A natural stone with a hole in the center and gift from the earth to the lucky finder.
A totally throw away .. cannon fodder ..shove it in the mouth of the monster and run for it type of character. Useful though for ‘taken with a pound of salt’ information and running small unsavory errands.
The heroes stop in a small town ready to restock their traveling supplies and feed for their animals. All of the villagers are starving, and there is no food to be had. If the PCs are quick witted, their noble steeds might be slaughtered for food.