Enigma/Phase XI

In which one brings the hungry ones together.

Solved: 2018-07-07

Details

The page for Phase XI can easily be missed as there is precious little hinting to it and it is not strictly necessary to progress: http://www.ligeiaclub.org/ligeiaclub

There have always been seven, but not always the same seven, and it has not always been the Ligeia Club. It is very rare for the seven to meet in convocation, but now and then it occurs, especially in the moon’s twelfth phase. [This is Phase XI.]

The solution to the first part of the puzzle involves simply bringing together all the members of the Ligeia Club and merging their names into one new page name, in the order in which they are presented on the Phase X page. This leads to this page: http://www.ligeiaclub.org/echidnaklêidouchosmarinettemedusamorgenrowenasulochana

The Locksmith’s Dream: Incursus

“The Law goes back all the way to Stone: the Keys cannot be held or owned. This had, I believe, the unexpected consequence that those outside the law may hold and own them. But even they cannot keep them. And of course a Key is no more physical than a spirit. But a spirit may be housed in a body, and I have touched a Key with my own hands.

“The next question we must answer: what is real? If you ask me – “

The Locksmith’s Dream is a series of books written by Teresa Galmier, and the specific volume referenced in the title, while present in the game files (with bonus text for getting it signed by Teresa) is not actually obtainable, and was added much later. The last line of the hint text, also added later, indicates the method by which the phase can be solved, and should be read as an indication that one needs to message Teresa Galmier to ask what is real. The trick lies in finding the right name to use, which, in this instance, is Baldomera. One then need only send a message to baldomera@ligeiaclub.org; the contents of the message do not matter.

An email response should then be received within the next few minutes; the delay in the response has been observed to go as high as 30 minutes.

History

  • 2018-07-04: Phase XI is discovered by the Discord.
  • 2018-07-06: The first step is solved by the Discord.
  • 2018-07-07: Phase XI is solved by the Discord.

Enigma/Phase X

In which one finds a club within a club.

Solved: 2018-07-04

Details

Phase X is in the unusual position of providing sufficient clues for both Phase XI and Phase XII. Therefore, all information for reaching Phase XII will be provided on Phase XI’s page.

The Ligeia Club website is organized into several pages that provide clues for solving each phase. The ones that can be found from the start are the following:

  • /: “In memory of Rowena, for whom Fortigan lost its crown. [This is the tenth phase of the moon. The eleventh phase concerns the members of the Ligeia Club, those hungry ones who come together beneath the moon: monster-mother, key-keeper, dry-handed, serpent-blooded, sea-born, kingdom-breaker, cobra-child.]” (title: “The Ligeia Club”)
  • /lion: “The Biting Key was known in an age before other gods. It is found only in the presence of monsters.” (title: “Lion”)
  • /mare: “The Mare’s Key opens the door that leads Nowhere. It is employed only with the best intentions.” (title: “Mare”)
  • /boar: “The Flaying Key was present at the birth of all the gods-from-Blood. For the Key to occur, a black pig must be sacrificed.” (title: “Boar”)
  • /eagle: “The Key of Days opens the Tricuspid Gate. All the gods-from-Light have employed it. At the Crossroads, it may sometimes be invoked.” (title: “Eagle”)
  • /bull: “When housed in ivory, the Key of David can be used to open the White Door. It requires a rarer house to open the Summit Gate. The Sea-Born has been known to wield it.” (title: “Bull”)
  • /hydra: “The Princes owned the Key of Night, and their daughter holds it still.” (title: “Hydra”)
  • /hind: “The Stag Door opens to the Forest Key, but there is another door that Key opens, deep in the Wood.” (title: “Hind”)
  • /arthur: “Still he sleeps.” (title: “Arthur”)
  • /gawain: “One such as Medusa may not be ended easily – not without a wound as grievous as hers.” (title: “Gawain”)
  • /fortigan: “Fortigan would it had been otherwise.” (title: “Fortigan”)
  • /echidna: “The gods-who-were-Stone knew the uses of the Biting Key, and now Echidna claims it. She has birthed so many children, and some yet survive.” (title: “Echidna”)
  • /kleidouchosempty (title: “êi”)
  • /klêidouchos: “She has known all the Keys, but now she holds the Key of Days. She it was who opened the door the Watchman passed. She meets the Vagabond each year in Vienna.” (title: “Klêidouchos”)
  • /marinette: “So young, so hungry. All her children cannot slake her thirst. When Moth rose, another held the Flaying Key, but at the Grail’s bidding did Marinette consume that she.” (title: “Marinette”)
  • /morgen: “Sea-born, tide-drawn. She is jealous of the key of black sapphire, but so many times it has fled her. Of all her kind, she knows the House of the Moon best. Meniscate-sister, Witch-lover.” (title: “Morgen”)
  • /medusa: “She might be the oldest of her kind still living; and she is dead. Once she held the key to the door in the Wood.” (title: “Medusa”)
  • /rowena: “She holds the Mare’s Key, which opens the door to Nowhere. Now and then, she has lent it unwisely.” (title: “Rowena”)
  • /sulochana: “Her father came from the Fifth History, but she was born here, and here she brews her venoms. She is constant in her friendship; sometimes, she withholds her poisons. Since she became what she now is, she has ceased to dislike cats.” (title: “Sulochana”)
  • /houseofthemoon: “Why only one? Why only two?” (title: “House of the Moon”)
  • /ligeiaclub: “There have always been seven, but not always the same seven, and it has not always been the Ligeia Club. It is very rare for the seven to meet in convocation, but now and then it occurs, especially in the moon’s twelfth phase. [This is Phase XI.]” (title: “The Ligeia Club”)
  • /boart: “Perhaps you missed the matter of the smoky satisfaction. Don’t pursue it. It will avail you nothing.” (title: “Boart”)
  • /lapsang: “Welcome to Phase T.” (title: “Lapsang”)
  • /phaset: “The traveller is always returning. One who does not is no traveller. I hope you understand.” (title: empty; redirects to Justified And Ancient [All Bound For Mu Mu Land] – The KLF (MV) 1991)

The animals can be found by consulting earlier phases for mentions of them.

The saints are references to Fallen London’s Seeking Mr Eaten’s Name quest-line.

Boart, Lapsang and Phase T are references to various tweets by Alexis Kennedy, and are not used to solve the enigma itself.

The members of the Ligeia Club can be found either by consulting the game (where possible) or by matching up their epithets with their names, as follows:

monster-motherEchidna
key-keeperKlêidouchos
dry-handedMarinette
serpent-bloodedMedusa
sea-bornMorgen
kingdom-breakerRowena
cobra-childSulochana

Phase XI is then reached simply by guessing the /ligeiaclub URL.

History

  • 2018-07-03: Phase X is discovered by the Discord.
  • 2018-07-04: Phase X is solved by the Discord.

Enigma/Phase IX

In which one locates an organization’s headquarters.

Solved: 2018-07-03

Details

It is unclear what clues, if any, there are for this phase. The profile description of the Twitter profile consists of:

The ninth phase of the moon. There is no return for those who have committed the Crime of the Sky, but sometimes there is respite.

It is possible the Crime of the Sky should be interpreted to refer to another website, like the first sky (i.e. weatherfactory.biz). The entire puzzle consists of going from the Twitter to ligeiaclub.org.

History

  • 2018-07-02: Phase IX is discovered by the Discord.
  • 2018-07-03: Phase IX is solved by the Discord.

Enigma/Phase VIII

In which one dreams of moonlit women.

Solved: 2018-07-02

Details

The altered welcome message on the Phase VIII branches.

The first clue to this phase is provided on the Version News, which reads (emphasis added):

Welcome to Phase VIII. Dream furiously.

[No interaction with any other game is necessary to reach Phase IX.]

This should be read as a suggestion to dream with Passion (a.k.a. to dream passionately, or furiously). This triggers the special burn image pictured below to show up in the background:

The woman pictured is Ligeia, a character from the eponymous short story by Edgar Allen Poe in 1838 and illustrated by Harry Clarke in 1918.

The names of the cults were also changed so that they all became “clubs“. When combined with the previous clue, this leads to Ligeia Club, a name which did not appear in the game at the time this phase was first discovered. Nowadays, simply finding “Ligeia” may be sufficient.

The added words are references to Birdsong, which references “enigmatic” figures. This obliquely points towards Twitter.

When taken as a whole, the phase points to the @ligeiaclub Twitter profile.

Additional Changes

  • The code in the game specifies a strange default version date, which is never actually displayed (the displayed version is 2018.phase.VIII): 2021.12.z.1
  • The identical images _555.png, _a.png, _y.png and _z.png were added, referencing an earlier incident on the Discord:
  • The Principles were renamed as follows, along with any word that contained a Principle’s letters (leading to the now infamous boart meme):
    • Grail -> Rose
    • Moth -> Salt (description: “I knew a man who captured moths in a bell-jar. On nights like this, he would release them one by one to die in the candle.” -> “I knew a woman who would walk the beach at night to watch the road the moon offered across the waves. On her final night, she took that road.”)
    • Forge -> Boar
    • Edge -> Bull (description: “All conquest occurs at the Edge. One who dwells there is blind, and cannot be wounded. Another is strong, and grows stronger.” -> “All conquest occurs beneath the sign of the Bull.”)
    • Heart -> Bull
    • Knock -> Serpent
    • Lantern -> Eagle
    • Winter -> Yarsagumba
    • Secret Histories -> Hydrae (description: “History is the scar on the world’s skin.” -> “History is the scar on the world’s neck.”)
  • All Cults except for the Wildwood Club were also renamed, as follows:
    • Church of the Bright Edge -> Pasiphane Club
    • Unflinching Order -> Blazing Club
    • Order of the Bloody Cup -> Redthorn Club
    • Temple Unceasing -> Temple of the Cudgel
    • Society of the Holy Wound -> Nessene Club
    • Mirror of Glory -> Stymphalian Club
    • Society of St Hydra -> Lernaean Club

History

  • 2018-07-02: Phase VIII is discovered and solved by the Discord.

Enigma/Phase VII

In which one arrives at their destination.

Solved: 2018-07-01

Details

Unlike previous phases, this phase is not clearly marked, and has no known clues. It is therefore assumed this phase corresponds to the player arriving at Steam or GOG and finding the private betas. Each beta is locked by the corresponding Feather or Scale password:

  • Feather (somewhere): Ornithelmous
  • Scale (nowhere): Helminthraxed

On Steam, these are accessed by right-clicking the game in the launcher, going to Properties > Betas, and inputting the password.

On GOG, one must use GOG Galaxy, go to the game’s page and then More > Settings, turn Beta Channels on, then select the option “Add private channels” to input the appropriate password.

The player must then download either of the private betas (there are no differences between them) to access the next phase.

History

  • 2018-07-01: Phase VII is discovered and solved by the Discord.

Enigma/Phase VI

In which one embarks on the road of the archangel.

Solved: 2018-07-01

Details

There were two paths to the solution, using the two different emails, leading to essentially the same destination, though Feather is often considered the easier path. The two paths are presented below.

Each email consists of an (A) section, which details what the answer isn’t (Itch.io and Humble Store), and a (B) section (Steam and GOG.com), which details what it is. One must then bring their heart for the weighing in the next phase (unmarked).

Feather

The current Feather email is as follows:

[PHASE VI] 

This arrived where it needed to be! Perhaps it was in time. There was insufficient time for the Terrible Ones, or for the Carapace Cross. Each fire has its fuel, and perhaps we are all of us fuel in the end.

[Please continue only if you are prepared 

– to experience frustration

– to be courteous to everyone you might meet along the way

– for this circumstance: space in later phases may be constrained.]

TO PHASE VII:

I am Ornithelmous!

(A)

Without a hitch, without even its commencement

So high, so far above the earth

(B)

My name is known before the gatekeeper of the glass isle, candle-scathed, and beneath the invisibility of water

Bring now your heart for the weighing.

The clues can be broken down as follows:

  • Without a hitch, without even its commencement: The first letter of “hitch” is “h”. A hitch without its commencement is therefore an “itch”. Therefore, “without a hitch” means it’s not an itch, which points to Itch.io.
  • So high, so far above the earth: Unclear. May refer to the Moon, above Earth, which may tie into Io, a moon of Jupiter, and thus itch+Io = Itch.io. Could also be a way of describing someone who is not humble, who considers themselves above everyone else, which would make it a hint to the Humble Store.
  • the gatekeeper of the glass isle, candle-scathed: The glass isle refers to Glastonbury Tor, a hill whose Celtic name translates to “Isle of Glass”. Its candle-scathed gatekeeper is a tree known as “Gog”, scarred by a candle’s fire in 2017, thus pointing to GOG.com.
  • the invisibility of water: Water, when in its gaseous phase, is referred to by scientists as steam (or water vapour), which manifests as a colourless gas. Invisible water can therefore refer to steam, which points to Steam.

Scale

The current Scale email is as follows:

[PHASE VI] 

This arrived where it needed to be! Perhaps it was in time. There was insufficient time for the Terrible Ones, or for the Carapace Cross. Each fire has its fuel, and perhaps we are all of us fuel in the end.

[Please continue only if you are prepared 

– to experience frustration

– to be courteous to everyone you might meet along the way

– for this circumstance: space in later phases may be constrained.]

TO PHASE VII:

I am Helminthraxed!

(A)

Prideful as the Sun

Smooth and innocent of prickling hair

(B)

My name is known where the red dragon runs rudely north upon the Sapphire Tongue, and upon the road of the Archangel

Bring now your heart for the weighing.

The flag of Wales, a.k.a. the red dragon.

  • Prideful as the Sun: One who is prideful as the Sun is not humble, thus this points to the Humble Store.
  • Smooth and innocent of prickling hair: One who has no prickling hair is not itchy, thus this points to Itch.io.
  • where the red dragon runs rudely north upon the Sapphire Tongue: The red dragon refers to the flag of Wales, which prominently features a red dragon. It is unclear what the Sapphire Tongue refers to; it could possibly be a river, such as the river Dyfi, or it could refer to the expression “blue mouth”, which ties it into slang. Either way, an inhabitant of North Wales is known as a “Gog”, thus this points to GOG.com.
  • upon the road of the Archangel: Unclear. May refer to clouds, and thus water vapour/steam (in the layman sense of the words), or, on a more jocular note, to the Archangel Gabriel, and thus Gabe Newell, creator of Valve. Both would point towards Steam.

History

  • 2018-06-21: Phase VI is discovered by the Discord. The message initially only contains the first part and the following section: “[Your assertion has been registered. An interlude will follow. Please minimise discussion of how yuo [sic] reached Phase VI.]”
  • 2018-07-01: New emails go out to both Scale and Feather, with more or less the same text as is currently sent out. A few hours later, the Discord solves the phase.

Enigma/Phase V

In which one is regarded by Tristero.

Solved: 2018-06-21

Details

Entering the password “OX1 3QF” into the Dropbox link reveals a file called “tristeros_regards.txt” in the “terrible_lizards” folder containing the following text:

At the Hotel Ciervo, one may speak of Feather, or of Scale.

Not many in Noon now consider themselves Birds of a Feather, but fewer still will say they’re Worms of a Scale. Most come to Noon to remain apart.

But there are those who work to ensure the war is won as they would wish it. St David’s Key, the Biting Key, the Forest Key, among many others, are their weapons and their prizes. Their messages pass in secret among those who Know and those who do not.

[This is Phase V.]

The key here lies in the first line, which calls back to Phase I with the formula “At X” to recall email (replacing Noon with Hotel Ciervo this time). To solve the phase, one need only send an email containing either “Feather” (for Birds) or “Scale” (for Worms) to hotelciervo@weatherfactory.biz. “Their messages pass” can also be taken as a hint to email.

History

  • 2018-06-21: Phase V is discovered and solved by the Discord.

Enigma/Phase IV

Unlike other phases, Phase IV has profoundly changed its nature since its initial reveal. It was initially preceded by a short interlude now referred to as “Pandora’s Fall”, which is detailed below, followed by the actual phase’s emails. Those emails then themselves changed over time, as is explained below.

Prelude: Pandora’s Fall

The image included in the first message sent out to the Worm mailing list. The Bird one had a colour version.

One day after Phase III was solved, an email was sent containing only the picture to the right and Weather Factory’s contact information. A few days later, the following email arrived:

Pandora will step from the cliff. The birds might catch her and bear her up, or the worms might devour her corpse. It’s a sort of competition, although the birds will probably win, because they’re better.

Pandora’s Fall is like and unlike what has gone before. Once again, there’s an obliquity – two obliquities, even. In this case, Pandora expects a request between two obliquities. Almost a submission.

<code>

The <code> varied depending on which list the player had signed up for:

  • Bird: Z1Q4xHwSBjOoevl5eERj
  • Worm: sLI3ZL507TjNYWd9sFy9

The key in this email was to make the link between Pandora and Pandora’s Box, and between Fall and Drop, signifying a Dropbox connection. The “Almost a submission” section additionally clarified that this should be a Dropbox file request link, leading to the following pages for each faction (now unavailable):

The worms submitted their request first, winning the race, which resulted in this email:

On this occasion, the Worms have won. Their victory occurred at 13:48 Noon Time.

This does mean that additional information will follow.

Phase IV began in earnest a few days later.

Phase IV

The Phase IV emails were initially sent out over the course of a few days, each day making a slight addition to the previous one. This guide will only cover the final resultant emails, starting with the Worm email as it provides the initial essential clue.

Noon: Worm

The Worm email is the key to understanding Bird email: whereas the Bird email contains many clues which aren’t actually helpful, the Worm email contains only one clue, albeit an essential one. Here are the contents:

Remember our ancestors, when Bird and Worm were one. Scolecite and sapphire, lost among stones in darkness. This, as few places, is the

“DON’T TRUST IT.”

“REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DINOSAUR.”

“CONSIDER THE GREATER PURPOSE.”

“WHAT IS BELOW CANNOT ESCAPE WHAT IS ABOVE.”

“THE EARTH TURNS.”

“LET US BE FORGOTTEN.”

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/62dmau8mmecwefz/AAApSUueGsN5zqbc5Pih-PLAa

[This weekly message is Phase IV. Progress is currently possible to Phase <current phase>.]

The majority of the email is fluff and can be discarded for the purposes of solving the phase (especially since it is unclear who is talking, though it has been speculated that these are the Gods-From-Stone or the Carapace-Cross). Only the Dropbox link and “REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DINOSAUR” are relevant here, as the latter is a direct quote written alongside Blackhall Road in Oxford. The player must then turn to the Bird email to understand how to convert that into a password for the Dropbox.

Noon: Bird

Unlike the Worm email, the Bird email is directly referencing Blackhall Road throughout:

Remember our ancestors, when Bird and Worm were one. Scolecite and sapphire, lost among stones in darkness. This, as few places, is the dwelling of the Eborites; this, as many places, lies under Tristero’s mark. On one side, the lessons of the Cudgel, on the other, the lessons of the Eagle. Here it was that the chronicler of the Babylonians came to study both clocks and stars (before ever the Obliviates took him). Sometimes we have approached beneath the banner of the Lamb. The shapes of the Terrible Ones are here, but their bones stand a little farther away, by the gallery of masks. This is the gallery the Fox endowed; but first the Fox followed the river of its blood, into the pit. Eborites and Castorites contend, but the truth is strong.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/62dmau8mmecwefz/AAApSUueGsN5zqbc5Pih-PLAa

[This weekly message is Phase IV. Progress is currently possible to <current phase>.]

The references to Blackhall Road take the form of descriptions of nearby locations:

  • the dwelling of the Eborites: A building called the “Elephant House”, since “ebor” is the root of the word “ivory”, which makes up the tusks of elephants.
  • the lessons of the Cudgel: The surname “Keble” has “cybbel” as its root, meaning “cudgel”, making this a reference to the nearby Keble College
  • the lessons of the Eagle: The Eagle and Child, a nearby pub.
  • Here it was that the chronicler of the Babylonians came to study both clocks and stars: John Knight Fotheringham, who researched the Babylonians, ancient chronology and astronomy.
  • the banner of the Lamb: The Lamb & Flag, a nearby pub.
  • The shapes of the Terrible Ones are here, but their bones stand a little farther away: The shape refers to the graffiti of the dinosaur referenced by the Worm email, while the bones refer to the nearby Oxford University Museum of Natural History
  • the gallery of masks/the gallery the Fox endowed; but first the Fox followed the river of its blood, into the pit: Refers to the Pitt Rivers Museum, an archaeological museum with a gallery of masks, founded by Augustus Henry Lane-Fox PitRivers.
  • Eborites and Castorites contend: Castorites refers to the village of Castor in Cambridgeshire, making this a reference to the rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge.
  • but the truth is strong: “Fortis est veritas” (“The truth is strong”) is the motto of the city of Oxford.

All of the above are useful to confirm that Blackhall Road is indeed the location that is being searched for; in this regard, the Bird email adds no value. What it does add is the passage “this, as many places, lies under Tristero’s mark“. This serves as a callback to Phase I, which featured the Tristero postal service. Tristero’s mark is therefore a mark a postal service would use to designate “places” – in other words, a postal code. A quick online search reveals that the postal code for Blackhall Road is OX1 3QF, which is the password for the Dropbox.

History

  • 2018-06-02: Phase IV is discovered.
  • 2018-06-03: The first email goes out.
  • 2018-06-07: Pandora’s Fall is initiated, and solved the same day.
  • 2018-06-11: A preview of the emails to come is sent out, titled “Interlude: Ancestors”.
  • 2018-06-17 to 2018-06-23: Emails for Phase IV are sent out once every day, each time changing something. Bird and Worm are initially identical, then at some point Worm begins to delete existing sentences and replace them new lines. The sender name also changed (Bird -> Worm -> Serpent -> Lamia -> Terrible Ones -> the First Birds -> on the River, and Worm -> Dragon -> Lamia -> First Ones -> the First Birds -> At Scale).
  • 2018-06-21: Worm email adds the “REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DINOSAUR”, and the Discord solves the phase within the hour.
  • 2018-06-22: The Dropbox link is changed to the current one.

Enigma/Phase III

In which one’s choice is indicated.

Solved: 2018-06-02

Details

The pages for signing up to the mailing lists are both labelled as being part of Phase III. One need only fill in their contact information to be signed up, then wait until the weekly email comes by with information.

For practical purposes, it is recommended to sign up to both mailing lists, or to partner with someone signed up to the other list.

The sign up screen for the Bird mailing list.

The sign up screen for the Worm mailing list.

History

  • 2018-06-02: Phase III is discovered and solved by the Discord.

Enigma/Phase II

In which one receives a reply.

Solved: 2018-06-02

Details

The initial Phase II email.

After sending an email to noon@weatherfactory.biz with “somoza” in it, one should immediately receive a reply with the links to the two mailing lists:

The current Phase II email.

There is no puzzle to be solved here, one need only click the links.

History

  • 2018-06-02: Phase II is discovered and solved by the Discord.
  • Some time in 2018: The email is changed to include some extra text.