I AM AN IDIOT AND HAD THE WRONG NAME FOR THE NEMESIS
I'm a little worried now that the pattern won't get recognized because it's requires an "Aha!" leap that is only obvious to me because I designed the puzzle. I'll try to give a few more helpful hints and see what happens.
Before he was an evil overlord ruling with an iron talon over a realm of darkness, Hooty McOwlface was Harold McArthur and was a world-renowned adventurer. He sought treasure and fame. On one particular undertaking, he came across what appeared to be an ancient tomb buried deep within the Amazon. After defeating the usual gambit of traps and tricks, he came upon a gilded room. His torch created stars on the polished walls and all the world was gold. Aside from the plating, though, there was no treasure.
Although he was at first frustrated by what he took to be the evidence of grave robbers, his hope renewed upon spying a single silver brick on the opposite wall. When his fingers brushed against it, he was surprised to find it was warm and moved under his touch. With a smooth motion, it slid up and under the tile above, revealing a panel lit from within. There was a 9x30 grid of holes, many of which had small pegs inserted into them. It reminded Harold of a toy from his childhood that let you create lighted artwork with small, plastic pegs.
There were five pegs laying on a tray just underneath the panel. They each had a faint glow and some kind of marking on the side but, aside from that, they looked exactly like the pegs already inserted into the panel. Experimentally, he stuck all five into random open holes. Nothing happened. He tried to pull out one of the pegs that were inserted to begin with but it was stuck fast. He couldn't just try every possible combination because there were almost 572 million possibilities and Harold had forgotten to pack lunch.
After studying the panel for a while, a glimmer of recognition formed. He picked up a peg and stuck it into a particular open hole. Nothing happened but he was confident so he went ahead with the rest. Once all five were in, their glow vanished! The panel slid shut and a vibration started under his feet. Slowly, ever so slowly, the entire wall to the right of the panel slid aside.
As Harold raised his torch and peered inside, a loud bang nearly gave him a heart attack. Suddenly, his face was peppered with something small and slick. When he recovered from the shock, he saw that he had been shot with a confetti cannon. The colored paper littered the floor. Looking up, he saw the only thing in the secret room: a banner that read "GOOD JOB!"
Angered at the waste of his time, he stripped every ounce of gold from the walls and used it to hire his first henchmen and take his vengeance upon the world.
Would you have been able to solve the panel in time for lunch?
In the image below, The white squares with a hollow circle represent empty holes. The black squares with the double white circle represent holes with pegs in them.
These are the pegs exactly as they appeared to Harold. They should be used to fill in five of the empty holes in the image above.
To alleviate any chance of confusion on the characters, here is the text from each peg:
Blue Peg (ϠϕϞζ) -------------------- Ϡ 03E0 Sampi (Archaic) ϕ 03D5 Phi (Symbol) Ϟ 03DE Koppa (Capital) ζ 03B6 Zeta (Capital) Red Peg (ΫΘβγ) -------------------- Ϋ 03AB Upsilon (Capital with Dialytika) Θ 0398 Theta (Capital) β 03B2 Beta (Lowercase) γ 03B3 Gamma (Lowercase) Green Peg (θγΘϞ) -------------------- θ 03B8 Theta (Lowercase) γ 03B3 Gamma (Lowercase) Θ 0398 Theta (Capital) Ϟ 03DE Koppa (Capital) Purple Peg (φβΣθ) -------------------- φ 03C6 Phi (Lowercase) β 03B2 Beta (Lowercase) Σ 03A3 Sigma (Capital) θ 03B8 Theta (Lowercase) Orange Peg (ΔΣβΨ) -------------------- Δ 0394 Delta (Capital) Σ 03A3 Sigma (Capital) β 03B2 Beta (Lowercase) Ψ 03A8 Psi (Capital)
One of Harold's first henchmen was heard to be retelling this story in a tavern shortly after receiving his first paycheck. It turns out that Harold was pretty upset about how he had been tricked and was telling everyone. As it turns out,
the peg colors were a red herring.
The first thing Harold did after hiring his first henchmen was to hunt down whoever created that temple. After all, based on the solution,
he knew it was a recent creation and not an ancient one.
As it turns out, the perpetrator was none other his old nemesis:
Of course, that's just what Harold's nemesis called himself once he rose to power. To annoy his, Harold called him by his original name:
What infuriated Harold the most is how he was tricked into thinking it was an ancient temple. Once he recognized the pattern, he knew it couldn't possibly have been older than
the 1870s because the pattern it references wasn't invented until that decade.
What was even more infuriating was all the distracting extra information. Someone was just trying to make explorers waste time.
The characters inscribed on the pegs were also a red herring! In reality, it didn't matter which peg went where! The only thing that mattered was which five holes got filled in.
If you asked Harold how he managed to find the pattern behind the pegs, he would explain that he tried breaking it up into pieces for analysis. What worked the best was when he
divided the first three rows into 3x3 blocks.
Knowing what his made his nemesis famous, the grid started to make sense.