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My dear puzzle friends, I need your help!

An old acquaintance of mine has recently passed away and mentioned me in his will. I was quite thrilled, as the man was rather rich due to some clever investments during his lifetime. Unfortunately, he was as, hmm, unconventional as he was rich. He always imagined himself as a pirate and spent a good deal of his time roleplaying his phantasies. Oh, how I hated all his Arrr-jokes and endless adventure stories told at countless evenings at the hotel bar... Anyway, I'm afraid he also chose to have the last laugh on me, and I can only inherit his fortune when I play along with his last pirate story.

When I met the solicitor, he handed me over the three things pictured below:

  • A parchment with a map and some notes to me
  • A small square cardboard coaster which has been scribbled on
  • A leather-bound book, supposedly a "Pirate Captain's logbook" of sorts

That's all I have to go on, my friends! Please help me. The solicitor told me, I can take my time, but I must not guess. A single attempt for a correct solution is all I have!


The parchment The coaster The LogBook4 (There are 5 pages in the journal: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5)


This is a long, laborious, multi-layered treasure hunt and cooperation is strongly encouraged. Solving individual 'layers' of the puzzle hopefully provide enough internal feedback to encourage you in your thinking.

The story above is just flavour. The three images above are the sole starting point. Potential spelling or grammatical errors are non-intentional.

I have tried to cross-check this puzzle multiple times over the last few weeks of building it, but mistakes and errors are possible. If you think you have spotted a potential flaw, please comment. Below is a list of known errors or corrected things.

Errata and correction log

  • 31th May 2016: Replaced log book page 3. (Incorrect use of 'nordwards').
    Does not change puzzle. Removed inconsistency. Found by Leppy64.
  • 31th May 2016: Replaced log book page 4. (Last turn after 3 not after 4 miles.).
    This changes Journey 7, last leg.
    Found by Leppy64. \
  • 31th May 2016: Added log book page 5 which was omitted on original posting.
  • 4th June 2016: One symbol on one of the crosses is rotated by 180 degree. The original image can not be changed for specific reason. The replacement image is found here. The community wiki posts to the correct image.
    This fixes an inconsistency. The puzzle would be solvable without this fix.
  • 7th June 2016: Fixed hint in journal page 3.
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  • $\begingroup$ So the one who made the butterfly puzzle says "yeah I just cooked up part one because I couldn't upload my real puzzle". Nice. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Jun 1 '16 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ @LeppyR64 Sort of. I would have needed something for ring/die/graveyard anyway, but I had some other ideas first. Together with the 6 map pieces the "journey" puzzle suited me fine. Maybe it was too easy though? I did not spent too much time "minimizing" the information in it. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 1 '16 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ Can you please verify all is correct with journal page #1, 4x4 grid with 3 on it. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Jun 3 '16 at 0:48
  • $\begingroup$ @LeppyR64 It is an obvious inconsistency, and might be a mistake of my acquaintance, but none of mine ;-) (it might force you to find auxiliary info elsewhere.) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 3 '16 at 5:38
  • $\begingroup$ Off topic, but could you tell me where you got the first map? It's strikingly similar to a map I remember from a puzzlebook in my youth. $\endgroup$ – Tonkleton Jun 7 '16 at 23:24
13
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For those who want to edit my base map without the paths:

Coaster
enter image description here

Corners:

The turns in the journey occur on a letter in the grid. When combined together, each is a link to the "stacked" imgur. There are nine more images. 6 pieces of the map, the silver ring, and the silver die. And one other image.

Page 1 of the Journal

Journey 1 - Top Left of Page

enter image description here
Corners = M7xBm
enter image description here

Journey 2 - Top Right of Page

enter image description here
Corners = 2jK8M enter image description here

Journey 3 - Bottom Right of Page

enter image description here
Corners = StWHV
enter image description here

Page 2 of the Journal

Journey 4 - Middle Left of Page

enter image description here
Corners = lWlvC enter image description here

Page 3 of the Journal

Journey 5 - Top Left of the Page

enter image description here
Corners = YqUSJ
The ring
enter image description here

Journey 6 - Bottom Right of the page

enter image description here Corners = HLy4j
enter image description here

Page 4 of the Journal

Journey 7 - Top Left of the page

enter image description here
Corners = Fmvr0
enter image description here

Journey 8 - Top right of the page

enter image description here
Corners = NccF6 enter image description here

Page 5 of the Journal

Journey 9 - Top Right of page

enter image description here
Corners = xU9Ke The die enter image description here

Overlay of all Journies:

enter image description here

Random Notes to remember:

Ring and the Graveyard - This is the next step 4x4 Grid things (Page 1)
F.N. - West / S.N. - North (Page 3)

The Map Pieces - Thanks to Wesley Situ for this merged map pieces

enter image description here

The Crosses - Thanks to Wesley Situ for this pic of the crosses

enter image description here

The People on the Boat

Page 1 - Left
Uwe Halfaname

Page 1 - Right Top
Navigator

Page 1 - Right Mid
Sick Harming - Doc has a peg-leg
Wil the Joker

Page 2 - Left Top
Wil N'thing
Sick Harming
Navigator (Thickhead or Darmwind)
Cook (Thickhead or Darmwind)

Page 2 - Left Bot
Gorn - Brings a cat aboard

Page 2 - Right Bot
Ron (Darmwind or Fartling)
Eugen (Darmwind or Fartling)

Page 3 - Right Top
Gorn
Grinning Cat (G.C)

Page 4 - Left Bot
Thickhead (Navigator or Cook)
Knut Tattenshoe
Maurice Nutter
Darmwind (Navigator or Cook)
Wil Ironfist (as we find on Page 4 Right)

Page 4 - Right Top
Marice Nutter

Page 4 - Right Mid
Wil Ironfist
Wil N'thing

Page 5 -Right Top
Gorn

Conclusions:
The names on the stones have all been tracked except for Alexander Leffie, Svem Orm, and the blank one.

Two names referenced in the story that are not on stones are (Ron or Eugen) Fartling, and Gorn. Fartling is likely the blank stone due the farting story and the reference to his "wind".

Gorn is either Alexander Leffie or Svem Orm. I lean towards Gorn being Svem Orm but I can't prove it.

That leaves mister Alexander Leffie. Leffie spelt backwards is Eiffel. There is an Eiffel Tower in the mountains of the map.

Tombstones

Alexandre Leffie - "You will not be forgotten your work is central"
- Not mentioned in the journal at all
- Leffie spelt backwards is Eiffel.
- Alexandre Gustave Eiffel is the man the Eiffel Tower is named after
- There is an Eiffel tower on the map

Maurice Nutter - "right down right down right down back you are" - Possibly a reference to Maurice Koechlin - Engineer on the Eiffel Tower

Sick Harming - "A peg for a leg Tock-Tock"
- This man is the doctor on the ship
- Tock-Tock seems to imply a clock, but clocks say "Tick-Tock"
- Morse code on the side of tombstone says "City of Love" associated with Paris

Knut Tattenshoe - "born march 1889, ascension 1710"
- The Eiffel Tower was opened in March 1889
- The Eiffel Tower has 1710 flights of stairs

The Ring:

The right side of the ring says "Quo~Vadis". Translated from Latin this says "Where are you going". The squiggle matches up with the squiggle on the dies faces. When you orient the faces correctly they follow the paths on page 1 of the journal. The straight lines on the die faces seem to point to the trees on the North and West sides.

Using the clues, FN - North and SN - West. FN is the first intial and SN is the second initial of the names on the tombstones.

There are a lot of i's to do and t's to cross to sum up this section. Now to fill them in, across the top we get:
A M R W E U G S K
Alexandre
Maurice
Ron (This could have been Eugen, but Ron works here, Fartlings tombstone sums this up I'm sure)
Wil (Both Wils are in the same column)
Eugen (See Ron)
Uwe
Gorn and Grinning
Sick and Svem
Knut

Down the side we get:
H D N L O F I T C
Harming
Darmwind (This could have been Nav's last name, but Nav shares a row with Tattenshoe)
Nutter and N'thing
Leffie
Orm (Halfaname's surname starts with O)
Fartling
Ironfist (N'thing shares with Nutter)
Thickhead and Tattenshoe
Cat

Following the paths and lines from layers 1 through 6 as laid out by Wesley Situ we get the message:
THE_FAIR_METAL_T
OWER_LAT_MINUS_L
ONG______THEN___
_______TAKE_____
_GRAD_MIN_SEC_AS
__THREE__ANGLES_

"The Fair Metal Tower" that has been alluded to is the Eiffel Tower. It lies at 48°51′29.6″N 2°17′40.2″E accoridng to wikipedia.

Rouding those a little and subtracting yields: 46 43 50

Degrees is Grads in German, apparently, so no conversion needed.

Looking at the map (wow it's been a long time away from it) and finding the three angles. We look around and don't see a 50, but we do see K. Earlier it was found by WesleySitu that K = 50!

The treasure is hidden here:

enter image description here

Great puzzle! We left a few rocks unturned (and man one of them was actually really beautiful) but we made it!

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Perfect start. I feel the money already within my grasp! $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 31 '16 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ Watching your progress with glee. I m wondering though if anybody else is working on this as well... $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 31 '16 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest He presented it to me in chat. Not certain why he didn't post it himself. It was quite a significant help to me. My talents don't lie in image editing. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Jun 1 '16 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest I was going to put it in the community wiki, but I hadn't connected everything together, so it's not really 'finished'. $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ Jun 1 '16 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. I'm not commenting too much on it (yet), but the big question is, what to do with this? ;c) As an aside: My acquaintance was not called Alexander ;c) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 2 '16 at 16:18
4
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The Map

Regarding the six points on the map pieces and their bearings

Each has a corresponding shape with them.

If we take the shapes to denote the sum of the internal angles, we can solve for K and X. For example, the hexagon has a total angle of 720. X3 + XX3 + 28X + 3X3 = 720.

Solving for K and X using the equations, we get:
K = 50
X = 1

Extending the lines on the map

enter image description here

Here's a clue to take note of... there might be more to the map that require a higher resolution but I don't feel like looking for Waldo

Found at the center of the compass

enter image description here

The lighter spots mark the locations of the tombstones in the graveyard. This also shows that the entrance to the graveyard is in the south.

Also take note that the dots around the compass aren't symmetrical and might possibly be an encoded message of sorts?

The Graveyard

From Fartling's gravestone

enter image description here

I've marked the squares that I believe are reversed (some may be wrong). There are also the letters that had no pixel difference from the horizontal flipping, which I didn't mark. The font used in the text below is Arial, so I believe the font of the other non-italicized letters are also in Arial... if that helps anyone else determine which letters are reversed.

Possible direction to go with for the dice

Placing each face in a 4x4...

Update: Following LeppyR64's connection, I've updated the face orientations and added outlines to more clearly see how it matches up to the clues from page 1 of the journal.

Face 1
enter image description here
Face 2
enter image description here
Face 3
enter image description here

Face 4
enter image description here
Face 5
enter image description here Face 6
enter image description here

After correctly orienting the dice,

We can place the faces onto the map of the graveyard on the ring. From LeppyR64's observation, the straight lines point to the plants along the north and west sides of the graveyard.

Face 1 enter image description here
enter image description here

Face 2
enter image description here
enter image description here

Face 3
enter image description here
enter image description here

Face 4 enter image description here
enter image description here

Face 5
enter image description here
enter image description here

Face 6
enter image description here
enter image description here

This part is solved! See LeppyR64's answer for the next step for the map.

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  • $\begingroup$ Another puzzle piece in place... Well done. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 1 '16 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ ...an essential part of image processing done. Checked. It's always good to work with enough resolution... $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 2 '16 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ It is great to have a talented image processor working on this. Your talents will be needed also in the main puzzle part, the graveyard, and I think you might already be on the right track. Just remember: the final solution must be 100% certain. 99% guess based on maybe-clues is not good enough (unless you guess right, but why take the risk?) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 2 '16 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest The dice.... they hurt my head so much haha $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ Jun 2 '16 at 19:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ HaHa, I can literatlly feel your pain - because, guess what, I had the same problem when building the puzzle. (And sometimes building should be taken literally!) It might be a good idea to post some "intermediate" results as well. Right now, it seems only you and Leppy are working on this. Some half-thoughts could trigger "real thougths" in others... $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 2 '16 at 19:53
2
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This is a community wiki answer

The purpose of this answer is to collect 'finished' as indented answers to provide an easier read-through for others. Credit is given to the original answer authors.


Part 1 - the 9 journeys

solved by Leppyr64 (original answer)

The log book contains 9 diary entries about some sailing journeys.

These can be mapped to 'sea map' found on the coaster.
A graphical summary of the journeys is given in this solution overview image.

What next?

enter image description here As hinted in the original letter, only the corners of the journey are important. These lie on letters or numbers, giving a 5-character-combo for each journey.

And what to do with the codes?

Page 4 of the journal contains a hint in morse code to help us out here. You'll notice that there are two sequences that repeat: .-.-.- and -....-

If you take .-.-.- to be . and -....- to be -, we can decipher the code to be I.STACK.IMGUR.COM
And then there is one more hint in the letter: Letter
This leads us to believe that all codes belong to links of the form http://i.stack.imgur.com/?????.xxx with ????? being the code and xxx one of the valid image formats.

This gives the solution of part 1, the 9 additional items of the puzzle:

- Detail map 1 (http://i.stack.imgur.com/Fmvr0.jpg)
- Detail map 2 (http://i.stack.imgur.com/HLy4j.jpg)
- Detail map 3 (http://i.stack.imgur.com/lWlvC.jpg)
- Detail map 4 (http://i.stack.imgur.com/StWHV.jpg)
- Detail map 5 (http://i.stack.imgur.com/2jK8M.jpg)
- Detail map 6 (http://i.stack.imgur.com/M7xBm.jpg)
- The die (http://i.stack.imgur.com/xU9Ke.jpg)
- The ring (http://i.stack.imgur.com/YqUSJ.jpg)
- The final resting place (http://i.stack.imgur.com/NccF6.jpg)

Part 2 - the graveyard

One destination of Part 1 is a graveyard.

If you wait for a bit, as hinted by the original letter, you notice it is an animated image consisting of several images.

Hint

For convenience sake:

Overview small
Overview: Overview
Tombstones: T1 , T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T11, T12
Crosses: C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, C9, C10, C11, C12, C13, C14, C15, C16
Note: The animated graveyard shown an incorrect C15 (See Errata log) !

Part 2.1 - the setup

Hints related to the graveyard:

The central piece of the compass in one the detail maps seems to resemble a top-view map of the graveyard, marking both the tomb stones and the crosses. The relationship to the compass indicates the 'gate' of the graveyard is to the south.
Compass cut

Part 2.2 - the crosses

The graveyard features 16 regularly arranged crosses. There are several hints in the puzzle which mention

a die / dice.

and some which seem to correlate this with the crosses:

...more specifically, correlate the cross with the net of a die.

tomb stone ; journal page ; journal page

This lets one convert the crosses:
(work by Wesley Situ)

Net of cross 1 ==> die of cross 1

crosses to dice

If you want to build the dice from paper, here are all nets: 16 crosses to build dice from.

Part 2.3 - the tomb stones

nothing here yet

Part 3 - the map

Six destinations of Part 1 gave map pieces. The 6 pieces are higher detail cuts from the map given by the solicitor, and they overlap nicely. There is more detail in them, and several hints.

The 6 circles

solved by Wesley Situ (original answer)

There are 6 circles with rays on the detail maps:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Looking closely one notices:

Each circle has a little shape in it (slightly lighter colour).

If we take the shapes to denote the sum of the internal angles, we can solve for K and X. For example, the hexagon has a total angle of 720. X3 + XX3 + 28X + 3X3 = 720.

Solving for K and X using the equations, we get:
K = 50
X = 1


The rays

Stitching the map pieces and extending the rays from the 6 circles gives some interesting relations:
(work by Wesley Situ)

stitched map
(note, that this map is an 'overview' with reduced resolution.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh good. I can scratch one thing off my todo list. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Jun 1 '16 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ BTW, just noticed that the i.stack.imgur.com links work with any of the valid image format extensions, i.e. "IMGNAME.gif" or "IMGNAME.png" or "IMGNAME.jpg" all work, even if the image is a gif.... Odd. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jun 1 '16 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ That's an interesting note. I had interpreted the endings part that way as well, but jpg worked for them all. $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Jun 1 '16 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ I missed a letter on the map. Where orange, turquoise, and yellow intersect, there is an 'r'. $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ Jun 3 '16 at 16:27

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