It's been a long time since I've been seen in these forums, and I feel that now it is finally time to give everyone here an explanation, both for my absence and for my cryptic reappearance last year.
Several weeks ago now, I received the below interpretation of the riddles I left behind last year from Thaif (who had also earlier solved the incredibly obscure date clue I posted in my profile), which I feel was about as perfect a conclusion as could be possibly be garnered from the convoluted web of clues, hints and red herrings I supplied.
"In a nutshell: The Mönkkönen Forum has become a place where exclusionism has sadly taken hold. There is a close-knit group of frequent posters that have become close friends and perhaps because of this aren't too kind of accepting on newcomers. This has caused an bad atmosphere to creep into the community..."
I feel everyone here is on the same page with this: this place, of course, is simply an online forum; nothing less or more than a meeting place for a group of people to talk about computer games. But, 'back in the day', there was something special here, something that wasn't found in other places around the internet. I would never describe myself as an authority on internet forums - I was only a semi-permanent member of a few before coming here - yet I appreciated this place a great deal for what it once was: a group of genuine, clever, funny and - most of all - completely friendly people, who would do anything to make this a better place for the whole community. As nerdy as it sounds (heck, I was once a moderator here, you can't get too more nerdy than that ) when I joined here I was at a time in my life that those things really mattered to me, and helped me in many more ways than I can write here.
The rest is almost exactly as was surmised by Thaif. As the forums grew in size, more and more fantastic people (and some less than fantastic; a whole other story that the 'Elder' of this forum will remember well ) joined, yet for whatever reason, to me that was around the time Mönkkönen.net began to break. Members of the forum - everyone from 'ants' to 'blue/brown/green aliens' to 'missiles' - no longer seemed to treat each other with the same generosity and respect that originally made these forums great. The only reason my riddles singled out the 'elders' of this forum was because I felt that we were the ones who should of known better; we were the ones that helped to make the forum work in the first place, and we were the ones who through exclusionism "caused [the] bad atmosphere to creep into the community". I'm not exempting myself from this at all; while far later on I tried to get some inclusiveness back into the forums through ventures like the Modding Coalition, I was as much at fault as the rest of the original members for not avoiding the creation of a community where you were more likely to be torn down for a lack of knowledge rather than built up.
This place is by no means ruined, and is still simply amazing in comparison to the vast majority of forums out there in the wilds of the internet. But for me it got to a point where the 'magic' of this place was lost, and I - without even making a conscious decision - slowly drifted away from it. A lot of time has past now, and while I may drop in from time to time, my time here is past; this forum is yours now far more than it is mine. However, if I am to have one request for this place, it is this: remember what it was to you about this place that was so special, and do everything in your power to preserve it.
So, congratulations to all of you on your cracking and solicitation of the codes (in particular, Thaif, Murska, Amarth and MageKing17); some of the theories on the "COME OUT OF HIDING, ZEXLR8ER" thread have given me a great deal of mirth, although I can't blame anyone at all, given that many of my clues were, once solved, simply new clues to decode the large number of red herrings and dead ends I left behind (you have to understand I couldn't let my then-still-present powers of moderation go to waste... ).
Riddles, wittiness and intelligence have all been trademarks of these forums since they first began (Var Equinallin anyone? ), and the fact that many of you did such a fantastic job with the riddles goes a long way to showing that these forums can go back to what they once were.
Thank you everyone I knew from the old days of this forum, especially Ville, Quanrian, Idiota, Grim, Thaimodz, MageKing17, Crazy (yes, even you ), E_net4, Eternal, Murska, Casanova, Amarth, Anarion, HarmlessHermit, Anonymous1157, Marevix, Zombie, NeoGangster, UberWaff(l)e, ForceUser, Click, Speedblade and many, many others. And to all those who have since felt and inquired about my absence. All of the above aside, I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the time I was here. Wouldn't have missed it for anything.
Once again, I apologise to all of you for putting the forum through my completely selfish games. Well played, members of Mönkkönen.net, my hat goes off to you.
Now, for some explanation of my riddles. The majority take the form of quotes from a favorite writer, and several others are of my own construction. However, also remember that many of them were also simply red-herrings, or distractions from the main message, serving more for my own amusement that anything. I'm sorry.
Conceal me what I am, and be my aid
For such disguise as haply shall become
The form of my intent
Surely thou hast lost possession of thy faculties of reason,These I believe were in response to "I CAN SEE YOU!!!" messages from Grim Reaper and Anarion after seeing me online. It occurred at the beginning of the riddles, and was very straight forward; plain language: "don't make it obvious I'm here, I'll soon make the reason clear, don't worry."
To partake of such awful sport.
Crouch we here a while and lurk...
Rum with O, A name with tea and two chopped off - a pirate word, easy although not in an ocean.
Quite frankly, I have no idea what I was getting at here, although I do know it was an actual riddle. If anyone can solve it, I've love to know what I was saying. New challenge guys!
You will seek if you find
velieris et captoHerrings. As Amarth remarked, the later was simply "awfully wrong Latin" for 'hide and seek'.
White-out, starting nigh. The wise would eye tomorrow.
This as MageKing17 guessed did indeed refer to the removal of signatures and also the missleading editing of messages, as at the time I was still trying to remain hidden while a "We Found You Zex!" campaign was going on. I enjoyed that little battle, well done guys. However, as people were getting pre-occupied with such clues as the one above, I followed it up with the link to the herring article and the
"...but the bard holds the truth..."
to get the focus back on the Shakespeare.
BewareThis was getting to my main reason for leaving the forums, and what I felt was lacking. For anyone who can read middle-english, what I was getting at is fairly self-explanatory.
Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment...
That once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A reference to my hopes that those members who once "trod the ways of glory" by making these forums what they were would find a way to rise out of the "wreck" that was gradually starting to take hold.
There is scarce truth enough alive to make societies secure;
But security enough to make fellowships accurst:
Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world...
Basically my main point again. It's rare to find a place like this where a forum can work well and productively and people get along so well. Yet, that same "getting on"ness was beginning to take the place of acceptance of new members.
http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/2931/prooflr3.jpgThis was such an obscure and cryptic clue that I never expected for a moment that it would be solved, however it held an important explanation for some of my behavior over the last few years. The date on this screenshot (edited from an original screenshot posted to offer 'proof' [was it by Amarth?] that I had been seen on the forums) was April 25th 1901. Search that in google and you'll find a lot of seemingly irrelevant results, and nothing particularly noteworthy. All that was required to solve it however was to combine it with another clue I left, the letters "SLC" on my profile. SLC = Samuel Langhorne Clemens = Mark Twain, which was the third result from the bottom: "Mark Twain Letter to the Get Together Club", including the following:
I must not venture it, although my sympathies are naturally with you in the work which you are inaugurating. I have temporarily broken myself down with trying to do too many things, and shall try to save what is left of my by going softly for some months to come and limiting my industries to the several engagements to which I am already pledged.
Which explains one of my reasons for leaving the forums. I don't think the "SLC" clue was even noticed by anyone here, which makes Thaif's decoding of the riddle even more impressive.
And the most recent ones, on my profile:
01001110 01101111 00100000 01100110 01101001 01110011 01101000 00111010 00100000 00110011 00100000 00110001 00110101 00100000 00110001 00110011 00100000 00111001 00100000 00110001 00110100 00100000 00110111 00100000 00101110 00100000 00110001 00111001 00100000 00110001 00110101 00100000 00110001 00110101 00100000 00110001 00110100
As Amarth correctly diciphered, this was binary which translated to
"No fish: 3 15 13 9 14 7 . 19 15 15 14"
Very basic cipher, with A=1 B=2 etc, to give:
"C O M I N G . S O O N"
"No fish" = no red herrings this time.
011101110111011101110111001011100011001001110011011010000110000101110010011001010110 010000101110011000110110111101101101001011110110011001101001011011000110010100101111 001101000011010100110111001100000011011000110011001100100010111101100110011000110110 010100110100001100010011100001100011011000010010111101110010011001010111010001110010 011011110110011101110010011000010110010001101001011011110111001000101110011010000111 01000110110101101100
Guys, I'm dissappointed in you for not getting this one! It was right under your nose the whole time. Again, binary which when translated linked to a .wav file containing Morse code. If anyone tried deciphering it, however, it would have made no sense until you noted the name of the file: "retrogradior.wav". "retrogradior" is latin for "to move backwards" (as in retrograde motion of planets for any astronomy fans ), so by playing the file in reverse in windows sound recorder or similiar (or simply reading the dots/dashes right-to-left) the code translates to: "All will soon be explained.".
And hopefully it was.
P.S. Oh, and you may wish to check the Wazzal II thread sometime soon too...