Belmarniss can now sorta muddle along in the local common thanks to aggressive use of comprehend languages to hand-translate books after roping a local into teaching her the alphabet. Also she hates teleport traps with every fiber of her being. Also she has figured out at this point that she somehow leveled in sorcerer instead of wizard during the business with the pirates and has no idea why that happened or whether it will happen again. And she has sold this stupid arrowhead to two different curio shops and given up as it seems to be cursed. And she just needs to keep doing what she does, she guesses, till she can teleport herself home. The Yawning Portal is a nicely ironic name.
"It just sounds like one of those dungeon folderols you aren't supposed to skip."
"Even if we're not supposed to skip the box, let's check the golem first," Jojo suggests. "We may be able to figure out a way to get around it entirely."
In they go.
The golem is very large and made of iron. It turns to look at them, but from their current angle they can't see the door it's guarding.
"Las Zand," it says resonantly.
"Eighty-one of what?" she asks, mostly to Deekin so he can translate.
Deekin repeats the question in Draconic.
"Las Zand," the golem says again, in exactly the same tone.
"Did there use to be eighty more of it?"
There's clanking footsteps from the floor below, and the faint sound of voices. They can't make out the words, but they rise and fall like humanoid speech.
"- d'you hear that?"
Garrus nods. "Should we call out and see if they're friendly?" he wonders quietly.
"Sure, why not."
Garrus leans down and yells at the floor, "Hey! We're here to make friends! Are you sentient?"
The clanking ceases. A tinny voice filters up through the stone after a few seconds: "We are not certain if we are sentient. It is a hotly debated philosophical question among us."
"If you have hotly debated philosophical questions, I think that makes you sentient," Garrus comments.
"Is the iron golem blocking the path down sentient to a similar degree as yourselves?" Jojo asks.
"No. It is a simple automaton - would you like help bypassing it, so that we may speak face-to-face?"
Jojo nods, then remembers they're talking through a floor. "Yes, please!"
"Go to the terminal in the center of the first floor and enter the following code." The golem(?) lists off a string of numbers, which Deekin writes down faithfully.
It's not "eighty-one", is it?
It's not! It is twenty digits long.
They head over to the terminal, which is in a room covered in Draconic script. Deekin squints as he approaches the terminal. "...Deekin kind of want to see if Deekin can figure out how the heck golem creator use '81' as hint for twenty-digit passcode."
"Be my guest."
Deekin examines the code and furrows his brow, humming to himself. He draws out the Draconic sigils for 8 and 1 next to each other, then the Draconic sigils of the whole passcode. He furrows his brow especially at two instances in the code where a sequence of three numbers is repeated.
After a few minutes he seems to realize something, and spells out LAS ZAND in Draconic. He starts counting something.
"...Golem guy assign numbers to each brushstroke in words 'Las Zand'," he determines. "Deekin not sure how he keep order straight, or how he assign numbers, but Deekin pretty sure that be it."
"That... almost makes sense," Garrus comments, entering the code.
"It's stupid," says Belmarniss.
"Puzzles just generally stupid," Deekin agrees. "Deekin think this one not intended to be solved, just here in case golem guy forget passcode. Lucky we not have to solve it."
"Yeah, let's go make friends." Code goes in box.