Puzzler's Space

Puzzler's Space
Puzzler's Space
Puzzler's Space





Lesson 1:Spring's Spirit Departs

Liu Kui and Ban Songqi are walking along a riverside path. The sun beats down, and the flowers are wilting around. Yet the river flows without hesitation, blue in the golden sunbeams.

"Songqi," inquires Liu Kui, "where has the spring's spirit departed to?"

Songqi does not respond.

Puzzle 1: What was the color of Songqi's shoes?

An old hermit sits beneath the willow tree at the end of the path. Ban Songqi, upon arriving at the boundary of the time-smoothed pebbles and the withered grass, stoops down, sleeves hovering above the ground. Liu Kui gazes upon this situation in confusion.

Five minutes pass. Silence covers the scene, a muffled blanket of smothering air.

Ten minutes pass, again. Liu Kui flips through a 760-chapter scroll of philosophical treatises.

Ten thousand years pass.

The old hermit rises from the tree, and defeats the Venerated Judge of the Exhumed Bureaucracy in single-handed combat. The dead rise from their graves in the guise of small rodents and birds, wreathed in the deadly glare of the Unity, and obliterate all surviving civilization in a cataclysm of torrential flame. All fade to dust - all pass away. There is no more.

Two minutes pass.

Ban Songqi stands up from the worn path. "The hermit has long passed away. A burial is appropriate."

Liu Kui brings out a shovel, and they spend two hours preparing a shallow grave.

Puzzle 2: In the seven-and-seven-hundredth reign of the Semi-Immortal Paragon of the Fifth Virtue of Heaven, Avkakathip Tolvittrakhar-Thakartravit, the Assembly of Retaining Avarice fell into internal strife. Out of the conflict, only twelve survived. Why?

The sun is setting, and the faint smell of lightly steaming rice porridge wafts from over the hills, roughly tinged by the sun-dried grass and the dark odor of burning charcoal.

Ban Songqi and Liu Kui, tired from the burial, pack their bags and begin their trek home.

Halfway through the journey, Liu Kui trips on the exposed root of a mangrove tree and drops the 760-chapter scroll into a swamp. It sinks pitifully into the murky emerald waters.

Liu Kui kneels down in sudden agony and grief, for the last position was only the four-hundred-and-twenty-first page, but Ban Songqi interjects. "Fear not," Ban cryptically states, "for the knowledge of nature now returns to its origin."

Burdens left behind, the two have rice porridge under the warmth of their wooden home.

Puzzle 3: When will the mangrove forests rise, hearing the melodies of death, cognizant of hate, and return the endless millennia of suffering inflicted by human hands?

After-school reading: If you were Liu Kui, would you have observed the Accordance of Twelfth Heaven instead of that of Fiftieth Heaven, and set the swamp aflame? Explain in the form of the Law of Coordination why the action would be proper, or alternatively, conduct a psychological analysis.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 1: Songqi wears no shoes, for ages of veneration have worn them from their feet.

Puzzle 2: The battle occurred around a great banquet. The twelve members in question had eaten so much beforehand that they fell unconscious and were mistaken for dead by the others, who fought until none remained.

Puzzle 3: The world has always been cognizant of hate, for as with all things, hate emerged from the world. The hate of mangrove trees is merely directed towards more appropriate things, such as drought, boats, and particularly irritating mangrove crabs.

Staying clear of the extra credit for now. You know what they say! Cs get degrees!
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 1: Trick question. Songqi is barefoot.
Puzzle 2: They lost their shoes. Without shoes, they were not permitted to enter the assembly hall, and so they were absent when the conflict broke out.
Puzzle 3: When the people are once again allowed to wear shoes.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 1: Ban Songqi's shoes were once brilliant sun yellow. But as the sun fades while the ages pass, so did Songqi's shoes; the gold was long ago browned by mud and bleached by wear. Now Ban Songqi's shoes are naught but a dull gray.

Puzzle 2: There was no such battle. In the seven-and-seven-hundredth reign of the Semi-Immortal Paragon of the Fifth Virtue of Heaven, Avkakathip Tolvittrakhar-Thakartravit, the Assembly of Retaining Avarice had only twelve members. The thirteenth had died of old age five days before, and they had yet to appoint a new member. That is what was meant by Grand Archivist Kathiatrakivis of the Khwiu clan (now spelled Liu) when he wrote "Only twelve survived." The conflict mentioned in the scribe Atrakhanaikahr of the Khatatkar-dwellers's A Comprehensive History of the Assembly of Retaining Avarice (and Other, Related Organisations) During the Tolvittrakhar-Thakartravit Period is at best, only an exaggeration of a simple debate, or at worst, a complete fabrication.

Puzzle 3: It is said by the nomads on the large island of Jakoa that every 1000 years, a single mangrove tree will bear a single seed that sprouts on land instead of on the sea. And again every 1000 years, a single sea-dwelling mangrove will bear no offspring at all, and die off completely. When every tree, in every grove, on every continent grows on the land and not in the sea, only then shall they wreak their terrible vengeance.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 1: The shoes were delicately crafted from a transparent quartz that illuminates colour akin to a restrained and deliberate rainbow, a marvel to observe for hours or even days.

Puzzle 2: The Assembly fell victim to corruption as all things do with time, they were consumed with what they were tasked to regulate. Though it was not to obtain material possessions but to indiscriminately bloat their membership without adhering to the meritocracy and criteria that got the elders elected in the first place. The sum total prior to the strife was 144. When the conflict was resolved the 8th survivor pondered if the higher spirits were enacting a cruel joke and mockery of their responsibilities by enabling this mess.

Puzzle 3: When every source of the written word is consumed by the soil, then shall the immobile become the mobile and beast and man alike will be fettered by icy-cold dread of their well deserving fate. Then the beings of the earth will be punished by the heavens in turn for being complicit in static and petty infliction of cruelty upon the formerly mobile prior to their wrathful uprising.

After-school reading:

I would have observed the Accordance of Fifteenth Heaven, I would argue as if I were Liu Kui that I am a mortal being and do not have the luxuries of longevity brought upon by my passive and rooted nature. I would politely demand compensation in the form of a single fruit of the mangrove tree. Because in the grand scheme of things, the value of that fruit could not measure up to the value of the scroll. I would die long before the vengeance of the earthly beings happens. I would feel justified in my entitlement being capitulated to, because trading something significant for something of lesser significance that will soothe the agony of existence in the short term would be rewarding to all parties involved, the beings of the earth are present everywhere and they will observe and mock my suffering til the days that I die and I certainly have a lot of days to live through before meeting my timely end.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
A flat cloud hovered in from the west, casting the landscape into darkness. Yet this was not a rain-cloud, for it was too flat to contain two days worth of rain. The farmers yelled and struck at their altars to the deities of agriculture, but the flat cloud merely continued to loom.

After three weeks, the darkness had become unbearable. Lamentations rose up from the dwellings of all, and collected together in a great morose chorus.

Liu Kui was at the market with Ban Songqi when this cacophony became known as an infestation of the ears and a consistent, dull pain in the head.

"It is a flat cloud," consoled Songqi, "and not your health, which has yet to fail. This troubles us all."

Liu Kui replied, "Yet, this will surely affect the presence of round-fruit in the markets. Observe: We have not seen it after several hours of searching." For Liu Kui, this was of utmost concern - the presence of round-fruit shared a deep connection with the Spirit of the Spring, and that there was such a lack indicated a terrible deficiency in its health.

Songqi, who secretly held a worldly enjoyment of well-prepared round-fruit, became sullen and did not speak for the rest of their time at the market.

Puzzle 4: What is the punishment for allowing a woven mat into the market?

It was not three-thirds into their return that the two were met by a nameless travelling merchant, whose profession was known by the thick wrappings that obscured any human features.

"I have brought," began the merchant, "the finest jewels under heaven."

But Liu Kui and Ban Songqi continued forward.

The merchant followed in suit, continually hounding the two with further requests. "I have brought the most delicate linens on the earth. I have brought the seeds of the legendary flame-tower tree, the hidden gold of the faraway Shining Wall." Pocket after pocket was unveiled, and brilliant and mysterious goods were presented one after another.

It was when the so-called square-fruit was presented that Ban Songqi motioned for Liu Kui to stop.

"Which assassin are you," Songqi sternly put forth, "to have acquired this variety of goods, and to have targeted us so for such a time?"

The nameless merchant only smiled, casting down the great cloak within which was hidden that great assortment of items, revealing a body entirely covered in text.

Songqi had expected this, for only the School of the Twenty Flocks would dare craft the unnatural square-fruit - and indeed, upon the body of the supposed merchant were the writings of the Twenty Flocks, which described the exact manner of their own inscription. Unable to resist, Songqi was drawn into the script, unable to fully trace their paradoxically self-referential nature.

Liu Kui, not having paid attention to the scene, stooped down and picked up a square-fruit, carving off its edges with a knife, and passed it in front of Songqi.

"There it is." commented Liu Kui, "To think that we were fortituous enough to meet this kind merchant!"

Songqi blinked twice, taking up the carved fruit, and without inspection, placed it into the back-basket.

The two carefully stepped around the kind merchant, who was called Ying Zhong, and completed the journey without further interruption.

Puzzle 5: Your teacher announces that in three days, the Trial of Green Sand will begin. Yet, you do not have coverings for your feet. From which of the epics of the Stellated Valley General, who marches yet in the grave, should you transcribe your death-poem?
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 4: The punishment is that you must decide upon a punishment for someone else involved in such an act, and face a punishment chosen by another who has defied this rule.

Puzzle 5: None of them, for you have not yet completed the Trial of Green Sand and proven yourself worthy of such a celebrated poet's writings.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 4:

Puzzle 5:
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 4: The punishment for allowing a woven mat to market is having your spirit and sinew separated from your flesh, which must then be woven into a mat, of equal size but of differing shape, called a yangshi. Only upon the sale of the yangshi will the punished be allowed to know The Great Truth of the Fifth Seer and allowed re-entry into the Cycle.

Puzzle 5: From the Epic of the Yellow-hemmed Garden of Long-zhao-xhai, the Grand Minister of the Third Heavenly Host, you shall transcribe the death-poem, "Lily that yet floats upon the Corpse of the World".
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 4: You and your mat are taken to the top of the Tower of Weavesses and cast into the sky. You must complete the Three Prayers of Replenishment before you reach the ground.

Puzzle 5: Transcribe your epitaph from the Ballad of the Snake Pilgrim, for your feet are only as worthy as the beggar Singh's.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 4: Your property seized and the mat destroyed. Should the law be alerted to persistent recidivism, you will be paraded naked on the streets and whipped for 3 days.

Puzzle 5: The epic of Tai-Yin conqueror of soil, a precious but aloof friend of the general famed for having walked through an entire desert of green sand ("The Emerald Sea" or if you are an argumentarian: "Eye of Jade") barefoot. If you are to face scrutiny from your teacher, at the very least appeal to their love of folklore and culturally significant pieces of literature.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
The flat cloud had lain over the region for several months, now, and waking up to darkness had become standard fare for the ordinary folk. There was, of course, the issue of the famine, but there was plenty of food to be found in the vermin that now lay dead in the field.

Thus, it was only expected that a plague was now stirring in the small town of Five Hill Tower. It was the scene of starvation and pestilence which greeted Liu Kui and Ban Songqi as they walked through the formerly cheerful community.

"Traveler," cried out one of the afflicted, who grasped feebly at Ban Songqi's robes, "you who pass through without illness, help - help me!" Fingers closing around the cloth, the one who wore sores in place of skin suddenly tore with an unexpected vigor.

But this was not Ban Songqi. These were not Ban Songqi's robes.

Puzzle 6: Upon returning to your private garden, you find that a stranger has trespassed and left a net of gold upon your moon-cloud flowers. You place the net upon the flowers and realize that you did not plant the flowers, for they had been present for five centuries. Why have you gone to the garden?

Suddenly, a great clap shook the air, and it seemed that the sun had torn in half.

The flat cloud drew into itself, curling like heated sheet-metal, and rolled downwards into the caves and the mountains of the earth.

The ------------- was present. It perfused the air, the water, the earth, in a fit of ------.

The sick one fell away in the color of ----- and observed that the Layering of the Skies was unveiled. For it was the face of the Spring which bore its eyes down from the upper firmament, and separated the yet-youthful from the yet-dying.

"The next shall overturn all which come after," the great face proclaimed, and exhaled a violent breath. The ------ tore through the afflicted and crumbled away the village to ash. In a brief moment, the final enlightenment, the Hidden Truth of the Myriad-Eye Monk, became revealed to all life. Great Conquerer Tai-Yin rose from the fields of the Northern Plains in a great billowing duststorm and proclaimed emptiness into the heavens. The sphere of the earth turned over in protest, throwing the famed poet-warrior into the waters above, dormant for yet another hundred and eight years.

Thus was Five Hill Tower taken up into the skies.

Puzzle 7: In the event that a scroll containing the teachings of the Fourth Seer has impacted the eyes and subsumed the dreams of an unwilling student, what should be done about their remaining lifespan?

Liu Kui stirred, dreaming of round-fruit, moving shoeless feet under the thin blankets. A great battle raged around the ramshackle cottage.

The door flew open with a crack - wind like howling wolves sprinted through the opening and chased itself through the small space, stirring up papers and dust and Liu Kui's blanket alike.

Unable to continue sleeping, Liu Kui sat up from the bed, grabbing the blanket from the air, and stood upon the floor.

Ban Songqi walked in from outside, with a cloak held in the arms instead of wrapped around the body.

"You took my shoes," commented Liu Kui.

Ban Songqi nodded, returning them from age-worn feet, and placed the cloak upon a nearby stand.

Slipping on the shoes, Liu Kui looked outside.

It was merely cloudy - the flat cloud had gone.

Ban Songqi, noticing that Liu was gazing towards the open door, nodded. "We will visit Six Hill Tower."

Puzzle 8: An old saying follows: "The stout ear which listens to the voice of rabbits grows large. The narrow eye which gazes upon the grazing auroch grows wide. Yet, attend to your hands, for they do not..." As you know, the many modern completions of this saying have been colored by inaccurate falsehoods. What is the original completion?

After school-reading: Why did Liu Kui not arrange the scattered papers once Ban Songqi had returned?

Where has spring gone,
feathered with storm,
with wake of grey
and colorless cries?

End of Lesson 1.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 6: To place the net. You trespass here so often that you think of the garden and its flowers as your own.

Puzzle 7: The student becomes the master, and must teach others that which they refused to learn.

Puzzle 8: There is none, for the wise one who said these words was attacked by hawks before she could finish speaking.

After-School Reading: Liu Kui was using the papers as a substitute for the missing shoes. When Ban Songqi returned, there was no further need for the papers so they were not a pressing concern.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Lesson 6: You came into your garden to place a golden net upon the seeds of the moon-cloud flower, which will grow five centuries previously.

Lesson 7: Cursed with no longer being able to dream, the afflicted shall join the Sleepless Many Faces of the Twentieth God-Emperor of Three Hill Tower and serve as attendant to the Great Heron of Xao, lest the great bird itself grow sleepy and bring upon the land a horde of dreamers.

Lesson 8: The correct completion is simply "... for they do not." Eyes and ears well gain clarity from concentrated idle use, but hands require work, toil, and effort to grow wide.

ASR: Liu Kui could not arrange the scattered papers of Ban Songqi because the mantle of wind that Ban Songqi had retrieved from the Spirit of Spring was still blowing a gust through the space, and would continue to do so until "the overturned bloom into the depths, thus restoring rightness."
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 6: Moon cloud flowers are invisible unless clouds and a full moon appear in the exact spot where the flowers grow. You came back to the garden to tend to far more exotic plants, usually you do these things during day time and thus paid no attention to the existence of the moon cloud flowers prior to this. They are unremarkable in many ways.

Puzzle 7: Marriage is the cure for all sorts of diseases of the soul.

Puzzle 8: For they do not grow but learn. Most people miss-attribute the maturation of hands with physical symptoms, when the saying talks about gaining experience and worldly skills.

ASR: Liu Kui was consumed by his hunger and insomnia and those two things served as an obstacle to clear and rational thinking.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle 6: Moon cloud flowers are a fairly rare and beautiful species of flowers to gaze upon. You frequent the garden because while it isn't your garden, it is an opportunity to see such a flower.

Puzzle 7: The student shall take up the mantle of seer their self and meditate for two months by the great green lake of the seers. There they shall receive many prophecies and teach others the way of the Seer, even if the students are unwilling to learn.

Puzzle 8: for they do not embrace other hands without one's permission. In it's original completion, one can deduct that this old saying is either about how some senses are innate while other senses are things under our control, or perhaps about how one should not be a pick-pocket.

After-School Reading: Because Ban Songqi was obligated to arrange the scattered papers alongside Liu Kui, as per the existing scholarly rules regarding papers now that he had seen the papers strewn about. The punishment for disobeying the rules can be quite disastrous.
Karies - a forum adventure (Hiatus)
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Initiates Fogel and Gm are far wiser than I, for this poor neophyte can devise no better answer than Fogel's for Puzzle 6 or Gm's for Puzzle 8.

Puzzle 7: Slay them on the spot. It is better to lose your leg than to die of infection, and a rabid dog must be removed ere it destroy the whole pack. Thus shall the monastery be redeemed.

"An obvious frog,
"dark green spot on pink lilies.
"Crane watches, hungry."
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Puzzle Six: I came to tend the private garden, as did my mother and her mother before her, for the past five generations.

Puzzle Seven: It must be surgically removed, for any who learn the work of the fourth seer gain True Foresight, and thus in sleep can remember their future as if it were the past with perfect clarity. This, it is hypothesised, puts the future on a road from which it cannot stray until the student dies.

Puzzle 8: The permutations of this phrase are many. The most common is "hooves", but other variants include "an ape's", "another's", "for walking" and "legs".

In my research, it seems the original version translates roughly to "grow without studying humans."

After school-reading:
The papers were unimportant to Liu Kui. They were scraps leftover from flawed letters they had been drafting, and the completed letters were already stowed away safely in their luggage.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Answers to Lesson 1 Puzzles

Puzzle 1:
Ban Songqi indeed wears no shoes.
In the twelth year of the Falling Quail, when Ban Songqi completed the Great Pilgrimage from Two Hill Tower, Ban's formerly famous golden-quartz shoes were obliterated by the Sages Named by Fire for offending their aesthetic sensibilities. If Ban Songqi had avoided the mires of the mangrove swamps on the path from Two Hill Tower, the Sages would have instead blessed the shoes for their golden-quartz flame.

Puzzle 2:
Though only twelve survived the internal strife of the Assembly of Retaining Avarice, the conflict was not as severe as is often mistaken. Scarcely days before the date of the conflict, a cruel prank happened upon the Assembly's senior members - their shoes were scattered throughout the Cascading Fathom, a great water-desert that laid far to the west of the space ruled by the Semi-Immortal Paragon of the Fifth Virtue of Heaven, Avkakathip Tolvittrakhar-Thakartravit. Believing this to be the work of the heavens, the entire Assembly set out to recover the shoes by hand. Upon their successful return, Avkakathip was so impressed by this feat that the Assembly was promoted to the Assembly of Returning Footwear. At this time, the twelve who had carried out the scattering came forward, expecting rewards from their role in the matter, but instead were punished with permanent residence in the Assembly of Retaining Avarice, shoeless and destitute, until they perished and were replaced.

Puzzle 3:
The mangrove forests have already risen. Heed the night-wind, for it is the melody that promises death. Those who studiously follow the Accordance of Twelve Heaven - attend yourselves in the presence of the enemies of life. Where Jakoa Island once rose from the water now dwell only mangroves.

Puzzle 4:
A hundred years prior, the barbaric practice of Yangshi was outlawed due to the discovery that spirit-weaving, which, though known to prohibit any proper burial, would additionally empower the Red-Black Seamstress and eventually lead to the consumption of a great number of cities by the Shadow Tapestry. Now, the sacrificial rite has been replaced by the much more civil casting of the mat from the Tower of Weavesses.

Puzzle 5:
While the Ballad of the Snake Pilgrim may come to mind, the parable of the Beggar most prominent, it is indeed the Epic of Tai-Yin that should be the source for your death-poem.

Puzzle 6:
Indeed - You have arrived at the garden to ensure that the net shall guard the seeds as they grow five centuries previously. For then, from where would the Ribbon-Eyed Messenger find the cure for the mind-chaining of the dreadful cults that surround Bone Powder Lake, destroying their final hold over the souls of the faultless?

Puzzle 7:
If the teachings of the Fourth Seer have indeed fully subsumed the dreams of an unwilling student, it is too late to reverse. Lest they upset the Great Heron Xao with improper attitude, the consumed student must be struck down before being incorrectly brought before the ranks of the Sleepless Many Faces, where the fault will be discovered, visiting indiscriminate destruction upon the offender's land of origin. Always ensure that only the willing student accesses the teachings of the Fourth Seer, so that they may glean the knowledge of the Sleepless Many Faces and rise to the proper position of a Master.

Puzzle 8:
The original completion is "for they do not," followed by an incoherent, extended scream. Those who acknowledge the original saying politely end the recounting before it, claiming instead that it expresses the truth that hands must be honed with active attendance in place of unthinking usage. Others offer inaccurate completions to ward themselves from the attacks of nearing hawks, pleasing them by twisting the original proverb. Several popular variants elaborate upon interpersonal relations or on learning, which is not entirely unfounded.

Regarding the blank answers: The Hollow Speech may be applicable in certain circumstances, but until you have stolen the Answer Scrolls and sacrificed them to Emptiness itself, it is not an safe answer, lest you desecrate the sacred non-word.

RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 1: Spring's Spirit Departs
Thank you for waiting patiently for Lesson 2. This post has been edited.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 2: It is my Star who Sits in the Sky
Lesson 2: It is my Star who Sits in the Sky

Six Hill Tower was a mire - a city drowning beneath a puddle.

It stood at the cliffs of a faraway sea, perched atop a small rock in a precarious manner, yet submerged in its fuming waters for seven and seventy thousand years. Metal decorated its high buildings and shining places as a testament to the hubris of its architects.

There were no birds here, for they would sink in its depths - plants abhorred the murk, growing about the boundary where Six Hill Tower began, and the coherent world ended. It was the exact environment that Liu Kui detested. Once before in the outskirts of Encircled Waves, this weather had come from the south and produced a terrible congestion in the sinuses of the young and elderly alike.

Ban Songqi and Liu Kui were walking the muddied path into the city, which was hewn from ashen stone, baked under a blinded sun.

"Here it is," proclaimed Ban Songqi. "The final day of Six Hill Tower is before us."

Puzzle 1: Consider the Hunger of Many Tongues. When addressing the beast bearing the name, what language would be appropriate? If you find difficulty in this question, consider the accounting of the late scholar Evitrakkar Amemmiit, on the nature of Word-Thievery.

Entering Six Hill Tower was not so much a formidable feat. Desolation was the natural inhabitant of the city, and emptiness its owner. There were no markets, for their only customer would be the abyss.

And so Desolation greeted Ban Songqi with a wave of its palm and a whispered word. Ban nodded, and reached into a side pocket to produce a small scroll of rites. Liu Kui nervously shuffled about in waterlogged sandals, which were about to dissolve in the acrid mud.

Ban Songqi handed the scroll to Liu Kui, who nearly fell in surprise, face-forward, into the darkened street, and the great stairway that led downward from that point on. Glancing about, Liu saw the imprint of Six Hill Tower against the deeps and began to question the presence of the city itself. "Songqi, when we had stepped on the path towards Six Hill Tower, was there not a great crescent moon hanging above us," asked Liu Kui, "in opposition to the noontime sun?"

In fact, there was no sign of the moon in the skies now, but instead in the water. And it was a halo of pale light, sick in color like a wind-bleached bone.

"No," replied Songqi, motioning for Liu Kui to read the scroll.

Puzzle 2: Answer this question from the perspective of a Teacher of Things, a Student of Things, and a Street-Creature. What is the answer to the question?

Liu Kui began speaking. "Five times before you were the foundation of the earth felled, five times before you were the pillars of the deepest ocean pulled away, and five times more were the plants and animals and all life brought before you and pushed away into cruel emptiness. Five times more will the deeps of your folly be inundated with flame, and five times finally will the spires of your proud construction bend backwards in destruction. The Emptiness of yours which smothers your dwelling will be filled and removed. So it was before all else, so it was in the continuation, so it is as it stands - so it shall be as it proceeds, and so it shall be and no more after."

Desolation immediately fled and could not be seen. An immeasurable change came upon the city, and Ban Songqi squinted fiercely at the distant sun.

With a terrific creaking, the metal which towered up from the darkness underlying Six Hill Tower tore themselves apart in all directions. The waters rose furiously with a tremendous commotion but evaporated with a greater speed, steam screaming outrage into the firmament.

The earth was shorn open, incandescent magma billowing outwards, and for a brief moment, complete blindness flashed across the vision of all which could see.

Then Six Hill Tower was no more but slag in a dried-up puddle, the ring of the moon silently watching from the sky.

Puzzle 3: Dissatisfaction, like a small duckling, must be weaned first on grasses and small leaves before it matures into a great duck. Very few have accomplished the inverse, but despite its immense difficulty, to try it is safe. Document your own attempts and results. What did you learn?

Ban Songqi took out a small fan to assuage the midday sun, and passed it to Liu Kui, who remembered that there was no scroll of rites.

They went on in silence.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 2: It is my Star who Sits in the Sky
Puzzle 1: The Catechism of Want may be understood by all but answered by none. Answer in whatever tongue you find most pleasing, for the Hunger of Many Tongues, Beast of All Languages, shall devour you all the same. As it is has been written, "All shall be consumed by the flame of desire, for Its Will is eternal."

Puzzle 2: A Teacher of Things will tell you the answer may be found in the Temple of Enlightenment, after one meditates on it for twenty days and twenty nights. After giving this utterly useless and quite predictable answer, the noble Teacher will return to her pupils.

A Student of Things will refuse to respond, correctly guessing that such a question is a trap; meant only to confuse, and to identify heretics and charcoal-burners.

A Street-Creature will not answer. The practice of begging is forbidden in six of the Nine Precepts.

Puzzle 3: Again, as it is written, "All shall be consumed by the Flame of Desire, for Its Will is eternal." To be satisfied is to be a snail, lying on the road to be crushed underfoot. By accepting the Flame of Want as your own, the strength is given to subvert your destruction, turning the force of your own dissatisfaction against those who threaten you with it. "The Flame of Desire induces terrible pain in those who hold it. This is why it makes such an excellent light source."
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 2: It is my Star who Sits in the Sky
Puzzle 1: Sign language. As this does not use the tongue, the beast will think you have none and therefore leave you alone.

Puzzle 2: The Teacher will only reply with "Of course. Why?", for it is the Student's responsibility to answer in detail. The Student, not having the answer, will say "It is so simple that even a Street-Creature can explain it." The Street-Creature, of course, will say that the Teacher could explain it better.

All of this misses the real answer, which is simply "The Truth."

Puzzle 3: I learned that dissatisfaction is highly flammable, and that one should not simply accept assurances of safety at face value.
RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 2: It is my Star who Sits in the Sky
Puzzle 1:
Speak the language of silence. Keep your mouth closed at all times. Treat the beast with respect as you say its name in silence with a bow.

Puzzle 2:
There is no real answer because the question is incomplete. The teacher of things will answer "Kindly clarify." The student of things will answer "Kindly repeat." The street-creature will answer "What?"

The answer may be simply "The answer."

Puzzle 3:
Dissatisfaction is not as insurmountable as they are they are described. With a spear, and a hunter that's quick enough, one may catch the duck that is dissatisfaction before it evades and sits upon your back and mock you. Roast it to reward oneself and turn the dissatisfaction into a meal of satisfaction. If one were not quick enough, one does not need to face it and feast on it all alone.
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RE: Puzzler's Space - Lesson 2: It is my Star who Sits in the Sky
Puzzle 1:
Evitrakkar Amemmiit's writings on the nature of Word-Thievery tell us that Word-Thievery is only possible when the personal meaning of a word, its Word-Name, is known by both speaker and listener. As such, when addressing the Hunger of Many Tongues, it is best to use either no language (a combination of vocalizations, hand gestures, and dance), a dead language (such as The Sorrow of the Eastern Shadow Lily), or the self-same language of another, albeit tamed Hunger of Many Tongues (though this is dangerous and should not be attempted without supervision of an Eighth Acolyte of the White Peach Concordant present).

Puzzle 2:
A Teacher of Things would say, "It is quite obvious." A Student of Things would ask, "Then what is the answer?" This loop would otherwise continue until the final day of the Six Hill Tower unless interrupted by the presence of a Street-Creature. Street-Creatures have no patience for those who follow the Way of the Things of Tautological Tautology and will simply swallow both Teacher and Student and answer, "Silence." After the final day of Six Hill Tower, the question is thought to change and as does the answer, though it is assumed that the Street-Creature, being a stubborn beast, will continue to devour both and not change its answer.

Puzzle 3:
First, I attempted to coax grasses and leaves from Satisfaction. This was done by pointing out flaws in its plumage that could be fixed is started over. This mostly failed to relieve it of its contents, though it did perturb and agitate. I received some light scratches.

Second, I tried to argue that Satisfaction was a subjective state that is transient, and that it would quickly return to being Dissatisfaction. The argument lasted for several days before a consensus was reached. The reached consensus was, that while what I argued was generally true for wild or minor species of Satisfaction, true Dissatisfaction carefully fed to Satisfaction is much studier and less transient. I grew tired from lack of sleep.

Third, I had Satisfaction try to raise its own Dissatisfaction (B), which can be a difficult task, in hopes of encouraging juvenile behaviour in Satisfaction (A). Satisfaction succeeded, temporarily, but rather than becoming dissatisfied with its own work, it simply further grew into a rare Self-Satisfaction for a time. Watching this process made my hungry.

Finally, I had had enough of it. I simply ignored it. This seemed to have the desired effect, as it quickly shrank back into Dissatisfaction. Or at least I suppose so. I'm still ignoring it now, so it is hard to tell.

What I learned is as follows: Satisfaction will not heal you when you are injured; Satisfaction will not sustain you when you are tired; Satisfaction will not fill you when you are hungry; and, finally, that Satisfaction requires perspective to be noticed. Duck is, however, much better for all three; duck bills can be used in polutrices, duck feathers and down can be used in pillows, duck itself is quite tasty braised and grilled, and you need not perspective to notice a duck, simply eyes or ears.