapped palm.

He revealed three keys to Balamor whose jaw dropped at the sight. One was a typical cast iron key with a loop handle and two squared teeth at its end; nothing special Balamor thought. The second key however was magnificent, it looked to be made of sterling silver, it's handle was in the shape of a clover and studded with precious gems.

He wondered who owned such a key, and what valuables it gave access to. The many intricate teeth showed it was certainly a key to a complex lock. He looked up at the Dwarf, who motioned for Balamor to have them.

"Go ahead, take them."

The curious hobbit grabbed them from Awkid in excitement before he realized he hadn't looked at the third key. He moved the others into his bag before he examined the final key. It was polished like the silver key was but darker than any metal he had ever seen. He noticed it was also smaller than the rest, and had no teeth on its cylinder shaft -- as if it was never finished. It felt strangely cold in his hands as he rubbed his thumb against its flat disk handle.

"Wait..." Balamor whispered when he turned the key over to see it's other side.

"What is it?" Awkid asked,

"It's a rune."

Balamor looked on the handle to see another runeword found its way into his journey and it was one he hadn't seen before. Balamor quickly retrieved his journal and jotted down notes about the discovery, including a sketch of the key and the shape of the rune word. A line drew downward into a box made of five points, like a key into a lock.
“This came from the Anstia?” Balamor asked as he nestled the key in his palm.

“It seems so, what do you think it is for?”

“I don’t know just yet, but what matters more to me is why a kingdom who forbids magic owns a key like this…” Balamor shut the book and put both items in his leather pack before returning it to his shoulders.

The End

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