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The Writing on the Wall


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I've recently heard of carvings that have been found in one of the tunnels of the Lair. It seems that they point towards a secret way to obtain a Drachorn Charm, if the instructions are followed closely.

 

I don't have time to check this out myself just yet, but maybe if someone would, that person might be able to get it done before me, and maybe get a Charm for their efforts... and i'd dislike that.

 

I've ordered the Tiny Men to not let anybody near those carvings, unless they go directly to the tunnel on the far left and ask for access to the 'Drachorn Carvings'. So, make sure you don't accidentally do that.

 

<Also, i didn't have time triple check everything i made today. If something's fishy and ends up as nonsense, even when you're fairly sure to have the cipher right, send me a note and i'll check again.>

 

Happy questiing!

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Spoiler contains the solution, if you want to riddle for yourself, don't open it yet :)

[spoiler]

Step one:
The first BIG war of Team Brit was WW I, and they largely used a cipher from the 1850s called 'Playfair', the first recorded digraph substitution. It was considered extremely safe for its time, because it doesn't just exchange letters, but take two letters at once and encodes the duo, which takes it from 25 variations to 25 x 25 variations. You can make it extra hard, which i did, of course, by adding a passphrase, in this case BURNS. To make it less obvious, i took out every second space so the digraph part wouldn't be too obvious (there are not too many symetric digraph ciphers you can actually solve with pen and paper).
 
The text i encrpyted that way was:
THEA NCIE NTTE XTWA SSOL VEDB YTHE SONO FJEA NOFS AINT POUR CAIN WHOW ROTE DOWN THES OLUT IONU NDER NEAT HTHE SCRI PTUR EINH ONOR OFOU RFIR STMA STER.
 
Step two:
Following the instructions from above, you'll get to the Viginere cipher, as Blaise de Viginere was born in the little french village mentioned. Vigenere is a fairly simple encryption, but was considered very safe at the time as well, because it allows for a passphrase, too. When a sufficiently long passphrase is used for Viginere, it becomes nigh impossible to crack it without modern crypto tools. The phrase here was SMARTALEKRJ. Upon solving, you'd get this text:
TO READ THE MESSAGE TAKE WORDS FROM THE ADVENTURE LOG AND THE ANNOUNCEMENTS FIRST ONE WORD FROM AL THEN TWO FROM ANN AND SO ON
 
Step three:
You read out the roman numerals and find the 6th word in the 2nd page of AL, then the 4th in the 9th announcement, and so on.
In the end, you get:

Go to the center of everything and speak the magic words: I think Burns is awesome! Take a picture and send it to Burns by Forum PM.

[/spoiler]
 
Which is what dst did yesterday evening.
 
Congrats dst, and to all who didn't read the spoiler yet, happy questing :D

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Well considering:

 

"Rewards: Charms, possible rewards for runner-ups if i feel like it." 

 

I felt like we'd be given the time to complete it ourselves? Rather than be told the answer straight after?

 

I don't mind it being a race, just if I'd known the answers were going to be given straight away (and rule out any possible runner up positions) then I'd have hurried a bit more. Just clarity is nice, that's all.

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Well, it's still a cipher quest, and i posted the solution a day after dst finished it, that leaves plenty of room for runner ups imo :P

 

Some quests can work for everyone on their own time, like the build your own drachorn thing. This right here has a solution, once anyone other than me knows how to win i can't safely say who solved it by themselves and who copied. This doesn't allow for much room between the first correct solution and the end of it.

 

Maybe the next one will have a more permanent character again.

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