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An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #30: Metapuzzles...


For two months, the ship had hovered above the world ... silent, unmoving, just relentlessly hovering in a fixed spot over a desolate expanse of desert. Making no discernable EM emissions, and appearing to reflect all signals above or below the visible/infrared spectrum band, it had remained there, impervious, indifferent to any attempts to interact or communicate with it or whoever (whatever?) might be inside. While the people below frantically wrestled with all the implications the very presence of this ship might have on their lives and, perhaps, their very existence ... above, the ship remained, as quiet and apparently as dead as the cold of space.

Then ...

In the middle of the night, a beam of light brighter than the noonday sun stabbed out into the darkness from the underside of the ship, illuminating a small patch of sand below with its impossibly focused brilliance. That blinding radiance lasted for just a few moments before winking out, leaving the desert below seemingly darker than it had been before. And so it was that, for the space of several seconds, those who were watching that night didn't—couldn't—see what that beam had left behind.

Nobody agrees now who was the first to see, but within minutes it seemed like there wasn't a person alive who didn't know there was something new in the world. For there, in that desolate place, initially seen only dimly by the wan light of the moon but suddenly bathed in the glare of flashlights, then work lights, stiffly stood a slight figure. Roughly humanoid in appearance, some 5½ feet tall, with a torso that seemed just a little too long balanced on a tripod of spindly-looking legs. One arm shielded its face from the lights and the other seemed to fidget nervously near some device dangling on a loop from its iridescent sapphire-blue garment, while the third arm cradled a slender cylindrical object against its chest.

For nearly a minute, nobody seemed to know exactly what to do and nobody risked saying anything, anything at all. Then the visitor slowly lowered the arm covering its face as it slowly reached out with the cylinder toward the nearest group of people, like a relay runner extending the baton.

And then came The Voice.

It came from everywhere, and nowhere. It was softly sibilant like a whisper, and yet seemed to fill the entire surroundings with bass tones that vibrated the listener's chest and flooded his senses with its richness and clarity and raw power. People would kill for that Voice. People would die for that Voice. People would follow that Voice anywhere, do whatever it asked, give whatever it demanded, stop at nothing just to hear that Voice speak to them one more time.

And that Voice had a message.

  $\text{W}\small\text{E HAVE WATCHED.}$
  $\text{W}\small\text{E HAVE LISTENED.}$
  $\text{W}\small\text{E HAVE CONTEMPLATED.}$

  $\text{W}\small\text{E HAVE SEEN OUTSIDERS INFILTRATE THE ENCAMPMENTS AND}$
  $~~~~\small\text{SPREAD THEIR NOISOME NONSENSE LIKE PLAGUE AMIDST YOU.}$
  $\text{W}\small\text{E HAVE SEEN THAT SOMEONE WHO TRAMPLES THE LAWS CAN}$
  $~~~~\small\text{REMAIN ONE CAPRICIOUS JUMP AHEAD OF THE WATCHERS.}$
  $\text{W}\small\text{E HAVE SEEN YOUNG FOLK ACT AS IF THEIR YOUTH IS A SHIELD}$
  $~~~~\small\text{AGAINST THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR OWN MISGUIDED DEEDS.}$
  $\text{W}\small\text{E HAVE SEEN THE VIGILANCE OF YOUR ENFORCERS AND WE}$
  $~~~~\small\text{APPLAUD IT, BUT WE FEAR THERE ARE SECRETS THEY CANNOT}$
  $~~~~\small\text{SEE AND EVIL THEY CAN ONLY REDRESS, NOT PREVENT.}$

  $\text{N}\small\text{OW THE }\normalsize\text{Q}\small\text{UADRIAD HAS DECIDED.}$

  $\text{T}\small\text{OO LONG HAVE THE UNKIND AMONG YOU SOWED THEIR POISON.}$
  $\text{T}\small\text{OO LONG HAVE YOUR OWN KIND VIOLATED THE SACRED RULES,}$
  $~~~~\small\text{TO THE DETRIMENT OF ALL.}$
  $\text{T}\small\text{HE }\normalsize\text{Q}\small\text{UADRIAD WILL NOW }\textbf{END}\textrm{ THIS.}$
  $\text{T}\small\text{HEY WILL BRING THE }\textbf{ULTIMATE WEAPON}\textrm{ TO BEAR AGAINST}$
  $~~~~\small\text{THOSE RECIDIVISTS WHO PERPETRATE THESE EVILS.}$

  $\text{I}\small\text{T HAS BEEN GRANTED TO ME TO GIVE YOU THIS WARNING, AND}$
  $~~~~\small\text{TO REVEAL TO YOU THE NATURE OF THIS THING BY WHICH}$
  $~~~~\small\text{ULTIMATE JUDGMENT WILL FALL ON THOSE DESERVING IT.}$
  $\text{S}\small\text{O I HAVE USED MY POWER AND INFLUENCE TO PLACE ITS NAME}$
  $~~~~\small\text{WHERE THOSE DISCERNING ENOUGH CAN FIND IT.}$
  $\text{L}\small\text{ET HIM WITH UNDERSTANDING NOW COME, AND KNOW THIS DOOM.}$

 

The Speaker, with a small flourish, dropped the cylinder to the ground. It unfurled to reveal ...

sky-map

$\text{T}\small\text{HUS WAS THE SKY THE NIGHT MY SHIP ARRIVED.}$
$\text{W}\small\text{ITHIN THIS MAP I HAVE HID THE NAME OF THE WEAPON.}$
$\text{F}\small\text{IVE CLUES I HAVE ALSO HID...}$

The Speaker opened a hand to reveal five shiny discs with something inscribed on each, which it then set spinning, hovering in the air a few inches above the ground.

               1     Another visual puzzle to tuck into
               2     Additions & Twists
               3     Where Is My Friend?
               4     Easy to type, Harder to say
               5     A Soupçon of Rebus Recreation

$\text{T}\small\text{HESE CLUES NAME SOMETHING WHICH APPEARS ON THIS SKY MAP.}$
$\text{T}\small\text{HE NAMED STARS AND CONSTELLATIONS ON THIS MAP HAVE EACH}$
  $~~~~\small\text{BEEN GIVEN A SIMPLE INSTRUCTION.}$
$\text{F}\small\text{IND THE INSTRUCTIONS BELONGING TO THAT WHICH THESE CLUES}$
  $~~~~\small\text{NAME, AND APPLY THEM TO THAT SAME NAME.}$

$\text{F}\small\text{OLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.}$
$\text{L}\small\text{EARN THE NAME OF THE }\textbf{ULTIMATE WEAPON}.$

 
And with that, the Speaker's message was finished.

There was a sudden, terrible stillness.
There was a sudden, terrible light.
There was a sudden, terrible darkness.

The Voice was silenced. The Speaker was there no more.

______

Prove yourself a person of discernment and understanding!
Name the Ultimate Weapon!
Name the Quadriad that will use it!

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  • $\begingroup$ Holy metapuzzle Rubio @_@ $\endgroup$ – n_plum Apr 17 '17 at 13:33
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    $\begingroup$ Very well-crafted prose! $\endgroup$ – GoldenGremlin Apr 17 '17 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ Just for future reference, the MathJaxed text is quite non-mobile friendly in that you have to scroll left and right constantly to see the ends of the lines. $\endgroup$ – boboquack Apr 17 '17 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @boboquack ... or just turn your device sideways? (I have an iPhone SE, one of the smallest screens available on a still "current" mobile device, and I had no problem reading the text; I check for that sort of thing.) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Apr 17 '17 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ i.stack.imgur.com/SdYBR.png This is a phone from before the great fattening of the iPhone 6. IPhone StackExchange? Never heard of it. (Did you mean 5S?) $\endgroup$ – boboquack Apr 17 '17 at 19:41
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The four answers to the previous puzzles are

POINTS, AT, NORTH, and STAR. ("A Soupçon of Rebus Recreation" was never published.)
(OP adds: It was published shortly after this answer was made.)

Applying the instructions

D to H, G to N, P to M, and I to A

to the word "BIG DIPPER" gives the BANHAMMER - definitely a fearsome weapon, wielded by none other than the moderators!

Also, attempting to backsolve Soupçon:

I think the answer is either LADLE or SPOON, most likely the former.
(OP adds: making Deusovi's "solve" time on the final puzzle NEGATIVE 216 seconds, which has to be some kind of record. Nice job Deusovi!)

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