Setting the scene

Some time ago...

...Far off the path she wandered. Angry. Alone. Lost, but not really lost. And then a door. The merest outline, caught in the light. Almost properly closed. Almost, but not.

A storehouse. One of the ancient hidden vaults used to prepare for emergencies, attacks. This one lost to time.

Crumbled fragments of parchments. Old, rusted weapons, showing how long the chamber had aged in silence.

A box, sealed in wax. A parchment, tied in vivid purple ribbon, curiously intact. A plain silver amulet. Unadorned. Unmarked.

The amulet now on the chain around her neck, the young Dwarf smiles, takes the box with the parchment, eager to show her mother and father.

But the box is stolen by her siblings and sold to a merchant broker of antiquities.

For a few silvers.

Before, even, she had a chance to show her parents. Or even look at it.

Not that she could read.

And yet the amulet, over time, proves to be a key. Unlocking and opening previously unknown doors and bolt holes in the mountain stronghold. And all showing signs of current use by the elders, or traders, to store boring old papers.

With thanks to for the use of the images above, and a special thank you to @ryivhnn for my wonderful and ever joyful Wombats!

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