Puzzle box
General information
Owned by

Pack of Granous (formerly)
Barda (formerly)

In possession of

Pack of Granous (formerly)
Barda (formerly)


Fidget with and pull pins out


To scare the owner when solved

Chronological information
First appearance

Dragon's Nest

Last appearance

The Sister of the South

The puzzle box was a riddle used by a Granous pack to torment their victims. It was taken by Barda during his quest with Lief and Jasmine to destroy the Four Sisters.[1]


Dragon's Nest

After Lief helped the Capricon Rolf solve the fish stick riddle, the head of the Granous pack procured the puzzle box and told Rolf to open it. Seeing the complexity of the box caused him to flail in despair, which exposed Lief and got him captured. Before either of them could be killed, Barda, Jasmine, and the Topaz dragon Fidelis scattered the Granous. Barda found the discarded puzzle box and decided to take it with him.[1]

After Lief and the Ruby dragon Joyeu destroyed the Sister of the East, Barda managed to push a wooden rod out of one of the box's corners. To his frustration, the box remained closed. Lindal of Broome told Barda to toss the box into the ocean, since he would never solve it. Instead, Barda became more determined than ever to solve the puzzle.[1]


On their final day with the travelling group of acrobats, the Masked Ones, Barda challenged their leader, Bess, to open the box. She managed to unlock another rod, but even with two sticking out, the box would not open.[2]

Isle of the Dead

After the destruction of the Sister of the West, the companions sat with the Amethyst dragon, Veritas, and the young Diamond dragon on the shores of the Finger. Barda managed to unlock a third rod from the box, but it still would not open. Enraged, Barda threatened to throw the box into the sea, but Veritas told him that, if he did that, he would never know what was inside. Barda kept the box in the end.[3]

The Sister of the South

During the feast to celebrate the destruction of the Sister of the South, Barda brought out his puzzle box and tried once again to open it. Manus and Zerry both tried to help him, but Barda kept them at bay, saying that he would be the one to unlock the box.[4]

He finally managed to unlock the final rod, at which point a clown doll shot out of the box and scared everyone, although Manus could not help make fun of Barda, commenting on how hilarious his expression had been when it happened. Barda tried to push the clown back inside, only to find that it would not budge. Enraged at wasting his time over such a toy, Barda threw it into the fire at Lief's suggestion.[4]



  • In the Tenna Birdsong Tale "The Seven Goblins," one of the Pirran travellers carried a puzzle box with him, and was killed by a pack of Granous which then took the box. It is unknown if this is the same box that Barda took from the Granous in Dragon's Nest.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rodda, Emily. Dragon's Nest. Scholastic Australia. 2004.
  2. Rodda, Emily. Shadowgate. Scholastic Australia. 2004.
  3. Rodda, Emily. Isle of the Dead. Scholastic Australia. 2004.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rodda, Emily. The Sister of the South. Scholastic Australia. 2004.
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