ARG World

(Potential) ARG and Transmedia Projects => Active Games => Topic started by: Dominic1978 on April 11, 2018, 03:01:29 PM

Title: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Dominic1978 on April 11, 2018, 03:01:29 PM

I just received below e-mail from sylvanastories[at]gmail[dot]com

*****

Dearest Friends,

I am coming out a long seclusion because I need your help. I was visiting with friends in Prague when I was encouraged (via gunpoint) to meet with a new client. As I value my life I decided to break my long-standing rule of no new clients and met with a young woman who I will refer to as Natasha, after one of my favorite characters in literature, because you would recognize her real name in an instant.

We sat in small café where we ordered chlebicek and discussed her situation.

“Don’t you think half a dozen armed guards is a little bit of overkill?” I asked.

“Not if you knew who was after me.”

It turned out that what she wanted was protection, since she knew I was in contact with a number of high-profile underworld operators, and a card reading. Since I didn’t have any cards with me she dispatched a member of her entourage to fetch a deck from a local bookstore. I did a simple spread and she was quite agitated with my reading.

“That settles it; I’m moving to my next location. I have a contact there who will get in touch with you.”

“Where will you be going?”

“I can’t say, but I will give you hint. It is a city on the banks of an ancient river which was essential to a core civilization.”

“Well, that narrows it down,” I said sarcastically.

“Like I said, someone will be in touch.”

I told her that I would do my best to raise a few contacts around the globe who might be able to assist her and she said, “We're going to need an army.”

“Who is after you? And why?”

She sighed. “That is something you will have to figure out for yourself. Let me just say that the man who is after me is very powerful, and right now he is determined to wreak havoc on a global scale the likes of which nobody has ever seen.”

I felt a shiver go up my spine. “How?”

“He is a brilliant financial and political prodigy, although he is actually famous for something quite different. He works out in the open as a successful person in his field, but behind the scenes he toys with and manipulates markets, crashing some while sending others skyrocketing, and he bribes politicians, pundits, and writers to create mass chaos.”

“I think I know who you might be talking about. . .”

She cut me off abruptly, “You don’t.”

I nodded thoughtfully. “Okay, well how shall we refer to him?”

“I call him the man without a face.”

“Without a face?”

“I don’t mean that literally, of course. You’ll have to look beneath the surface.” With that she refused to say another word. She gathered up her things and was escorted to a large black SUV by her thugs. I sat for a few minutes in bewildered silence and finished my chlebicek before ordering coffee. Then I took out my notebook and made a list of every person I knew who would be able to help me.

* * *

I am contacting you, dear ones, because I have either worked with you before or because a close friend has recommended you as someone who can be trusted. As a marker of your mission I will eventually ask you to carry a special artifact with you at all times, but we will get that later, after you have passed several tests letting me know the depth of your commitment. I can’t say you won’t be in danger, so there will be no hard feelings if you feel you can’t join the cause at this time.

For now, if you are interested in going further, please send an email to me with the name of a card from the minor arcana and I will give you a reading. If you do not wish to receive my emails, please respond with the word REMOVE in the subject line and I will trouble you no further.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Always,

Winter Sylvana

Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Dominic1978 on April 12, 2018, 02:51:16 AM
Woke up to a new e-mail:

*******

After leaving the coffee shop I made my way to the bookstore where Natasha had sent one of her bodyguards to buy a pack of tarot cards. It occurred to me that he left and returned so quickly that she must have known about the place beforehand. I was curious enough to do some poking around.

It was a small bookstore, not one of the big chains, and I noticed right away a large picture book on the front table filled with photographs. It was called, "Ancient Cities, Ancient Rivers." I picked it up and began perusing it when I heard someone clear their throat behind me.

"What can I do for you?" I whirled around and came face to face with a woman who at first glance seemed quite old. She had pure white hair and deeply lined skin, and she was small and slight and a little hunched over. But as I looked at her more closely I saw the muscle tone under her skin and the way she moved with confidence and strength, and also the glow in her eyes. She was either much younger or much older than she appeared.

"Someone was in here just a short time ago, to purchase a tarot deck?" I held up the deck.

"I'm sorry, I don't give refunds."

I shook my head. "No need for a refund. I was just wondering if you noticed anything strange about the transaction."

"Strange? No, not really. Well, there might have been one thing."

"What? Anything at all."

"Well, this probably doesn't mean a thing, but the man who bought the tarot deck was here yesterday as well, along with a young woman who looked oddly familiar. But I didn't say anything to her because there is no way someone like that would be here. I must have been mistaken about her so I kept my thoughts to myself."

"Mistaken as to her identity."

"Yes, she looked like someone famous."

I nodded. "Did anything else unusual happen?"

"No, she just looked through the books on the front table there and asked the man she was with, the one who came back for the tarot deck, where they should go next."

"And what did he say?"

"He just told her they should go wherever fortune takes them."

"And what did the woman say?"

"She looked confused at first but then she smiled and nodded and said that of course they would go where fortune takes them. Why hadn't she thought of that sooner?"

I smiled said, "Thank you, that was actually very helpful."

* * *

Shortly after that I went back to my hotel on foot and grabbed my bag. I always travel very lightly with just a single backpack. I grabbed it and headed to the embassy, where a friend of mine works. He game me some documents and currency and by the end of the day I was on an airplane. I'll let you know when I'm settled at my new destination.

***

Your first task after you choose a card from the minor arcana and receive your reading is to choose a card from the major arcana which will serve a role in this mission. You may NOT choose the Fool card, but all other cards are open. However, it will be first come, first serve, so please choose three major arcana cards and list them in order of preference.  I will try to give you your first choice unless it is already taken.

Choose carefully. You will work with this card for quite a while.

Thank you and all my best,
Winter
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Russell on April 12, 2018, 10:05:51 AM
I am the magician.  :D
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 12, 2018, 04:30:41 PM
Im aiming for Temperance  8)
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 12, 2018, 05:48:39 PM
Hi. I'm Strength. Hopefully the flexible sort like rope, a rubber band or a boa constrictor...um, better stop there. Cyas.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 13, 2018, 02:06:53 AM
It seems the Justice card is my destiny. Let’s go!
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Jeet on April 13, 2018, 05:21:56 PM
I got the hanged man.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: emato on April 13, 2018, 07:27:13 PM
Hello,

I am late to the party and I have just sent in my minor card and am awaiting a reply.  I have been keeping up with the posted readings though.

Looking forward to more! 
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 14, 2018, 04:19:26 PM
Anyone starting to poke around in the dark yet? Trying to find a connection or reference between 'a man without a face' and 'an old riverbank'? My first association would be Egypt and pharaos (no face?), so maybe Cairo?? Or am I getting ahead of myself already?  :P
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: emato on April 14, 2018, 06:50:20 PM
Im aiming for Temperance  8)

You beat me to it!  Good choice...
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: emato on April 14, 2018, 06:54:48 PM
Am now hoping for The Hermit.  Will find out...
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 15, 2018, 05:16:14 AM
Im aiming for Temperance  8)

You beat me to it!  Good choice...

Someone else did... I got Justice instead. Wonder who became Temperance now :)
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: emato on April 15, 2018, 06:56:10 PM
I am The Moon.   I'm cool with that.  :)
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Russell on April 15, 2018, 07:51:48 PM
New email and website with our first task....

https://www.sylvanastories.com

The image on the site is of Hipparchus:

Hipparchus (c.190-c.120 BC), Ancient Greek astronomer, at the Alexandria Observatory, Egypt. At left is the armillary sphere he invented. Hipparchus is considered one of the greatest astronomers of antiquity. He calculated the length of the year and discovered the precession of the equinoxes. It is thought that the later work of Ptolemy was based on the work done by Hipparchus.

In response to my answer on the first test I have now been added to the list of major arcana  :D
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 16, 2018, 08:11:58 AM
Quote
"Begin," he said, "by telling me your dreams."

I closed my eyes and begin telling him the story of a priest who had been coming to me in my dreams and giving me pieces of a map to another world

Hi all. Re that excerpt above from Winter's email: The Curious Case of the Cleric Cartographer.  Google says there were a handful of merit. It was interesting to learn that Hipparchus was also a cartographer of note "who attempted to update the world map by gathering new information and implementing them in his maps... However, very few of Hipparchus’ cartographic works exist today." SOURCE: https://geokult.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/the-history-of-mapping-hipparchus/ (https://geokult.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/the-history-of-mapping-hipparchus/)

So, anyone seeing any leads or have ideas about where Winter has landed from her email? Am clueless 'tho I'm ruling out Holland.  ;)
Also, if anyone ever needs to see the full contents of an email just give a shout & someone will post it here. Bye4Now.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 16, 2018, 11:50:39 AM
Lol Amandel, hear me few days back...  :P

Anyone starting to poke around in the dark yet? Trying to find a connection or reference between 'a man without a face' and 'an old riverbank'? My first association would be Egypt and pharaos (no face?), so maybe Cairo?? Or am I getting ahead of myself already?  :P
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Russell on April 16, 2018, 06:24:41 PM
I received the following email:

(8)
Saturn
Caelus
Neptune
Apollo
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 16, 2018, 07:03:17 PM
WOW Russell. If you don't work out anything better you could email her back with these. Plse keep us informed. <3

God of Earth
God of Air
God of Water
God of Fire
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Russell on April 16, 2018, 09:30:12 PM
Thanks amandel.

Just to say that the message was preceded by ( 8 ) which got turned into an emoji on here.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Jeet on April 16, 2018, 10:14:15 PM
Could someone pls post the third email since I didn't get it so I am missing that part of the story. Thanks!
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 17, 2018, 03:14:58 AM
Here's that 3rd Winter email (Title: Heaven and Earth) under the *spoiler* just to condense the space...like virtual Campbells soup.  :)

Spoiler: show
 Dearest Friends,

When my plane landed, despite my exhaustion, I went immediately to visit an old friend of mine who lived in the area. It was an arduous journey because he lives on top of a mountain. I hired a driver and it was quite treacherous, then I had to stumble along a moonlit path until I finally found his house, which was surprisingly palatial. This was no mountaintop hermit living in a cave dressed in rags, although a hermit he may be. I hoped he was there and in a welcoming mood, because he has no telephone, no cellphone, no email or internet.

"Why do you have to make it so difficult to find you?" I asked, once I was settled on his back deck with a cup of hot chocolate and a lambswool throw.

He gestured to a collection of different sized telescopes sitting on his deck and said, "In order to better see the stars, of course. To get closer to God, as they say."

I shivered. "You feel closer to God up here?"

"Of course, and to all of the astronomers who came before me. Who paved the way. They spent many hours, many days, many years, many lives in the cold, in the dark, staring at the skies. I can only hope for the same."

I set down my mug on the deck railing and said, "I have come to ask you if you've seen any changes in the stars."

"It's too soon for that Winter."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"The heavens are vast. We cannot begin our study of them until we know what we're looking for."

"I see. So how do we begin?"

"Begin," he said, "by telling me your dreams."

I closed my eyes and begin telling him the story of a priest who had been coming to me in my dreams and giving me pieces of a map to another world.

* * *

Before you can begin your mission you must complete a series of lessons. The first few lessons will be simple, and are designed to get you into the mindset of an explorer. After that, they will become more challenging, and you will need to lean on each other to decipher them.

I have created a website for you to use as portal for the lessons and for your mission. I will be adding your names next to the cards you have chosen, so please let me know how you would like to be referred to on the website, and whether or not you would like me to include your twitter handle.

Thank you to those who have chosen to follow me on this journey. I wish you luck.

All of My Love Always,
Winter

https://www.sylvanastories.com
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Russell on April 18, 2018, 03:43:22 PM
So i got a nudge:

Quote
A further hint for your efforts:

The eight is simply a quantity.

Saturn is also known as...

My thoughts therefore are that we are looking for an 8 letter word linking these 4 or its hinting at the planets. 

Its odd though that 3 are roman and one is greek.

*Edit* "Twenty-five years before Uranus was discovered, Nicolas Louis de Lacaille identified a constellation that became known as Caelum Scalptorium."

Also if you update the list:

Roman      Current

Saturn       Saturn   
Caelus       Uranus
Neptune    Neptune
Apollo       Sol / Sun

The new list spells suns...
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 18, 2018, 04:31:49 PM
Im so jealous that you got a hint already. Im still waiting for an reply on my first assigment.  :-*

But nevertheless, I looked at this nudge and found that Saturn was known to the Greek as Cronus. Maybe that helps a bit.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Lunsford on April 18, 2018, 07:08:01 PM
Hi old friends.

I filled out the contact page asking to be added to Winter's list. I'll let ya'll know what I get back  8)

Lu
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: pbemaddy on April 18, 2018, 08:46:35 PM
Im aiming for Temperance  8)

You beat me to it!  Good choice...

Someone else did... I got Justice instead. Wonder who became Temperance now :)
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: pbemaddy on April 18, 2018, 08:56:59 PM
Temperance reporting in  ;)

Some of you here I recognize from previous encounters. I had toyed briefly with the idea of creating a new persona for this... but decided in favor of utilizing existing connections.

It's been way too long since my last adventure; I'm needing this.

It appears that some of us are further advanced in this than others, but hopefully we'll all be up to speed shortly. Cheers!
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Rorschach on April 18, 2018, 10:00:59 PM
I think I'll clumsily jump into this.  Hello all.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 19, 2018, 10:33:08 AM
HI to everyone here! *dances  happily down memory lane for a minute* Russell, am still  totally clueless re your puzzle but....

I found this by accident:  https://twitter.com/wintersylvana (https://twitter.com/wintersylvana) Let the Winter stalking begin (and questions too!).  ;D
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Blackbird on April 19, 2018, 03:44:14 PM
Greetings! I'm Blackbird and I hope I can help contribute. My major card is The Lovers.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Lunsford on April 19, 2018, 10:01:01 PM
received an email back from Winter:

Dearest Friends,

I have been reading all of your responses to the first assignment and I am deeply moved. You are a bright and creative group of people. I think we can save the world together.

While there are no right answers to your responses, a few of you have responded somewhat...differently, and I've given you a tiny snippet of information which may become important later on.

Later today I will notify those of you who have completed the first assignment and give you directions on what to do next.

Also, if you haven't let me know how you would like to be listed on the website, please do so ASAP so that I can indicate who has been assigned to each card.

Those of you who recently requested joining the list, I will complete your readings and assign you to a card very soon.

Now, to continue my story...

* * *

After telling H about my dream he mentioned someone whom I should talk to, who unfortunately lives on another continent. I told him I should leave immediately as I had quite a bit of traveling to do.

"You'll have to wait until morning. There is nobody here to take you back down the mountain and you cannot go alone in the dark."

I assented and asked him about living here in such a forbidding place.

"I have not choice. I am kind of a prisoner here."

When I protested H waived his hand dismissively.

"Do not worry about me. Wealth has its comforts. I can do a great deal of studying here and I am learning much about the present situation. I can also study the skies. And I have people who come and go to bring me things, thing that are difficult to get, and they also bring me company and tell me stories about the world."

"Like me?" I laughed.

"Like you, although you are company of a different sort."

"How so?" I asked.

"You're visit is going to require rallying the troops, so to speak."

"I am doing a little of that as well."

H sighed, then smiled a tight little smile. "Unfortunately, we're going to need all the help we can get. I have a small group of people whom I can bring together in situations like this, but I'm going to need your help, and the help of your friends. It's a very delicate process. We cannot communicate with them using traditional means."

"I understand. How many?"

"I have six friends in six different parts of the world. The first you will go to is in a place separated by mountains named for a character in Greek Mythology."

"When do I leave?"

"My personal assistant, Melissa, will meet you here in the morning and drive you to the airport. She will then accompany you on your journey."

"Whatever for?" I asked.

"You may need her assistance, and her protection."

I hesitated. "Protection...from a woman?"

H laughed, "That's a bit sexist."

"I certainly don't mean it like that. I was just wondering what sort of protection you're referring to."

"Let's hope you don't have to find out," H said.


That's all for now, friends. I will be in touch soon.

Best Wishes,
Winter
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: grimangel53 on April 20, 2018, 10:49:27 AM
I'm hopping in, and played the 3 of Cups, but i have not been assigned a major arcana yet.
We shall continue on, and hope that Winter's Emails arent gobbled by the Inbox Goblins.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: emato on April 20, 2018, 02:56:54 PM
Russell:

8
Roman      Current

Saturn    Saturn   
Caelus    Uranus
Neptune   Neptune
Apollo    Sol / Sun
-----------------------------------
amandel:

God of Earth
God of Air
God of Water
God of Fire

-------------------------------
My musings:

earth -> hexahedron -> root
air -> octahedron -> Heart (4th dimension)
water -> icosahedra -> Sacral
fire -> tetrahedron -> Solar plexus (3rd dimension)

dodecahedron -> ether or universe or spirit -> the 12 constellation of the Zodiac -> 3rd Eye 8th above Chakras

(I am into the Platonic Solids and drawing them - that's why)       :P
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 21, 2018, 11:37:55 AM
Ernato, that is so impressive. particularly drawing an icosahedra. Hoping Winter provides us with an opportunity to view these.

Quote from: from Winter's Company email
"I have six friends in six different parts of the world. The first you will go to is in a place separated by mountains named for a character in Greek Mythology"

Was sorta bored and began searching for a location. Just my POV that if Winter isn't headed to Pieria, she should be. It's on my bucket list now: https://travelpassionate.com/things-see-pieria-greece/ (https://travelpassionate.com/things-see-pieria-greece/) Finally. Winter's latest tweet hints at something being "hidden" & that's left me clueless. https://twitter.com/wintersylvana (https://twitter.com/wintersylvana)
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 22, 2018, 03:45:58 PM
Quote from: from Winter's Company email
"I have six friends in six different parts of the world. The first you will go to is in a place separated by mountains named for a character in Greek Mythology"

It could also be Atlas. The Titan was condemned to hold up the sky for eternity... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_(mythology) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_(mythology))
According to an ancient Greek myth, the warrior Perseus would have come to this place on one of his journeys. He sought a shelter and found it at Atlas. However, Atlas did not want to help Perseus. In a fit of anger, Perseus showed the head of Medusa to Atlas, turning it into a large pile of stone. This heap of stone is today known as the Atlas Mountains.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 23, 2018, 10:23:17 AM
Me again :)

In the latest email from Winter (April 19th) she said:
Quote
Later today I will notify those of you who have completed the first assignment and give you directions on what to do next.

Did anyone get another email? I havent...  ???
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Jeet on April 23, 2018, 10:32:04 PM
Me neither, Escobar.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 24, 2018, 08:05:32 AM
Hi there All. My pure guess is that Winter, if not overwhelmed, is at least whelmed  ;D by the sheer amount of player interest in her latest story. Anyway, am leaving a little tweet reply on her accn't hoping to clarify if/how we should be searching for something of interest "hidden" at Sylvana Stories. Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Russell on April 24, 2018, 11:12:34 AM
New email:

Assignment One is Complete
Now that we learned about your location,
we will learn about his.

He is the first and last HRE we will study.
Nobody knows when he was born.
Nobody knows where he was born.
The historical and the present locations will soon collide.

Best Wishes,
Winter
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: emato on April 24, 2018, 12:15:54 PM
So i got a nudge:

Quote
A further hint for your efforts:

The eight is simply a quantity.

Saturn is also known as...

My thoughts therefore are that we are looking for an 8 letter word linking these 4 or its hinting at the planets. 

Saturn is also known as  Saturnus  (8 letters) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_(mythology)
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: pbemaddy on April 24, 2018, 12:18:24 PM
Does anyone know what HRE means? Or who "H" is?
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 24, 2018, 01:11:21 PM
Does anyone know what HRE means? Or who "H" is?

Hi. Am clueless as to H's identity 'tho HRE means Holy Roman Empire. Winter has tweeted/revealed which Emperor.
Quote from: Winter's twitter
Replying to @sylvana_rk

Bingo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne …
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 24, 2018, 05:31:12 PM
Quote
Replying to @sylvana_rk

Bingo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne …

What an awesome find Russel!
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on April 24, 2018, 05:54:50 PM
In our quest of a location, i tried combining stuff. Winter said on Twitter that the story began 6,000 years ago. And in her first email she's referring to a city on a old riverbank. Stumbled on the wikipage of Mesopotamia... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesopotamia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesopotamia).

Founded 6,000 years ago and they were very fond of astrology and mythology. Im not 100% confinced yet, but maybe something to keep in mind
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Lunsford on April 24, 2018, 06:10:31 PM
I received another e-mail from Winter:

Dearest Friends,

An update of sorts, if you will indulge me.
Patience in all things; the story will be told.
The puzzle is not like a blossom opening,
making itself apparent to all.
Rather it like a growing season,
seeds sown and watered and bathed in sunlight,
to grow within
to be harvested in the future
when the need is greater.

Melissa

Our story now merges with Melissa's story, and her story will become a story within a story. You can see why I implore you to be patient. We are all much closer now to being on the same page.

If you'll remember from my last letter, Melissa was the escort that H assignment to me for safety reasons.

I met Melissa at the airport and she was not what I expected, which will become important later. All you need to know now is that she was dressed like a school girl and carried a backpack which she would not be parted with. Nor would she divulge to contents of said backpack.

As she escorted me around the airport I was amazed at how fluent she was in multiple languages and local dialects, including English. She seemed much older and more confident than her young face and body revealed. Frankly, her demeanor was like someone from the armed forces, but she denied such a connection.

Once we were safely on the plane she told me of growing up in a very primitive and rural part of the country, where she longed to escape the drudgery of farm work and go to the city. Eventually, her wish came true when she was sold to a man who lived in the city.

"He was a terrible person," she said, opening a can of diet Coke that she begged from the flight attendant.

"How did you get away from him?" I asked.

She sipped her Coke and smiled. "I killed him."

More soon.

All my best,
Winter
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Russell on April 26, 2018, 02:04:37 PM
Lesson 2 is up on Sylvania stories although it just says "Move carefully"
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 26, 2018, 04:19:30 PM
Quote from: Winter's Twitter Account
Winter Sylvana
‏ @wintersylvana

Ad Locum (context): https://www.sylvanastories.com/ad-locum.html

Hi All. Is this the action to take for Lesson Two? Am unsure 'tho an easy way to define ad locum is "the source cited is the same as one previously cited". Am guessing "the movement" is clockwise from left bottom. (yup, obvious me)

EDIT: Winter's email (posted below on this page) sort of hints to start at "Location in any language". Maybe that stands for Google?
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: emato on April 26, 2018, 05:02:16 PM
Quote from: Winter's Twitter Account
Winter Sylvana
‏ @wintersylvana

Ad Locum (context): https://www.sylvanastories.com/ad-locum.html

Hi All. Is this the action to take for Lesson Two? Am unsure 'tho an easy way to define ad locum is "the source cited is the same as one previously cited". Am guessing "the movement" is clockwise from left bottom. (yup, obvious me)

Been looking at that.  Also another way for Ad Locum -> Latin -> To the place. 
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 27, 2018, 10:52:33 AM
Winter sent me a kind email in reply to some ideas I held (past tense & mostly circular logic) re Lesson Two. Just hoping it helps anyone.

Quote from: an email reply from Winter Sylvana
Dearest Amandel,

Your hard work is always to be commended. I think it is best to sometimes follow that old adage: begin at the beginning. I don't think people have the made the connection yet as to why some people received a clue for Assignment #1 and some didn't.

Hint: Location in any language.

"Move carefully" means looking for landmines, but also making sure you don't miss monuments.

You will prevail, as the next test showcases your strengths.

Ahaha...reckon Winter was teasing me b/c my tarot card is Strength. Also, hoping she means Lesson 3 as I'm clueless atm re Lesson 2.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: emato on April 27, 2018, 05:48:26 PM
Re Lesson 1:

I think I missed a chance to look further into Gilgamesh.  My card places akey at Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh.  Oh well.

Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on April 27, 2018, 06:23:15 PM
LOL Emato. Only a genuine archaeophile would harbor that regret. Maybe we're not yet done with some Sumerian clay tablets?
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on May 02, 2018, 11:56:35 AM
I asked Winter ceraintly if the “location” could be a map, ‘cause its readable in any language. She gave me this response:

Quote
Possibly, although a map is not really a "language." But you are on the right track. Remember L ocation in any L anguage ;)
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Jeet on May 02, 2018, 12:15:02 PM
I'm in the middle of moving to another state so was hoping to get a clue that might help others out (I won't have internet in a few hours and possibly not for a week or so) and Winter did respond with this:
Quote
A few more clues:

Location in any Language (what is yours?)

[the clue you get next leads too...]

Place the card.

You still haven't located the mountains.

and this what I had written which is are not correct so I put it here so no one else goes down this road:
Quote

-- location in any language: GPS? (even in arabic we use "gps" now .)

-- Is the card the Wheel of fortune card? (reason for this is the convo between the man and woman in the bookstore:

"No, she just looked through the books on the front table there and asked the man she was with, the one who came back for the tarot deck, where they should go next."

"And what did he say?"

"He just told her they should go wherever fortune takes them."

"And what did the woman say?"

"She looked confused at first but then she smiled and nodded and said that of course they would go where fortune takes them. Why hadn't she thought of that sooner?")

-- Could the mountainous region be somewhere in the Zagros mountains? (because they are in the geographical region of the place between two rivers (the Tigris and Euphrates) (I'm guessing on the Tigris in Baghdad)

(Or perhaps the mountains = the Strength card that has mountains in the background - I thought this perhaps because the Wheel of Fortune card indicates a "symbol for the forces of Destiny and Fate because it shows how everything is connected in a cycle; some might call it the circle of life. Everything happens in cycles; we rise and fall just as a spot on the perimeter of a wheel travels from the highest point, through all the possible points on the wheel, and then back to the apex. However changes will affect you depends on where you are on the wheel. If you are at the top then any change could throw you off, but if you are the bottom then a change could start you back up to the top. And for one person to rise another must fall - everyone is connected."

If so then "Mountains: Mountains symbolize aspiration, achievement, courage and accomplishment. In this case we can liken the mountain to challenges we face in our lives. As we look upon the Strength card and see the mountains in the distance we are aware that we will always be met with challenges in our lives. However, what makes climbing the mountain difficult or easy is the way we approach it. "

Have fun y'all!
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on May 02, 2018, 01:30:58 PM
I asked Winter ceraintly if the “location” could be a map, ‘cause its readable in any language. She gave me this response:

Quote
Possibly, although a map is not really a "language." But you are on the right track. Remember L ocation in any L anguage ;)

You both rock! Escobar, have left you many twitter compliments. After you replied again to Winter I asked her if she's hinting at L(attitude) & L(ongitude) *crosses fingers* EDIT: Then maybe the next clue is "Celestial Coordinates" leading to The Star tarot card?
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on May 02, 2018, 04:39:12 PM
Yes yes yes! I've got the feeling we are getting closer:
Found this on the web: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/LongitudeIntro.html (http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/LongitudeIntro.html)

Latitude and Longitude: Your Global Address
Every location on earth has a global address. Because the address is in numbers, people can communicate about location no matter what language they might speak. A global address is given as two numbers called coordinates. The two numbers are a location's latitude number and its longitude number ("Lat/Long").

This explanation is similar to my answer about reading a map.

Winter asks: what is yours? I know mine, but not sure yet if I should give them out on this forum. (Although, you guys are always welcome for some coffee  ;D)


Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on May 02, 2018, 04:48:41 PM
And for the Star Tarot card:
Quote
The Star card shows a naked woman kneeling at the edge of a small pool. The woman holds two containers of water. She pours the water out to nourish the earth and to continue the cycle of fertility, represented by the lush greenery around her. The other container pours the water onto dry land in five rivulets, representing the five senses. The woman has one foot on the ground, representing her practical abilities and good common sense, and the other foot in the water, representing her intuition and inner resources, and listening to her inner voice. Behind her, shines one large star and seven smaller stars, representing your chakras. This represents a need to open your chakras and cleanse your aura. Notice all the stars have eight points. The Star is associated with the number 17, which equals 8 (1+7=8). Eight is Strength, the quality needed to accept your faults and love yourself in spite of them. The bird in the tree in the background is the sacred ibis of thought, roosting in the tree of the mind. The astrological sign of the Star is Aquarius.

Since no one choose the Star card and our Amandel is Strength, maybe its your card girlie! Didnt Russel get a hint earlier with an 8?
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Russell on May 03, 2018, 10:25:37 AM
New email and hint for
Spoiler: show
Roncevaux Pass


Email below in spoiler to save space.

Spoiler: show
Dearest Friends,

After a thirteen-hour flight we landed in Paris, but that wasn't the end of our journey. We then boarded a tiny puddle-jumper to a town called Saint-Jean-Pied-del-Port where we took a small boat to a villa on the river. Our hostess greeted Michelle warmly and I was amazed at how well this sprite of a girl navigated the world.

We were shown to our guest rooms and slept easily after our long journey, and after a breakfast of tea and croissants with fresh butter and jam we discussed the next leg of our journey.

Our hostess was, oddly enough, American, a retired neurosurgeon whose husband still worked in Silicon Valley. Her name was Leila and she told us the story of a frightening new technology called a neural sweep, which was able to gather data in unprecedented ways. Her husband was an original investor in the company, which I won't name right now, but he quickly became alarmed at the scope and direction of the research and technology. He joined up with a group of other investors who developed a highly dangerous and illegal plan to manipulate the markets to take down several companies whom they believe to have nefarious interests.

Leila sipped her tea. "But this isn't a simple plan, nor is it a short one. It will last years, if not decades. You can't simply take down a company. You have to...engineer...a take-down."

"How?" I asked.

"Very carefully."

"So what's next?"

"Next we visit a man who has a comprehensive knowledge of the world financial markets. He is believed to be a sort of mystical guru who can see into the future. Of course, as a scientist I don't really believe in that sort of thing, but on the other hand we don't know everything there is to know about the human mind."

"Where do we find him?"

Leila sighed. "The question is not where, but how. He is said to be difficult if not impossible to locate. We begin in the most unlikely place, a convent, or abby."

"I'm sure there are plenty of those in Europe," I said. "Which one is it?"

Leila smiled and said, "Not far from here, in the mountains. It is a monument historique."

More soon...

Best Wishes,
Winter
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Escobar on May 03, 2018, 11:12:12 AM
We're on the same track here Russell  :)

Be carefull, here is another hint:
Spoiler: show
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roncesvalles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roncesvalles)

Roncesvalles is famous in history and legend for the defeat of Charlemagne his nephew

Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on May 03, 2018, 11:25:17 AM
Hi. A couple of PW protected posts on the NEW wordpress: https://sylvanastories.wordpress.com/ (https://sylvanastories.wordpress.com/)

Here's the PW for the 2nd ,"Range", with a cipher to solve
Spoiler: show
pyrenees (case sensitive)

EDIT: Here's that cipher solve. And an intriguing dispute re that location mentioned: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luzaide/Valcarlos (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luzaide/Valcarlos)
Spoiler: show
Gronsfeld cipher with the key *800" which when solved reads: "this location is open to interpretation" (?location dispute above?)

Also, Winter just "hearted" my tweet that she did intend Latitude & Longitude. Am certain then that "Celestial Coordinates" was the next clue. Am unsure about the Star card b/c even after many splendid Cardkeepers chapters I remain pretty much a tarot doofus.  :-[

Here's the PW for the 1st, "Symbolic", with a rqst there from Winter to submit a tarot card to "be given the next piece to the puzzle".
Spoiler: show
PW is cross (case sensitive)


Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Russell on May 03, 2018, 07:42:33 PM
Based on the longitude latitude clue. I had assumed this referred to the latest location related to Charlemagne.

Winters response however was "You, my friend, have already shared yours."

My very first email to her i shared my own latitude longitude so it's possible she is just trying to get all of our locations for the future and I just was a little prescient  ;D
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: emato on May 06, 2018, 05:51:02 PM
Is this related to The Card Keepers https://cardkeepers.wordpress.com/  Where Winter bids farewell?  Is it related at all?  A reboot? 

emato
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on May 06, 2018, 08:53:49 PM
Is this related to The Card Keepers https://cardkeepers.wordpress.com/  Where Winter bids farewell?  Is it related at all?  A reboot?

Hi Emato. To my mind this is a completely new, standalone story in the Winter Sylvana world. After Winter bid farewell for the second time in Cardkeepers history in that Wordpress (beaut find btw) she returned in the Spring of 2016 when she took us on a quest of lost literary treasures from an ancient library founded prior to the Hellenistic era. Then like now she was journeying alone and her deep tarot knowledge was the only constant. Those websites aren't available which like the demise of uF's archives is a great pity. My recollection of events is likely faulty although my memories of rewarding experiences with Winter remain vivid.
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: Lunsford on May 14, 2018, 01:07:46 PM
Received this email today:

Dearest Friends,

After leaving Leila we hired a car and gave the driver a carefully drawn map that Leila had made for us. Michelle and I sat in the backseat as he drove us through the mountains to a place called the Abbey of Saint-Savin en Lavedan.

The woman who greeted us at the visitor's center called herself Sister Margaret, and she gave us some literature on Benedictine Abbeys and an application for attending a spiritual retreat. When we asked about Charlemagne she said she wasn't an expert but would go get Phil, who was a Benedictine monk and on-sight historian. While she was gone we noticed a young man with a scruffy beard and rumpled jacket taking pictures and eavesdropping on our conversation. He sidled up to Michelle and pressed a business card in her hand.

"I advise you to leave quickly, before she returns. You are in danger if you stay here. I don't think you realize what you're getting into. Meet me in Lourdes tomorrow afternoon. And bring the card.

After a quick consultation we decided to take his advice. After all, we could always come back and make our apologies if we decided to continue talking to Margaret and Phil. So we jumped in the car and implored our driver to take us back to Leila's house.

On the way we studied the card the man had given Michelle. On one side was printed his name and contact information. He was a German photographer named Paul. On the back of the card was printed a rather cryptic message:

(8)
Saturn
Caelus
Neptune
Apollo


More soon...

Best Wishes,
Winter
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on May 15, 2018, 12:09:27 PM
Quote from: Winter's reply to Russell from page 2
A further hint for your efforts:
The eight is simply a quantity.

Saturn is also known as...

Since Winter's latest email is titled "Vessel" am sharing what's been banging around in my brain for awhile:
Saturn=Cronus (as clever Escobar noted) Caelus=Uranus Neptune=Poseidon and Apollo=Sol/Sun

Neither the "8 of cups" or the 8 letter word "chalices" has worked anywhere as a file extension etc. so likely the above is simply part of Winter's secret baking recipe? HTH ;D
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: reesylou on May 15, 2018, 06:37:02 PM
Hi all

I wondered where the arg community had disappeared to.  Now I have found you!!  I have been following along with this by myself, and not really doing much, but noticed a couple of things that may (or may not) be important.

I only just yesterday received the email with the names of the gods in it.... and as far as I can tell, the answer is 'elements'.


Also, take a look at the page background on the home page: https://www.sylvanastories.com/uploads/2/7/0/1/27018686/background-images/961145962.jpeg
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: ARGWorld on June 25, 2018, 02:41:32 AM
New e-mail:

Dear Ones,

Our story begins again in a new destination. Michelle and I are on a train heading there now. Our job is to take down a multinational corporation, whose identity must remain secret at the moment for your protection and ours.

This coming week I will summarize the story up until now and also give you some more background information about my traveling companion Michelle. Then the real work shall begin.

In the meantime, please tell me your favorite place to visit, either to travel to or in your own city. Then I can look ahead to something pleasant after all this is over.

All my best always,
Winter
Title: Re: Winter Sylvana’s mysterious e-mail
Post by: amandel on June 25, 2018, 08:11:06 AM
Hi All & good to see you reesylou! On Winter's latest tweet (https://twitter.com/wintersylvana (https://twitter.com/wintersylvana)) there's a number string on the image:
Spoiler: show
It's a simple sub solving to "lutetia" LINK; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutetia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutetia)