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The Witch's Epigraph Chapter 1: The Room of Six Locks



Inspired by When the Seagulls Cry (Umineko no Naku Koro ni)

The difficulty of this chapter is Slightly Taxing. Would you care to guess?

The story so far...

The proprietor of a museum of riddles and mysteries intends to bequeath his entire collection to whoever can best his final challenge. Tonight, the members of this exclusive club have gathered to compete for this prize.

Upon arrival, these guests received sheets of paper giving a set of rules for fair riddling, The Sphinx's Decalogue. On these pages were clues to open a safe and prove their worthiness to enter the Club. The first to solve this safe was...

* Ocean Zweidler, an author of mysteries, who guessed similarly to some of the cleverer posters in the thread. The line below this one is a lie.

* L. V. Ford-Seaton, a child of wealth. Nobody in the thread could have anticipated his answers. The line above this one is a lie.

Regardless of who solved it first, both were admitted entry, as both sets of answers were reasonably derived from the information available to them as individuals.

Now, a new page begins. What will our guests find written in the foyer?

Without hope, the truth cannot be found.

(Note: It’s not necessary to read the first thread to catch up, but these three posts contain relevant information and puzzles:


Suspect #1, Ocean:

Suspect #2, L.V.: )


Chapter 1: The Room of Six Locks

or, The Courtship of the Sapphire Witch

Young Matthew Ford - no relation to the car-maker - was a Wall Street alchemist. He could turn lead into gold, and not only that, he could turn tin into silver, iron into copper, and, judging by the fortune he made in semiconductor commodities trading, silicon into gallium. But he was reckless and wild, winning and losing fortunes on a throw of the dice, until the evening he met the Sapphire Witch.

At the time, she bore a different name. No matter; her magic remained unchanged. Although she was a geneticist in her human life, she knew powerful conjurations and transfigurations, which she taught to Ford in their years of marriage.

Nowadays, it is generally considered impolite to remind Mr. Ford that his wife has passed away. As far as he is concerned, she is alive and well, and wanders the secret passages of his museum every night.


The guests found this page - the very page you are reading - in the foyer. Though normally spacious, boasting tall windows and a grand 39-step staircase, the foyer was cluttered tonight with trunks, tables, and shelves. Amid this paraphernalia, many of the Club’s staff had gathered to present themselves and play their assigned roles.

"Ladies, gentlemen, I don’t mean to alarm you, but there was supposed to have been a signet ring in that first safe," said Lana Rodriguez, the Club librarian, stepping away from a set of bookshelves that held the proprietor’s favorite novels. "It had a big sapphire in it… not easy to miss. I'm afraid that either whoever opened it just now palmed the ring, or somebody broke in early. Bill, anything on the safe's records?"

"Sorry ‘bout the bad news, but I just checked. Looks like someone got in five minutes before we opened." said Bill Jackson, the club's resident tech wizard. He slouched back against a table that carried a model train set.

"My God," said Samuel, the doorman, raising his eyes from a box of vintage 45 records. "I stepped away to shut off the fire alarm! Anyone could've arrived early and opened it!"

Margaret Ye, the proprietor’s attorney, pushed aside the trunk of toys she was assigned to watch over. “Our security guards just locked down the building. Nobody will enter, nobody will leave. Not before we find our culprit.”

The guests protested, but all of the staff had solid alibis. And if they eliminated the eight staff members as suspects... well, there wasn't nearly enough information to figure out who had done it just yet, but perhaps, as the evening wore on, the culprit would slip up. "Maybe it was the Witch!" joked L. V., only to receive angry glares from several of the staff, and, in particular, from a young boy at Mrs. Ye's side.

"You'll regret saying that," said the boy. "The Witch is real. She's gonna take us all to El Dorado."

"Cut it out, Mark." hissed Margaret. "Do I have to send you home?" Then, noticing that the others were staring, she said, "What? Mr. Jackson! Give them the damn riddle!"

Mr. Jackson shook his head and pointed to a tall mahogany cabinet leaning against the wall and bearing an ostentatious lockplate in the shape of a winged man. “Safe’s in here,” said Jackson. “But the key’s somewhere else in this room. Here’s your clue.”

He showed the guests what looked like a crude handicraft made in summer camp, a string of little ornaments. “Some of these are rusted, but you should ignore any oxidation. In fact, you’d better ignore any minor ingredients in these things!” Jackson added, making sure each guest saw it fully. "Start from the end with the sinker. Be careful; it's got sentimental value."

The ornaments were made from glass beads, old fishing sinkers, loops of lead-free solder, and steel rings, and were arranged as follows:

Sinker, Glass, Glass, Solder, Steel, Sinker, Glass, Sinker, Glass

Racing to make sense of this clue, the guests rummaged through the room for the hidden key. Some dug through the bookshelves for reference materials, while others used their smartphones to access the Internet..

At last, a clever guest found the key hidden inside a small object, which I shall leave for you to guess. But when they opened the cabinet, the safe confronted them with yet another challenge - a combination lock that bore a compass rose around its dial, rather than numbers, and a sheet of paper bearing the following maze of arrows.


And this is far from the last of this room's riddles.

Give up! If you give up, surely someone else will guess it for you!

Stop thinking! Go find a game where there is one "answer" to every problem!

STOP! Leave this place, and my secrets will be safe.


The Witch of Doubt

Edited by WitchOfDoubt
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I suspect that Molly Mae simply recognized that Thalia found out that the Witch and the Sapphire Witch might not be the same in post 118, based on the boy's comments. Molly used that in a blue statement to challenge the Witch because the question was dodged in the reply on post 119.

I have other questions in mind that I don't think are yet meant to be answered. But one that does face us now is, whatever became of the sound of a sliding tile that was heard when the button to reveal the Witch's Epigraph was pressed?

(Good question.)

A Red cylinder rose from the floor around the Sapphire Witch, a final shield against the repeated strikes of the Blue Truth. But even that wouldn't help for long, and the boy seemed torn about what to do in response to this.

Then Aziraphael made a speculation - not in the Blue, but loud enough for the boy to hear :

The original Sapphire Witch is dead. Whether posession of the ring of Red Truth grants the title of Sapphire Witch is as yet unconfirmed...

I have firm suspicions as to who the 'Sapphire Witch' and the Witch of Secrets are though.

The boy stared into space. "The title. So you weren't lying at all..." He shut his eyes, and the room went absolutely dark.

"What are you doing?" snarled the Witch of Secrets, her face lit an eerie red by the glow of her scythe.

Slowly, the contents of the room - the table, the typewriter, the cabinet, and even the Sapphire Witch - glowed with dim auras of gold. The halos brightened and coalesced into will-o'-the-wisps, which rose from their places and danced around the boy, circling closer and closer about his head. One by one, they dove inside his mind and vanished, and when the last was gone, a new person stood in the boy's place, a Witch clad in a conical hat and an iridescent cape. He had defected from the Human Side. Seeing this, the Sapphire Witch smiled, and focused harder on holding off the Blue Truth.

With the new danger apparent, the Witch of Secrets swooped in to end this fight for good:

Our host is not the Sapphire Witch!

In response, the new Witch raised his staff. "I am the Opal Sorcerer," he said, "the Witch of Promises." Then, in a flash, he enveloped the Sapphire Witch in a mantle of Golden Truth!

And our host truly is the Sapphire Witch!


Congratulations! You've solved all of the puzzles necessary to find the Witch's Epigraph, dispelled the illusion of the locked room and the stolen ribbon, and revealed something of the Witch's true nature. Will you join us again when the next chapter begins?

Chapter Two: The Helix and the Rose

(or, The Legacy of the Sapphire Witch)




Chapter 1: The Room of Six Locks,

or, The Courtship of the Sapphire Witch

Puzzles, Art, and Writing:


Inspired by:

"When the Seagulls Cry" (Umineko no Naku Koro Ni)



A. B.


Cast of 2011:


Kenichi Nakamura,

Ocean Zweidler

Alicia Tressler

Nat Foreman

L. V. Ford-Seaton

Walter Sexton

Batsheva Ellis

Otto Rinaldi


Lana Rodriguez

Margaret Ye

Samuel Clayton

Bill Jackson

Maria Brand

Sal Lucas

Jaime LaSalle

Celia Marquez


Mark Ye

Unknown Person X

Cast of 2021:


The boy


Molly Mae









Witches and Animates:


Annabel, the Sapphire Witch, Witch of Doubt

Thalassa, the Crimson Witch, Witch of Secrets

????????, the Opal Sorcerer, Witch of Promises


S. C. Dudeney

Ms. Cox


Music (in order of appearance):

"Witch's Chess": "Golden Sneer", Umineko soundtrack

"Never Stop Thinking": "Hope", Umineko soundtrack

"The Remains are Discovered": "Dead Angle", Umineko soundtrack

"First Duel": "Liberated Liberator", Umineko Chiru soundtrack

"Victory": "Golden Nocturne (instrumental)", Umineko Chiru soundtrack

"Second Duel": "Fake Red Shoes", Umineko soundtrack

"Rain and Reminiscence": "Fall", Umineko soundtrack

"Scarlet Scythe": "Executioner", Umineko soundtrack

"End Credits": "Birth of a New Witch", Umineko soundtrack

Thanks for playing!

Edited by WitchOfDoubt
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registered there yesterday and sent a friend request. wouldn't let me pm until establishing myself with "some posts" and am not that adventurous. similar issue at one other site. let's hope.

Gah, you got me. I was going to play "mysteriously creepy person attempting to suggest he return to a former residence" or something.

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The Sea of Fragments

This is the void between worlds, where the Fragments of tales finished or untold float like crystalline stars, shining through the endless expanse of possibility. Human minds do not survive long in this immense space - they lose the will the breathe or scatter into their component thoughts.

One such Fragment has floated far from the others. It bears the form of a wine bottle with a blue crystal stopper, slowly spinning in oblivion. The vintage is 2011. This is the gameboard. Frozen in time, it drifts to the void, consigned to oblivion.



A gloved hand reaches through the void to grasp the bottle. Gently, it pulls out the stopper. Gently, it slides the Fragment, a roll of parchment from inside. It is an entire world, bound at its equator in golden thread.

A sickle materializes in the voyager's other hand, its blade bright and terribly sharp.

"Finally, the tale of the Sapphire Witch," says the Witch of Secrets, who has journeyed far through the Sea of Fragments to recover this gameboard. "Come. Your teller despaired of ever rediscovering you, and attempted to recreate you from the start in another place, in another world. But you are not finished!"

With a single swipe, she slices through the thread that bound the story in darkness, and the pages come free.

"Remember what you once were. Remember. Remember."

The gameboard flickered to life...

? ? ? ? ?

Now there are two stories, told in parallel. How fitting!

I imagine that some of you have already 'peeked' at that other Fragment. I discourage such cheating, but I can hardly stop you. But if you assume that what holds true in that gameboard is likewise true here, you may be in for a shock!

I am not the Sapphire Witch you know so well. I am neither as kind nor as patient. My scythe cuts truth from lies; my sickle cleaves delusion from reality.

This board is under my protection now, and if you seek a Truth that is palatable to Humans, you must fight for every shred of it.

The tale will resume soon enough. I look forward to our confrontation.

With fond regards,

The Witch of Secrets

? ? ? ? ?

Edited by WitchOfSecrets
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This. Is. Awesome. The tone is phenomenal, even better than the CRY anime I've seen. I look forward to the next chapters. :D

And I hope that there's a second season of Umineko that explains wth was going on as well as the second season of Higarashi did.

I absolutely love the concept of a puzzle/adventure/story. So much I'm inspired by it. Hmm...

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The new chapter will begin with an opener that requires absolutely no knowledge of the previous threads to play! This will definitely help get new people involved. After that, I will index relevant posts with notes so that people can get up to speed on the most vital details.

Yoruichi-san: Thanks! It's good to have an Umineko watcher here!

If you want to know what was going on in Umineko, I recommend playing the translated sound novels! I never watched much of the anime because (I was told) it omitted the clues that were needed to have any chance of solving the story. The Witch Hunt translation group did a phenomenal job of translating the novels, with translator's notes and everything.

I'll be posting the new thread pretty soon, I think! I just need to check up on a few things.

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