The chamber is arranged as a royal dining hall. The head table is atop a platform 3 steps higher than the rest of the room. The two lower tables are perpendicular to it on either side. The three tables form a squared “U” shape, with the opening towards the room’s entrance. Each table has several finely crafted seats along the outside edge, and while the surfaces of the tables themselves are empty, they are skillfully engraved with images of food. All of the furnishings in the room are finely crafted, and made of a heavy wood. The side walls may hold paintings or tapestries. The three northern walls of the room are covered in a large mural of a forest, with a clearing in the center overlooking the rising sun.
There are three large chandeliers in the room, one hanging over the center of each of the three tables. None of these are lit, but they still have oil in them and could be lit if the characters so choose. Each chandelier is a series of golden circlets, the largest of which has a diameter of nearly 12ft. Each subsequent circlet is a little smaller, and placed a little higher. The effect is a large, stepped cone, covered in small lanterns.
(If the characters seek to take these golden circlets as treasure, they will be disappointed to find that they are in fact gold-plated iron. Very heavy, and only somewhat valuable).
At the king’s seat (center of the high table) there is no chair. Instead there is a throne of stone, with a king of stone upon it. He wears fine robes, with a long but sharply cropped beard, and an intent gaze. A cursory inspection will reveal an oddity about the way his head is carved; there is an indented circlet about it, as though something is meant to be mounted there. In his lap, the king holds a stone scroll engraved with the words:
“In my time there were pretenders to my crown. Each tried to have me slain, and for that crime lived a long life in darkness. For each I had a crown made of finest gold and gems, to wear upon their head in solitude.
“Now that all of us have long past, I will grant these fool’s crowns to any who place my own atop my head.”
Behind the stone king is a chest-high stone table, upon which rests five crowns. Each is unique, and each is an example of craftsmanship no modern smith could match. However, if any of these crowns is taken beyond the room’s entry arch while the stone king is not wearing his crown, then they will crumble into ashes. And unfortunately, none of these five crowns will fit snugly on the statue’s head. All are either too large, or too small.
If the players somehow climb up to the chandelier above the statue’s head, they might discover that the smallest of the statue’s rings is slightly different. Closer inspection will reveal that it is, in fact, a very simple crown. A golden circlet with rising and falling ridges around its edge, a thin velvet lining, and a single diamond mounted in the center. This is the king’s crown, and if placed upon his head, will rest perfectly on the indented ring. There is no click, or flash of light, or sound to let the characters know that the crown is correct. However, if they now choose to take any of the other five crowns out of the room, it can be done successfully without them turning to ash.
If the players at any point attempt to remove the king’s crown from the room, they will be turned to stone upon passing beneath the archway. The crown will then fall from their hands, and roll, wobbling, back into the dining hall.