At the Door

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The At the Door event began with a race against time to help Aveline Belmont finish her quest, whatever it was.

Aveline's request

On June 4, 2009, Melissonomoi posted the following to twitter.

what sounds like a lock turning? you would hear of this very soon
Tweet published on 6/4/2009.

Shortly thereafter, community members received the following email from Aveline Belmont.

Subject: Re: Use of the Object

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 00:41:51 +0200
From: Aveline Belmont <aveline.belmont@gmail.com>

You guys are almost off the hook. You know, for ruining my entire life? Yeah - that thing.

But you've been helpful. I'll give you that. So this is the last favor I'm going to ask of you. Then I'll let you in on a little... No, strike that. On a BIG secret. One of the biggest. After that, I'm gone baby gone. Where nobody can follow.

I don't have a lot of time. Going public like this has put THEM on my trail. I've got hours before they show up. And you told them exactly where to go, didn't you? So, you know, hurry?

I have the key. I'm at the door. Thing is, I don't exactly know how the key works. It didn't come with instructions. Not even in Chinese. There's sound. The sound is supposed to do something. It doesn't. Given enough time, I could work it out. But, you know. Hours.

I'll try and be polite just this once: PLEASE. And if not, FUCK OFF and thanks for nothing. I hope you all feel really guilty for leaving me hanging. Literally. Hanging. Hey, this is me being polite. I can afford it. I read your little forums.

I recorded the sound and I've attached the file. Get cracking, code crackers. Remember: hours.

A.B.
Aveline Belmont, email

Attached to the email was an audio file entitled strange_sound.mp3:

Analyzing the audio

Waveform of strange_sound.mp3

Using Audacity, a common open-source audio editor, the waveform of the audio file, strange_sound.mp3 may be observed. It was noted by community members that the middle section of the audio file seemed oddly uniform, leading many of them to analyze this section of the audio in more depth. Eventually, some members applied Time/Frequency Spectrum analysis on the waveform, revealing what appeared to be a sequence of trigrams.

Decoding the waveform

One such analysis came from forum member Heed and can be seen to the right, leading to the speculation that the audio file was intended to be used as the sequence of trigrams to be pressed on the key itself. The sequence shown in Heed's analysis, and what would later be discovered to be the correct sequence of trigrams, is the following:

Audio Spectrum Analysis
4 6 5 2 1 3 7 8
Zhèn
(Thunder)
Kǎn
(Water)
Xùn
(Wind)
Duì
(Marsh)
Qián
(Sky)

(Fire)
Gèn
(Mountain)
Kūn
(Earth)

Many questioned this sequence, pointing to the repeating nature of the trigrams within the audio file and asking how one could know where the correct starting point was. Some community members later pointed out that the hexagram formed by Thunder and Water, the first two trigrams of this sequence, has the meaning of "Sprouting" or "Beginning".

Solution

After finding the right sequence of trigrams, several members of the community received e-mails from Aveline:

date Jun 5, 2009 12:55 AM

subject Re: Trigram Sequence
mailed-by gmail.com

It worked.

And just in time, too.

I guess I should say "thanks". And, I'm happy to say, "goodbye". Forever. I'm going through the gate now, before it closes again. If everything goes well, I won't be back. If it doesn't... Well, I definitely won't be back.

I promised you the last piece of the puzzle - except this is not a puzzle. It's just the truth, plain and simple. Evidence. A signpost on the road forward.

Share it. Discuss it. You shouldn't have this information, not really, but it doesn't matter now. Dark days are coming. Soon. Very, very soon.

Peace.

A.B.
Aveline Belmont, email

In the past, she had sent out form letters to those members who had given her the answers to the puzzles. This time, however, she sent somewhat personalized e-mails, even responding to one person who had demanded information, but had not given her the sequence for the key.

Attached to the e-mails were two images, being two sides of the same photograph.

Translation

The message on the back of the photo is written in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. It has been translated through the work of several Russian speaking community members as the following.

Their last solemn moment, before we buried the gate and the truth with it. Pyramiden, Spitsbergen 1928
?, ?

Pyramiden Spitsbergen http://www.embryonal.net/svalbard08

Pyramiden is a modern ghost town on the Island of Spitzbergen, Svalbard. It was founded by a Swedish company but purchased and kept for over 70 years as a coal mining town by the Soviet/Russian Trust Arktikugol, until the town was given up in 1998. Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Europe, about midway between Norway and the North Pole. It consists of a group of islands ranging from 74° to 81° North, and 10° to 35° East. The archipelago is the northernmost part of Norway. Three islands are populated: Spitsbergen, Bear Island and Hopen.

This may tie in with page 7 of the Nickolas Belmont's Journal that references "a mining town of proletariats at the end of the scarab trail." in the Two Lines Twine

Also, written in pencil on the bottom right corner of the photo is the word "AGARTHA," which is the name for a fabled city that was presumed to reside inside the earth's core, and is related to the frequently hinted at Hollow Earth Theory

Sanctuary of Secrets site changes

Shortly after the images were received from A.B., the website for the Sanctuary of Secrets changed. First, the old puzzle for the They Are Coming Back event went missing, replaced by a similar looking image, which eventually scrambled and became a screen of static. Some debate has occurred regarding the static, of whether or not it contains information, but nothing concrete has been resolved from it. Now, the website is simply static. The assets, text and sounds that appeared on the website have been preserved here.

Alternate Reality Games
Dark Days Are Coming - The Photo - They Are Coming Back - Code Name: Wagtail - Two Lines Twine - Inside the Box - At the Door - Something in the Static - The Dark Places (disambiguation) - The Fool's Journey - Gather the Pieces - Council of Venice Systems Malfunction - The Fool's Journey, Act 2 - A New Mission Begins