Team 6: Sophia, Claire, Kim and Emma from Bournemouth.
The sixth quest of Series 6 was for the Crown and lasted 46 minutes.
Hordriss in a trance warns Treguard that Lord Fear has imported a dragon-caller into Level 1. The red dragon will cause irreparable damage if his minions can use it.
The next team would be tasked with finding this device in Level 1 before Fear's minions do.
The team chooses the Crown (bizarrely, since it had just been recovered by the previous team).
Straight into the Level 1 clue room. The clues are: a lantern, a mallet, a bag of silver, and a ring.
Spyglass: Julius Scaramonger has the dragon-calling device. Lord Fear orders him to get it in position quickly as the red dragon is a menace.
Lord Fear: "It takes up more room than Tiny (hobgoblin), eats more than the entire Grimwold family, and smells worse than Sylvester Hands!"
The scroll reads: "Caution! Stand well clear of all objects. Place on 3rd finger of left hand. Rotate once. Mind your head."
They decide to take the ring and the silver.
In an empty courtyard, Sophia tries out the ring according to the instructions. She grows to twice her height! Treguard advises the team to use it judiciously.
They find Elita burrowing through a chest of items. Sophia mentions the dragon-caller.
Elita explains that Smirkenorff had been unsettled by the new dragon, and agrees to help Sophia find it. She offers the combination for the causeway.
A very dark dwarf tunnel. Treguard hints that need a lantern. The tension is heightened when Sophia side-steps along the passage.
They survive and reach the causeway. A nervous Claire gets Sophia across safely.
Julius Scaramonger's stall. He tries to sell Sophia a horn. Once she mentions the dragon-caller, he tries to hide a tall object behind him.
As he is refusing to co-operate, she uses the ring to scare him and his assistant (Young Grimwold) away.
Straight away they summon Elita, who says she'll throw it in the Caverns of Gore. She gives Sophia a dragon mint for Smirkenorff.
As always, Elita calls the dungeoneer a "face ache". To everyone's surprise, Sophia answers back! "You're a face ache too." Ouch.
Well done, Sophia! It's no less than Elita deserves!
Into a dwarf tunnel. A scroll reads: "No right turn!"
Pickle questions where these clues come from, especially as the team can only go right in this one-way tunnel.
They spend too long investigating inanimate objects and Sophia is almost caught by a geist. It scares advisor Emma out of her wits!
They find clue objects in the undercroft cavern: a lute, a bar of gold, and a signet ring.
Spyglass: Lord Fear has circulated a rumour to Hordriss that the minstrel, Ridolfo, is making advances on his daughter.
Hordriss fell for the bait and put a charm on Ridolfo, so he won't be sharing useful information any more.
- Pickle: "That's one of the Rings of Phobia. They belong to Lord Fear and he never discards them accidentally."
- Treguard: "Sophia could carry it, but she could never wear it without extreme damage to life-force."
Sophia takes the ring and the lute.
They arrive at the riverside, where Ridolfo has taken up fishing. He takes his lute as payment for rowing them across the lake.
Ridolfo: "I catch the fish, capice?"
The team know he has the password so do everything they can to get him to talk. He gets irritated at them, so they must resolve to get him changed back into a minstrel.
On the outskirts of Witch Haven, they find a witch sitting at a desk. They realise it must be Hordriss in disguise.
In exchange for the ring, he agrees to turn Ridolfo back into a minstrel and send him to meet them before the gate in Level 2.
Hordriss: "With this, I can cause the Opposition a great deal of discomfort."
The ring reveals the sequence to the causeway, which the team arrive at next.
The Dreadnort appears at the gateway and demands the password. The team are stunned. Just in time, a restored Ridolfo runs in to give them the password.
Ridolfo: "I so sorry. You nearly get a-kerbunk off Lord Fear's metal man! And it's all Ridolfo's fault! ... I of course got to thank you on behalf of all of the ladies with-a the empty lives."
Down to Level 3 in the Descender. Another stormgeist slides in and hitches a ride!
The ruins of Level 3. The clues are: a scarf, a glove, and a bar of gold. The scroll reads: "It wears well, but only in extremity. Handle with care. Use once."
They decide to take the glove and the gold.
Hordriss is conducting the Level 3 entrance examination for aspiring sorcerer's apprentices. Among the attendees is the hobgoblin, Tiny!
Old school Knightmare, in every sense. Hordriss asks three questions. It boils down to the third, which unfortunately they don't know.
Sophia misses out on the main prize - a diploma. She must settle for a consolation prize, which is a spyglass.
Spyglass: Fear is once again in conversation with Greystagg, asking if she is ready to sign the Great Treaty.
Among her remaining concerns is an 'arcane relic', which turns out to be the Hand of Atram. Fear doubts the team will have the wits to use it if they are carrying it.
The room is now deserted, which is strangely foreboding.
Out of nowhere, the CORRIDOR OF BLADES - the first and only time it was used this series. Claire reacts exceptionally well to keep Sophia away from the blades.
Elita is doing a ritual. Needless to say, she has not forgotten the manner of their previous encounter.
- Elita: "I think you're a stupid dragon's dropping, so there!"
- Sophia: "You can talk." [Advisors gasp]
- Elita: "Well! I think I've just about had it now." [Goblin horns sound] "You might have got a bit of help from me..."
Skarkill and the goblins appear. The advisors think it's game over.
By some measure of good luck, Elita dislikes Skarkill even more than the dungeoneer. She debates where she will pledge her allegiance.
Maybe I'll help you, or maybe I'll help you. Depends how sorry you are, face-ache!!
The elf cajoles a grovelling apology from Sophia and decides to help her instead. She starts playing the panpipes, which sends Skarkill dancing away towards a huge pit.
Down he goes...
...and so does Sophia. They arrive at the Great Causeway but don't have the combination.
The life force skeleton collapses as time runs out. Nasty.
Treguard: "If only you'd won your diploma, team, then you would have known the sequence to the causeway."
The youngest team of the series perished on the verge of back-to-back victories. Their death also marked the end of the episode. This last happened in Series 2 (1988).
Not only game over, but time out. And just for once, it couldn't have happened at a better moment.