Competition 10th Age SPOILERS!!!

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Competition 10th Age SPOILERS!!!

Postby Terokh Jeruth » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:19 am

Congratulations to everyone that solved the 10th Age puzzle.

The following is a spoiler-laden description of how the 10th Age was solved.


Posted in the the 10th Age topic were five images. Each image contained an enciphered riddle, encoded with various cipher techniques.

The first image was encoded using a Caesar Cipher, a very basic cipher where all you need do is shift the alphabet a pre-determined number of spaces so that, with a shift of ten for example, "a" becomes "k", "b" becomes "l", "c" becomes "m", and so forth. For this puzzle I used a shift of five. The clue to this was in the fact that Gehn's crest was in the image. Gehn's crest is based on the number five and even contains a D'ni five in its centre. Once deciphered the riddle reads:

~~~A Jubilee archive,
~~~A desk, a bookpress.
~~~There are squares on the cover,
~~~How many's the number.

This riddle points to the Archives page at Jubilee Studios, the online portfolio of long time Cyan artist Josh Staub. After searching this page you should have found an image of one of the desks from Riven with a bookpress and other bookmaking materials on it. Also in the image is one of Gehn's linking books to Temple Island, which has five (5) squares on the cover.


The second image was of Catherine's journal from Riven with an enciphered message written on the note page that was inserted in it. The cipher method used for this riddle was a Running Key Vigenère. The Vigenère cipher is essentially a Caesar Cipher except that each letter is shifted in the alphabet a different number of places based upon a pre-determined key word. In a Running Key Vigenère the key is a long piece of text, such as a book. The key that was used in this riddle was the very thing the enciphered text was written on, the note from Catherine's journal. Once deciphered the riddle reads:

~~~He's Sharp but not that great.
~~~The link is on the crate.
~~~The model number's near,
~~~If you find the Salt is Clear.

This riddle refers to an easter egg found in Uru. If you visit Douglas Sharper's office in the upper level of Teledahn you will find the crate that his fish tank was shipped in. Written on the side of the crate is the url (ie link) to This was a fictitious website created as an easter egg and something that everyone should check out just for the laughs. For this riddle's solution you would need to visit the "tanks" page where you would find the text "all Haven III"s include the SaltClear™ Filter Attachment". The model number, and the number answer for this riddle, is therefore three (3).


The third image contained an enciphered text written on a lined notepad. Beneath the text five of the lines had been made slightly bolder. The cipher I used for this riddle was the Rail Fence cipher. In this cipher method the text is written out in a zig zag pattern on a number of lines that look like a railed fence, hence the name. The letters are then read off on each line from left to right and divided into groups of five. To decipher the text you first need to know how many rails were used. The clue to the number or rails was the five bold lines in the image. Once you know that you can plot out the required spaces on the rails and then fill in the letters from the text. Once deciphered the riddle reads:

~~~A sanskrit thunderbolt diamond,
~~~With dimensions of three added on.
~~~The beast that eats gets closer.
~~~He drops the number down.

This riddle refers to the website, which is the online portfolio of Tony Davidson, one of the artists that worked on Riven. Tony was recently involved in a Kickstarter for the game Ethereon, which unfortunately wasn't succesful. The word "vajra" is a sanskrit word and translates to both "thunderbolt" or "diamond". A simple google search would have given you that information. "Dimensions of three added on" was intended to clue you to the "3D" part of the address. With some further googling you would have found his site, particulary if you added the search terms "riven" or "whark". Upon searching the Riven gallery at Tony's website you would have found an image of the Whark game found in the schoolroom in Riven, ie "the beast that eats". The number of places the hapless victim would drop on this spin is displayed at the bottom, ie a D'ni number one (1).


The fourth image contained a parchment with "lorem ipsum" text written on it. In publishing and graphic design, lorem ipsum is a filler text commonly used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation and is essentially meaningless. I used it to hide the riddle in plain sight, which is technically a form of steganography. To find the relevant letters of the document a special overlay, called a "grille" was needed. The grille was posted in a spoiler tag at the end of the first post and was my "parting gift" to you. Once overlaid on the original image the following riddle could be read off:

~~~Journals in a temple,
~~~Lined up from left to right.
~~~But the book containing Behhahpo,
~~~Is the only one that counts.

This riddle referred to the Riven Journals, an old teaser website made for the release of Riven. While the original website is long since dead, a (mostly) functional archive of the journals is available at One of the journals relates to the Sunner found in Riven and contains the D'ni word "behhahpo". Counting them off from "left to right" as the riddle intimated the Sunner journal is number four (4). (Stay tuned for an interesting discovery I made whilst creating this riddle! ;))


The fifth and final image contained text from Yeesha's imager speech from the Cleft in Uru. The method used to encipher the riddle in this image was the Bacon cipher. Again, the Bacon cipher is techincally a method of steganography wherein a message is hidden in plain sight, concealed in the presentation of text, rather than its content. In this method each letter of the text to be hidden is converted into a string of five A's or B's, ie AABBA or BABAA etc. Two different fonts are then used to represent the A's or B's and the cover text is written out in this format with every five letters representing one letter in the secret message. Once decoded the riddle reads:

~~~I hang behind him on an arch of stone,
~~~He asks a question and so do I.
~~~How many eggs are in my web?

This riddle referred to Spyder and his web of Easter Eggs found at During the development of Riven Spyder was a small fictitious spy-spider who walked around Cyan's premises and told stories about the making of the game. On the main page of that site is an image of Gehn's guard from Riven when you are trapped in the linking cage at the start of the game. Beneath the picture is the question that the guard asks (and where he got his name from), "Cho...?". Behind Cho, on the arch of stone in the background, hangs Spyder's icon. Clicking on the icon leads to Spyder's web where you will see two (2) "eggs" in his web ("eggs" because technically they're more like wrapped up prey than eggs, but they lead to easter eggs so I'm running with it!).


Placing all these answers in the order of the riddles you get the answer to the 10th Age puzzle: 53142


Congratulations to everyone that solved this Age.
Terokh Jeruth
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Competition 10th Age SPOILERS!!!

Postby Terokh Jeruth » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:21 am

Since no-one else has solved this puzzle that hasn't already won a bookmark I am awarding this Age's bookmark to Talldarkmystere. He solved the most Ages, seven in total, without winning a bookmark and is also the only person at this point to have made any progress on the 10th Age (but unfortunately "life" has gotten in the way). Congratulations Talldarkmystere and I hope you're able to find some time to do the puzzles you haven't yet been able to. They'll be left up for as long as the free image hosts etc I used allow them to be. :)

The competition has been great fun to run and I'm glad everyone that participated enjoyed it. If only it could have gone on longer but I'm all puzzled out.... for now at least ;)
Terokh Jeruth
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Competition 10th Age SPOILERS!!!

Postby Renzey » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:41 pm

Congrats to Mr. Mystere! I'd say you definitely deserve this bookmark.
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:50 pm

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