The most recent message
‘Freya contrived a device that would discover the secret of the castle treasure. The apparatus was placed high in the pantry, but the secret to the box lay in Freya’s head alone.’
Finding the device presents no great difficulty: it’s in the top of the pantry, just as the message said. However, the box is locked with a four-digit combination lock. The secret to opening the box, as the message says, is in Freya’s head.
The secret of the box
The treasure hunters discovered Freya’s remains toward the end of the Quest for the Murderer (next to Freya’s prayer book). Her skull can be opened by removing the calaverum; inside is a note, which reads: ‘Swab the castle map with the blood of the murderer.’
Recall that the murderer’s heart from the Quest for the Murderer is in a jar partly filled with blood (not real blood). When the treasure hunters spread this blood on the castle map, a message in green letters appears. (See how to make a blood message.) The blood message reads: ‘My box opens for but one day of the year, when the thrush knocks.’
Opening the box
Reference to a thrush knocking and something which opens for only one day of the year alludes to The Hobbit, concerning the secret entrance into the Lonely Mountain.
If the treasure hunters don’t remember the details, they can research the matter to learn that the day in question is Durin’s Day, the last new moon before winter. That date (it varies by year) will open the combination lock on the box.
What’s in the box is explained in the next post.