Immerse yourself in the mystery of The Hidden Sun and uncover REAL gold, silver and gems! This richly illustrated, 64 page treasure hunt game book, takes you on an adventure across the rolling hills, historic villages and other-wordly vistas of central England. Find the answers within the poems and imagery and the treasure is yours to keep. A great brain-teasing adventure for families, individuals or groups.
In association with Banburyshire.co.uk, Firesnake Design presents a brand new treasure hunt book. A mythical tale of full of riddles, puzzles and enigmatic illustrations with hidden secrets.
Three years in the making, the aim of this project is to reconnect people with a sense of discovery and the beauty of the natural world on their doorstep. The added bonus is the prospect of finding the keys to real treasure by using online exploration, puzzle solving skills and a little imagination.
The poetic story will take you away to a world of myth, ancient legend and history in a real-world setting. The Banburyshire countryside includes places that helped inspire Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials – a magical place rich with historic stories. On the way to the gold you’ll learn more about this ancient British/Roman area between Banbury, Oxford, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds.
The answers can be found using the clues in the book combined with online research and maps. Once we are safely out of lockdown, it will be the perfect excuse to get outdoors and learn about history, people and places at the same time – and although travelling isn’t necessary to claim the prize, it could help in your quest once it is safe to do so. The treasure will wait patiently.
All you need is the 64 page book, available via Amazon as a full colour paperback or Kindle ebook. The hunt can be decoded by anyone who puts the work in, has access to a search engine and an online map or two. Full details and the rules of how to conduct the hunt and submit answers are in the book. No digging or trespassing involved.
You are looking for one Location and one Password to unlock the treasure.
If you have kids or relatives, get them involved with the puzzles and poems too; they might have a unique perspective on how to solve them. There’s also ‘search and find’ hunts for children; look for the hidden creatures in every illustration.
Once you have the two answers, submit them to the email address in the book to see if you’re victorious.
the story & poems
When the immovable stars of the heavens jealously conspire to steal away the Sun’s light-giving powers, the moon urges the dwellers of the ancient land to go out and hunt for various objects scattered around; clues to which are found throughout the book. Only then will they (and you) be able to locate the hidden treasure and restore the light to the land.
A series of poems weave through the book to help you decode the keys to the treasure. Each object to be found has an accompanying poetic verse in order to help decode that particular puzzle and give a sense of its location. Here’s an example of the style;
“The sun, the stars and the moon looking down, Cast joyous shadows due south of the town, Hiding up here for millennia might, Offer a clue if you follow the white.“
There are 24 mysterious illustrations giving clues to the whereabouts of real-world objects hidden in plain sight. The illustrations have been painstakingly designed using photographic montages and embellishments to bring the required detail and scope of imagery needed for the hunt.
The treasure prize consists of four elements;
1; ‘The Hidden Sun’ – a beautiful hanging ornament made from 18ct gold, silver, precious gems and Swarovski crystals,
2; A ‘Midnight Hare’ statuette hand painted with gold leaf and featuring a dazzling moonstone gem,
3; ‘Rollright Gold’ – an original, 24″x24″ framed artwork on wood, hand-finished in gold leaf.
4; A 22ct ‘Sovereign Gold Bullion Coin’; the Royal Mint’s flagship coin.
The total value of the treasure is around £2,000. They are all unique pieces of art that can be claimed by the first person to submit the correct Location and Keyword.
FAQs and Updates
Q: How do I know what I’m looking for?
A: You are looking for a ‘location’ name made up of 24 letters, plus a ‘keyword’. All 24 riddles contain information to decipher and you are looking for a word, name or title within each individual riddle. Then take the first letter of that single word. The final ‘location’ also hides a ‘keyword’ – you’ll need both to be successful.
(27.04.20 / 26.05.20)
Q: Am I looking for an anagram from the final 24 letters?
A: Yes, you’ll need to solve a fair amount of the clues to start understanding the location.
Q: Do the answers only relate to locations named on the map in the book?
A: No, the locations named are there to help searchers navigate around the whole search area.
Q: For each of the individual 24 clues, are we looking for an object?
A: Yes, the clues lead to objects hidden in plain sight (e.g. ‘Horse’ or ‘Apple’) or sometimes in the case of a work of art its title (e.g. ‘David’).
(15.05.20 / 26.05.20)
Q: Will any of the answers be the names of buildings or streets?
A: No, they are all objects, depictions of objects or an object’s title. There is a way to better understand which answer might be specific to that puzzle.
Q: What if there are multiple possible answers for a particular clue/object. How do we know which one is the right one?
A: Part of the whole puzzle is seeing what fits when you have all possible answers. A certain amount of trial and error is built into the hunt, which is another layer to solve. You’ll know when you know.
Q: Does the hunt feature a way to confirm the final location once you think you have the 24 letters?
A: There are a few ways, each one requiring a different perspective on the way it is found.
Clue clarification update (15.07.20 / 24.07.20)
A number of searchers have come up against a brick wall regarding a few of the individual riddle answers – enough to warrant a clarification in order to move on. Without giving too much away, here are some pointers to help choose between possible clue answers, that could all be seen as valid without a little assistance. By using the existing text this should help everyone out…
Clue 6: The specific answer is not shown in the illustration.
Clue 10: “Follow the paths…”
Clue 15: We will “…Offer a clue if you follow the white.”
Clue 18: “… and their number is four.”
Clue 19: “…is at hand”
Interesting observation (24.07.20)
A little look back to the original version of the book cover. There were others but in the end the dark blue version won the battle for prominence.
keys of the cross – bonus hunt
The free gift puzzle Keys of the Cross has now ended. Thank you to everyone that took part. It has been a joy to see the answers coming through, but there was unfortunately no winner this time. The full solution is now available to view below. The answer is LOCK 30
STATUS: NO WINNER
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Helpful advice for your hunt
The clues within this book help you locate real-world answers that you must find using thought, skill and research. The first letter of each one word answer gives you a 24 letter code. Once solved, email the ‘Location’ and ‘Keyword’ together to email@example.com.
- The poems contain most clues, but the illustrations do too and they can help you confirm your workings. Some illustrative elements are for the purpose of visual embellishment.
- Answers can be deduced and solved at home using online research to help, but you can better confirm your answers by travelling to locations in person, if you are able to.
- The search location encompasses ‘Banburyshire’; an area that sits within Oxfordshire,
Warwickshire and Northamptonshire in England, as shown by the map in this book.
- Please do not disturb any ground or climb on any structures, fixtures or fittings. All answers are on full display in plain sight to the public. Do not go near railway lines, enter water or anywhere deemed unsafe. You conduct your hunt at your own risk.
- The answers are not within any private property so do not trespass anywhere.
- Adhere to The Countryside Code and be safe when out in busy traffic areas.
- The first correct entry wins. You can submit one email per day to avoid spamming.
- Apart from this book and access to the internet, there is no need to purchase anything that could help in the hunt including entry to any locations.
- The prizes are not hidden but can be claimed by the first person to submit the correct two final answers (one location + one keyword). All four main prizes go to one winner only. Bonus prize hunts will be announced during the main hunt period via website, email or social media. Prizes cannot be substituted for a cash alternative.
- The organisers reserve their right to make small cosmetic changes to the prizes from that shown, but will they retain their value and overall appearance. Any changes will be communicated at banburyshire.co.uk/thehiddensun website
and future editions of the ebook/book.
- This contest involves using skill, judgement and personal research, both within the book and online. No elements of chance are involved and it is not a lottery.
- Winners will be contacted by email within 30 days of the organiser receiving the correct answers.
- The hunt will end if there is no winning claim by 23:59 (UTC+1) on 30th April 2023.
- In order to keep the hunt fair for all and in accordance with privacy laws, the author and organisers of the hunt will not correspond directly with any participant except to confirm a winning entry. Public announcements and updates can be found at the link below.
- The author and organisers retain all rights to the book, its artwork, the prizes and the concept of this hunt.
1. THE COMPETITION
1.1 These terms and conditions apply to this The Hidden Sun competition hosted and/or promoted by Firesnake (“we/us/our”), a registered company in the UK. If you need to contact us, you can find our contact details at firesnake.com. 1.2 Specific details for this competition (“Competition Rules”) will be issued before or on 12th October 2019 when the competition begins (“Opening Date:”). Competition Rules will be made available on our website firesnake.com and also banburyshire.co.uk (“Website”) together with a copy of these competition terms and conditions.
2. HOW TO ENTER
2.1 Send your ‘Location’ and ‘Keyword’ together in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails with images, attachments or heavy formatting will be marked as spam so ensure you only write the words. 2.2 The time and date by which all competition entries must be received by us is 23:59 (UTC+1) on 30th April 2023 (“Closing Date”). All competition entries received after the closing date are automatically disqualified. 2.3 We will not accept: 2.3.1 postal entries, social media entries or entries other than through the correct email address or submission form on the Website; 2.3.2 responsibility for competition entries that are lost, mislaid, damaged or delayed in transit, regardless of cause, including, for example, as a result of any delivery failure, equipment failure, technical malfunction, systems, satellite, network, server, computer hardware or software failure of any kind; or 2.3.3 proof of transmission as proof of receipt of entry to the competition. 2.4 By submitting a competition entry, you are agreeing to be bound by these terms and conditions.
3.1 The competition is open to anyone, except: 3.1.1 our owner and employees; 3.1.2 anyone who is professionally connected with the competition or its administration; or 3.1.3 members of the immediate families or households of the above. 3.2 In entering the competition, you confirm that you are eligible to do so and eligible to claim any prize you may win. We may require you to provide proof that you are eligible to enter the competition. 3.3 We will not accept competition entries that are (where applicable): 3.3.1 automatically generated by computer; 3.3.2 completed by third parties or in bulk; 3.3.3 illegible, have been altered, reconstructed, forged or tampered with; 3.3.4 indecent, threatening, obscene or inappropriate; or, 3.3.5 incomplete. 3.4 We request that you submit one email per day as the answers will require skill to deduce and unlikely to be produced randomly, so 3.4.1 we will consider your first entry within any calender day (UTC). 3.5 We reserve all rights to disqualify you if your conduct (including your entry) is contrary to the spirit or intention of the prize competition.
4. THE PRIZE
4.1 The prize consists of three elements; 1x ornamental artwork, 1x statuette artwork, 1x painting artwork. 4.2 The prize can only be claimed once. There is no cash alternative for the prize. 4.3 We reserve the right to replace or amend the prize with an alternative prize of equal or higher value. 4.4 The prize is not negotiable or transferable. 4.5 The prize can be claimed once we receive and verify the correct submission of two one-word answers via email under GDPR laws.
5. CLAIMING THE PRIZE
5.1 If you are the winner of the prize, we will contact you by email (“Verification”) using the same address (email@example.com) within 30 days of your correct submission. You will have 28 days from the date of our official email to you to claim the prize. If you do not claim the prize within this time, your claim may become invalid. 5.2 We will make all reasonable efforts to contact the winner. If the winner cannot be contacted or is not available, or has not claimed their prize within 28 days of us sending the Verification, we reserve the right to void the entry and resume the competition until either; (a) another correct entry is received, or (b) the competition reaches its Closing Date end time. 5.3 We do not accept any responsibility if you are not able to take up the prize.
6. WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT
6.1 The winner of the competition will be announced within 30 days of Verification, via the Website, with the consent of the winner. 6.2 Our decision or that of the judges nominated by us, is final and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into. 6.3 We will contact the winner personally as soon as practicable after the correct submission, using the email address provided with the competition entry.
7. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
7.1 Insofar as is permitted by law, we, our agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate the winner or accept any liability for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a result of participating in this competition or taking up the prize except where it is caused by our negligence, or that of our agents or distributors or that of their employees. Your statutory rights are not affected.
8. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
8.1 All competition entries submitted to us will become our property on receipt but you retain all GDPR privacy rights regarding the deletion of data. 8.2 By submitting your competition entry, you agree to assign to us all your intellectual property rights with full title guarantee and waive all moral rights. 8.3 You warrant that any/all parts are your own work and do not in any way infringe the rights of a third party including but not limited to their intellectual property rights. 8.4 You agree that we may, but are not required to, make your entry available on our Website and any other media, whether now known or invented in the future, and in connection with any publicity of the competition. You agree to grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable licence, for the full period of any intellectual property rights in the competition entry and any accompanying material, to use, display, publish, transmit, copy, edit, alter, store, re-format and sub-licence the competition entry and any accompanying materials for such purposes.
9. DATA PROTECTION AND PUBLICITY
10.1 If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of these terms and conditions, we may, at our sole discretion, reserve the right to exclude you from participating in the competition. 10.2 We reserve the right to hold void, suspend, cancel, or amend the competition and/or these terms where it becomes necessary to do so. Any changes to the competition and/or these terms will take effect seven days from the date that the amendments are made available on the Website. 10.3 These terms and conditions shall be governed by English law, and the parties submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.