• The Letters

    Posted by Ashburn on November 5, 2018 at 11:32 am

    After hearing that 5 and Tinker have received some magiqal mail (and seeing the postage on 5’s), I thought it might be a good time to make a collaborative space.

    Because I’m pretty sure I know at least part of the contents. :deirdreexcited:

    And it might make it easier to have a separate place than to bog down Saberlane’s Cabinet post.

    IT’S PUZZLE TIME!

    But seriously, we Mounties puzzle best together, and help is always available if needed beyond the clue in the main letter that came in the box.

    Skylad replied 3 years, 10 months ago 13 Members · 56 Replies
  • 56 Replies
  • sdhockaday

    Member
    November 6, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Ohhh! Good idea! So, here’s some pictures!

    This is what’s contained in the envelope.

    This is the card and what was inside it.

    And this is what’s inside the note, with the word “Baymor” written on it.

    Now, I do know this cipher somewhat. It’s something along the lines of a page number, word, then letter.

    Edit: Also, Baymor is the name of one of the old Houses.

  • Nimueh

    Member
    November 6, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    First column doesn’t seem to go above 72, so you’re looking for a short book if it is a page number. Second column is very likely to be word though, as it doesn’t go above 15.The frequency of the last coloumn going into double digits doesn’t really suggest a letter with most words having a lower number of characters. Page, line, word maybe? Though the pairing seems weird for this kind of cypher. Any thoughts on a docutment, book, or something we could try this with?

    Sorry, been itching for a puzzle, lol

    • sdhockaday

      Member
      November 6, 2018 at 11:14 pm

      The Guide to Magiq is the one I first thought of. It’s only 86 pages long.

  • Ashburn

    Member
    November 6, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Hmm… I want to say there was some sort of clue in another letter in the box, one that wasn’t just a bunch of numbers.

    (This is probably why I’ve never got :thornmouth: ) I didn’t make myself a copy before I closed the box back up and shipped it off. :bashfacepalm: @Saberlane, any help with this one?

    (Or @Catherine, if you happen to know where it’s hiding?)

    • sdhockaday

      Member
      November 6, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      On the back of the paper, it says Baymor.

    • Catherine

      Member
      November 7, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Came across this letter yesterday while looking for something else (still working on getting everything organized post-move, things tended to get jumbled up in various unlabeled boxes), but it struck me as something that would probably be useful at some point, so I set it aside. Could it be the missing clue you’re looking for?

      The print is pretty small but I zoomed in on the part I thought was most relevant. It says: “The Eye granted me the two cyphers used, and left with a clue to decrypt it. The book will Guide you to play fair.”

      To echo the original author of the letter, it means nothing to me, but it may to you?

  • sdhockaday

    Member
    November 7, 2018 at 7:19 am

    I think the hardest part is going to be finding the book that’s the key for this. It can’t be the Guideti Magiq and Fauna and Flora as neither book fits and both have parts that don’t work with the key.

  • Sellalellen

    Member
    November 8, 2018 at 1:13 am

    The book will Guide you… Guide. With a capital G.

  • revenaisreve

    Member
    November 8, 2018 at 2:20 am

    To help us all, here is a typed version of that note:

    “Through one of our mutual acquaintances, Marcy came to access what the men seem to be calling the All-Seeing Eye. Knowing it for what it was, she sent it on to me in her last correspondence, believing someone of my House would know what to ask.

    When the Eye opened to me, it told me of the Hope for the fight in which our mundane brethren are embroiled. As for the second request, a far future was Illuminated. One where our Houses no longer have need to meet in secret between one another as we do now.

    It is with those descendants in mind that we leave their messages. Each of our secret group has written a small note, twice-encoded to keep others in our respective houses from stopping us, addressed to our future counterparts. To my knowledge, none of them contain any Earth-shattering information about our houses, just a short greeting from each of us.

    The Eye granted me the two cyphers used, and left with a clue to decrypt it.

    The book will Guide you to play fair.

    It means nothing to me, but it may to you.

    Until your time comes, we shall continue to protect It, even from one another.

    Faithfully Yours,

    H.A.

    As a more substantial gift from us, your predecessors, we have included some of our, shall we say, less mundane botanical artefacts. May they survive the years until this comes into your possession.”

    Soooo, if all of this is true, six people should be getting letters in the mail (looks like 5 for Bali and possibly Tinker for Flinterforge, which leaves Weatherwatch, Ebenguard, Thornmouth, and Gossmere up in the air). And apparently this H.A. fellow consulted with the Oracular Eye and asked for hope and illumination (just like we did, notably) and this happened a long time ago. During a mundane war but that’s… a bit tricky to narrow down. At any rate, I definitely agree with Sel that the clue leads us to the Guide.

  • revenaisreve

    Member
    November 8, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Ok so, problem time. If we’re doing this based on page, line, word, then it won’t work for the Guide. Page 66, line 7, doesn’t have a 10th word. :grimacing: And Page 66, word 7 doesn’t have a 10th letter. Maybe there’s something more to the hint?

    • Ashburn

      Member
      November 8, 2018 at 6:17 am

      So page/line/word doesn’t work…

      And page/word/letter doesn’t work…

      I also see that some of the third numbers go into the 20s and 30s, I don’t think the pages are wide enough for that many words per line… :sweat_smile:

      https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/5858edb1-f9d7-4d10-8015-e742dda861e5#HJPYeEbf6X.copy

      https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/8155af61-d90b-4db7-a7cc-a6ae831e9b43#HyrevWVZfaX.copy

      Only follow if you really need it.

      YARN | That’s OK. We need a five-letter keyword. | National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) | Video clips by quotes | 5582d540 | ç´—

      Same with this one, only if you really need it for the second half.

      • cjheighton1998

        Member
        November 8, 2018 at 9:35 am

        I was gonna say maybe its a forum post, so post number, word, letter? Also, theres more than just the G in guide capitalized. Perhaps we use the (non sentence starting) capitals in some way?

        • Nimueh

          Member
          November 8, 2018 at 9:37 am

          That would make sense, but then the question is what thread?

          • cjheighton1998

            Member
            November 8, 2018 at 9:38 am

            Thats the issue, innit? Id almost say if it has to do with the collectors and old houses itd make sense to check there but idk if any of those info posts from steve get that long. Ill take a quick scroll.

            • Nimueh

              Member
              November 8, 2018 at 9:46 am

              If I was at my computer I’d take a look alongside you. Sleep deprived me sees stuff normal me doesn’t, lol. Plus I have time to kill when I finally get back to my flat. Hang on, 2 cyphers? Maybe we need to do something before we can do line, word, letter? I thought it was odd seeing them in pairs. Maybe there’s something to the pairs?

            • cjheighton1998

              Member
              November 8, 2018 at 9:47 am

              hah, fair enough. Ill work with you on all this crap tomorrow maybe if these crazy code-breakers havent figured it out by 6am again. i did notice the two cypers. they said it was double encoded. maybe once you decypher it, its scrambled? id say we want to go through the first cypher before jumping too far ahead of ourselves.

            • revenaisreve

              Member
              November 8, 2018 at 1:53 pm

              Oh that’s a good point. We have confirmation of at least one other mysterious letter possibly being out in the wild. So maybe a sit and wait deal unless anyone has any good ideas?

  • revenaisreve

    Member
    November 8, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Oh I meant to ask, @Tinker did that mysterious letter turn out to be related or is it still en-route to your current residence?

    • Tinker

      Member
      November 8, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      I think it’s still en route…I left before the mail arrived and haven’t been home yet, so there’s a chance it’ll be waiting for me…fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:

      • Tinker

        Member
        November 9, 2018 at 3:09 am

        Well sad news friends…nothing in the mail for me today. I was told it was put in the mail on Saturday…which means it probably didn’t go out until Monday…so at the risk of jinxing it, maybe tomorrow?

  • cjheighton1998

    Member
    November 8, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Lets hope that letter illuminates some stuff.

  • oraclesage

    Member
    November 8, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    So if the letters have reached a Balimora and a Flinter… it may be interesting to note they are the opposing guilds on the Chronocompass.

  • Tinker

    Member
    November 10, 2018 at 12:23 am

    So I had approximately 1 minute at home before I had to turn around and leave again but this looks…promising

  • oraclesage

    Member
    November 10, 2018 at 4:01 am
  • Tinker

    Member
    November 10, 2018 at 4:15 am
  • oraclesage

    Member
    November 10, 2018 at 4:21 am
  • cjheighton1998

    Member
    November 10, 2018 at 4:27 am

    hmmmmmmmmmmm. more cyphers.

    could the words hint at the key?

    • Tinker

      Member
      November 10, 2018 at 4:29 am

      The words have all been the old houses. Flints, Mer Gost, and Baymor

  • Ashburn

    Member
    November 10, 2018 at 6:10 am

    P.S. – one of these will have a different stamp, because somebody at the post office had to rain on the brilliant idea of adding a 67 cent butterfly stamp to make it equal international postage and still be magiqal. :aethereyeroll:

  • Ravenwing

    Member
    November 11, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Maybe it’s Vigenere? Keyword is the word on the front, numbers relate to line word number? That’s why decoding certain bits may look like nonsense? Maybe you have to decrypt it twice.

    • oraclesage

      Member
      November 12, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      How would we use the old house names as keys?

  • Ravenwing

    Member
    November 12, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    https://pages.mtu.edu/~shene/NSF-4/Tutorial/VIG/Vig-Base.html

    Probably a better explanation than what I could do^^

  • Ashburn

    Member
    November 12, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    … :eyes:

  • Kelsey

    Member
    November 13, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Hello again –

    Based on the clue of The book will Guide you to play fair. I’m thinking it’s a playfair cipher – Playfair cipher – Wikipedia

    What we have to do with it – I haven’t figured out yet because I just started reading back. But just an idea that someone can perhaps work on :smile:

  • Kelsey

    Member
    November 13, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    So my idea – using the Guide, the first column are the pages and the next two are the letters. So for the first Baymor one – it would go OI UW…etc.

    Edit: so. tedious. only got the first column done of the Baymor one. My thought was that maybe it’s a playfair cipher using Baymor as the alphabet key but I’m not sure if that’s even correct.

    I should probably get back to work but I’ve put what I’ve done under the cut.

    Summary

    OI

    UW

    TL

    AA

    AW

    OB

    OD

    DE

    HU

    LA

    II

    UO

    SA

    LR

    TW

    OO

    DO

    ET

    IR

    UO

    OO

    LH

    YY

    UY

    IF

    NN

    AM

    AE

    IT

    TE

    OY

    OL

    OI

    NF

    • Robert

      Member
      November 14, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      We missed you @Kelsey. Play fair cipher sounds like a good approach.

  • Ashburn

    Member
    November 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    So, uh, on the one Tinker received…

    Third column, second pair from the bottom, 15/1/7 is supposed to be 15/1/6

  • Skylad

    Member
    November 19, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Hey @Tinker I’m working on your cypher at the moment, could you take a picture of everything that has words on it?? Many thanks :grin::grin:

    • Tinker

      Member
      November 19, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      My first post had pictures of everything I got…The number page just had “Flints” on the back and I didn’t get a letter

      • Skylad

        Member
        November 19, 2018 at 8:51 pm

        Was there anything on the back of the “seeds of supposing” instructions or was it blank?

        • Tinker

          Member
          November 20, 2018 at 3:31 am

          Nope…that’s the only text on that card.

  • Tinker

    Member
    November 20, 2018 at 3:55 am

    Also has anyone done any of the other sets? There’s some ambiguous rules in the playfair cipher description I found…

    Edit: I’m working on mine now…since the letter said two ciphers to decrypt, I’m thinking it’s page-word-letter, which will then need a playfair key. I’m assuming the page number includes the intro and forward in the book, as going by the written number got me somewhere with a “letter” number higher than the letter count of the associated word. So I’m going to see where this gets me.

    Edit edit: nvm I just realized I’ve got some third column numbers up in the 20s…

    • Skylad

      Member
      November 20, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Hey Tink, I got all yours done if you want it… I’m in the process of figuring out the cypher word :disappointed: and the page numbers don’t include the intro or foreword

  • Skylad

    Member
    November 20, 2018 at 7:53 am
    • Tinker

      Member
      November 20, 2018 at 8:17 am

      Ooooo…Awesome! I had an idea for the playfair side…But there were two ways of making the square, so imma have to science it a bit!

      • Tinker

        Member
        November 20, 2018 at 8:46 am

        Hm…Well, I thought I had some options for the words, but either I don’t or I’ve got my square going the wrong way. The general overview I found said that the 5×5 square can be made by filing in the cipher word, then the rest of the alphabet but either I/J share a spot, you leave out J, or you leave out Q…And the letters typically just fill the lines left to right but sometimes people choose other patterns. I found some other sources that agree that you leave out Q, which to be fair, seems less valuable than having a separate I and J.

        For key words, my first guess was the house name on the back of the code sheet. But that seemed to just be spitting back random letters. My next thought was “Hope” since that seems to be randomly capitalized in the letter Catherine posted. But I’m still getting a random assortment of letters out. Having it be “hope” makes sense to me…having one key word instead of, presumably, one for each house (particularly if the author and friends were keeping this secret from their houses…)

        But I’m like 97% certain I understand the decoding rules once you HAVE the square. So…Possibilities:

        1. I might not have found the word yet
        2. I might have found the right word but chosen the wrong square configurations
        3. My brain needs the sleeps
        • Skylad

          Member
          November 20, 2018 at 9:36 am

          I’ve been trying to brute force it with a few different words (if letters double I’ve been dropping them)

          Illumination, , illuminated, hope, despair, oculus, flints, flintforge, mercy, supposing, house :sleepy:

          • Tinker

            Member
            November 21, 2018 at 5:05 am

            I’ve got a new idea for the key for the square…what if it’s not a word, it’s a phrase? I didn’t notice when I tried last time that “Illuminated” was also mysteriously capitalized. So what if the box starts with “Hope Illuminated”? I just filled out the rest of the square (the method that seemed most common: no Q, rows filled left to right, fill with remaining letters not used in key). So I’m going to give that a go and I’ll report back!

  • sdhockaday

    Member
    November 21, 2018 at 4:50 am

    I’ve been following along with all of your updates @Skylad and whomever was doing mine. Sorry, brain is fried. I haven’t gotten very far and I’m trying to figure out if there’s another cipher that goes along with how it all the rows repeat.

  • Ashburn

    Member
    November 21, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Additional edit to Tinker’s set:

    61/3/7 should be 61/4/7

    Everything else should be accurate.

  • Sellalellen

    Member
    November 28, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    This just arrived! Thank goodness it managed to dodge the postal strikes!

    • Skylad

      Member
      November 29, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Take photos of EVERYTHING with letters on it

  • sdhockaday

    Member
    January 22, 2019 at 7:12 am

    This going to sound really stupid, but does anyone remember the key for the letter riddles? I think I threw mine out and I can’t remember if the book was TMP 1 or 2 and of the code went “page, sentence , word” or something else.

    Not the paper btw, but the answered riddle.

    • Skylad

      Member
      January 22, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      Nah it was the guide to Magiq and we have all been stumped on the cypher word

      • sdhockaday

        Member
        January 22, 2019 at 10:29 pm

        Ah. That makes sense why I never could make sense of it. I was using the wrong book. :man_facepalming:

        • Skylad

          Member
          January 23, 2019 at 1:30 am

          Hahaha. Look you had fun and that’s the most important part :deirdrexd:

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