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Wizard's Hollow

Magic 8-Ball

by Brent Holman

Getting Started:

Cut out the 20 shapes. Fold along the dotted lines. Tape into 4-sided pyramids with the printing facing out.

Find matching “8” symbols and tape pieces together such that the matching 8s are face-to-face. In this manner you should be able to create an icosahedron with the text messages (and one 8) facing outwards. As far as getting started with matching up the 8s, it might be easiest to begin with the ones that have two different line widths at the central crossing. After that, be sure to pay attention to the two different thicknesses of the circles around the numbers.


1. Assemble the 20 shapes into an icosahedron by cutting, folding, taping, and matching up the “8” symbols (paying close attention to the fonts and the weights of both the numbers and the circles around them).

2. Decode the Morse Code message, which comes in three parts. It’s easiest to hold the icosahedron by the top and bottom vertices and spin the shape around as you read. This will help you stay on the right path as you decode the dots, dashes, and letter dividers (vertical lines). The spacing can get confusing as you move from face to face, so only switch to a new letter when you see the letter divider symbol.

Here are the three parts of the message that you will decode:

3. Number the faces of your icosahedron. The first part of the message indicates that you should map your icosahedron to a 20-sided die with the standard number orientation used by the Chessex brand. If you don’t have one available (many brands use this mapping, so you might be in good shape if you have a D20 handy), you can find photos online with a quick search. We recommend that you add the numbers directly to your icosahedron for easy reference. The text on each face will be oriented in the same direction as the numbers on the die, so this should help you verify that you’re mapping the numbers correctly. Your starting point is the visible “8” on your icosahedron; all other numbers can be deduced by their positions relative to that 8. (Again: pay attention to the orientation of the 8.)

4. Begin transforming your text. Begin at the face that equates to the number 1 on the die (“3 ITEMS LATER”), using the text “SORCERERS STONE” as indicated from parts 2 and 3 of the decoded message. In this case, you want to change to GOBLET OF FIRE, which comes 3 books later in the Harry Potter series. From there, notice the “+1” marking at the bottom of the face. This means that you should next go to the face that is 1 higher than your current one (in this case, that means face #2). Continue in this manner, making transformations to your text and proceeding to the numbered face indicated by the +/- value underneath each instruction (which you will add or subtract from your current face number).

5. Don’t lose faith! Quickly you’ll get to an instruction that says “CLONE AND SPLIT.” Don’t be discouraged: this simply means that your path will now fork, with your current text moving to two different faces at once. Feel free to follow one path until you reach an instruction that doesn’t seem to make sense. At that point, switch to the other path. The two paths will eventually join back together and things will make sense again. Also, during the course of your transformations, you’ll only need the first names of any people that come up (as indicated by the flavor text), and at one point you’ll have a choice of different versions of something, but if you “trust the King” (in this case, King James) you should make the right decision. When you see an instruction that mentions “this number,” it’s referring to the value of the current face on the die.

6. Finish off the transformations. After your path has rejoined, it’s just a quick hop to the end of your transformations. When you get sent to the “8” face, you’ll know you’re done since there aren’t any more instructions to follow.

Here’s the full set of transformations:

1. (3 items later) GOBLET OF FIRE
2. (big competition) TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT
6. (clone and split)
7. (first selected) VIKTOR 10. (last selected) HARRY
14. (homophone) VICTOR 19. (wife) GINNY
16. (this number earlier) FOXTROT 20. (oldest brother) BILL
12. (4th studio album) GENESIS 17. (youngest brother) RON
18. (this number later) PSALMS 9. (add same bigram to front & back) TORONTO
11. (1st, 4th, 6th to end; insert a letter) SAMPLES 3. (remove duplicates of letters) TORN
5. (4th studio album) AUTOPILOT [paths rejoin]
4. (remove last 3; 1st to end) UTOPIA
[paths rejoin]
13. (alphabetize words) TORN UTOPIA
15. (change two iterations of a letter) CORNUCOPIA
8. [done!]

Here are the Morse strings in order:

strip of triangles with morse code

strip of triangles with morse code

strip of triangles with morse code