Rumkin - an exceptional collection of tools for various ciphers and codes
Google - Seriously. If you have a basic question, Google is your friend.
The Mysterious Package Company
- I'm a new member! What can I do?
- Congrats! You can now order either experiences or subscribe to the MPC's quarterly publication, Curios and Conundrums.
- You mean I won't just get random things in the mail, now that I've been accepted?
- In this day and age? Nope. Even joyous, magical new experiences such as mysterious mailings have a cost, but fortunately for you, that cost is reasonable.
- What's the difference between the experiences and the subscription? Which one should I buy?
- That really depends on what you enjoy. The experiences are more of a tactile story that comes in multiple mailings (usually), while the subscription is delivered four times a year, and contains a number of puzzles, many of which require teamwork with fellow members to solve. See both below for more information.
- What if I don't like puzzles?
- Then C&C may not be for you. It is still an interesting conversation piece, and a catch up package can be obtained for the price of a single new issue, should you wish to "try it out".
- Can I order these things for myself?
- I have another question- Should I ask it in the Sitting Room?
- Only if you have exhaustively combed the past SR posts and reviewed the Wiki for the answer to your question. Many have come before you, and already raised the same questions. Yes, the SR is a mess, but should be reorganized in the very near future. The unofficial chat room is likely also a better place to ask basic questions, especially if you have a lot of them. You can find the directions for how to access it on the front page of this Wiki.
- I bought the Member's Handbook, and there's Latin in the front! Have you seen it? What does it mean?
- Yes, we've seen it. And no, it probably doesn't mean what that online translation program told you. It ties in with the overarching story, and the correct translation, if you're familiar with the story, should certainly ring a bell.
- What do I need to solve mysteries? Any special tools?
- A notebook and pencil (probably not pen, but that's up to you) are a must, in order to keep your notes all in one place. The two resources listed above are invaluable. You may also want to consider an excellent magnifying glass (at least if you plan to work through Volumes 1 and 2 of Curios and Cunundrums) and possibly a small black light. A sense of adventure, curiosity, and patience will also take you far.
- I've been reading about a membership kit? What is it, and how do I get one?
- The membership kits are an annual offering from the MPC that is sold for only one month out of the year, usually in the early autumn. It contains a number of curiosities, usually including a t-shirt, and a wide variety of smaller tactile objects. Each year is different, and there are two tiers of membership.
- Two membership levels? What's the difference?
- Price, for one. The basic membership level comes with an array of curiosities, while the higher level comes with upgraded versions of a few of those things, and perhaps a few extras.
- Are there puzzles included with the kits?
- Generally, no. There is nothing to "do" with the items, except covet and use them for bragging rights.
First off, almost all specific shipping questions are best directed to the Curator himself.
However, because they are so inundated with queries, please check this brief list before sending off your carrier pigeon.
- I've been approved as a member! When do I start getting things in the mail?
- As soon as you buy them! Seriously, the MPC is a business, and so very little these days comes free...
- My order is marked "Pending" on my account page. What does that mean?
- It means that your order has not yet shipped. You may wish to double-check your payment information to be sure there is not an issue there, but most likely there was a manufacturing delay.
- My order is late! It must be the end of the world!
- No, it is not. Nearly all shipments, both of C&C and of experiences, have suffered delays for a variety of reasons: manufacturing hiccups, real-world illnesses, supernatural interference, etc. Please remember that the shipping estimates are just that- estimates. The MPC always delivers, and it is always worth the wait.
- There is a Phone Number on my package's return address label! Is this a clue? Should I call it? WHAT IS IT?
- This number was apparently part of a bespoke package deal a long time ago, but occasionally resurfaces. It is not a part of any larger adventure or mystery, and while you can certainly call it and enjoy the message, that is as far as it goes.
Curios and Conundrums
- What is it?
- C&C is a quarterly publication from the Mysterious Package Company, full of puzzles, an overarching story/plot, and other curiosities.
- How much for how frequent a delivery?
- It's a quarterly publication. That means it comes four times a year, and you pay (currently) $34.99/per shipment. That means you pay $34.99 four times a year.
- What comes with it? Do I get a wooden crate?
- If you are a subscriber, then you will receive the latest issue when it ships, and the curios that accompany it. The crates are reserved for the experiences, and do not play a part in C&C.
- Has it shipped yet?
- Only the Curator and his staff know the answer to that. In your account information, there is an estimated shipping time. While the actual ship time is usually close to that, it is often a tad late.
- Is the Catch Up kit worth it?
- Yes. A thousand times, yes. The Catch Up kits are a bargain, and will give you a good sense of whether this is something you like. Also, if you do not take the time to catch up, you will essentially be starting the story in the middle, without any of the previous knowledge of relevant websites, ciphers, etc. That said, Volume 3 is meant to make a clean break from the stories of the first two volumes.
- I am a subscriber- do I need to buy the next issue?
- If you have paid for the subscription, then (barring any billing issues) you should be charged each quarter for the next issue. If you need to change your credit card info, you can do so on you account page.
- Do I need the Member's Handbook in order to solve these puzzles?
- No. The Handbook, while an interesting curiosity relating to the MPC, does not contain anything essential for solving puzzles. Ordering and working through the Catch Up kits would invariably prove more helpful towards learning to solve future puzzles.
- Why didn't I get any of the artifacts with my Catch Up kit?
- Because only subscribers get the artifacts. Images of past artifacts can be found on the Wiki.
- I'm late to the story and the game- should I just wait for the next quarterly to start?
- Although the quarterly is broken into volumes, the larger stories and puzzles contained therein span all of them. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, why would you wait? Volume 3 will start fresh, so that is a good time to join.
- I think I found something! It looks like [insert type of cipher]. Has anyone seen this yet?!
- Well, odds are good that if it's a puzzle, especially in one of the back issues, someone else has also spotted it. Have you seen it mentioned in the Sitting Room, or asked about it in the Chat? If it looks like Morse, have you tried reading it? That said, there could always be something we have all missed, so it may be worth investigating.
- What are the experiences?
- These are (usually) multiple mailings that tell a sort of story. The MPC website offers more detail about what is currently available.
- What's a "Bespoke Experience"?
- This is something that the MPC used to offer, for quite a sizeable sum ($799 and up). They were essentially custom-built experiences made to match specifications of the customer. They are *not* available anymore.
- How many experiences are available?
- There are six experiences currently available.
- Does it exist?
- Has it been cracked yet?
- Yep. Volume 1's vault has indeed been cracked. Volume 2's vault will likely go online over the winter.
- I entered the wrong code, am I doomed?
- No. There is a 24 hour reset period.
- How do I get in?
- The clues for vault entry are in the Curios and Conundrums issues.
- I got in, now what?
- Was that anticlimactic? Only the first person in wins a prize!
- Is the Vault the end goal? Is that what we're all working towards with C&C?
- This is really one of those "journey not destination" type experiences. If you are focused on getting into the vault, chances are good that you will miss a lot of the overarching story and points of interest. Take your time, and enjoy things.
The Sitting Room
As the membership of the MPC has grown, so too has the number of extra threads in the members' Sitting Room. Below are a selection of links to relevant conversations about C&C puzzles in the Sitting Room.
- C&C, Prologue - link
- C&C, V1.2: Knick Knack Metropolis - link
- C&C, V1.3: Ye Martian Weyfarere - link
- Numerology: link
- C&C, V1.4: The Feline Nemesis - link
- C&C, V2.1: The Cabaret Veritable- link
- And another - link
- C&C, V2.2: The Circular Egg Maker - link
- about the X grid - link
- C&C, V2.3: Against the Inlet of Whiskey - link
- C&C, V2.4: Cook's Pacific Consort - link
- First Broadcast - link
- Second Broadcast - link
- Image Commonalities - link
- Advice for Image Commonalities - link
- Three Small Cards - link
- And further clarifying hints - link
- Discussions about the Bridge Letter - link
- When first discovered - link
- Messages from AM