In which one looks to the god for answers.
Visiting /echidnamarinettemedusamorgenrowenasulochana/baldomeraglimpsedintheconcursum reveals the following text:
“Last night I saw B. in the Concursum. I had not expected it at all. I don’t believe that she saw me. Perhaps she wouldn’t even recognise me, what I am now after after all this time. (But I think that she would recognise me. I would recognise her in a crowd, in candle-light in silhouette, glimpsed in a ballroom mirror, even had she aged these decades too.). I am badly shaken. I suppose that the Concursum is the place that this sort of thing is bound to happen.
“Even now I know the temptation to go to the Lodge, to ask her directly – whether she has taken a side – if she still speaks to the Ligeians – whether she knows where it is. (Old man, you’re lying. There is only one question you really want to ask. The others are just excuses.)”
– Illopoly, ‘Sunset Diaries’, January 1982
[Update; look to the god.]
The only relevant hint text here are the last two lines. “Update” has a double meaning, referencing both the update which added “Janus” to the game and the date located just above (specifically “January”, which is often thought to stem from the word “Janus”). Additionally, “look to the god” references the Locksmith’s Dream 4, which mentions that “Janus is the Gatekeeper.” All clues therefore point to janus, which leads to /echidnamarinettemedusamorgenrowenasulochana/janus, containing the following text:
‘Without Language there can be no Wordes. Without Wordes there can be no Message. But only in Silence can there be no Error; and Lo, even in that Beginning, before the Conclusion of that First of Messages, was an Error. Thus did we enter the Upper Part of the House of the Sun – ‘
– Julian Coseley, ‘The Fallen Cross’
The page linked to by ‘The Fallen Cross’ contains a slightly different version of the above text:
‘Without Language there can be no Wordes. Without Wordes there can be no Message. But only in Silence can there be no Error; and Lo, even in that Beginning, in that First of Messages, was an Error. Thus did we enter the HOUSE OF THE SUNNE.’
– Julian Cosely, ‘The Vanquish’d Cross’
Both texts reference the mailing list email from Phase IV (“that First of Messages”), which contained the typo “LOndon” (the “Error”). This then leads to /echidnamarinettemedusamorgenrowenasulochana/LO (titled “Our Friend”) containing the following:
“My landlady has been questioned. By ‘a very nice man’, she says, but a very nice man who asked peculiar questions. Whether, for instance, I cut my hair before I sleep. Time to move on.
I can’t put it off any longer: I’ll have go to Port Noon. I can’t imagine our friend is still there in the hills, but someone may know where she’s gone. I will be met with contempt, if I’m fortunate, and suspicion, if I’m not, but I’m no threat to the Long.
“I have a cabin on the Queen Juno, leaving tomorrow. I find, to my surprise, that I’m looking forward to it. I cannot but be curious about the place. I’m even looking forward to seeing Coseley again, although I imagine I may feel differently, a couple of lectures in.”
– Illopoly, ‘Sunset Diaries’, February 1975
The key word here is juno, which leads to /echidnamarinettemedusamorgenrowenasulochana/juno:
”The Gallaecian Sisters, who called themselves Angitia and Medea, offered services beside their usual trade to their customers: song, dance, prophecy, and the exhibition of mock battles. They were said besides by their arts to bring the earthquake.’
– Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, Lives of the Famous She-Wolves (trans. Franklin Bancroft)
The linked page is februa:
‘‘Rich Gallaecia sent its prodigies, learned in haruspicy, by Feather and Fire, now shrieking in their barbarian tongue, now stamping the ground in the rhythm that shakes the world, now beating their shields to honour the dance.’
– Silius Italicus, the Punica (trans. Franklin Bancroft)
Which in turn links to februalis:
‘‘Rich Gallaecia sent its prophets, learned in ornithomancy, by the Wing and the Mist, now howling in the tongue of the Wolf, now stamping the ground in the heart-rhythm, now beating their shields like the Drum of the Great Mountains.’
– Publius Statius, the Punica (trans. Franklin Bancroft)
Which leads to februata:
‘The guests from Gallaecia brought caged songbirds and worm-buckets, to demonstrate their skill of prophecy. Should a bird devour a worm, they would celebrate with dance; should a worm devour a bird, they would celebrate with song.’
– Gaius Petronius Arbiter, the Feast of Trismegistus (trans. William Gore)
Which finally leads to februus:
‘‘From the mountains of Gallaecia the treasure-house came Anguitian serpents and winged Dracons, skilled in the interpretation of flight and fire and blood, singing the wind, beating the earthquake, rending their scales in honour of Attis.’
– Lucan, the African Epic (trans. Franklin Bancroft)
Which then cycles back to juno.
The key here is to realize the page names all link back to February, which the Julian calendar used to handle leap years. An older Roman calendar, however, used the intercalary months of mercedonius or intercalaris, both of which are Phase XVI.
- 2018-08-21: Phase XV is discovered by the Discord. An interlude follows.
- 2018-10-15: Phase XV is solved by the Discord.