I don't think you're the first person to be thrown for loops on how to rate it, as it had almost 150 hits before there were any votes or comments! That's a great idea about using it as lock to guard a treasure to be opened at any time: if I ever use it again, that's definitely how I'll use it so thanks for suggesting it!
P.S. Yes, I did come up with it myself. However, as with Maranesh's Challenge, I stole a couple of quotes:
The bottom right poem is from The Lord of the Rings.
The top centre poem is heavily inspired by a poem in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.
The rest I made up. Go to Comment
This one throws me for loops on how to rate it. Did you come up with this yourself? If so, WOW! I can guarantee my players would never figure it out, although it is "obvious" once you've seen it. I could imagine using this as a lock puzzle to guard a treasure that no one had ever opened since it was made or something like that. A big treasure players could get when they figured it out... and that could happen any time during a campaign. And if they weren't getting it at all, maybe I could insert some subtle hints into the campaign...
It's not in character of course (as with almost all puzzles).
Incidentally, another similar (and older) manuscript on which Serafini's was based was the yet-untranslated medieval 'Voynich' manuscript, which is available in scanned form from the Yale Rare Books Library.
There lives in the oceans a huge fish known as the serra, which has huge wings. It can reach up to 30ft in length, with a wingspan stretching to 80ft. The serra's greatest delight is to race against ships: when it sees a ship in full sail upon the sea it will launch itself out of the water, beating its wings strongly and keeping pace with the ship. The wily beast will frequently spread its wings upwind of a ship, attempting to cut off its wind. Though its speed will frequently give it initial success, after several miles it will flag, lacking the stamina to continue, and landing again in the ocean, will sink back in to the briny deeps.
The serra is like the things of this world, while the ship is the image of the just man, who sails unharmed and without shipwreck through the storms and tempests of this world. The serra, unable to keep up, represents those men who at the beginning set their hand to good works but cannot continue with them. They are overwhelmed by vice and sin, which drag them into the depths like the waves of the sea.
"He that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 10:22). Go to Comment