In my story to protect his treasure room, the king of a 12th century kingdom has heavily invested in his alchemists, who managed to create silica aerogel in blocks and made them insoluble in water (how they did is not in scope for this question, let's assume it happened and he secured the alchemists would keep the secret forever).
Using these blocks he created a 3D maze in a volume of (w × l × h) 20 × 20 × 8 meters. The entrance is somewhere on the 20 × 8 wall, same holds for the exit on the opposite face leading to the treasure room.
The volume is at the end of a cave and the entire access wall is uncovered. There are no other features in the maze to stop intruders, except the maze itself.
For the people knowing the path to follow (n steps straight, climb in the passage 1 meter above the ground, etc...) there is no problem in going from the entrance to the exit, for anybody else trying to figure out his path in the maze there are the following risks:
- due to the appearance of silica aerogel (see photo) it's hard to have visual references or clues
- due to the nature of silica aerogel being highly hygroscopic, heavy dehydration is highly likely
- for the same reason touching the walls with bare skin is not advised
Does the silica aerogel actually provide better functionality to the maze with respect to stone bricks, or am I neglecting some aspect?