PUZZLE: Thin Ice

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We continue this month’s wintry theme.



Place a frost-covered steel plaque elsewhere in your dungeon, ideally in a previous chamber and at least somewhat obscured. This is a cipher to translate the inscriptions on the doors in the ice room, found later.

The plaque should read: 41 62 63 64 45 66 67 68 49 6a 6b 6c 6d 6e 4f 70 71 72 73 74 55 76 77 78 59 7a

This is the hexadecimal counting of the latin alphabet, with all vowels capitalized.


  • You enter into an hexagonal room, with five steel doors visible across the room from you, evenly spaced.
  • The doors each have an inscription chiseled onto their surfaces:
    • 1st Door: 62 45 77 41 72 45 (Translates to ‘bEwArE’)
    • 2nd Door: 64 41 6e 67 45 72 (Translates to ‘dAngEr’)
    • 3rd Door: 68 41 7a 41 72 64 (Translates to ‘hAzArd’)
    • 4th Door: 45 78 4f 64 55 73 (Translates to ‘ExOdUs’)
    • 5th Door: 74 68 72 45 41 74 (Translates to ‘thrEAt’)
  • A cold breeze from within chills your breath and it hangs in the air.
  • The floor is made of slippery ice that has begun to melt, a sheen of water visible on the surface.
  • On a few select spots on the floor that you can see, the ice has been melted to be paper thin. A thick black liquid roils beneath. You cannot see where else the ice might be too thin.
  • To what door do you walk across to?


  • The ice is especially thin in most areas. Stepping on one of these areas causes the entire floor is collapse into a pit of viscous black poisonous sludge.
  • Moderate Knowledge check – The black sludge is dragon bile, a powerful poison that can be collected by a skillful assassin. Full body contact with this poison wil immediately kill any living creature.


  • The path to the 4th door, marked “45 78 4f 64 55 73“, is safe. The code translates to “ExOdUs” in hexadecimal.
  • In addition, the sections of the room where the ice is thickest, ie. the path to the 4th door, are magically kept cooler than the others. The air here is frosty, and observant characters will notice that their breath is visible here and invisible over the areas where the ice is thin.

EXPERT CHALLENGE: The air currents are mixed in the room and freezes breath no matter what path is taken.

MASTER CHALLENGE: The cipher found in a previous area does not have the full alphabet and instead only a fragment; dEfYdAngEr64 45 66 59 64 41 6e 67 45 72.
An image of a gem-eyed skull in emblazoned beneath the cipher.

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