Some time ago I met an old man who handed me a scrap of paper and told me:
Dargloc - the treasure hunter is searching. You must be quicker. The key to success is to obey the rule:
"If Dargloc rests now? You have to hurry." But do not dare to repeat yourself.
Then he disappeared while I was looking at the paper. It looked like this:
(Click the image to see it improved by @Wesley Situ)
I knew that it was a map of archipelago I visited when I was young. I got there in the evening, so I spent the night in the middle of Peaceful Island. It is the largest one and lies to the very west of the area. I woke up exactly at midnight as it was really cold. I stayed there half an hour more, then I tried to look at the Sun but it was far before dawn. I turned a bit right, then reached the corner of the island and there I started my journey:
- I went ahead 3 steps and got to the nearest beach. I rested for 33 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I turned to the direction not in west and rested in the middle of the island ahead for 52 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I went away of direction not taken yet still on ground, then proceeded fouriously and rested for 51 minutes on a rock to the South as Dargloc was near.
- I jumped North and East each time the bells rang last time and rested for 36 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I climbed the nearest rock and faced where snow petrels breed to get to the last of the sum of the rows. Then I rested sleeping for 50 minutes, as Dargloc was nearly wrong - I was not.
- I saw the Sun was rising, so I followed it 6 times. I took one step South and rested for 1 minute as Dargloc was near.
- I did a mirror of my previous march. Twice. Took one step with the Wind and rested sleeping for 2 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I went 5 steps diagonally and bounced once like light. I rested for 9 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I got back to my starting point the same path I got here. I remembered how many places I've been to and rested for 12 minutes because Dargloc was here before me.
- I moved horizontally to the very edge of the area and rested on nearest grass for 19 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I turned left and reached the middle. Then turning right I saw my place to rest. I rested the hard way for 18 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I went wild until I crawled on a rock the second time. I took the last step left and rested sleeping there for 9 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I reached the balance between East and West and turned left to reach the almost-almost-edge. I turned left again and made two steps, where I rested for 9 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I turned around and reached first grass ahead. Then, more than to left, but less than to back I made one step and rested for 12 minutes as Dargloc was here before me.
- I turned South-West and stomped on a beach. Then through water and sand I stayed away from rocks and stopped before I reached the grass. I rested there for 19 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I reached two tiles from the cowboy's edge and rested there for 18 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- Direction on map was pointed by arrow, which head was in clock's hands. I followed it until I reached the grass. Then I jumped over water to the direction left from the two and rested sleeping there for 9 minutes as Dargloc was here before me.
- I went East and fell into water again. I moved to the row marked as digital meantime a minute ago and rested for 3 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I went to more than out and made it to the beach. Sand at my right or grass to my left... I don't remember, but I jumped into water and rested there for 20 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I went East and climbed on first rock from where I went 2 steps more. I went North as many times as there are my columns in "bell" counted from the middle (positive or not). I rested sleeping for 15 minutes as Dargloc was here before me.
- I went through beetles and rested for 25 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I got on nearest grass and almost got to the nearest edge of horizon. Then I jumped north over two puddles and rested on nearest rock for 26 minutes as Dargloc was expecting me to fail. I did not.
- I went to the direction that none of the hands pointed - to the end of the sand. I rested there for 37 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I went one step closer to zero, turned right and went between 2nd grass and sand. There I rested for 38 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I reached the closest rock to the West, then went 2 diagonally more as the shorter one pointed. I rested there for 37 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I turned to where people's watches are late and ran like one third of the Beast. I rested there for 9 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I mirrored my last march twice and rested sleeping there for 13 minutes as Dargloc was here before me.
- I let my scar feast and followed it so I reached next sand. Then I turned right and reached nearest rock ahead. I rested there for 36 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I went to the last rock of the negative longitude and faced the far longer edge. I went forward and right. I rested for 52 minutes as Dargloc was not able to see the way. I was.
- I turned around and saw how much water is between me and the edge. I reached half of it, then turned right and took 2 more steps. I rested there for 20 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I turned to the most positive part of the map and went there until the last sand was before me. Then I took the closest slice of PI twin and rested there for 15 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I went literally opposite to the last one. Except the PI. There I rested for 50 minutes as Dargloc was here before me.
- I turned in direction where I saw only water and grass - the latter I reached and went on the star to the nearest sand. Then I went one step forward and then so much South to get out of water. There I rested sleeping for 5 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I went with 3, not 1 and rested for 20 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I went free to near the "7". Then reached the further of middles and turned right to go and pass all the sand. After two steps to the "7" I rested for 52 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I went to a rock that was like an egg, then North until I hit something in water. I jumped over a rock beginnig from noon and rested there for 36 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I passed all the water of the one not found resting. I rested for 50 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I moved fast ear to the second water in a row. There I rested for 33 minutes as Dargloc was here before me.
- I went forward to a point where one step sideways led me between ground twins. Between them I rested sleeping for 15 minutes as Dargloc was near.
- I counted the rocks in my row and went so in direction pointed by the number of all of them. Then East to the first point where there's ground 2 the left and 2 the right. There I rested for 20 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I went so far to test what only 2 tiles were left ahead and remembered the time. I rested there for 33 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I jumped into water which would be pointed by the remembered time if I it was 2 hours later. I stopped after I passed a beach. I rested there for 51 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I went to the beach in horizontal direction where the grass was. Then I turned right and after two steps I rested for 50 minutes as Dargloc was eager.
- I proceeded to West to stop only before more than 2 waters were in front of me. I jumped into water ahead and took the nearest way to fill my hourglass. Then I took one step right and rested for 33 minutes as Dargloc was here before me.
- I turned around and went to the second sand. Then colonist one step and to the nearest rock to the South. I rested there for 50 minutes as Dargloc was surprised by my affiliation. I was not.
- I passed next 2 rocks to direction which the middle shows and got to the nearest beach on which I rested sleeping for 15 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I did the Beast thing again and after 2 more steps I rested for 36 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I turned where timely bisection would show me if read from the ends and made a step back to rest for 52 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I turned to where another timely bisection pointed. One step ahead, turned a bit to right, one step more and forwards to nearest sand. I rested for 33 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I jumped over nearest rock 3 times. I always splashed while landing and I did not turn without a good reason. There I rested for 50 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I went 2 steps to meet a white bear, but then I turned left to take the last one. I rested for 15 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I went 1 step towards the longer side's middle and turned right. Took one step ahead and rested sleeping for 20 minutes as Dargloc was somewhere.
- I started counting my steps. I climbed on obstacle ahead. I turned to my left and went until I counted 6. There I rested for 36 minutes as Dargloc was wild.
- I went to meet the Sun up to where I couldn't make as many steps as I counted to. There I rested for 52 minutes as Dargloc was here, looting the treasure. I did not follow him. Yet.
- I went 2 the South and rested for 33 minutes as Dargloc was already gone.
- I went 5 steps more and rested for 50 minutes as Dargloc was already gone.
- He was gone for good so I stayed another 15 minutes to have the time to think.
- After another 20 minutes of sleep everything became clear.
As I stayed there everything became clear:
I looked at all the places where I rested and the numbered coordinates made sense.
I read through all the places where I rested and there the question arised - I followed the answer avoiding Dargloc.
From there I finally followed the signs he left throughout his search. This showed me the path.
As I moved along the path, at its end I knew the landtype where the treasure was hidden.
I ordered the places I rested chronologically and I knew that I rested timely.
As I visualized them I saw that I had to mark a point where 4 tiles touch each other. And I already knew which tile to choose.
As I got to the place where the treasure should be I realized that Dargloc has the treasure from the very beginning. He toyed with me to let me think I had a chance to be quicker than him.
First part of the treasure is the half of the number of places I remembered long ago.
Second part of the treasure is the place the treasure was hidden.
Third and fourth part of the treasure take time to get, so I measured my journey and got rid of the worthless.
Fourth part of the treasure is the first one of the above.
Third part of the treasure is 1 less than a half of what was left.
The real question is: What is the treasure? (The reasoning is the most important part of course)
- As the full solution involves a lot of work, I encourage you to post any progress you make to finally get the solution together.
- I'll try to keep track of the solution progress and give hints if necessary.
- If I made any mistakes (which is highly probable) let me know and I'll fix them (unless they are made on purpose)
Good luck, treasure hunters!
- Updated the map image (it had wrong tile at first column and second row).
- The times in the numbered directions have been updated (there was an error there). What was changed in this edit can be a hint of some sort.
- The direction #5 was a copy of direction #18 by mistake. Now it is correct.
- The direction #17 was changed a bit.
- The direction #5's wording was not the most fortunate and is now changed.
- The direction #17 was rewritten due to unfortunate wording.
- The direction #18 was shifted by a minute.
- The direction #31 was slightly changed to make it more precise.
- The direction #26 was ambiguous, so it was changed a bit.
- The direction #31 and #32 were changed from Pie to PI.
- The amount of resting in direction #49 was chagned (was erred before).
- The direction #31 was rewritten (the incorrect reasoning of Phlarx was fitting better than mine)
- The direction #31 was mixed up - the "twin" was added.
- The directions #41 and #42 were changed (another time-related issue)
- The "fornt" in direction #44 was in fact a typo. It was meant to be "front".
- The direction #48 and #49 changed due to incorrect time. ("On step" was a typo that should be "One step")
- The direction #52 was changed (erred) from "shorter" to "longer".
- The direction #53 was made clearer.
- The prologue was changed a bit (by mistake the time of the journey was counted from midnight, not from half past - sorry for that).
You can treat tiles as the same island only if they are connected by a full edge (not corner) (thanks for pointing this out by Buldelu)
You will never be directed outside the area depicted by the map even for a split second by any of the clues, at any stage of the riddle.
Finishing a move or even resting on a water tile is perfectly OK (assume you have a boat or something).
You can move in 8 directions.
Any phrase like "horizontally", "vertically", "rows" or "columns" refer to the map after any rotation resulting in top of the map being north. (i.e. if the map should be rotated 90 deg clockwise, columns are numbered, rows are assigned letters and horizontally means parallel to the longer edge of the map)
Any word that starts with capital letter and is not leading a sentence is written that way for a reason.
The first clue (first blockquote) was solved by Wesley Situ (see his answer or click the image of the map).
All steps to solve this riddle other than executing the numbered directions depend on solving the numbered directions first.
If you don't know where to start executing the numbered directions see the answer by Buldelu (with comments), as it clears this part up.
Isn't the first numbered direction trying to get you out of the area of the map? (No, it is not, but it is a hint to think of it - see hint #5.) (solved by Phlarx)
The journey introduction together with the first numbered direction, clarifications and Hint #3 should tell you that the map is still not exactly what it should look like. Something which appears on every map is still missing (see hint #4). (solved by Wesley Situ).
Direction#1: You are explicitly told the starting point (or at least small set of possible starting points), but the important thing here is to know where your "ahead" is exactly. (solved by Phlarx)
None of the numbered directions ends with turning somewhere and not going at least one step in that direction (and you are always told how many steps to make).
For "decoding" the output of your journey, the most important thing is the order. (solved by Phlarx)
Even if some path looks like it is not the correct one, there might be a message hidden in it.
Direction #17: The "arrow" would be even more accurate if it was 5 minutes earlier.
The PI in direction #31 and #32 refers to something from the most distant past of this treasure hunt. Why are both letters capitalized? (solved by Rubio in Phlarx's answer comments)
When thinking of the references of wrong paths in the riddle: Who would want you to take wrong paths? Some directions have different ending.
About the "colonist": Read the direction aloud. Slowly.
Direction #48: The word "ends" is plural, but refers to only one point in time. There are at least two elements in what clock is showing. Read them all "from their ends" and then bisect the result.
There is a small set (2) of valid answers to the "question that arised" after completing the numbered directions (not taken literally). You will know which one is correct if you "avoid Dargloc".
To comply with the "avoiding Dargloc" part you only have to know his name.
When you follow Dargloc on his path remember that you are still on the same map.
Why did he stop so many times? Maybe he needed some rest?
Addition to hint #18: What did you do when you rested?
"Following Dargloc": Whole path is important. Not only the final tile.
"Following Dargloc" part is supposed to provide you with a landtype. The "Timely Resting" is supposed to provide you with 4 tiles. These parts can be solved independently. After both are solved you will have to merge them to get the one-tile solution.
Dargloc rests on specific tiles on the map (exactly like you did before). Whole his path results in some message (which leads you to the landtype).
The "I ordered the places I rested chronologically (...) as I visualized them" part means to take your resting places very "visually". Apply the "I rested timely" part in chronological order. The map from Phlarx's answer should help a lot.
Note that the longest resting time is 52 minutes. The number of your resting places is 58, which is more than 52, so each resting time has its unique mapping to a resting place.
The "MIDDLE GRASS" message is a little unfortunate - it would be clearer if it was "MEAN GRASS". Note the "4 tiles' intersection".
"Third and fourth part of the treasure take time to get". Definitely you should take time into consideration, not only number of stops. "I measured my journey and got rid of the worthless" - what does that mean? By the way, there is no clue about what time unit you should use; days? hours? Try to stick with the one used by the puzzle itself.
Yes, the four parts of the treasure are 4 numbers that have to be translated into text which describes the treasure.
The translation is not 1-A, 2-B etc. It is something more closely connected with the puzzle itself.
About manipulating the time of the journey: try to see the number of minutes as just the number, or even as a string of digits without any additional meaning.
In this section I will note some (not very inventive but still important) thoughts that may help other puzzlers make their big and complex puzzles better.
- The number of directions included in this puzzle is way too large and it becomes boring after all this time.
- Many directions were unclear and ambiguous. It's good to try to verify that it cannot have double meaning (if it is not intended of course).
- The more separate parts (numbered directions in this case) you add, the higher the probability of making a mistake is.
- If you want to create a complex and long puzzle, it is better to create many different parts than a few monstrous (big and scary) parts. While both solutions may require the same amount of work it is more enjoyable to switch between the parts and you can get more solvers actually involved.
- Try to make the puzzle be solvable by multiple solvers at once (separate parts) so that they can share their observations and help each other (which was kind of killed in this puzzle by including too many numbered directions).
- Make your puzzle well structured and readable - large blocks of (even formatted) text are hard to focus on. Use bold font, lists, images, tables etc. to help people see what you want to show them.
- Let someone else try to solve each step of your puzzle as it is being created (with your immediate help to speed the process up) - this will enable you to spot mistakes you made before "release" to the public. I am really sorry for the number of mistakes I made during creation of this puzzle - I checked it so many times, but there were still lots of errors left unseen until someone else tried to solve this. I think this is almost impossible to create a puzzle so large only by yourself - you need a tester.