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WitchOfSecrets

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  1. A short puzzle, as I take a break from Epigraph writing. To get each answer, remove a letter from the one before, then add a letter. Doing this to the last answer can also get you the first answer. 1. Soft drink brand 2. Metal cylinder 3. Hunger Games character 4. Brownish-grey color
  2. I'm not going to get the minimum, but let's try a starting guess.
  3. (It begins! Thank you for your patience!) Veritas: A Mystery of Locks and Keys Our ad says, Judgment and Justice: Security Consultants. I’m Justice, security expert. My partner, Judgment, is a detective. Together, we unravel mysteries and basically make sure that masked phantom thieves doesn’t run off with the Mystic Jewels of Whatever. I guess you could think of me as a Watson to Judgment’s Holmes, or something like that. It’s not always an easy job… let me tell you about a particularly tricky case. It happened – as this kind of case always ought to happen – in an isolated place. Keeps the suspect list limited. It was Castle Dauntless, a medieval stronghold high in the mountains of Freedonia, home of the Scarlet Idol of Veritas. They were holding a big shindig on Saturday night, and wanted us to check out their security and make sure nothing went wrong. I think they’re going to want their money back. ***** “In case you’re wondering,” said Ocean, “any sentence in that story that is in black – in short, the narration – is guaranteed to be literally true. It’s as good as Red Truth.” “I’ll even confirm it in Red for you,” said THALASSA. “Just to be polite.” Here, the narrator’s words are equivalent to Red Truth. “And you shouldn’t need – nor rely upon - any outside information whatsoever:” This mystery can be solved using solely the information provided by the narration and the characters within it. Truths discovered in this tale should not be assumed to hold anywhere else. “Let us continue,” smiled THALASSA. **** Judgment and I arrived at the Castle at noon on the day of the gala. The proprietor of the Castle, the Queen of Swords, was there to greet us as we got in. It was a drafty old place, but the chamber where the Idol was being kept seemed fairly secure – one door, one window two stories up, and a sturdy lock. “Hmm. Some old castles have secret passages in ‘em,” I said. “Yes… I’ve heard of escape tunnels and ‘priest holes,’” added my partner. “I hope we won’t have to worry about that.” “There aren’t any secret passages in Castle Dauntless,” replied the Queen, laughing. “And thank goodness for that. Can you imagine what the servants would get up to?” “Speaking of the staff,” said Justice, “do you trust them? How many are there?” “There are seven, not including myself,” said the Queen. “Two of whom normally handle security, but who are willing to let you take command of that for tonight. I trust them all. None of the seven staff members would ever steal from the Castle, and none of them would ever knowingly assist someone in doing so. I’m afraid that I can’t say the same for the eight guests who will be arriving shortly…” **** “Time out,” said SHIN. “What’s this purple text all about?” “The purple text is testimony,” said THALASSA. “The narrator’s words in black must be true, but the same can’t be said of testimony.” “A thief,” explained Ocean, steepling her fingers, “is unlikely to always be forthright, no?” SHIN sighed. “Idol’s gonna get stolen? What a surprise.” THALASSA ignored this. “Allow me to confirm a few rules in red:” When someone who is not a culprit makes a statement in purple, that statement is equivalent to Red Truth. Only a culprit can lie in purple! A culprit is defined here as someone who stole the Idol or deliberately aided a culprit, with the intent of sharing the profits later. There are fewer than four culprits. The Detective is not a culprit. **** Saturday, 12:44 PM. Nine of Swords, one of the security staff, had given us the keys to our rooms on big iron keyrings, and we unpacked our bags. I was in the Firefly Room on the second floor. Judgment was in the Wagstaff Room, third floor. After we got unpacked, we met up in the Security room, a modified cell on the first floor, near the entrance, that’d been rigged full of electronics and video feeds. Inside, Nine of Swords and Ten of Swords were waiting. “Hope y’all are getting settled in okay!” said Nine of Swords. “Afternoon,” said Ten of Swords, the other security guard. “Very sorry I couldn’t meet you earlier; I was seeing to the alarms.” “Don’t worry. We’re comfortable,” said Judgment, shrugging and then changing the subject. “I noticed that these keyrings are rather old-fashioned. It’s hard to open or close them, isn’t it?” “That’s right!” said Nine of Swords. “There's no way to put keys on or take them off without a unique wrench, which is in that key cabinet.” He pointed to a cabinet of keys behind him, and to a ring on his belt. “In there, we've got all the keys to this Castle, except the ones I’ve passed out already, and I’m the only one with a key to open it.” “I see,” said Judgment. “Ms. Ten, can you please tell us a little about the alarm system?” “We’ve got alarms on all the outside doors and on the glass case holding the Idol. They can be turned on or off from this panel here, using this key.” She held up her keyring and pointed to a nondescript steel key. “There aren’t any other keys or panels for the alarms. We’ve also got cameras in many of the rooms – none of the bedrooms, of course.” A row of monitors over her head displayed jittery live feeds of the room with the idol, the grand hall, the banquet hall, the entryway, the exit to the back garden, and the kitchen. All were hooked up to a bank of digital recorders. “Good,” I said. “What else can you tell me about the security here?” “Every key opens only one door,” said Nine of Swords. “Except for two Master Keys, which opens any door but the Security Room and the Key Cabinet, the Outside Door Key, which opens all the outside doors, and of course the Alarm Key, which only turns the alarm on or off. I have one Master Key, and Queen of Swords has the other. Besides that, we try to make it so that people can only open the doors they need to open.” I nodded. “Since you’re taking over for us tonight,” said Ten of Swords, sounding a little relieved that she wouldn’t have to mess about with the stress of organizing security for a party, “We’d better give you our Alarm and Master Keys.” Grunting and nodding, Nine produced his keyring and unlocked the key cabinet. Inside, eight keyrings remained hanging in place, each labeled with a piece of white tape bearing a name. Next to them, a wrench hung. Taking the keyrings from Judgment, Ten, and me, he carefully unfastened them – a non-trivial process – and moved the Alarm key from Ten’s keyring onto mine, and the Master Key from his own keyring onto Judgment’s. He then noted the change in the Key Log, a sheet of paper with notes transcribed in indelible ink, put the key to the key cabinet on Judgment’s keyring, and locked the wrench back inside the key cabinet. During the whole process, I noticed, Nine was careful not to switch the keys or keyrings. Seeing as they looked totally alike, exceptfor the taped labels, it would’ve been an easy mistake to make. “Right now,” said Nine, tapping the key log, “the following people have these keys: KEY LOG, AS OF12:50 (records kept by Nine) Nine of Swords: Spaulding Room Key Ten of Swords: Spaulding Room Key Queen of Swords: Master Key. Page of Swords: Hackenbush Room Key; Kitchen Key. Knight of Swords: Driftwood Room Key; Electrical Closet Key. King of Swords: Driftwood Room Key; Outside Door Key. Temperance: Hammer Room Key Strength: Miller Room Key; Kitchen Key. Judgment: Wagstaff Room Key; Master Key; Key Cabinet Key Justice: Firefly Room Key; Alarm Key “Doesn’t the Security Room have a key?” asked Judgment. “Nope, not even the Master Key works on the Security Room,” said Nine of Swords. “This keypad opens it.” He punched in the combination, 1979, on the keypad just outside the security room door, and it slid open silently. “Right now, only us, the two of you, the Queen, and the Knight of Swords know the combination. Please try to keep it that way.” “Of course,” replied Judgment. “Now, before the guests arrive, I believe we have some investigating to do. Thank you for all your help, sirs. Justice, I believe we should…” Judgment and Justice have three hours until the guests arrive, and may choose to do any of the following: * Question somebody (30 minutes per person) * Investigate a location in the Castle (30 minutes per location) If desired, they can split up to cover more ground. Please submit your choices; I will step through the actions in the order they are submitted until you run out of time.
  4. (I'm fixing some plot holes on a giant series of posts - sorry for the delay!)
  5. This definitely helps. I'll give it a go when I'm done editing and rewriting the mystery interlude of my TWE!
  6. (Whew! It's been a long week. Aaryan: My apologies if this is tough to follow! It was supposed to be solvable using only this thread, but the Human Side has taken advantage of the duel to clear up mysteries from earlier. On the bright side, there are a few puzzles coming up soon that will pretty much take us through the first thread, page-by-page, with guidance, so newcomers can catch up. A clarification: When someone is stated to be a Witch in Red, it does not mean that literal magical Witches are confirmed to exist, but that said speaker carries the identity of the Witch in question. I don't want to confuse the newer posters by putting those statements in Gold rather than Red. Spoilers are not mandatory during Witch Duels, but should be used at other times.) (Theme: ) Where was the trick? There had to be a trick somewhere. Striking again and again, circling the Witches and chipping away at the mystery, the Human Side made astoundingly short work of the barrier raised by Gardner! But suspicion hung in the air... this was far too simple for THALASSA. Molly Mae attempted to dispel all illusions in one blow: SHIN ducked the blow and answered with a decisive Red Truth: "In the last chapter, you broke the enchantment that made a typewriter into an Animate's Vessel, right?" Well, take this: Dudeney didn't run on electricity! Electricity can make a Witch's magic easier to do, but it's not the innate nature of magic. I don't deny that Pinyin is usually the best way to go, for many reasons. But this spelling isn't just deliberate - it's a subtle clue that I expected to bring up later. A clash of blue on steel! Thalia cleanly shattered the sickle that had countered Plainglazed's attack. Blue Truth effective! The weight of evidence broke through Gardner's cage, exposing THALASSA's rose. It would not take much to remove it now. Hurriedly, she ordered Gardner to create another cage, but a quick glance at the Human conversations showed that there was little they could work with to defend the Tower of Sorcery. The Humans had identified the Vessels of the Cabinet of Miniatures - microfiche. They had identified the books. The safes - could she press them on the safes? No, they didn't have enough clues to prove the nature of the safes, even if they could make certain guesses. But as she prepared to yield, SHIN leapt in front of her, presenting himself as a shield! "THALASSA, they can't prove anything until they deal with the Tower of Lights! Gardner, charge up!" "It was stated:" SHIN swung his sickle to capture the attack: If it's not a magical Tower, why is there a sacrificial Tower inside of it? THALASSA shook her head. "If they get yours," she said, her voice slipping higher for a moment, "then they've got us both! What are you doing?!" But SHIN resolved to put his riddle in front of THALASSA's to defend her. The next strike, from Molly Mae, was targeted at a Sorcerer and a Human who was (were?) not present at the table. As such, it could not possibly be effective: THALASSA smiled thinly, and her confidence seemed to return. What had happened just a moment before? "I'd expect a Human to say it the other way around: 'The Ruby Sorcerer represents Nat Foreman.' To say that Nat Foreman represents the Ruby Sorcerer is to imply that the Sorcerer is real, and Nat Foreman is a mere Vessel for him. Which is certainly true to us Witches, but which the Human Side can't accept without ceding the game entirely!" Outstanding! In-story, the Club is a specific real-world place, disguised in a layer of fiction. Out-of-story, this place does not exist in its entirety, but is a combination of two or three locations that do exist. You've found one of the real-world analogues that the Club represents! That said, I confirmed earlier that at least one of the earthquakes was a literal earthquake, and there aren't many earthquakes in New York. Meta-fiction with composite locations sure is confusing. Plasmid made a tactical lunge, a maneuver that would cut off the Witch Side's ability to retreat: The daemons are alive. SHIN and THALASSA winced simultaenously, for Plasmid had just hit on one of the central rules of the game: Blue Truth effective. Animates have non-Human Vessels; Daemons and Witches have Human Vessels. Molly Mae's attack - identifying the Tower of Light as the Times Square ball, was countered swiftly: The Times Square ball is not the Tower of Light, nor any part of it! And this left Yoruichi-san and Plasmid to deliver two devastating blows: Though THALASSA and SHIN tried to counter in vain, both of their roses were scattered to the air and faded into nothing. The duel was over far sooner than the Humans had anticipated, and the game board already began to show the signs of their victory. The Crimson Apprentice now wandered the halls of a library, spying upon the security guards and the people on the floor below. Slowly, flickering images arose from scrolls left by the Sapphire Witch: ... a keypad by the front door... ... a room with a typewriter in a locked cabinet, for traditionalists... ... a computer center... ... shelves and shelves of books, CDs, records, and microfiche... ... a Club meeting after-hours to hunt for a series of electronically-sealed puzzle boxes, locks, and riddles... ... and still the promise of disappearances that would remain unsolved for years. "Well," said SHIN. "That was fast." "Ha," replied THALASSA. "I hardly expected this one to last long! Do you honestly believe -" But she was interrupted by the arrival of a woman - the last woman the Humans would have expected to see. She was approaching middle age, slender, blue-eyed, with a smile like a scythe blade. "Good evening," she said, in a voice with just the faintest trace of accent. "I'm just here to watch, don't mind me." At her side was Fanshawe of the Shining Eye. SHIN turned to her and back to THALASSA. "Please, um, sit down." "I'm not dueling," she said, eyeing the assembled Human guests critically. "It would be unfair for me to step in for the Human Side, wouldn't it? I'll stand. I'm sorry, I'm afraid you all have quite the advantage! You've read all about me, but I don't know any of you." She bowed - was there a trace of irony in that bow? - and smiled. "Hello. I'm Ocean Zweidler." "If you're wondering if she's making this up," said SHIN, a little bitterly. "I'm afraid not." That really is the person you know as Ocean Zweidler. "I hope this doesn't ruin too many theories," added THALASSA, with absolutely no sincerity whatsoever. "Of course, I am not Ocean." This chapter hasn't ended yet... The next challenge is a detective story set in a parallel world, which truly requires no knowledge of the story to solve. If the Human Side triumphs here, they will learn who stole the ring, and shall proceed to the Epigraph itself. If they cannot, I shall claim victory. With all due regards, The Witch of Secrets
  7. Some of the clues, but not all, seem to point to...
  8. Potok approached, charged his sword with the evidence of the existence of a 'landing', and made a broad, wide sweep with the Blue Truth: But the attack was so broad and wide that SHIN countered it one-handed using the Red blade in his off-hand: Maybe the Tower is neither actual nor fictional; another option would be that it's both actual and fictional. ---- ---- With more than enough evidence to strike, Plasmid joined the fray! THALASSA knew perfectly well what he meant, but deflected the attack with a Red Truth, laughing: I am not the holder of Fanshawe of the Shining Eye! I am the Crimson Witch, not the Crimson Apprentice. ---- Gardner blocked the attack with another cage. "It Has Been Stated:" Taking energy from Gardner's cage, THALASSA caught Yoruichi-san's blade on her sickle edge: Which Tower do you claim is not large enough to stand in? The Tower of Sorcery, or the Tower of Light? ---- Then, something truly unexpected happened. By taking two pieces of information out of context, Plasmid generated just enough evidence to attack another member of the Human Side! Since there wasn't even a rose to strike there, the blade whistled through air. But it counted as an attack on the Witch Side - a deliberate attempt to pry the veil of illusions from the events of 2011 - so the opposite side's Blue Truth rematerialized, ready to attack. Grudgingly, the Witch of Secrets slashed out with a quick Red Truth to shatter the blade: By the rules these duels follow, the Witch Side is not required to respond to Blue Truths claiming that Witches are Humans of any kind. As the duelists paused to make sense of Plasmid's strategic move, SHIN gestured with his scythe blade. "Remember how Dudeney had that typewriter as a Vessel? Maybe Witches have human Vessels, maybe they don't. This doesn't mean that the Witch and the Vessel are the same thing. The Opal Sorcerer is not Mark." ---- Then, charging his blade with powerful evidence, Molly Mae attacked THALASSA and took off several petals from her rose! It remained largely intact, but his strike was such that no block by the Witch or Gardner was remotely possible: Blue Truth effective. ---- With swift precision, Thalia followed up on that strike: THALASSA had expected this move, but still flinched away, losing another petal. Blue Truth effective. ---- While disguising the Club as the Tower could have potentially fooled the Human Side, it seemed that it had drawn them closer to the answer. Some already suspected the truth, and needed only to amass their evidence. The Tower of Light remained undamaged, however...
  9. (This is impressive coordination by the Human Side. You've practically cracked the Tower of Sorcery wide open, but I have a reason for prolonging this duel. Played well, it can shed a lot of light on this thread and the earlier ones...) It had begun! Molly Mae had charged his sword and made the first strike, aiming for THALASSA. She stepped back slightly, so that the blade wouldn't come near her rose, and let the red scythe blade catch the brunt of the attack: Blue Truth effective. But what does this tell you of the tower? Plainglazed then took his seat at the table, on the opposite side from Molly Mae, charged his sword with a line, and lashed out with a Blue Truth, hoping to knock the rose from SHIN! SHIN swung up with his red blade to counter, but before he could, a clang resounded through the room. Plainglazed's Blue Truth had struck not SHIN, but a steel-grey, rectangular cage! Bars of ghostly iron had materialized between him and his target, and in the center of them, standing by the Opal Sorcerer's side, was a pallid Animate in a gray headband. Even with the weight of the evidence he provided, he could not smash through this barrier - more would be needed. "I am Gardner, the Cage of Thoughts," said the Animate. "Against the black iron in my belly, mere speculation shatters." THALASSA smiled and drew two small sickles, one of which she tossed to SHIN, who caught it casually in midair. These blades were neither of Red nor Blue, but a ghostly grey, and were both more and less powerful than the Red Truth. "Now," she said to SHIN and the Animate. "Strike together!" Gardner's voice boomed. "It Has Been Stated:" As the black cage solidified, so did SHIN's sickle, and he captured Plainglazed's blade with its hook. If the Tower of Sorcery is just a Library, what were those daemons?
  10. That was right! Of course, the Sapphire Witch had died, so she wouldn't be there, but the Opal Apprentice and the eight other Witches should be. The Crimson Apprentice slipped through the halls of the Tower, where old souls were bound for many purposes, and took note of her environs. There was the Great Entry, with its grand stairway and shining tower of green, which was surrounded by a conveyance propelled by neither horse nor steam nor gasoline. There was the Room of Caged Minds, where mute Animates of great power revealed and dispatched messages of distant lands. Then there was Dudeney's banquet hall, where that old Animate crouched. And everywhere there were the Walls of Souls, where ancient minds awaited summoning. The Cabinets of Miniatures, too, held a great many souls, but these required a conjurer's apparatus to summon. But before the Apprentice could think further on this, she heard footsteps approaching and ducked around a corner as two daemons approached. One was slender, the other portly, and both walked with measured confidence. "The Mistress has forced long, wakeful hours upon us," grumbled the portly one. "To work thus on the eve of a new year is atrocious." "Nobody can know," replied the other, coolly. "Would you wish for this to be discovered, were you in her position?" The Crimson Apprentice furrowed her brow with worry and summoned her Animate, Fanshawe of the Shining Eye. Fanshawe was a superb mimic, and could ape the voices of others with ease -- or even their faces, if need demanded. "The gate's locked." The first demon smiled easily, reflecting on the last set of sacrifices. "Nobody will go back there until the time is right. Disappearances are commonplace here, in any case!" Ducking further into the shadows as the guards passed by, the girl wondered just who - or what - was going to disappear... ***** The Banquet of 2021 had reopened, yet the Sapphire Witch was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the Witch of Secrets stood at one end of the table, the Opal Sorcerer at the other. When the guests had last seen them, the two had hardly been on good terms, but for now the young man seemed willing to cooperate with THALASSA. "SHIN," said the Witch of Secrets as she waited for the guests to take their seats, "use the Red Truth sparingly. What the Red Truth says must be true, while the Blue Truth delivers only guesses. To trade a powerful Red Truth for every weak guess is idiocy." "I get it," said the Opal Sorcerer. "No freebies." "Good," said the Witch of Secrets, summoning a scarlet scythe. "Mercy isn't in my nature." (Theme: ) A red rose materialized upon her shoulder as she spoke her challenge: This is the Duel of the Towers. You have fought the Sapphire Witch for Animates - mere pieces - but this time, you shall fight for your right to stand upon the board at all. The Crimson Apprentice has entered a Tower of Sorcery and inexplicable magic. Deny this if you can. A red rose appeared upon the Opal Sorcerer's shoulder as well: Within the Tower of Sorcery stands a magical Tower of Light, where sacrificial offerings are made. Deny that if you can! ---- As before, blue roses materialized upon the guests' shoulders, along with blue swords on the table before them. But this time, the swords were barely visible, even ghostlier than before. "These swords are more difficult to use than the ones you are accustomed to," said the Witch of Secrets. "Before every strike with the Blue, you must charge them with evidence - a quotation or a line of reasoning. You cannot simply swing wildly and hope to strike, as if you were waving a flyswatter!" The Opal Sorcerer demonstrated by charging a sword: At once, the translucent blade ceased to flicker. He raised it and slashed at the shoulder of the Witch of Secrets: The Tower is a maximum-security prison! The Witch of Secrets easily parried with the handle of her scythe: The Tower is not a maximum-security prison, nor a minimum-security prison, nor anything else in between! "Now... who will take the first strike?" Rules: This is a Witch Duel. The Human Side's goal is to use the Blue Truth to knock the roses off the shoulders of the Witch of Secrets and the Witch of Promises. You must announce which of the two Witches you are aiming for as you strike. Every strike with the Blue Truth will require evidence in its support. Evidence may be reused. It is possible to win using only information in the current thread, but the prior threads contain clues as well. Every guest may strike with the Blue Truth, including newcomers. Arrivals will be seated quickly, but may use Blue Truth in their first post. Guests do not need to wait for confirmation of prior exchanges in order to strike. Thus, many may strike before the Witches have a chance to reply. However, the same guest may not strike twice until another guest has had a chance to attack. Of course, a Blue Truth theory may contain multiple ideas. In addition, two guests from the same side of the table may not strike consecutively. If they do, all strikes but the first will be ignored. It is greatly preferable that Blue Truth be written in blue. If this is technically impossible, it may be denoted thus: (BLUE)The Tower is an amusement park.(BLUE) The table as it is now: Let the duel begin!
  11. What about this one? I've heard a variant on this one before, but I've never actually worked the logic for the BEST answer. Here's a reasonably intuitive answer, though, that's similar to superprismatic's approach:
  12. Hmm, I'm thinking that perhaps...
  13. It was a Witch's golem, a creature shaped into a human likeness from a magical substance that can be formless as a ghost, gentle as a caress, or unyielding as bone. Its eyes were cold and dead, and yet they could burn with terrible intensity. Its shawl did not protect it from cold, for cold was itself its element. And while most creatures are made of what they eat, a part of this golem was made of what we eat.
  14. (I will post something more substantive later, after work, but...) The Golden Truth is not the truth it seems - A trickster's bright façade, a cloak for lies. The Golden City is a ghost of dreams; Seek not the lost, nor trouble them to rise. - The Witch of Secrets
  15. (Thanks for your patience! I'm seeing definite progress on figuring out the honorifics, aspects, and names of the Witches! Nicely speculated. This will take you very far in the next puzzle! In terms of the Xin/Shin distinction - I've actually thought of that! But there's more than one way to romanize that character besides the Pinyin...) Opal Sorcerer.  THALASSA, your tricks are as clever as you,   Your quick misdirections to mystify scholars -  But I've learned how to beat them; I'll solve this one, too.   (I think that you owe me ten dollars.)  The answer is... Witch of Secrets.  I grudgingly admit that EPSILON  Has disenchanted my fine letter-cage;   Perhaps he'll grace us with a spell tonight   That I may strike a counterblow in turn. THALASSA, the Crimson Witch, Witch of Secrets Sapphire Witch.  In time, THALASSA. Now, I must announce   A Truth that may dismay you all to hear.  I do not wish to dampen your high spirits,  But I am slipping, passing far away  To El Dorado, fading day by day.  The choice of my successor will be made  Through one last game. My husband has agreed,  As have my son and dearest confidants.  The Keeper of the Books will oversee;  The Keeper of the Writ will bear my tools;  The Ruby Sorcerer shall bear my words. Crimson Apprentice.  You can't die. You aren't going to die. Sapphire Witch.  I will be back, young friend - not as I am,  Not as the Witch you know and love so well.  But on some distant night, when you are sad,  You'll hear me through the dark. I'll whisper, "SHIN,  Believe that I am here, and I will come  To bring you hope and help you seek the truth."   This is the vow of ANNABEL the Witch. ********* The Crimson Apprentice was no ordinary Witch-in-training. She was skeptical, quick-witted, thirteen years old, and, technically, guilty of breaking and entering. She had followed her mother to the Great Tower of Hapax, where she knew a great final ritual was to occur. Her mother had insisted she not come, because a fight was likely as the Witches squabbled over the Epigraph. But that was hardly fair! Just because they were going to behave badly hardly meant that she should be denied the chance to solve the Epigraph herself. Getting into the Tower would have proven a challenge had the fortuitous clamor of alarum bells not distracted the ones guarding the gates. She slipped in as one of them dashed out, and planned her mode of infiltration. First, she would go upstairs and spy on them from the landing as they solved the first riddles, staying clear of the daemons who patrolled the halls and the enchantments that guarded the tomes and devices of the Tower. How many Witches would be coming? Eight? She reflected on those who had attended the Banquet of a few months before, when she and the other Apprentice had presented their first riddles... A Round Table of Witches * There were nine Witches and two Apprentices at the Banquet related above. A Sorcerer is an alternative term for a male Witch, but not all male Witches use it. Some simply call themselves Witches. * The symbols of these Witches are given in the title card for this chapter, arranged as they were seated. As it happened, nobody sat directly next to anyone they were married to or related to by blood. (The Ruby Sorcerer and Sapphire Witch were indeed married at this time.) * Each witch has a TRUE NAME (given in all capitals), an Honorific containing a color or gemstone, and an Aspect, such as Secrets or Vision. At the time of the Banquet, ANNABEL's Honorific was Witch of Vision. * No Witch may have more than one Honorific, one TRUE NAME, and one Aspect at the same time. However, these may be changed or inherited. * HOMUNCULUS was the oldest one in attendance. The Witch of Transmutation was older than ANNABEL, who was older than HERMETICUS, who was older than the Monochrome Witch, who was older than the Witch of Joy, who was older than the Amber Witch, who was older than EPSILON, SHIN, THALASSA, and ESPER. * ALICE, the Witch of Connections, sat between the Witch of Masks and the Gray Sorcerer (also known as the Witch of Sighs). * The Agate Witch sat next to the Witch of Ciphers, whose symbol and Aspect are closely linked. The symbol and Aspect of the Witch of Masks were also obviously connected. * FAUSTUS, who was older than the Witch of Joy and younger than the Witch of Curiosity, sat next to the Witch of Secrets. * The Witch of Ciphers is not the Amber Witch.
  16. (Fantastic going! I'll be updating this weekend, or possibly earlier!)
  17. WitchOfSecrets

    "what is a joke?"

    Hmm... a variation you haven't heard yet... let me see... A person said to the doctor, "Doctor I have a memory problem." Doctor, "How long had you have this problem?" Person, " what problem?"
  18. Witch of Ciphers.  I can fit thirteen  Witches on the checkerboard;  That must be the most. Witch of Joy.  If all of the witches are black,  I'd say that we're on the wrong track;   You can fit many more,   I would say sixty-four!  (Witches on the same side can't attack.) Opal Apprentice.  Thirteen is, um, what I was looking for.  MIMULUS, that's a good guess, but I think  It really goes against the Sphinx's Sixth.  I trust with loyal faith, so I hate tricks  That make you think a puzzle's something else.    Cool solving, EDOGAWA! And I swear  I'll be the Witch of Promises someday. SHIN, the Opal Apprentice, Witch of Promises Witch of Secrets (aside, to audience)  My spell has chained them all with misdirection;   The riddles that they've known become their fetters.  Their sights set low, the truth escapes detection --   They cannot see outside the cage of letters!
  19. Nice riddle! I hope to see more riddle triads/dyads from people; sorry my computer was kind of being troublesome when this was posted!
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