|( The Master Key of Thievery|
|Base item||skeleton key|
When carried, the Key confers warning, teleport control and half physical damage. Using the Master Key of Thievery for unlocking always succeeds. It also speaks to you: it gives a random rumor, true if the Key is blessed, false if cursed and either if uncursed. Invoking it removes all traps in the door or container.
This skeleton key was fashioned in ages past and imbued with
a powerful magic which allows it to open any lock. When
carried, it grants its owner warning, teleport control, and
reduces all physical damage by half. Finally, when invoked,
it has the ability to disarm any trap.
Half physical damage is a rare property and is very useful, which makes the Master Key a good wish for a chaotic character, particularly considering its low weight. It should be wished for early, because artifact wishing depends on the number of artifacts in existence already (specifically you can only be certain of getting it if there are less than 2 artifacts in existence)—in fact, a chaotic character may want to hold back on sacrificing before their first wish because of this. Also be sure to be able to withstand the blasting damage: 40 maximum HP or 20 with magic resistance. Once the Key is in your inventory you should avoid dropping it, since picking it up again will blast you another time. Keep a normal skeleton key or lockpick for mundane unlocking purposes, since applying the Master Key will also blast you.
As with all intelligent artifacts, cross-aligned characters can only pick up the Master Key via appropriate use of a helm of opposite alignment (or permanent conversion at an altar). This is usually not worth the trouble, since non-chaotic adventurers are better off with an artifact that grants magic resistance, and neutrals can obtain half physical damage from the Orb of Fate.