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The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend.
Legend and names fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.
In one Age, called the 2nd Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose.
The wind was not the beginning.
There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

South and eastward the wind blew,
warm, dry and strong.
Dehydrated, tired and weary
Egwene pushed herself to her limits, Rand was sure of it.
Tangled up in underbrush and vines, but she would come.

North and westward the wind blew,
South lay a land known by the travelling people.
Rand was waiting, counting minutes and hours.
Was that Perrin?

Rand felt a ripple and turned, the wind had turned. Now from the East, from Kary.

His mother. Had she been there all the time?
Up, over the mountains to the north, in the city where the wind blew from?
"Kary", he shouted, but to no avail
At last, he understood. No one would come.
Born again, but all alone!


A good tracker can track yesterday's wind. Can you?

Hint 1:

If this puzzle sends you to Monaco then I think you might need a new courier.

Hint 2:

Tracking the wind shouldn't be too hard when you know where it's going.

Hint 3:

Maybe it would have been easier if I had spelled his mother's name differently. I suggest you use Kari or Qari instead. Let's pretend it was just a typo in the poem.

No in-universe knowledge is needed for this puzzle.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Oh hey there ... $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 7 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ My mother's name is Kari, not Kary. Is that a typo or a deliberate clue? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 7 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ Burn my soul, mayhaps this do be another Rand? Also, no comment ;-) $\endgroup$ – CG. Jan 7 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ Blood and ashes, I probably should have written Rand's mother's name differently after all @Randal'Thor. It was deliberate, but in hindsight I shouldn't have written it that way. Let's pretend it was a typo. $\endgroup$ – CG. Jan 20 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder whether this wants the [enigmatic-puzzle] tag. A couple of elements seem pretty clear, but I'm having trouble figuring out (1) exactly what we're being asked to do, (2) if it's something like "figure out where Rand is", with how much precision, (3) whether all the WoT stuff is just there to be picturesque or whether it somehow contains information (which it could even if we don't need "in-universe knowledge"), and (4) which bits are WoT stuff (hence maybe picturesque-only) and which aren't (hence presumably significant). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 20 at 11:51
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Partial and uncertain answer

I'm not sure exactly how partial, because I'm not sure exactly what the question is asking nor what parts of it are clues to be picked up as opposed to scene-setting. I'm fairly confident that I have the right overall theme, but there are enough things I can't fit in that I won't be astonished if I turn out to be barking up quite the wrong tree.

I think we are looking here at

the history of the Apple Macintosh and its typefaces, with particular emphasis on the "classical" pre-OS-X Mac.

The windy city is

CHICAGO.

Kary/Kari/Qari is

not, as I first guessed, Iraq read "from the east", but Susan Kare, designer of many early Apple Macintosh fonts and icons. ... Though her name is pronounced like "care", which gives me pause.

I think the land to the south known to the travelling people might be

Egypt (the word "gypsy" is a corruption of "Egyptian", though of course that word's deprecated these days and the people in question were never actually from Egypt), whose capital is CAIRO, whose name is shared with another Kare font on the Mac. (A dingbat font, whose characters are symbols rather than letters.) I'm not very convinced by any of this, though.

I confess myself baffled by the south-and-eastward / north-and-westward blowing of the wind. My best guess is that

it's describing the geographical migration of the Mac's system font names. We start in Chicago. We head south and east to Geneva and more generally to Switzerland for which Helvetica is named. And then north and west again to San Francisco. But why the wind ends up blowing from the east, apparently from Chicago, I'm not sure.

The "Second Age" is

presumably that of the original Apple Macintosh (after the 8-bit micros like the Apple ][, but before today's OS X)

and I guess "born again, but all alone" may be

referring to the Mac OS X era, in which all those Susan Kare creations are abandoned and largely forgotten, which is why Rand's mother is never coming. -- Although apparently no one is coming, so maybe I haven't understood this right yet. Or maybe "all alone" is a reference to the fact that these days Apple have pretty much settled on their San Francisco font for everything.

Hint 1 is

pointing at the Monaco and Courier typefaces (the former is another Susan Kare creation for Apple, the latter not).

Some things I don't understand (maybe some of them are scenery rather than clues?):

  • The underbrush and vines.
  • The warm/dry/strong/dehydrated/tired/weary business.
  • Why Rand is counting minutes and hours.
  • The wind directions. (I have a half-baked theory above, but it doesn't really explain why the wind is eventually coming from the east. I can kinda fudge it, but not convincingly.)
  • Some of the ordering. (E.g., I have what may be an explanation for the wind blowing "north and westward", and what may be an explanation for the southern land known by the travelling people, but I don't see why they appear side by side in the way they do.)

That's a lot of holes. Maybe the above is all nonsense. If so, then my best theory is

that Kary/Kari/Qari is Iraq read "from the east" after all, the land known to the travelling people is Egypt or maaaaybe Israel (for obvious reasons), and Rand is somewhere in the Middle East or maybe in the Mediterranean Sea. But I can't get much else to fit with that.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow, this is well done, +1 for effort, but unfortunately very wrong. Your original guess regarding Kari is correct. Knowing that might help you solve the rest. $\endgroup$ – CG. Jan 21 at 4:37
  • $\begingroup$ Ha! I did say I thought it might be all wrong :-). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 21 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ @CG. Would you like to indicate whether I have the correct points of reference in hint 1? (Of course it's fine if you wouldn't.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 21 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ You are pointing at two things. Those two have one thing in common that makes them different from most other types... $\endgroup$ – CG. Jan 21 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yes, so they do. Interesting. At this point I have several pieces but haven't yet figured out how to put them together. (Quite possibly someone else will do it before I do. I'm in the middle of a bunch of other things...) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 21 at 22:30

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