This secret was....a hard one to crack and we needed all the help we could get!
So we started with the single image:
And the 5 lines of descriptions:
"A young man dressed in an ancient pilot’s attire and a wizened one-eyed warrior dueling with katanas in front of a Tiger tank on a plain that had no end. An inhumanely tall Viking and a silver-skinned boy crossing a sea on a Drakkar. New York City, entombed in ice. A two-headed dragon dogfighting a Great War biplane, the rattling of Spandau machineguns almost pathetic against the beast’s mighty roar and flame – and yet, the dragon was losing. An army of the dead invading the world of the living under a skull-shaped, alien moon."
Based on this, frankly it was a dead end as it could have been anything and how the hell would you guess a single word from the above? Well, simply you couldn't, so Haswell had to ask for more help, which SilentStalker provided:
So, from this we started to look into more mythical type aspects and naturally fell more into Norse mythology and and least we had a start....but as before, from the above, we couldn't really get anything concrete that would stick. There were other hints and tips dropped in conversations, - it shouldn't be that hard with somebody who is familiar with SS' lore writing.
It was at this stage we heard that somebody from the RU server cracked the code, so we resigned out fates to not being the first to crack it, rather we wanted to know how it was cracked and what the final result was....so we carried on, and we gave more info into the official discord to see if somebody over there could think outside the box and different to our train of thoughts as, we were told a few times that our guesses were well off and we needed to think simpler / differently.
And then finally, less than 5 hours before the deadline, a tiny sliver of hope was found....
A two headed dragon, fighting a biplane...And confirmation that it was indeed the source of the image description. 1 of 5 images found.
This then lead to more Norse mythology lead us to this image which was confirmed as the Endless Plain:
We were close, but something still wasn't there...the penny hadn't dropped, it wasn't clear what we were looking at. Sure, we had these images, but these didn't give us the information we needed to crack that password. With 5 minutes left, defeat was looming closer, and SS, decided that as we'd found some more of the clues, he'd give us 24 hours to submit the final answers, if we didn't crack it, then we never would. 'But that RU player already beat you too it you silly sausage' I hear you cry...turns out, yes they did put the right answer, and then submitted over 100 other incorrect answer...meaning that they didn't understand the code and were just trying to brute force the answer. They didn't win...we still had a shot..
So, the next morning, I set to it, with the first image we found in mind, I started to look for the book it came from...It turns out, it's by a Sci-Fi writer who has made a series called 'Valhala' - a set of stories based in an alternative universe where portals and inter dimensional travel are a thing, along with the Norse worlds (Author is František Novotný) and the cover art, you guessed it, related to those 5 descriptions.
For the next 3, maybe 4 hours I spent my time trawling reviews and write ups for the stories to see if I could find something to help us crack this code....I posted in official that I'd found the books, but was having difficulty in finding English versions of them, or anything about them that didn't need to be translated. So SS gave me a link to a copy of the books, which I downloaded, and started to review.....I was struggling...but I kept scrolling...and then suddenly at the end of one of the books...I saw a page that was different to all the others. It wasn't like any chapter I had seen, it looked like German documents from WW2...I skipped past it, then had to go back..why did it look so different...why would that be there...I scroll down...
There it is....a copy of the image I have spent the best part of a week trying to crack...It's there...right in front of me...With a key - telling me the letters stood for Norse worlds / lands. From the top - G = Midgard, M = Muspel, H = Hel, N = Niflheim.
We had the answer..so we submitted it, SS closed off the form...it was done...
But, like all things, it comes at a cost...we don't know what this will be, but it could be bad.
The prize for cracking the code - 5000 gold and Samuel Thorpe as a commander