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Someone, or something, has been abducting members of your community! Though no deaths are reported, recovered victims are said to have suffered from a severe, albeit temporary, case of what could best be described as "dancing fever" and little to no recollection of prior events (apparently due to exhaustion).

Figuring you are tough enough, you decide to take on the case. Your only lead is this note left at the scene of the most recent crime:

411 101 301 501 611 23 44 301 011 501 201 201 111 57 23 44 45 54 76 86 23 44 801 79 401 911 411 79 011 01 44 401 511 79 001 501 211 79 28 23 44 001 411 79 221 501 411 79 401 76 23 44 111 011 501 401 411 23 44 701 411 79 401 511 01 44 301 011 501 701 501 68 23 44 121 701 011 501 78 54 121 701 011 501 48 23 44 101 801 501 001 111 99 111 411 99 23 44 101 411 301 111 01 44 101 011 79 99 501 411 411 711 401 23 44 55 84 25 68 57 23 44 511 411 111 801 111 99 23 44 011 79 611 801 101 77 01 44 011 79 901 111 901 101 86 23 44 611 011 79 801 211 301 301 101 23 44 101 801 001 101 101 011 23 44 101 901 501 611

Questions:

  1. Who/What is responsible for these disappearances?
  2. Why might the victims still be alive?

Hint #1:

Beware the numbered ones, for they will lead you astray.

Hint #2:

Fear not the seafarer, for he measures progress not in faðmr or vika, but in yards.

Hint #3:

I’ve travelled to India and Java, but I’ve never visited Africa or Sumatra.

Hint #4:

Hint #5:

5 of 4

Hint #6:

Five new items were found; it is believed they do not belong together:
Grimace, falcon, Polyphemus, “She” (oh, here she comes!), unicorn

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Shoot, I’ve decoded the message but now I don’t know what to do with it... $\endgroup$ – PiIsNot3 Oct 16 at 22:14
  • $\begingroup$ I’m trying to keep things “enigmatic” for now, but I’ll drop hints as time progresses. $\endgroup$ – CGreen Oct 16 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ @CGreen Can we get any additional hints ? $\endgroup$ – The Demonix _ Hermit Oct 19 at 11:08
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Building hugely off PilsNot13's answer (upvote!), and the hint:

As PilsNot found, the

Decoded items can be broken into categories:
Flying: Time, colors, DC-6, falcon, Charizard
Maneater: Ogre, Crocodile, Shark, Tiger, She
(One-)Horned: rhino, narwhal, KV-407, Rapidash, unicorn
One-eyed: Demoman (from TF2), Polyphemus (Cyclops), Meltan, needle, hurricane
Purple: eggplant, Tinky-Winky, Koffing, Grimace, Viking?? (ah, apparently it's a cocktail)

And combining these tells us that the abductor is:

A one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater

The victims might still be alive:

if they're too tough (as per the song lyrics). Also, he eats purple people, so assuming they're not purple they could be OK.

Hints

#1 Beware the numbered ones, for they will lead you astray: a reference to having to reverse the numbers for the original decoding?
#2 Fear not the seafarer, for he measures progress not in faðmr or vika, but in yards: a hint for the Viking clue. Not old Norse measurements, but yards, indicating it's the Minnesota Vikings american football team, who play in purple.
#3 I’ve travelled to India and Java, but I’ve never visited Africa or Sumatra. ???
#4 wordplay; Self-explanatory, though possibly should have been a tag?
#5 Five of 4: the 20 decoded words can be divided into five groups of four
#6 Five new items were found; it is believed they do not belong together: A new word for each of the categories

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  • $\begingroup$ Well done. This was not my most well-constructed puzzle, but you managed to solve it despite rot13(gur znal bireynccvat pyhrf. V sbetbg Cbylcurzhf jnf n zna-rngre, naq gur Zvaarfbgn Ivxvatf jnf n ovg pehry!) As for the remaining hints, rot13(vg jnf n pyhr sbe euvab, orpnhfr gur euvabf sebz gubfr ybpngvbaf unir bayl bar ubea, ohg gur bguref unir gjb. V sbetbg gurl pbhyq unir gjb! Gur svefg uvag uvagrq gung gur Cbxézba qvq abg orybat va gur fnzr tebhc.) $\endgroup$ – CGreen Nov 5 at 15:02
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Very partial answer/ideas:

I’ve made very little progress so far, but they’re too long to put in a comment.

The note can be deciphered by

reversing the entire thing and converting the decimal numbers into characters using the ASCII encoding.

This gives us the following text:

time, needle, eggplant, Demoman,
Meltan, colors, KV407, hurricane,
ogre, crocodile, Tinky-Winky, Viking,
shark, rhino, Charizard, Rapidash,
narwhal, DC-6, Koffing, tiger

From here, I believe we have to

put these items into categories, like a connect wall, and then use the categories somehow to answer the questions? Only problem is that I can’t seem to find very many categories that could work. The obvious one of course are the Pokémon: Meltan, Charizard, Rapidash, Koffing. I can also see horned things: rhino, narwhal, Rapidash, KV407 (a horn quintet by Mozart), Viking (Viking hats stereotypically have horns on them); and purple things: eggplant, Tinky-Winky (the purple Teletubby), Koffing; but other than those, I don’t know what else could work as categories. And I may be on the wrong track altogether, so yeah.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is the right track. $\endgroup$ – CGreen Oct 16 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ Is there a special reason why the text is in the form of 5 rows and 4 words and not together in a single line ? I have also attempted and I am also getting the text in the same form. $\endgroup$ – The Demonix _ Hermit Oct 17 at 10:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TheDemonix_Hermit there is an ascii character for newline (010) which causes that format. It can be assumed its intended to make a specific word wall $\endgroup$ – Nobody Oct 17 at 10:57

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