Is this puzzle, as presented, solvable by the average player, with only the information included below? If not, what would need to be added/changed/outtaken to make it more logical and cohesive (but not inordinately simple).
System is DnD 5e, in a homebrew alternative earth.
The players are in an archaeology delve into a city that has been frozen in time. The denizens of the city go about their daily lives, frozen midway through whatever they were doing at that moment. Researchers are studying them after finally managing to break through the (as of then) sealed gates and high walls. They find a massive carving of a Baast Sphinx abutting the plateau upon which the temple ward sits. At its base is a reflection pool, only a few centimeters deep on polished marble. Rising from it is a plinth, upon and around which rest several bronze plates, untouched by the ravages of time...
There is a stone plinth, within which a circular divot is made, the face of which is oriented roughly at a ~70* Angle from the ground, and has a simple engraving of a sunburst with 14 rays in the middle of the circular depression.
The puzzle is composed of 14 metal plates, upon each a riddle is written. They are conjoined by two circular scarab amulets, one in rose gold and one in white gold. The different metal plate segments will, when all place, fit snugly within the depression. Their riddles must be answered correctly, and the plates must be oriented correctly relative to each other for the puzzle to be solved and a nearby secret passageway to open. A Hint may be provided by a nearby live Baast Sphinx as to the orientation of the plates:
"the Horizon is a meeting point of the heavens and the earth, a grade upon which spins the axis of time, when one holds dawn in one's palm."
The plates are all identically shaped and sized, save for four, each of which have a hemispherical cut from one of their edges. They each have a sunbeam engraved on the backside, corresponding with any one of the 14 on the plinth.
When laid flat, the rose scarab is perpendicular to to sunbeam, its head facing the "North" side of the amulet; the white scarab is also perpendicular to its sunbeam, facing the "south" side of the amulet.
At the beginning of the puzzle, there is a single piece of the puzzle (specifically the "sun") sitting in the stone plinth, oriented at the very bottom (where "river" should be) while the rest are scattered about the floor immediately nearby.
- [Dawn] I am times beginning, and times end. The sun, star, moon, all my friends. With rosette hue I paint the world, as leaf, unconscious, is unfurled. I am death, birth, and rebirth, for the turning of the earth.
- [Clouds] We are the canvas of the eye's painter, the playthings of the gods, torn, rent, and shrove asunder, our tops alight, at morn so under. We are thrown from heaven to the earth, laden with sorrow and thunderous mirth.
- [Birds] We are the sailors of the endless blue, brown, white, and every hue. Heralds of the dawn above the cloud, with endless songs we are endowed. Lovers greet us with stone in hand, yet our voices they do demand.
- [Sun] I reign unchallenged from my throne, across my domain I rule alone. No one may dissent my might, upon my most favored subjects I render blight. All I see beneath my eye, is mine to give life, or bid to die.
- [Rest] I steal upon you after your brow is sweated, often is my presence feted. No one denies me, although they try. I close the mind and relieve the fraught, and silence I bring to hurried thought.
- [Stars] We watch over the lands below. When past Sun's zenith, our faces show. Candles floating upon the sea, we die, are reborn, eternally.
- [Mountain] I am the oldest in the land, the greatest boulder, the finest sand. I touch the rock below, and from my shoulders the winds blow. I am from whence the river fountains, I am eternal.
- [Forest] We span beneath the mountains and twixt the plains, waterless seas without refrain. Our waves move across entire ages in our swell, above each peak and fell.
- [Plains] We are endless, yet unamed, windwept amber untamed. Beneath us beats the hoof, above us thunder rolls. We are kind should careful hand us maim.
- [Farms] Mockery of Heath derided, measured, cut, and subdivided. Careful hands reap and sow, what across us season's flow. We lose all we are with the turn of the moon.
- [River] Doomed to run from place to place. Towns pay me tribute to run beside them, yet cower when I run among them. They bite and gnaw to sow their grain, At my end, I begin again.
- [Desert] Red by blue from Black is riven, never taken, unwilling given. From the banks, we baldly rise, cruel backdrops of endless skys.
- [Hills] Twixt salt and sand, and sand, heirs apparent of the skyward strand.
- [Ocean] I devour all before, the sun, the stars, beast, plant, man and more. Within my gullet all life lies, yet in my embrace all will die. My indigestion is eternal, churning and vomiting scenes of flare infernal.
The Baast Sphinx is the only one who can provide the hint in the beginning, if the players have been polite to her. Several Archaeologists, while walking about the city with the players, will have quoted experiences, history and theology relevant to the puzzle (Please note, this is not meant to be 112% Accurate to the Egyptian doghma and has some heavy homebrewyness.):
The If-they-were-actually-listening hints, distributed by the other archaeologists while perusing the city, are as follows:
I remember the last time I was standing on the coast like this...
Namib is a desolate place, stone hills and sheer cliffs abound. But,
with Sand behind me, in front of me, ending in the endless waves of
the sea. I miss my homeland dearly.
The people of the Nile, which are descended from the people living
here, are very superstitious people. They consider black a holy and
good color. The black soil is on one bank, while the red of the
desert is on the other.
They had a very interesting belief system. Their god is killed and
born anew every day. At dawn, he bursts from the sea, he sails across the sky, and at dusk, he plunges into a mountain and dies. They're
rather strange people, and I pity the poor bloke.
These people feared the ocean above all else. I'm not surprised they
decided, that, if they had to build on an island, they picked the
place farthest away from the waves that have sunk their ships since
they began building them.
These people, they have a love-hate relationship with water. On one
hand, they chuck coins into the wells and river in the good times,
and shake fists at it from the rooftops when it inevitably floods.
Their god of 'good' water is both a cat and a woman, both very
pernicious creatures, they are."
"The people of Amun had a story about why the gods made the clouds.
They were meant to carry the sorrows and tears of the gods to the
people below, so they may suffer instead. The clouds refused, and for their insolence, they were torn apart and scattered to the four
winds… And yet, the god of the sun had pity on them, and every
morning as an apology, painted them beautifully to spark hope and joy to the humans they protected."
A Tabaxi by the name of Ri'saad has set up camp nearby, and had taken one of the pieces to study it. The players (if they have not been shoving their thumbs in their ears) know of him and that he has been sneaking in to pillage the belongings of the frozen denizens.
I have tried to make this a fun and three layered puzzle which challenges the skills, knowledge, and logical thinking process of the players, as well as requiring some passive note-taking and attention to the lore being presented to them via NPC dialogue. The puzzle is the seal for a "cave of wonders" affair within which the priest-kings of the city hoarded all of their ill-gotten gains.
As a full disclosure, I have this as a part of my D&D 5e campaign, but I am not concerned about the abstract player component in this question, merely the merits of the puzzle, and whether anything can be used to improve it.