Friday, December 31, 2004

The Fourth Key

The Twelve updated the LiveJournal community, with the following:

ROT-20 text:
"The Fourth Key is unlocked by completing an ancient riddle. This visual puzzle is an arcane sigil to our ancestors, and all Acolytes are required to complete it. Send your answer to the usual address."

An LJ-cut, titled:
"Look beyond face value"

...and an image, which appears to be a visual puzzle.

This was undoubtably the longest puzzle for the players to solve in the game so far. The actual answer was surprisingly simple, yet we missed it by thinking into it too much.
After many prompts from The Twelve, we finally solved it.

The characters which were grouped into pairs spelt out:
AD
RA
ME
LE
CH

They needed to be placed in order of the word starting with the last "arm" of the pentagram and placing them counterclockwise around the image to spell out "ADRAMELECH".

Once solved and emailed to The Twelve, we recieved the sigil of the Fourth Key as well as instructions towards solving the next Key.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Third Key

After emailling the proof text to The Twelve, players recieved a strange audio file, named "penqyr.ogg", the title ROT-13ing to "Cradle", along with this message:

"Well done, young Acolyte.
We have many brothers all over the world.
These are some of them.
Identify them and what it is to obtain the Third Key.

The Twelve"

After the file was altered slightly, (reversed and sped up) it was obvious this was a song. A player listened for the lyrics and did a Google search, which lead to the discovery of the song being called "Born In A Burial Gown" by the band 'Cradle of Filth' (the title of the file was a clue to the band name).

Once this was discoevered, The Twelve updated the LiveJournal community:

ROT-23 text:
"You are all to be commended! You have indeed unlocked The Third Key and are one step closer towards our common goal."

...as well as an image, the Third Key.

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Second Key

After unlocking the First Key and discovering the oldest mention of Adramelech and his cult, players recieved an email, containing praises on our work so far as well as a clue:

"he/is/rising/index.htm
You should be able to work it out."

A player discovered the next website: http://us.geocities.com/weserveadramelech/he/is/rising/index.htm

Players found the following; morse code, scrambled text, another line of text, a dark image of a gate and forest behind it and a username/password box.

Page Title:
"Username=our master"

In Morse code:
"look beyond face value"

Which led to the page source code, containing:
"text below= 13-5-L16 (In other words, rot it- take 13 and rot it - take 5 and rot it- look at 16)"

This served as a decypering code that helped us to ROT the scrambled text, revealing:
"You have cleared the First Key, now what lies beyond is the Second. Through the Gate of Darkness and you are another step closer to assisting us releasing Adramelech into the world. The only way to unlock this Gate is to decypher the code below it. Using this combination. ROT thirteen and reverse order letter. "

Which gave us the method of unscrambling the one line of jumbled text, resulting with:
"Hewillriseaboveluciferandbeelzebub"


Players worked out that the username is 'Adramelech' and the password is 'hewillriseaboveluciferandbeelzebub'. When this combination was entered into the password gate, it lead us to this page:
http://www.geocities.com/weserveadramelech/hwralab/index.htm

Containing; The Second Key and a passage of Morse code, translating to:
"WELL DONE, BROTHERS. YOU HAVE HELPED TO OBTAIN THE SECOND KEY. INSTRUCTIONS TOWARDS THE THIRD WILL BE SENT TO YOU ONCE YOU CONTACT US AT OUR USUAL ADDRESS WITH THIS AS PROOF: ADRAMELECH IS THE KING OF FIRE."



Another development from the Jake side of the ARG, via email:
"It's Jake...
Something terrible has happened.
As I said before, I was discussing with some others who were trying to escape this nightmare and assist me in stopping them.
The Twelve have discovered one of us who were trying to get out of that horrible group. I won't say his cult name or that would reveal too much, but his real name was Mark. He was discovered this afternoon with terrible body wounds... the police were stumped as to the cause of injury.
Let's just say what killed poor Mark was in no way human.
I feel like this is my fault... he was killed because he wanted to help me.
I must tread even more carefully than I did before.
Jake"

A player caught Jake online MSN Messenger and was able to chat for a few minutes with him:
"geenomepops says: hi, this is SkaterAl from the Unforum boards. I'm sorry to hear about Mark.
mynameisjake says: Thanks for your condolences... He was a good man at heart, just got caught up in all this shit... Like I am.
geenomepops says: I just hope that the rest of you can stay moderately safe.
mynameisjake says: We're trying to stay hidden... I'm not quite sure what went wrong with Mark. I wouldn't be surprised if it was them and their dark magics.
mynameisjake says: Security around The Twelve's been increased lately... They won't let any of the Acolytes get close to them. I think they suspect an assassination attempt.
mynameisjake says: We considered it, but realised they would see us coming a mile away. They have incredibly effective divination methods.
mynameisjake says: I shouldn't really be online, but one of the others had an idea. Since I'm the only one with Internet access, I'm just researching up on something.
geenomepops says: what would that be?
mynameisjake says: Something that might be able to assist us with all this. I won't let out too much yet in case it turns out to be a red herring.
mynameisjake says: Anyway... is there anything you would like to know? I'm not sure how much longer I can risk being online.
geenomepops says: well...is there anything that our group can use/do to help aid you, other than what we have?
mynameisjake says: Actually... yes, there is. mynameisjake says: There's something else going on. Alot of lesser demons have been flying around. They are loyal to Adramelech, but not such a burden other than the fact that they could report back to him if they discover anything about us.
mynameisjake says: What we could use is a method for binding them with magic.
mynameisjake says: You may not be inclined to believe such things... but they do exist.
mynameisjake says: Try and find anything you can to help us. I believe it would be easier to find information if you used the word "magick" rather than "magic".
mynameisjake says: I've got to go... thanks for everything you are doing for us."

This lead us to believe that we must find a method of "defensive magick" to help Jake with these demons. Whether this is a major trail in the game or just a side-quest, we are not quite sure yet.

After this, there was an update on the "heisrising" LiveJournal community (a.k.a the Online Gathering Circle):
"One of the traitors was found. Tt was our very own brother, Arrelius. We discovered how he planned to betray our master, and we sacrificed one of our own so that Adramelech could manifest in the physical world for just a few minutes. He took care of the traitor with ease. Brothers, do not assist the traitors in anyway or you shall share Arrelius's fate."

This confirmed what we already knew from Jake, but has risen an interesting point which may be of some importance; this has confirmed that members of the cult have cult names in addition to their legal names (Arrelius=Mark), but the cultists only know each other by their cult names. This is how Jake is able to tell us his real name without much fear of being caught, as we do not yet know his cult name.










The First Key

After visiting http://www.weserveadramelech.cjb.net, there were many clues left.

A bunch of text which turned out to be a ROT-13 revealed the following:

Title: "The Servants of Adramelech"

Hidden in the source code: "Only those worthy of being an Acolyte of our Master will be given more information."

Main body of text: "those thAt wish to join us anD assist to raise our master fRom the place he dwells in should contAct us but do not Mess around with us because our mastEr is vengefuL and we are skillEd Chosen ones in the dark arts He has given us. You wIll learn them too and aSsist Releasing our master Into thiS world by unlockIng the thirteeN cyber keys and bringing his miGht through into this world All those worthy should conTact us so that our Great lord May be assisted to breAk free from the jaIl he is heLd in. you will be under the Command Of the twelve who will guide you to adraMelech"

The capitalised letters revealed an address; adramelechisrising@gmail.com with the request of contacting them if we were interested in their cause.

A bunch of binary code decoded as:

"Which one of us is the key to unlocking your potential?"

One of the binary numbers was a link, leading to a .bmp image: http://www.geocities.com/weserveadramelech/hiraycsu.bmp

Hidden in the source code of the image was the following:
"at least you know that we are unstoppable. We know of your contact with the traitor. As soon as we discover him, he shall be an offering to the one that will rise and you will never talk to him again why is it that you side with him? We can assure you, the power of Adramelech is great and rewarding. http://www.geocities.com/ (written traditional style as satanists do)"

After some confusion, the player's were able to work out that supposedly, satanists write backwards. The demon Adramelech is apparently a chancellor of the Order of the Fly. Hence, we got the link: http://www.geocities.com/ylfehtforedro

In text, there was an altered and backwards version of the Lord's Prayer, basically praising the evil attributes towards the end and claiming that earth is Adramelech's domain for all eternity.

"Our Father who art in Heaven
hallowed be thy name
thy kingdom come
thy will be done
on earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our tresspasses
as we forgive those who tresspass against us
lead us into temptation
and bring us the pleasure of evil
for thine is your kingdom
and your power
and your glory
for ever and ever and ever and ever" (etc etc)

This was assumed to mainly be of no importance, just more cult-raving flavour text.

There was a strange bmp image of a fly with an inverted pentagram at the top of the page. Viewing the source code of the image revealed:

"Well brothers, we have set up a way to discuss our plans without meeting in person. There is a community on a popular website with the name 'heisrising'. You should understand it"

This lead us to a community on LiveJournal: http://www.livejournal.com/community/heisrising/

This was named the "Online Gathering Circle" and has become an important source for information directly from the cult leaders themselves.

The first entry on the community was in morse code, and then had to be ROT-13ed to get:

"WE ARE THE DESCENDANTS OF THE SEPHARVITES , ORIGINAL SERVANTS OF ADRAMELECH. OUR TIME HAS BEEN LONG AWAITED , AND WE WILL NO LET DOWN OUR ANCESTORS IN THIS TASK. THERE HAS BEEN A SURGE OF INTEREST IN OUR CAUSE OF LATE. IGNORE THE VAST AMOUNT OF THOSE WHO ARE CONTACTING US. THEY SEEK THAT WHICH WE CANNOT GIVE THEM. ANOTHER ISSUE WHICH THE TWELVE HAVE BECOME AWARE OF IS THE FACT THAT THERE IS A TRAITOR AMONGST US. HE IS LEADING A REVOLT TO STOP OUR ULTIMATE GOAL FROM MANIFESTING. IF ANY OF YOU HAVE INFORMATION ON THE IDENTITY OF THE TRAITOR , YOU SHALL BE GREATLY AWARDED BY OUR MASTER. WE LEAVE YOU WITH THIS FOR NOW. BROTHERS, DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE EARLIEST RECORDINGS OF OUR ANCESTORS IS MENTIONED? POST THE ANSWER HERE AND RECIEVE YOUR REWARD"

So far, player's assumed that to get this far was basically a test from the cult to see whether we were worthy or not of their cause. Now the real quest began, to obtain the Keys to release Adramelech into the world. Even though this is what Jake wants, he told us to go along with the cult for the time being, and players assumed he would tell us to not complete the final Keys.

The next major event to occur was that Jake had now become the first in-game character that players could dirctly talk to online, via MSN Messenger: mynameisjake@gmail.com

His first main point (that was also reaffirmed to a few select players via a phone call) was that he was sorting out a resistance group within the cult from those who wanted out, and that for the time being to just go along with the cult and do whatever it is they ask.

Members posted various answers to The Twelve as to where the earliest recordings of Adramelech and their cult are. The correct answer was a Bible verse:

2 Kings 17:31: "And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim."

It was indeed the correct answer, but a player was told that he would not be given his "reward" until he had found the First Key. This was located on the_twelve's LiveJournal profile: http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=the_twelve

With the following ROT-13 text:
"By getting this far, you have obtained the First Key. Now, go forth and continue along your quest to darkness."

Thus, we had "unlocked" the First Key.

The Beginning

It all started with an email:

"I apologise for this, but I have hardly any time at all. I shouldn't be here, I shouldn't have paid for this session with their money... They'll know which one I am if I give you too much information. All I can tell you is my name is Jake. They will not know me by that name, but the one they gave me... I cannot speak of it.
I'm sorry for being so cryptic, but as I said, revealing too much information will certainly kill me.
They are doing horrible things, terrible things that I've seen with my own eyes. I joined them because it looked fun at first. I had no idea that a human could possess such... abilities.
They are trying to raise up... him. The one they call Adramelech. They are his servants and are trying to bring him into this world. They are performing ancient rites and are getting closer...
They believe he can be brought through the internet and incarnate into every port connected to it. If this occurs, he will be able to manifest into the real world... and then its over.
Please, I know my story sound unbelievable but if you can assist me, reply as soon as possible.
I don't know how long we have left."

After replying to the email, players recieved the following:

"Thankyou for your offer to help...You see, I'm trying to sort out a few things here. I might be able tospeak to a few members of the cult that I suspect are also looking fora way out of this. I'll keep you informed.
For the moment, try and discover as much information as you can aboutthe Servants of Adramelech.
Their website is:
http://www.weserveadramelech.cjb.net
Good luck, you'll be hearing from me soon.
Jake"

So began the ARG known to us players as the Cult of Adramelech.