Ancient Languages: Gothic

There are many ancient languages and runes used or at least mentioned in passing throughout the book Endgame: The CallingΒ including gothic. Many of the letters bear some resemblance to the Greek alphabet because they were adapted by Ulfilas (or Wulfila)Β in the 4th century to translate The Bible. The runic equivalents of the ‘gothic script’ from the middle ages are completely different, although retain the names derived from this origin.

The table below is courtesy of Wikitionary and shows the gothic characters as well as their modern equivalents.

Letter Translit. Compare Gothic name PGmc rune name IPA
𐌰 a Ξ‘ aza < ansgod” or asksash *ansuz /a, aː/
𐌱 b Ξ’ bercna < *bairkabirch *berkanan /b/ [b, Ξ²]
𐌲 g Ξ“ geuua < giba “gift” *gebō /Ι‘/ [Ι‘, Ι£, x]; /n/ [Ε‹]
𐌳 d Ξ” daaz < dags “day” *dagaz /d/ [d, Γ°]
𐌴 e Ξ• eyz < aiΖ•s “horse” or eivsyew *eihwaz /eː/
𐌡 q Ϙ quetra < *qairΓΎraΒ ? or quairna “millstone” (see *perþō) /kΚ·/
𐌢 z Ξ– ezec < ezec[6] (?) (see *algiz) /z/
𐌷 h Ξ— haal < *hagal or *hagls “hail” *haglaz /h/, /x/
𐌸 ΓΎ (th) Θ thyth < ΓΎiuΓΎ “good” or ΓΎaurnus “thorn” *thurisaz /ΞΈ/
𐌹 i Ξ™ iiz < *eis “ice” *Δ«saz /i/
𐌺 k Κ chozma < *kusma or kōnja “pine sap” *kaunan /k/
𐌻 l Ξ› laaz < *lagus “sea, lake” *laguz /l/
𐌼 m Μ manna < manna “man” *mannaz /m/
𐌽 n Ν noicz < nauΓΎs “need” *naudiz /n/
𐌾 j ᛃ gaar < jΔ“r “year” *jΔ“ran /j/
𐌿 u ᚒ uraz < *ūrusaurochs *ūruz /ʊ/, /uː/
𐍀 p Ξ  pertra < *pairΓΎaΒ ? *perþō /p/
𐍁 Ϙ
𐍂 r R reda < *raida “wagon” *raidō /r/
𐍃 s S sugil < sauΓ―l or sōjil “sun” *sΓ΄wilΓ΄ /s/
𐍄 t Ξ€ tyz < *tius “the god TΓ½r *tΔ«waz /t/
𐍅 w Ξ₯ uuinne < vinja “field, pasture” or vinna “pain” *wunjō /w, y/
𐍆 f Ϝ fe < faihu “cattle, wealth” *fehu /f/
𐍇 x Ξ§ enguz < *iggus or *iggvs “the god Yngvi *ingwaz /x/?
𐍈 Ζ• (hw) Θ uuaer < *Ζ•air “kettle” /hΚ·/
𐍉 o Ξ©, α›Ÿ utal < *ōþal “ancestral land” *ōþala /oː/
𐍊 Ϡ

Here is the original gothic message from the book as it appears. The story itself seems toΒ revolve around the resettlement of groups of goths around the Danube under EmperorΒ Valens and their subsequent mistreatment.

𐍃𐍉 𐌰𐌼𐌰𐌻𐌹𐌸𐌰 πŒΊπŒ°πŒΉπƒπŒ°π‚πŒΉπƒ π…πŒ°πŒ»πŒ΄πŒ½πƒπŒΉπƒ πŒΏπŒ½πƒ πŒ½πŒ°πƒπŒΉπŒ³πŒ° π†π‚πŒ°πŒΌ π†π‚πŒΏπŒΌπŒΉπƒπ„πƒπŒ°πŒ·πŒ° 𐌷𐌿𐌽𐌽𐌰𐌽𐌴. πŒΏπŒ½πƒ π†π‚πŒ°πŒ²πŒ°π† π†πŒ°π‚πŒΈπŒ° πŒΏπ†πŒ°π‚ πŒ³π‰πŒ½πŒ°π‚πŒΉπƒ 𐌾𐌰𐌷 𐌹𐌽 πŒΈπ‚πŒ°πŒΊπŒ° π†π‚πŒΉπŒΈπŒΏ.

πŒ»πŒ½πŒ½πŒΉπŒΊπŒΉπŒ½πŒΏπƒ 𐌾𐌰𐌷 πŒΌπŒ°π‡πŒΉπŒΌπŒΏπƒ πŒΏπŒ½πƒπŒΉπƒ 𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌽𐌴𐌼𐌿𐌽 πŒ΅πŒ°πŒΉπ‚π‚πŒΏπŒ±πŒ°, πŒ³πŒ°πŒΏπŒ·π„ πŒΏπŒ½πƒπŒΉπƒ πŒ²πŒ°π†πŒΏπŒ½. 𐌰𐌽𐌰 𐌸𐌰𐌼𐌼𐌰 πŒ³πŒ°πŒΏπŒ·π„πŒ³πŒΉπƒπŒΊπŒ° πŒ°π„πŒ»πŒ΄π…πŒ΄πŒΉπŒ½πƒ πŒΈπŒ°π‚πŒ΄πŒΉ πŒΏπƒπŒ΅πŒ΄πŒΌπŒΏπŒ½ πŒΈπŒ°πŒ½πƒ πŒ±πŒ°π„πŒΉπƒπ„πŒ°πŒ½πƒ πŒΏπŒ½πƒπŒ°π‚πŒ°πŒ½πƒ.

πŒ°πŒ»πŒ°π…πŒΉπ…πŒΏπƒ πƒπŒ° πŒΌπŒΉπŒΊπŒ»πƒ πŒ²πŒ°πƒπ„πŒΉπŒΊπŒ°πŒ½πƒ π…πŒ°π‚πŒΈ πŒΉπŒ½πŒ·π‚πŒΏπŒΊπŒΊ πŒΈπŒ°πŒΉπ‚πŒ· πŒ°π†πŒΌπŒ°π‚πŒΆπŒ΄πŒΉπŒ½ π…πŒ°πŒ»πŒ΄πŒ½πƒπŒΉπƒ. πŒ·πŒ°πŒ»πŒΉπƒπŒ°πŒΉπ… 𐌰𐌽𐌰 𐌰𐌻𐌴𐌹𐌽𐌰𐌹 𐌸𐌻𐌰𐌿𐌷 𐌹𐌺 πŒ°π†πŒ°π‚πŒ»πŒ°πŒΉπƒπ„πŒΉπŒΈπƒ π…πŒ°πƒ πƒπ…πŒ΄ πŒ³πŒΉπŒΏπƒ.

πƒπŒ° πŒ±πŒ°πŒ²πŒΌπƒ πƒπŒ°πŒ΄πŒΉ π…πŒ°π‚πŒΈ πŒ²πŒ΄πŒ³π‚πŒ°πŒΏπƒπŒΉπŒΈπƒ π†π‚πŒ°πŒΌ πŒ·πŒΉπŒ½πŒ³πŒ°π‚π…πŒ΄πŒΉπƒπŒ΄πŒΉπŒ½ π‚πŒΏπŒΌπ‰πŒ½πŒ΄ π…πŒ°πŒ·πƒπŒΎπŒΉπŒΈ πŒ°π†π„π‚πŒ° πƒπ…πŒΉπŒ½πŒΈπƒ. 𐌸𐌰𐌹 πŒΈπŒ΄π‚π…πŒΉπŒ½πŒ²π‰πƒ π‚πŒ°πŒ»πŒ΄πƒπŒΏπŒ½ πŒ°π†π„π‚πŒ°, πŒΌπŒΉπŒΈπŒ²πŒ°π„πŒΉπŒΌπ‚πŒΉπŒ³πŒ΄πŒ³πŒΏπŒ½ πŒ°π†π„π‚πŒ°, πŒ²πŒ°πƒπ…πŒΉπŒ½πŒΈπŒ½π‰πŒ³πŒ΄πŒ³πŒΏπŒ½ 𐌹𐌸 πŒΈπ‰ π„πŒ°πŒΏπŒΉπŒ³πŒ΄πŒ³πŒΏπŒ½ πƒπŒ½πŒΉπŒΏπŒΌπŒΏπŒ½πŒ³π‰.

πˆπŒ°πŒΉπ…πŒ° 𐌼𐌰𐌲 𐌹𐌺 πƒπ…πŒ° πŒ±πŒ»πŒΉπŒ½πŒ³πƒ π…πŒ°πŒ»πŒ΄πŒ½πƒπŒ° 𐌾𐌰𐌷 𐌰𐌻𐌻𐌰𐌼𐌼𐌰 π‚πŒ΄πŒΉπŒΊπŒΎπŒ° π‚πŒΏπŒΌπ‰πŒ½πŒ΄. πŒ΄πŒΉπƒ 𐌱𐌹𐌡𐌴𐌼𐌿𐌽 πƒπŒΉπŒ½π„πŒ΄πŒΉπŒ½π‰ πŒ²πŒΏπ„πŒΈπŒΉπŒΏπŒ³πŒ° πŒ°πŒ·πŒ°πŒΊπƒ π†π‚πŒΉπŒΈπŒ°πŒΏπƒ π…πŒ°πŒΉπ‚πŒΈπŒΉπŒΈ 𐌽𐌹𐌿 πŒ°πŒΉπ….

π†πŒ°πŒΏπ‚ πŒΎπŒ΄π‚πŒ° 𐌷𐌿𐌽𐌳𐌰 𐌾𐌰𐌷 πŒΌπŒ°πŒΉπƒ π„πŒ°πŒΏπŒ·πŒ°πŒ½πƒ π…πŒ°π‚πŒΈ π‚πŒΏπŒΌπŒ° π†π‚πŒ°πŒΌ πŒ³π‚πŒ°πŒΏπŒ·π„πŒΉπŒ½πŒ° πŒ±πŒ°πŒ»π…πŒ°π„πŒ΄πŒΉπƒπŒ°. π†π‚πŒ°πŒΏπŒΎπŒΉπŒ½π‰πŒ³πŒ΄πŒ³πŒΏπŒ½ πŒΈπŒ°πŒΉπ‚πŒ· πŒ²πŒ°πŒΉπƒ πƒπ…πŒ° πŒΌπŒ°πŒ½πŒ°π‚πŒ°πŒΌ 𐌺𐌿𐌽𐌾𐌰𐌼 𐌴𐌹 π…πŒ°πŒΉπ‚πŒΈπŒ°πŒ½ 𐌸𐌰𐌹 𐌰𐌹𐌽𐌰𐌷𐌰𐌽.

π…πŒ°πŒ»πŒ΄πŒ½πƒ πƒπŒΊπŒ°πŒ» π…πŒΉπƒπŒ°πŒ½ πƒπŒ° πŒΉπ†π„πŒΏπŒΌπŒ°. πƒπŒΏπŒ½πŒΎπŒΉπƒ πŒΉπƒπ„ 𐌳𐌿 𐌱𐌹𐌡𐌹𐌼𐌰𐌽 πŒΈπŒ°πŒ½πƒ πŒΈπŒ΄π‚π…πŒΉπŒ½πŒ²πŒ°πŒ½πƒ. πŒΈπ‚π‰πŒΈπŒΉπŒ³πŒ° 𐌹𐌺 π†πŒ°πŒΏπ‚πŒ° πŒ»πŒ°πŒΈπ‰πŒ½ πŒΈπ‰ πŒΌπŒΉπŒΊπŒΉπŒ»π‰πŒ½. πŒ±π‚πŒΏπŒΊπŒΎπŒ° πŒΈπ‰ π†πŒ°πŒ³π‚πŒ΄πŒΉπŒ½πƒπŒΊπ‚πŒ°πŒΌπŒ° πŒ°πŒΉπ‚πŒΉπŒΆπŒ°πŒ½πŒ΄ 𐌼𐌴𐌹𐌽𐌴.

πŒ°π„π„πŒΉπŒΏπŒ·πŒ° 𐌴𐌹𐌢 𐌼𐌴𐌹𐌽 𐌾𐌰𐌷 π„πŒΉπŒΏπŒ·πŒ° 𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰 𐌼𐌴𐌹𐌽𐌰. π…πŒ΄πŒΉπƒ π†π‚πŒ°πŒ΅πŒΉπƒπ„πŒΎπŒ°πŒΌ 𐌻𐌿𐌿𐌺𐌹𐌺𐌽𐌰𐌿 𐌾𐌰𐌷 π„πŒ°πŒ»πŒ΄πŒ½πƒ πŒΏπƒπŒ΅πŒΉπŒΌπŒ°πŒΌ.

𐍈𐌰𐌢𐌿𐌷 πŒ³πŒ°πŒ»πƒ 𐌼𐌹𐌸 πŒ±πŒ»π‰πŒ³πŒ° π†πŒΏπŒ»πŒ½πŒΉπŒΈ. π‚πŒΏπŒΌπŒ° πŒ³π‚πŒ°πŒΏπƒπŒΎπŒΉπŒΈ.

Below is a translation courtesy of Roel on the Gothic Literature Facebook page. The blue is the converted text and green is Roel’s translation.

so ameliΓΎa kaisaris walensis uns nasida fram frumistsaha hunnane. Uns fragaf farΓΎa ufar donaris jah in ΓΎraka friΓΎu.

AmeliΓΎa of the emperor of Walens saved us from the first (saha?) of the Huns. He offered us the crossing of the Donau in the (ΓΎraka <= not a Gothic word) peace.

Lupikinus jah maximus unsis andnemun qairruba, dauht unsis gafun. Ana ΓΎamma dauhtdiska atleweins ΓΎarei usqemun ΓΎans batistans unsarans

Lupikinus and Maximus friendly/politely accepted us, they gave us food. In this treacherous meal, the best of us were killed.

Alawiwus sa mikls gastikans warΓΎ in hrukk ΓΎairh afmarzein walensis. Halisaiw ana aleinai ΓΎlauh ik afarlaistiΓΎs was swe dius

Alawiwus the big was stabbed in his back by the betrayal of the Walens. Almost never in the (aleinai?) did I flee, followed like a pidgin.

Sa bagms saei warΓΎ gedrausiΓΎs fram hindarweisein rumone wahsjΔ±ΓΎ aftra swinΓΎs. ΓΎai ΓΎerwingos galesun aftra, miΓΎgatimridedun aftra, gaswinΓΎnodedun iΓΎ ΓΎo tauidedun snΔ±umundo

The tree which fell due to the deceit/slyness of the Romans rapidly grows again. The thervingos (galesun) again, built again, became strong again when they did this fast.

Ζ•aiwa mag ik swa blinds walensa jah allamma reikja rumone. Eis biqemun sinteino gutΓΎΔ±uda ahaks friΓΎaus wairΓΎiΓΎ niu aiw

How can I (be?) as blind as the Walens and the whole Roman empire. They suddenly plundered the Goths daily, it never became peaceful again.

Faur jera hunda jah mais tauhans warΓΎ ruma fram drauhtina balwaweisa. Fraujinodedun ΓΎairh gais swamanagam kunjam ei wairΓΎan ΓΎai ainahan

For more than 100 years Rome was led by evil. They governed so much tribes with the sword that they became the only one.

Walens skal wisan sa istuma. Sunjis ist du biqiman ΓΎans perwingans. ΓΎroΓΎida ik faura laΓΎon ΓΎo mikilon. Brukja ΓΎo fadreinskrama airizane meine.

Walens has to be the next. It is true to attack the Thervingos. I trained for the invitation of the big. I use the family sword of my ancestors.

Attiuha eiz mein jah tiuha ΓΎiuda meina. Weis fraqistjam lupikinau jah walens usqimam

I bring (eiz) my and I ‘ll lead my people. We’ll kill Lupikinus and the Walens.

Hvazuh dals miΓΎ bloda fulniΓΎ. Ruma drausjiΓΎ.

All hills become filled with blood. Rome falls.

This translation will be helpful, but will likely not get you all the correct words you need. For that you will need to find the appropriate word in each section using a gothic dictionary to help you. The following sites might help you make the rest of the translations necessary.

Wikitionary open content dictionary

koeblergerhard dictionary

You will know when the gothic section is needed by the symbols appearing, so it will be pretty obvious. That means that you need to have the right iris open in order to encounter this puzzle. As such if you haven’t reached this part, then you will have to look at earlier posts to see how to open the corresponding iris.

Good luck!

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The Language of Symbolism

Endgame: The Calling is deeply rooted in symbolism, much like many ancient cultures and early writings were. Many early forms of communication were types of pictographs. Whether tax collectors making symbols resembling bushels of wheat orΒ Native Americans painting events and sacred items. Decoding the meaning is sometimes simple, but all to often isΒ complicated or more likely vague. There are many, oh so many, symbolsΒ throughout the book and the puzzles. What follows does not apply to any single puzzle, but I will say most are obviously related, you just have toΒ see through to how they align with one another…I can notΒ possibly say anything more helpful than what I just did.

If you haven’t purchased your copy of Endgame: The CallingΒ or the prequels Endgame: The Complete Training Diaries: Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (also available by e-book with 1 and 2 already released) they are available for order and pre-order online now.


Roman Numerals

One of the most commonly used and well known set of symbols are Roman Numerals. Obviously they have to deal with numbers and/or counting, thus have been most notably employed in clocks. Of course clocks have also been used to represent relative direction from a particular position, much the same way that north and south map directions work. Roman Numerals are clearly used to number all of the ‘endnote’ internet addresses, but it is not the only place they are used in the book. Keep your eyes peeled and pay attention to the arrangement. The symbols are used like this:

β… - 1
β…£ – 4
β…€ – 5
β…₯ – 6
β…¨ – 9
β…© – 10
β…ͺ – 11
β…©β…¬ – 40
β…¬ – 50
β…­ – 100

Astronomy Symbols

Below are some astronomy symbols, several of which have other meanings including crossover with alchemical symbols. Many of these symbols will not be very helpful to you and some may not display appropriately depending on the browser you are using but I believe the most important ones should work.

Name Symbol Symbol represents Meaning of symbol
Sun βŠ™ Solar symbol Divine spirit surrounding seed
Moon ☽ A crescent moon Mind or evolving human spirit through receptivity
Mercury ☿ Mercury’s winged helmet and caduceus Mind (crescent) poised over divine spirit (circle) and matter (cross)
Venus ♀ Venus’s hand mirror Divine spirit (circle) over matter (cross)
Earth βŠ• Earth; a Solar symbol Planet Earth β€” the cardinal directions.
Mars ♀ Mars’s shield and spear. Drive (arrow) over divine spirit (circle)
Ceres ⚳ Scythe, emblematic of Ceres as goddess of the Harvest. A stylized sickle, a crescent of receptivity resting on a cross of matter.
Jupiter ♃ Jupiter’s thunderbolt or eagle Mind (crescent) rising above the horizon of matter (cross)
Saturn β™„ Saturn’s sickle Matter (cross) taking precedence over mind or human spirit (crescent)
Uranus β™… H in symbol taken from discoverer’s last name, Herschel The circle of spirit and a dominant cross of matter, in form of an antenna that uses matter as a way to insight.
Β β›’ Derived from a combination of the Mars and Sun symbols Astronomical glyph often used astrologically. Drive over a divine spirit (circle) surrounding seed of potential
Neptune ♆ Neptune’s trident Mind or receptivity (crescent) transcending matter (cross)
Pluto Modification of Neptune’s astrological symbol Mind (crescent) transcending matter (cross) to reach for divine spirit (circle)
♇ PL monogram for Pluto and Percival Lowell Astronomical symbol often used astrologically
Comet Β β˜„ Comet Different comets often use different symbols, but the use of comets is not widespread in mainstream astrology
2 Pallas ⚴ Asteroid A spear (variant has triangle on top) Alchemical symbol for sulfur (both variants)
10 Hygiea Β βš• Asteroid A serpent coiled around Asclepius’ rod
Two serpents coiled around the rod.
3 Juno ⚡ Asteroid The scepter (of a queen, Juno is the Roman equivalent of Greek Hera) topped with a star
4 Vesta ⚢ Asteroid The fire on the hearth or altar (Roman equivalent of Greek Hestia)
2060 Chiron ⚷ Centaur Stylized body of a centaur
Lot of fortune Β βŠ— Lot Glyph for planet Earth rotated 45 degrees.
Eris Dwarf planet An Eye of Providence; proposed by astrologer Zane B. Stein
The Hand of Eris; also used non-astrologically by Discordians
 ♁ In use by astrologers in Poland and by the astrology software Urania
 ⧬ Based on the symbols for Pluto, Mars, and Venus; proposed by Henry Seltzer and used in Time Passages

Chemistry Symbols

This one is pretty self explanatory and very easy to use, though I doubt the actual periodicΒ table is necessary to anyone unless you don’t know the element abbreviations πŸ˜‰

Periodic Table courtesy of sciencenotes.com

Mathematical Symbols

Math is also gratuitously throughout this book, but there is an obvious collection of it that is useful. Most of these symbols, patterns or numbers are very easy to interpret, can easily be googled or are also unimportant. I would have put guidance here, but the symbols used are very diverse, some going back to the first written languages and thus it is an impractical use of time to cover it all.Β This is just possibly one of the easiest sets of symbols, so doesn’t necessitate assistance.

Religious Symbols

A great deal of religion is glazed over in this novel, mostly because the belief systems of most of the ancient races used have been replaced by alien lore. That being said, religious symbols are prominently utilized in one place. Here are a few of them and their meaning…
☬ – The Khanda is a symbol of Sikhism involving the combination ofΒ ritual blades.
β˜ͺ – The star and crescent here most likely a symbol of Islam. It has appeared throughout ancient cultures and in numerous flags both modern and outdated.

Also represented amongst the religious symbols is the ‘fish’ of Christianity, three interlocking rings which could be the trinity, a chalice with a cross, pagan pentagram, an infinity symbol and a few others. Also represented are several triangles, which likely refer to elemental properties (earth, air, water and fire).

Symbols of Greek/Roman Gods

Greek Roman Description
Zeus Jupiter Lord of the sky and supreme ruler of the gods. Known for throwing lightening bolts.
Poseidon Neptune Ruler of the sea. Brother of Zeus. Carried a three-pronged spear known as a trident.
Hades Pluto Ruler of the underworld and the dead. Brother of Zeus. Had a helmet which rendered its wearer invisible.
Hestia Vesta A virgin goddess and sister of Zeus. No distinct personality or part in myths. Goddess of the Hearth, the symbol of the home.
Hera Juno Zeus’s wife and sister. Protector of marriage, spent most of her time punishing the many women Zeus fell in love with. Likes cows and peacocks.
Ares Mars God of war and son of Zeus and Hera. Likes vultures and dogs.
Athena Minerva Daughter of Zeus alone. No mother.(?) She sprang from his head full-grown and in full armor. The protector of civilized life, handicrafts, and agriculture. Invented the bridle, and first to tame the horse. Likes Athens, olives, and owls.
Apollo Apollo Son of Zeus. Master musician, archer god, healer, god of light, god of truth, sun god. A busy god who likes the laurel tree, dolphins, and crows.
Aphrodite Venus Daughter of Zeus. Goddess of Love and Beauty. Likes the myrtle tree, doves, sparrows, and swans.
Hermes Mercury Son of Zeus. Wore wings on his sandals and his hat, thus was graceful and swift.
Artemis Diana Apollo’s twin sister and daughter of Zeus. Lady of wild things and huntsman to the gods. As Apollo is the Sun, Artemis is the moon.
Hephaestus Vulcan Son of Hera, God of Fire. The only ugly and deformed god. Makes armor and weapons forged under volcanoes.
Gaea Terra Mother Earth.
Asclepius Aesculapius God of medicine.
Cronus Saturn God of the sky; Ruler of the Titans (Roman mythology: God of agriculture)
Demeter Ceres Goddess of grain.
Dionysus Bacchus God of wine and vegetation.
Eros Cupid God of love.
Hypnos Somnus God of sleep.
Rhea Ops Wife of Cronus/Saturn. Mother Goddess.
Uranus Uranus God of the sky. Father of the Titans.
Nike Victoria Goddess of Victory.

Yin & Yang ☯

From the Oxford English Dictionary: yin (jΙͺn) Also Yin, Yn. [Chinese yΔ«n shade, feminine; the moon.]

  1. In Chinese philosophy, the feminine or negative principle (characterized by dark, wetness, cold, passivity, disintegration, etc.) of the two opposing cosmic forces into which creative energy divides and whose fusion in physical matter brings the phenomenal world into being. Also attrib. or as adj., and transf. Cf. yang.
  2. Comb., as yin-yang, the combination or fusion of the two cosmic forces; freq. attrib., esp. as yin-yang symbol, a circle divided by an S-shaped line into a dark and a light segment, representing respectively yin and yang, each containing a ‘seed’ of the other.

yang (jæŋ) Also Yang. [Chinese yÑng yang, sun, positive, male genitals.]

  1. In Chinese philosophy, the masculine or positive principle (characterized by light, warmth, dryness, activity, etc.) of the two opposing cosmic forces into which creative energy divides and whose fusion in physical matter brings the phenomenal world into being. Also attrib. or as adj. Cf. yin.
  2. Comb.: yang-yin = yin-yang s.v. yin b.

In conclusion several of these things are related. Once you find out how they relate to one another they key is to align them properly. If you don’t know how, just take a gamble and roll the dice, you might get lucky and figure it out! After assembly, you just have to see your way through to the other side and find your way to the right site. Much like the other iris sites (which you should have open by now) arrangement of the words is important, but this one lines up easily if you follow the puzzles through the book in order. Additionally this one gives the placement of the ‘.’ without any guesswork like one of the others.

Hopefully all this helped, but just keep at it and you’ll eventually see your way through to the solution!

DNA: The Code of Life

dnaIf we are to talk about codes, we would be remiss if we skipped one of the greatest codes ever written. This code becomes quite personal, as it is what makes us who we are. Naturally I am talking about DNA. Our genome consists of over 3 billion base pairs and somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 protein-encoding genes. I say ‘our genome,’ but is it really ours alone? We share approximately 98% of our genetic code with chimpanzees, our closest relative genetically. This might not be hard to imagine given certain acquaintances most of us have, however several other examples might surprise you. Banana’s share about 50% of their genetic material with us, 51% with fruit flies, 76% with zebra fish and 92% with mice.

Within a species there is also variation in the genetic code, but how much? If we were to compare any two people, we would find at least 99% similarity, some would quote as high as 99.9%. So all the individual traits we have, everything that makes us unique falls into just 1% of our blueprint. Now you might say if I received 50% of my DNA from my mother, and 50% from my father, how can we all be 99% the same? This is because a lot of the genetic code tells our cells how to make tools that are necessary to life. Everything that is alive needs to know how to make cellular energy, how to produce these tools and how to ‘procreate’ in one way or another. As you get closer and closer to human ancestors more similarities emerge, breathing oxygen, eyes, producing offspring through gestation, limbs and so much more. All of these similar elements are thanks to highly conserved pieces of DNA. Here is a short video from TED-Ed – a youth focused education branch of TED Talks – that gives a bit of DNA background while talking about the human genome project…

So as you can see all 3 billion base pairs of the human genome are composed of only 4 nucleotide pairs: A-T and C-G. So how doesΒ a meager four variations allow for such a plethora of diversity? Simple, what you can not do with 1, do with 2 and if 2 is not enough use 3! Using 4 options over 3 spots (power 3) gives us 4x4x4 or 64 possible combinations. This is enough to have specific triplets coding for each of the 20 amino acids as well as some regulatory elements (start/stop) and still have plenty leftover. As you can see in the colourful chart many amino acids will in fact have multiple sequences that call for that particular compound. Specific transfer ribonucleic acids or tRNAs can recognize each triplet and as they bind to the ribosome or proteinΒ producing factory of the cell it brings the amino acids on the other end into a close proximity to one another and perpetuates the growing chain of protein. We now have a flexible enough code to store all the instructions for life, and one that we can take advantage of for our own purposes as well. Below is another video, this one is not actually helpful in any way but I think it is fairly cool and accurate at the same time. So please forgive this geeky moment…

Every nucleotide triplet is called a codon and for each one there is a specific amino acid destined to be next in the resultant protein (if it is a protein coding region that is). Protein chains can become quite long and so they are often written with a one-letter designation to make them more manageable to handle and understand. The order of the nucleotides in the code is of extreme importance. One change can lead to a different amino acid being used or even to inserting a stop sequence too early. Additionally removing or adding one can lead to aΒ  ‘frame-shift’ in which every nucleotide shifts one, thus changing every codon in the rest of the sequence. Now the single replacement may not seem to be a problem, but as an example that is what causes sickle cell anemia. At position or codon 6 an A becomes a T and glutamic acid is replaced by valine. This happens in a protein that is part of the haemoglobin complex which is vital for oxygen transportation by our red blood cells. It actually results in making the normal ‘doughnut’ shape of a red blood cell become a ‘sickle’ shape.

Why would such a mutation be so common today? Well take a look at the distribution of malaria and that of the sickle cell mutation. Malaria happens to spend part of its life cycle in red blood cells. Fragile RBCs = some protection from malaria. Interesting huh? Anyway that’s just a little info about the ‘code of life.’ I hope you find some of it useful, or just enjoyed the read.

Until next time, puzzle on!

Sickle Cell Distribution
Historical Distribution of Malaria

James Frey on Endgame: the contest, ARG and upcoming pvp game

James Frey recently was at Google where he talked about the endgame universe. He talks about the collaboration and shares some information about upcoming things from novellas, the game and more. In regards to the book prize he discusses that over 100,000 people have passed the first puzzle, 20,000 people are working on the puzzles every day and that there is approximately 10 people in the lead right now. Despite that though, he feels people can catch up at this point and given the waiting periods to get access to the next part and with a 10:1 ratio (for every 10 hours longer to compete the previous step you have to wait 1 more hour to start the next stage) I am inclined to agree the system eats away at the lead some players may have. He also guestimates that someone will complete all puzzles and be eligible to win the prize in either August or September. It is an interesting listen all around…

Endgame: The Calling and The Training Diaries

If you have not had a chance to pickup your copy of Endgame: The CallingΒ yet, there is still time to join in on the $500,000Β hunt or just enjoy another good dystopian book. Additionally there are three digital prequels “The training Diaries” available for purchase; two of which have been released and the third volume can be pre-ordered now, before the June release date. All are published by HarperCollins with the ISBN 978-0-06-233258-5 for the original book The Calling. Below are some product details and a synopsis, which you may find useful, borrowed from Amazon.com

Β 

“Twelve ancient cultures were chosen millennia ago to represent humanity in Endgame, a global game that will decide the fate of humankind. Endgame has always been a possibility, but never a reality…until now. Twelve meteorites have just struck Earth, each meteorite containing a message for a Player who has been trained for this moment. At stake for the Players: saving their bloodline, as well as the fate of the world. And only one can win.

Endgame is real. Endgame is now. Endgame has begun.

Google Niantic is building a mobile location-based augmented reality videogame inextricably tied to the books and mythology, a major prize will be tied to a puzzle in each book, and Twentieth Century Fox has bought the movie rights.

Read the Books. Find the Clues. Solve the Puzzle. Who will Win?”

The three prequels each follow four of the twelve Players beforeΒ being chosen as the one to save their ancient bloodlineΒ by winning Endgame. In Endgame: The Training Diaries Volume 1: OriginsΒ follow Marcus as he must choose between friendship and destiny, Chiyoko as she fights for what’s hers, Kala who learns the price of love and Alice will finally understand what she’s Playing for. Endgame: The Training Diaries Volume 2: DescendantΒ follows Baitsakhan, Maccabee, Shari, and Aisling, as they prepare for the apocalyptic endgame not knowing if they will be chosen or not and must shed their normal livesΒ to transform into the Players they were meant to be. Endgame: The Training Diaries Volume 3: ExistenceΒ follows the final four; Sarah, Jago, An and Hilal as they prepare to fight for their line. Additionally a paperback version with all three prequel volumes, Endgame: The Complete Training Diaries: Volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Endgame: The Training Diaries)Β will be released in June.

Hope you enjoy, and good luck on the hunt!

Codes, Ciphers and Cryptology vs Steganography

Howdy,

So what really is the difference between codes, ciphers, cryptology in general and steganography? I feel it is important to make this point, mostly because despite the book emphasizing “Decipher, decode and interpret” I’d say I recall doing very little decoding so far (not zero, but little overall). In fact to me, endgame is more about puzzles, with the major tool being steganography.

Steganography is the art of concealing a message within something else, this could often be in plain sight.Β Steganography likely predates cryptology, but it is quite difficult to determine the earliest examples of either. In Herodotus’s Histories in 440 BC he mentions two examples, one of which was a tattoo on a slaves head, which was then covered by the regrown hair. This includes using invisible/special inks, microdots, messages under stamps, hidden in pictures (visually or digitally), concealed in garbage data or noise (digitally or in sound), making text the same colour or at least a difficult to discern colour from the background and any variation the imagination can think of.

Cryptology is more concerned with encrypting/decrypting messages to and from non-sense in order to make the written message secret. The term code colloquially refers to any method of encryption or concealed meaning, but in cryptology it is more specifically the replacement of a word/unit of text with a code word. These are not used much anymore with the exception of unit designations or call signs mostly because even a simple cipher is more practical and secure. The earliest suggested use of cryptography is some ciphertext carved on stone in Egypt from around 1900 BC, although if this was actually an attempt to conceal the meaning or not is unknown.

There are many examples of ciphers, some of which you probably know very well. Transposition ciphers for example are quite common and I’m sure more than one reader will have used or known classmates who talked in pig Latin in school. The idea behind a transposition, using pig Latin as an example is to move the first consonant of an English word and moves it to the end with a suffix of ‘ay’. Also, a few years back, it was pretty popular to have a decoder ring. Usually these are a simple rotational cipher often referred to as ROT#, where # would be the number each letter is shifted in the alphabet. As a collective these are referred to as a Caesar cipher, most notably used by Julius Caesar. A further complication of the Caesar cipher is the Vigenere cipher. This cipher encrypts a message using a series of Caesar ciphers based on the letters of a keyword. Although easy to understand and implement, it resisted attempts to break it for over three centuries.

There are obviously many more types of ciphers, computer codes and encryption protocols, but I mentioned ROT1 and Vigenere because they are so notably mentioned on the cover of the book. Actually, a significant amount of information can be found on the cover of the book. Some of this might be helpful to you, whether for the el121212 site or for the book puzzles is up to you to decide. I will say that most of the information on the cover I have yet to find a use for. Most, but not all.


Morse code is probably the most well known of all ciphers. I say cipher, because Morse code is actually a misnomer. This system was designed as part of an electrical telegraph and not explicitly as a way to encrypt messages. Around 1836 Samuel Morse, Joseph Henry and Alfred Vail developed a way to use electric current and an electromagnet to transmit signals along a wire. A similar system was developed in 1837 in England but failed to gain recognition. This system of ‘on/off’ signals has been used ever since with tones, lights, drawings and basically any series with two alternating symbols. This can be with different length tones/flashes, different symbols (dot and dash) or even two different words or even gestures. There is precedence for POWs sending Morse code through recorded messages without their captors knowing by only using gestures or body language.

So just remember to keep your eyes open and look for the signs. Messages can be hidden inΒ text, picture and just about anywhere you can imagine, even all organisms keep the code of their own blueprint hidden within their DNA. As always look for the signs and when in doubt use google to help. If you are curious about codes and ciphers perhaps check out theΒ new movie The Imitation Game (The Book), the slightly older movie Enigma or even lookup a list of unbroken/unsolved codes and ciphers. One of these is the kryptos encrypted sculpture located outside the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. To date only 3 of 4 sections have been deciphered.

Good luck and happy hunting!

keplerfuturistics.com

Welcome back!

The kepler site is at the heart of the book puzzles and thus is very important if you are after the grand prize. It is the very first of the links in the back of the book and is the only link posted twice in the listing. Naturally this is one of the first places readers will end up. Upon going to the site you see a giant endgame emblem that you have to turn over in order to enter. At this point you must agree to the official rules, terms and conditions of the endgame contest through a google account in order to continue. It is very important to be aware of some of these rules as it can impact your eligibility and also limits what you can post online. A copy of the rules can be found here…

http://endgamerules.com/general/rules-general.pdf

Most importantly to us on the rules site is the following excerpt…

If you participate in the Contest (i) in a way that is disruptive to any other participant, (ii) in a way which may be seen to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other participant or person, or (iii) in a way which gives you an unfair advantage over any other participant (including, without limitation, attempting to β€œhack” any of the websites and/or electronic media utilized in the Contest), you may be immediately disqualified from the Contest. You expressly agree not to make public, regardless of the medium, what you believe to be a correct or incorrect solution to any of the puzzles (or portions thereof) included in the Contest. Failure to comply with the previous sentence may result in your immediate disqualification from the Contest. You can use only one Google internet account to participate in the Contest. Use of more than one Google internet account by you to participate in the Contest will result in immediate disqualification from the Contest.”

As such any comments about answers correct or incorrect shall be removed immediately. Ultimately this is to protect your eligibility and to keep this blog within the rules as outlined. To that end I would also like to state here that most of the blogs to follow will not directly discuss the puzzles in endgame, but may or may not be of use to you in solving puzzles and codes in general. Consider that my personal protection disclaimer.

Moving along; the rules of endgame reveal other important clues about the puzzles and the setup of the competition. There are a few more excerpts I want to share and I trust you can see the obvious hints in them…

The clues contained in the Book may lead you to other puzzles not contained in the Book, or the clues may be textual clues, visual clues, codes, cyphers and/or hyperlinks that lead to search results, image results, videos, mapping coordinates, stand-alone websites and/or social media. The Book may include information that could be construed as a clue, but may not be one. It is up to you to determine which information is useful in solving the Contest puzzles.” (If you find yourself struggling with what to do, one or more than one of these may be helpful…be open minded!)

The solution to each individual puzzle will ultimately lead to additional puzzles, until the final puzzle is reached. Some of the puzzles that must be solved in order to win the Contest will not be available on October 7, 2014 (the β€œStart Date”).”

“The second stage (β€œStage 2”) of the Contest will be divided into three phases, with the puzzles associated with each such phase being released on three separate dates…A participant’s access to the puzzles in each phase of Stage 2 will be determined based on when the participant solved the puzzles of the preceding Stage or phase of the Contest relative to other participants. Participants who solve the puzzles more quickly will be rewarded by gaining access to the next Stage or phase before participants who finished the puzzles at a later time. Early access to subsequent puzzles will be determined by a 10:1 ratio.”

So what more can be gleaned from these quotes? We know the competition has 2 phases. The first one is available with the book release, whereas the second phase comes out later and will also be subdivided into 3 parts. Also when working on phase 1 some of the clues are in the book, but these will lead you to more puzzles. The only logical place to get access to them is through the internet. Thus book puzzles may lead you to different internet sites. This statement here is the number one reason I think people are mixing up the ARG puzzles for the prize puzzles. Unless you have solved a puzzle from the book, it likely is not leading you to more of the prize puzzles.

Alright, I know all that seemed boring, but there was a lot of value there if you picked up on the clues. Getting back to the kepler site, what does that tell us? Once you have logged-in through a google account, you find yourself in a circular room with a pedestal in the center. This seems like part of the puzzle, but for all of the use kepler gives us, it has very little to do with the puzzles directly.Β The pedestal itselfΒ 3 circular parts that will open like an iris. Thus this is why people might be talking about how many irises they have open. The fact that there is 3 also tells you there are 3 parts to phase 1.Β One could extrapolate that to there being 3 series of puzzles to solve, all likely originating from the book. As one progresses, the iris will change and is a visual of your progression through the puzzles. The various looks can be seen on numerous pictures posted on google. That tells you something about the steps, but not the puzzles themselves.

The irises as representing 3 series of questions also gives a small clue to the puzzles. This may or may not help you but you should keep it in mind. What objects are in them, and how does that relate to the websites you will be lead to through the book puzzles?

For now I leave you with those thoughts. Until next time…