2
$\begingroup$

If you're interested in starting the treasure hunt from the very beginning, check out the prologue!


After solving the monotonous and mindless puzzle (of course jet fuel can't melt steel beams), you're able to catch a few Z's before the next step of the treasure hunt. Lucky, too, since you hadn't slept for quite a few hours before this moment. You savor the sleep as best as you can before being abruptly awoken by, of all things, an air horn.

A man in a black suit with dark sunglasses stands above you, holding said air horn in one hand and an envelope with your name on it in the other. You begrudgingly take the envelope, glaring at the man. He, of course, remains expressionless. Opening the envelope, you find a letter, as well as a long, folded piece of parchment.

Better start with the letter, you figure.

Dear [insert username here],

Congratulations on solving the previous, and final, interlude! Just a couple of clues to go before you arrive at the penultimate challenge - but that's not cause to cheer yet, friend. The puzzles don't get any easier from here. I'm sure you've already noted the parchment in the envelope with this letter. That parchment has your next puzzle on it. But you already knew that! Get cracking! But more importantly, have fun!

Yours truly,

Bailey M
Puzzlemaster for the Treasure Hunt 'Round the World

You scoff. Surely by this point the puzzlemaster knows you're ready for any puzzle. Unfolding the parchment, you read:

aVZCT1J3MEtHZ29BQUFBTlNVaEVVZ0FBQWZRQUFBSDBFQUFBQUFDK0xWd1ZBQUFIV2tsRVFWUjQy dTNkTVc0VFVSQ0E0VjFrTEZGUklabzBRTVFORUp3QmhJVEVDVGdHTlJKOUtncXVrVnlBTmtjZ3Br dUZoS2hKWVc3Z0lDYmptYmY3ZlgzV3ordjNzMHN4ZXZOK1B3RUxkODh0QUtFRFFnZUVEZ2dkRURv Z2RFRG9nTkJCNklEUUFhRURRZ2VFRGdnZEVEb2dkQkE2SUhSQTZJRFFBYUVEUWdlRURnZ2RoQTRJ SFJBNklIUkE2SURRQWFFRFFnZUVEa0lIaEE0SUhSQTZJSFJBNklEUUFhR0QwQUdoQTBJSGhBNElI UkE2SUhSQTZDQjBRT2lBMEFHaEEwSUhoQTRJSFJBNklIUllqMDNWQjI5UGJxNlhkalAzZXh2S0R1 bTVRelkyVkJmelhMVkY4ajY1N2p2aDFSMkVEZ2dkRURvZ2RFRG9nTkFCb1FOQ0I2RURRZ2VFRGdn ZEtOWjBldTM5L1ErZis2MXEvKzd0NittN1RXT0hqTGREbW9iKzVOdWJWdzJYdFoyZVIvNzg4TkJt enl2blh0c084ZW9PQ0IwUU9pQjBFRG9nZEVEb2dOQUJvUU5DQjRRT0NCMkVEaXpXa0ljc3ZuaDVk WkZ6NWRPdmx4OXRpdkhaSVlzSS9lcmk5Nk9jSysrZVRvay80K0hUUXcrUGcwYUdSV09ubHZZY1Ux M21EdkhxRGdnZEVEb0lIUkE2SUhSQTZJRFFBYUVEUWdlRURnZ2RoQTRJSFJqSnhpMDRucnhSMDln b2FkNGdhbXhBRms5MFFPaUEwRUhvZ05BQm9RTkNCNFFPQ0IwUU9pQjBFRG9nZEVEb1FHZkdWSThv TXJSNWVKUTBjNGkxYXRWNG9nTkNCNFFPUWdlRURnZ2RFRG9nZEVEb2dOQUJvWVBRQWFFRFF4dHll dTMwMCs1aHpwV2ZmYkVsbHNBT1dVVG9sMmZUMllqcnJocmF2TzNLa1RIV3ZKTlkxN2hEdkxvRFFn ZUVEa0lIaEE0SUhSQTZJSFJBNklEUUFhRURRZ2VoQXd2U2RIcnR4Kzc4WjhObFBaaisyREoyeUln N1pLNDYwWEo3Y25POXRNMFhHd2VObklnYSt4V3JUbW85Zk9VMTdwRFZQZEc1MDMvTjU4ajJxenV3 R2Y5SEI0UU9DQjJFRGdnZEVEb2dkRURvZ05BQm9RTkNCNkVEeTFVMzFQSjQrdVgyWTRjY3gxdzNP TGZDbTEwMHB0cDFlczNlVzhNVGZZVWlHN3RyRkZMMmYzUkE2SURRQWFFRFFnZUVEa0lIaEE0SUhS QTZJSFJBNklEUUFhSERXaFdPcWZZOGFUTjI5SEhYVmZmOFRtYnNQZEVCb1FOQ0I0UU9RZ2VFRGdn ZEVEb2dkRURvZ05BQm9ZUFFBYUVESTJ0N21tcHNTUEgvcjV6NTExV3JyaHVkN0RuVXU4WlRYajNS UWVpQTBBR2hBMElIaEE0SUhSQTZJSFFRT2lCMFFPaUEwQUdoQTNldmNFeDF6RkhCbm9PWHNWWGxq ZDVXRGZWMlhYWGRudmRFQjYvdWdOQUJvUU5DQjRRT0NCMFFPaUIwRURvZ2RFRG9nTkFCb1FOM2Ir NDZMQm9aOTh2NzI4eEJ3N3l4ek5pYWV3NWUxZzNtam5pM1BOSEJxenNnZEVEb2dOQUJvUU5DQjRR T0NCMkVEZ2dkRURvZ2RFRG9RSWJDMDFRamc0WjFJNTFWWTRpeDRkcXFUNjQ3bDdUbjd2SkVCNFFP Q0IwUU9nZ2RFRG9nZEVEb2dOQUJvUU5DQjRRT0NCMkVEZ2dkR0VyaHNjbFZrOHd4UFk4SnpweFdy NXNwSC9GdWRqMkczQk1kdkxvRFFnZUVEZ2dkRURvZ2RFRG9nTkJCNklEUUFhRURRZ2VFRHR5OXpS Sy9WT2FZWWQyNGFOYjl1RzFkZWF2T3ZKY2pqaE43b2dOQ0I0UU9RbmNMUU9pQTBBR2hBMElIaEE0 SUhSQTZJSFFRT2lCMFlDeURqcWxXRFh6R0JnMTdqazVtcmpwdmFMTnU0TFBuS0xJbk9pQjBFRG9n ZEVEb2dOQUJvUU5DQjRRT0NCMkVEZ2dkRURvZ2RPRDRWbmlhNm1GMUk1MlJkY1UrTi9QMDJieDcz Zk1iMTQzUGVxS0RWM2UzQUlRT0NCMFFPaUIwUU9pQTBBR2hBMElIb1FOQ0I0UU9DQjA0dHJucldO MGliM2JhV0diZHJ4ajVUcG1yWHVLOTlrUUhoQTVDQjRRT0NCMFFPaUIwUU9pQTBBR2hBMElIb1FO Q0I0UU85RkoybXVyMjVPWjZhVGR6ekdIUjJMb2o1NUpHdnBQQlhFOTBRT2dnZEVEb2dOQUJvUU5D QjRRT0NCMFFPZ2dkRURvZ2RFRG9RTFZOejJXOXYvL2hjNzlWN2QrOWZUMTlEL3g5WUtRejcyOXZr M2N1YWVSdWRmM2txcnMxYU9oUHZyMTUxWEJaMittNVp3TmUzUUdoQTBJSGhBNElIUkE2Q0IwUU9p QjBRT2lBMEFHaEEwSUgvc0ZteEVXL2VIbDFrWFBsMDYrWEgyMEtoTjdDMWNYdlJ6bFgzajJkRWtQ dmVoRHdZVlVISTlmcHVpNnY3b0RRUWVpQTBBR2hBMElIaEE0SUhSQTZJSFJBNkNCMFFPaUEwSUZl Tm01QkY1SGh5THhSMHI2ZnZMNVZlNklEUWdlaEEwSUhoQTRJSFJBNklIUkE2SURRQWFHRDBBR2hB MElIZWpHbTJrYmU2T1J0NTdUMkhNdU0zWSs4czJuSEhISDFSQWV2N29EUUFhRURRZ2VFRGdnZEVE b2dkQkE2SUhSQTZJRFFnYU1iY25ydDlOUHVZYzZWbjMyeEpSQjZFNWRuMDluYWZxakkyR1ZzZExK cUxETjI1Y3l4WHEvdWdOQUJvUU5DQjRRT0NCMkVEZ2dkRURvZ2RFRG9nTkFCb1FQL29PbjAyby9k K2MrR3kzb3cvYkZsR05GY05aSzNQYm01WHRyTmpKMWFtdmRMeEU0ZTdicnFKZTRRcis2QTBBR2hn OUFCb1FOQ0I0UU9DQjBRT2lCMFFPaUEwRUhvd0lMVWphaytubjY1L1hBYzh4SlBqZ1M4dW9QUUFh RURRZ2VFRGdnZEVEb2dkRURvSUhSQTZJRFFBYUVEUWdlRURnZ2RFRG9nZEJBNklIUkE2SURRQWFF RFFnZUVEZ2dkaEE0SUhSQTZJSFJBNklEUUFhRURRZ2VoQTBJSGhBNElIUkE2SUhSQTZJRFFBYUdE MEFHaEEwSUhoQTRJSFJBNklIUkE2Q0IwUU9pQTBBR2hBMElIaEE0SUhSQTZDQjFZcnIvYXpWWGFK ZTZTcGdBQUFBQkpSVTVFcmtKZ2dnPT0=

Your eyes bug out of your head, but you take a moment and the letters, numbers, and symbols settle on the page. Turning the parchment over, you read:

9711599105105

Good luck converting the previous assortment of characters into your next destination. If your fail at first, try converting again!

- Bailey M


Where is your next destination?

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2
$\begingroup$

Decoding with base64 gives:

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

Decoding AGAIN with base64 gives a png file:

enter image description here

Scanning the QR code gives a link:

http://q-r.to/baeoka

Those colors in order are

84/114/97 ; 118/101/108 ; 32/116/111; 32/84/97 ; 115/104/107; 101/110/116

And converting to ASCII gives the message

Travel to Tashkent.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Too quick. Looks like you really were prepared for any puzzle! :) I guess the next one will have to be more wordplay... that is, after all, my forte. $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Aug 2 '16 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ @BaileyM: Yeah, re-encoding something over and over doesn't really make for a good puzzle IMO. I "solved" this one through recognition of common codes and online converters. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Aug 2 '16 at 22:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I really liked the idea of encoding a string as a hex codes in an image... I got a bit lost in translation after that, as you can see. Ah, well - you win some, you lose some! $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Aug 2 '16 at 22:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BaileyM: I actually remembered reading this article a while back - I assume that was your inspiration? $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Aug 2 '16 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, actually no, not at all - I've never seen that before. Guess I'm not the only one with the idea! $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Aug 2 '16 at 22:21

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