The Fool's Journey

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The Fool's Journey is the name of a forum thread created by Apis on January 1st, 2011 at 11:11 PM (GMT+1). It was Apis' second post after having started the They Are Coming Back event two years prior.

Clues

In the forum post, Apis states that the Sanctuary of Secrets has been "compromised" since Aveline went through the door. He also says that Melissonomoi has looked into the future and it is bleak. Apis states that eleven people will be chosen throughout the year that will be part of the "new beginning" Melissonomoi has been speaking about.

Finally, he links to a flickr set with twenty photos of various creatures and drawings, saying that we would need to find a name before the "next monadic cycle."

Gallery

The flickr gallery was a set of twenty pictures called "The Fool's Journey". Each had a specific name and animal or creature.

Foolsjourney row1.jpg
A A3 B C6 D9 E8 F1 F4 IW L1
Foolsjourney row2.jpg
M8 P1 P5 PD R9 S S9 Sc4 Sn7 Sp

After much investigating by the community, forum member Shoob was able to locate a book titled You're an Animal, Viskovitz! in which the main character reincarnates as twenty different animals, all of which correspond to an animal in the flickr set. Many of the community members believed this was what they were searching for. Further confirmation was added by the discovery that when the picture titles were arranged according to chapter, the numbers in each form the ISBN for You're An Animal, Viskovitz!, 1841954934.

Ones we seek

Melissonomoi once again got involved with the community during an Alternate Reality Game using both twitter and 8-tracks.

the appointed day. the eleventh hour
Tweet published on 1/1/2011.
the bind has a spine
Tweet published on 1/2/2011.

The new 8-tracks playlist labeled "Fool's Goal" with the comment "darwin was no fool" had the following songs:

  • Voices by Pure Ecstasy
  • Staring at the Sun by TV on the Radio
  • Idioteque by radiohead
  • Overcome by Tricky
  • Know How by Kings of Convenience Featuring Feist
  • Vapour Trail by Ride
  • The Hollows by Why?
  • It’s The End of the World as We Know It by R.E.M.
  • Zero sum by nine inch nails
  • fools gold (grooverider remix) by the stone roses

The community believed that, using the logic of previous ARGs, the clue from this was the first letter of each song that was capitalized. In order, this would give VSIOKVTIZ. However, the last song was a "remix" and they found by remixing the letters, they could come up with the name that was previously found by Shoob, VISKOVITZ.

After having discovered this, Melissonomoi tweeted a new message, which the community has had a hard time deciphering:

the ones we seek? it could well b 17.10.12.
Tweet published on 1/2/2011.

Never late

On January 11, another tweet from Melissonomoi appeared:

it's never late when you're +8
Tweet published on 1/2/2011.

After eight hours of waiting, Melissonomoi tweeted that "through a friend a path is revealed." The community soon realized a news post was added to the site of Cry Gaia titled Protected: An Interview with Apis: Playing the Fool.

Interview

The article was password protected but, using the name the community had discovered earlier, entering Viskovitz (case sensitive) revealed the interview. The interview was three questions that Apis was asked, and the answers were encrypted.

It was discovered that the tweet Melissonomoi gave earlier "b 17.10.12" could be used as a key. Using those chapters from the book, and the key as a running key cipher discovered by Okami), the community was able to translate the answers:

Who is Apis and what is your role in the Sanctuary of Secrets?

In the simplest of terms an Apis is a designation bestowed upon those who execute the will of the Melissonomoi. It is the modern day equivalent of the ancient priests to the oracle at Delphi. Put simply we are her drones. We receive and decipher her visions and lay the framework from which these messages can be propagated through nexus points that the Melissonomoi identifies-case in point darkdemonscrygaia.com, The Secret World forums. On the surface it is a community, discussing a game which is currently being produced by a commercial entity known as Funcom, but look closer. This is a game based on dangerous ideas, directed towards a community of intelligent yet impressionable minds who dissect and discuss these ideas in minute detail. These individuals in turn create smaller yet equally powerful ripples of ideas in their social circles. A fractal fed back loop that resonates around the world. Now do you understand what I mean by a nexus? To put it bluntly, the ideas some of you are casually discussing may actually be closer to the truth than you would ever dream. I have been given the responsibility of watching over the collective development of this particular nexus. I am to prepare you lest the darkness catches you unawares.

Tell us about the Sanctuary of Secrets. What do they hope to achieve?

The Sanctuary Of Secrets has a difficult charter, due in part to the enigmatic visions from the Melissonomoi. After all, we're talking about an oracle who only communicates in cryptic overtones. Attempting to sift meaning is not exactly a science, and rarely do we take direct action because experience has taught us the Melissonomoi's visions often have unintended consequences for those drawn to its fateful flow. Our primary goal is to maintain a repository of secret information the better for us to counter her prophecies with verity, thus the information we gather makes us dangerous to many clandestine organizations who seek it for their personal gain.

However we have proven time and again our neutral stance in the power struggle between these organizations favouring neither side against the other. By the time of the Renaissance and the Venetian accords we had already resolved to keep our existence secret and fade into obscurity as we kept vigil on the uneasy truce between the hidden controllers of the world. At the dawn of the industrial revolution, the cycle of oracles, our Melissonomoi ended. The Sanctuary Of Secrets was left bereft of a vision, it was a dark time, there were those amongst us that took belligerent stance, abusing their roles as Apis, to trigger a world war. And then there were others who took it upon themselves to journey back to the source of the Melissonomoi's origins, a story that you may already be familiar with.

For the rest of us we patiently awaited the passing of one final prophecy, in which a new Melissonomoi would reappear. Her arrival would coincide with the disappearance of the honey bees. True enough, in at the onset of colony collapse disorder fate led us to this new Melissonomoi, one that has seen fit to employ some very unconventional and modern means to reach out.

You ask about what we hope to achieve, bear in mind that I do not speak for the mysterious ways of the Melissonomoi, but am beholden to act upon her visions. In the simplest of terms my answer is that she wants the Apis to take direct action to prepare others like you for the inevitable end of a great cycle. It is a time of great chaos, and reality will undergo a transformation not unlike a birthing process.

The Sanctuary of Secrets has in a part succeeded in that goal. Our efforts have banded you together, made you strong collectively. It has made you consider the plight of the honey bees and learn how they have played a much more vital role to our world than you would have thought otherwise-and while I may have disagreed with the Melissonomoi on helping Aveline with her wayward quest, this too gave you insight to one of our greatest secrets. The path to Agartha. All this activity during came at a great cost to us.

The secret societies have strongly objected to our change of attitude and our more proactive public presence. They believe our efforts undermine their control, and they have systematically shut us down and compromised our communications, hence the static and enforced silence.

What is the "Fool's Journey" and who are "the ones you seek"?

The end of this great cycle will have a profound impact on animal life before humans too will feel its affects. Consider the strange circumstances that have led to the mass animal deaths at the start of the year and look at the links that have tied these coincidences together. Know that there are forces at work far more effective in precipitating the great change than our human capabilities. The book that the Melissonomoi envisioned, the very one that you have diligently found and acquired, what does it represent to you? An entertaining read, a basis for a cipher, or did she pick this particular one out of a infinite amount of other, perhaps more easily available, books for a deeper and perhaps more profound reason.

The Fool's Journey calls for you take such a leap of logic and fall optimistically into the pitfall of human knowledge. It is the path of one who continually seeks to extract meaning from madness, instead of succumbing to the latter as chaos envelops the world. This is how the path of the Apis begins, and the ones we seek are amongst the ones asking questions as you fall deeper into the rabbit hole. Melissonomoi is seeking you out because for the first time in ages her visions are becoming increasingly reflexive. These visions, sporadic as they may be, concern the eventual fate of the Sanctuary of Secrets itself, and the eleven of you who will play a vital role in the days to come. The ones who will willingly take on the mantle of Apis when provided the opportunity because we could no longer risk maintaining direct contact with you via The Secret World forums.

We have already chosen among you one of your most trusted community members. We reached out to him during a trip he made to London in an attempt to obtain Amundsen's flag. That he would go to such lengths to organize efforts to uncover the secrets Amundsen had discovered affirmed to us that this one was ready. He has worked and guided other members of your community to build alternative communication networks. As we can no longer risk maintaining direct contact with you via The Secret World forums, not when they are on waiting to trace our communication channels if we were to return. This of course makes our task increasingly difficult which brings me to why I am speaking to you through CryGaia.

Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the hijacking of CryGaia last August, our detractors will stop at nothing to silence the SoS. However, we have taken measures to ensure that this communication channel is safe for now. Whether this will last remains to be seen, but whatever the future holds this is the first of what we hope to be a continual correspondence with you after a long and restless respite, and a way for us to explain our actions, as irrational as they may sometimes be. Believe me when I say that there is a method to Melissonomoi's madness. We ask you to put your trust in her as we await more visions of the ones to come.
Apis, source
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