PUZZLE – Crown of Charon Preview

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A brand new adventure, The Crown of Charon, will be published by DEFY DANGER and DDE Adventures, coming Spring 2017!

Following in the wake of last week’s exciting release of the Fourthcore adventures series, DEFY DANGER has taken on the long-lost, unpublished final Fourthcore adventure. After languishing far too long in publisher limbo, it will finally see the light of day.

As such, this next puzzle serves as our first preview of the adventure. Here, players must deduce a simple passcode to escape. The preview below is just a teaser – you’ll see a few references to the nitty gritty details as ‘not shown’, held back as a surprise for the full adventure release.

It goes without saying – anyone wishing to be a player in this adventure, and not just run it, please avert your eyes from the shining spoilers ahead.



by Sersa Victory

The doors to this area seal when the first PC enters, giving the rest of the PCs the chance to leap into the room.


  • A sea-glass ziggurat dominates this high-ceiling chamber. The ziggurat is filled with wriggling bioluminescent zombie fish that flood this chamber with a soft glow akin to moonlight.
  • A set of double iron doors is set into the southern wall beyond the ziggurat.
  • Rows of hieroglyphs are carved into the emerald-colored walls.


Sealed Door

  • The magic wards of the sealed door can be broken open with a DC 40 Intelligence check.


  • The hieroglyphs weep oil.
  • Translating the hieroglyphs (DC 20 Intelligence check) reveals the following prayer:

Hear the prayer that we offer
And deign to grant us what we ask
On earth prosperity and victory
And in death to reside in paradise


  • Four niches have been carved out of the bottom tier of the ziggurat, each facing outward toward one of the cardinal directions. There is a demon’s skull in three of the niches. The identity of each skull is revealed instantly:
    • North: Hezrou.
    • East: Vrock.
    • West: Glabrezou.
  • The first time a skull is taken from the ziggurat, a half-aboleth sawcubus mummy queen appears atop the ziggurat and attacks (see Encounter, not shown).
  • In the southern alcove is a glass container the size and shape of a knight’s helmet. The container is filled with a viscous bronze fluid—the melted head of Talos, the First Golem (see Treasure, not shown).

Double Doors

  • The doors feature a mural of Nyx holding a demon’s head in each of her six hands against the backdrop of a churning ocean.
  • There are no visible handles on either door.
  • A plaque is set into the face of each door, with half on either side. It has four columns of buttons inscribed with letters from the Common alphabet and reads:

D   A   S   S
R   N   W  H
O   C   I     O
P   H   M   R
O   T    E
R   O

  • If the letters P-A-S-S are pressed in sequence from left to right, or if the PC’s spell C-H-A-R-O-N using the letters in column two, the double doors grind open (see Beyond the Double Doors), as does the door leading back out 18. The Scales and the Chasm.
  • If any other letter is pressed, bolts of black chain blightning arc out, attacking each creature within 30 ft. (Dexterity Saving Throw DC 20).
    • On a failed save, the target takes 30 lightning damage and loses 1d4 hit dice. On a successful save, the target only takes 15 lightning damage.
    • If the target has no unspent Hit Dice remaining as a result of this attack, they die and rise again as a ghoul that attacks on the mummy’s initiative (Monster Manual, p. 148). In addition, two gelatinous displacer pyramids filled with adamantine diesel piranhas drop from the ceiling on either side of the doors and attack (see Encounter, not shown).

Beyond the Double Doors

  • Several inches of black ice cover the ground. A nalfeshnee skull is half-suspended in the ice.
  • An obsidian obelisk juts from the ice against the southern wall, its surface covered in hieroglyphs. A column of six large cube-shaped holes have been cut into the face of the obelisk, as if objects might be placed inside of them (see Obelisk).
  • Hundreds of small holes line the walls, each glistening with slime.


  • Prying the skull free requires a DC 15 Strength check as part of an action.
  • When the skull is pulled free from the ice, a supercharged living battery acid cloudkill emerges from beneath the ice, attacking the party (see Encounter, not shown).


  • The demon skulls from the ziggurat and other listed locations will fit in the holes in the face of the obelisk.
  • Placing the skulls in the correct order (see below, not shown) causes the ziggurat to crack and split open, revealing a cache of treasure (see Treasure, not shown).
  • Placing the demon skulls in the incorrect order causes a swarm of sacred lampreys to shoot out from the holes in the walls when the last skull is placed. They attack each PC standing on the ice (+10 to-hit).
    • On a hit, the target takes 30 poison damage and is poisoned, Constitution Saving Throw DC 13 to end. On the first failed save, the lampreys latch on to major arteries and increase the Constitution Saving Throw to DC 20.
  • Placing the conjoined balor demilich skull in the top hole of the obelisk solves the puzzle. In addition, a portal opens in this room that leads to the 20B. Stagnant Ossuary. Announce to the PCs: “A PORTAL HAS OPENED IN THE CHAMBERS OF JUDGMENT!”

4 thoughts on “PUZZLE – Crown of Charon Preview

    Andrew S. Pascoe said:
    January 7, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Thats awesome that you guys are finally publishing the crown of charon! It was a real treat to be involved in the playtest, and it looks like you’ll be using the 5e d&d rules instead of 13th age. I was really worried after Sersa Victory shut down his twitter that we weren’t going to see any more of his stuff.


    Crown of Charon announced! « DEFY DANGER said:
    May 2, 2017 at 1:34 am

    […] 15. Candelabrum 16. The Mural in the Mouth 17. The Wheel of Mortals 18. The Scales and the Chasm 19. Crypt of Weeping Hieroglyphics 20. Death’s Trident 20b. Stagnant Ossuary 21. Vile Scriptorium 22. Corridor of Mother Memory 23. […]


    Crown of Charon – Maps « DEFY DANGER said:
    May 9, 2017 at 1:52 am

    […] Crown of Charon – 19. Crypt of Weeping Heiroglyphs […]


    May 23, 2017 at 5:36 am

    […] 19. Crypt of Weeping Hieroglyphs […]


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