Here are the answers and explanations to my challenge. I’m keeping the challenge page open, so feel free to keep solving them and check here if you get stuck. Most of the questions were worded so that you couldn’t just search my codex and card lore pages for easy answers.
I had only three days to make the challenge page and the challenges, so some of them ended up being slightly more difficult than I had intended. Five people out of 82 got to the end, the fastest being javapython.
#1 “Kept her wish”
Starting off with the Seven Sisters theme, since it’s probably the overall most read lore, the first question was intended mainly as a CAPTCHA, no progress was saved before this one was completed.
Answer: storm sister alkyone
Staying with the Sister theme to make a single-word question easier to digest.
From her lore: “She forced a casket open and from its innards she tore a woman, her body and head still attached to the cocoon.”
Answer: sand sister saon
#3 “Had a bit of a tumble”
Finishing off the Sister theme for now, Mogwai’s lore: “And she pushed him over the edge.”
#4 “Not for vegans” (added later “, but J would approve”)
This one was a bit too difficult for some, yet most people got this in just a couple of tries. It was a gameplay/meta-question, so some people didn’t know the name for the deck.
This one was extremely obvious.
Answer: ancient grove
This one was obviously a map, and the answer is easy to see when you open it up in-game.
Codex #1: “At its very center, a thousand miles across”
Answer: gods heel
Profile icon for a nasty little critter.
#9 “Recently stolen by Hearthstone”
This one was fairly obvious, if you’ve played HS or just scrolled through new cards.
Answer: keeper of the vale
#10 “AKA Nip”
I’ve always wondered why the name was changed when it was released…
#11 “Tiger tamer”
It removes rush.
Answer: night watcher
#12 “The last bean”
Worded cryptically to make it impossible to search directly.
Codex #9: “The Prophecy of Ages foretold Seven Seeds that would change the course of history, seven heroes to complete the task at hand.”, “you are indeed the Seed of Dreams, the Seventh Star.”
Answer: starhorn the seeker
The question requires six answers, so the question was, of course, referring to a recent addition to the game.
#14 Questions pre-censored just in case :3
The questions were anagrams of card names
sun sister sterope
#15 “I’m a file” (audiofile)
This is where the real fun begins. The soundclip is a short spell SFX from the game, which contains a hidden message. This was an extremely basic introduction to audio steganography. I left the weird stuff to just barely hearing-range, so if you compared this clip to the original, you can hear a slight high-frequency screech. You could either solve this by using a spectrogram and/or by slowing the file down. The message was simply written morse code encoded as audio. The morse code spells the real question for this one: “Aestaria flourished in what?”
Answer: peace and prosperity
With audio steganography down, here was an extremely simple image steganography puzzle. The text is actually readable directly from the image, if you zoom close enough and look at the right spot. Of course, you could use tools to make it more obvious. It spells “Taygete: 1, 1, 87, 9, 38, 1, 1, 9, 1, 12, 1, 15, 18, 6, 1”
The code is just about the simplest book cipher possible, meaning the distance from the previous letter to the next in Taygete’s lore text, so you take the first letter, then the one after that, then skip ahead 87 etc. to get the answer.
Answer: this is the answer
Keep clicking the question to make him dance, eventually you get ＼( >︿<) ／ and another audio puzzle, using the audio for Codex #7 as a base. This one is actually multi-layered, with the first part being the answer to #17, and the second to #18. Armed with your knowledge from #15, most of it was quite simple, but people got stuck when they didn’t realize there was more to the file.
The first part of the answer required looking at a spectrogram when there were weird noises going on in the clip. This would reveal you two cards.
Answer: shadow sister kelaino
captain hank hart
After #17, it was obvious that something was still missing, because the file name was gibberish that didn’t follow the same pattern as the previous file names. (gifgpvyxsiqjxhfbuoeenvefwteiayimxahtsmrtuajkstf.flac)
At the very end of the clip, there was a loud screech. This turns out to be a QR-code encoded into the audio, which you can get out with a spectrogram:
It was a clue that read “SPEED IS AUTOKEY”. This hints that something uses an autokey cipher of some kind, and it’s related to speed. Speed the file up 10x or so, and you’ll notice that the weird rumbling throughout the track reveals a hidden message:
Open up the map to see that under Shim’zar jungle, there’s Burning bluff. This is the key. The clip’s artist name is Giovan Battista Bellaso, who was the original creator of what later became known as the Vigenère cipher. So the file name was encoded in Vigenère Autokey, and it spells the answer.
Answer: foothiswholestringmightbeananswertosomethingbar (The “foo” in the beginning was added so you couldn’t just bruteforce it open with Cryptocrack.)