While excavating in Antarctica to build the Galactic Telescope REsolving Nebular Disks for the Scientific Exploration of graviTational Tides and Exoplanet ReSearch (Galactic TRENDSETTERS for short), we uncovered part of a very curious artifact. Our team has been unable to identify it, so we’re extending an invitation to you and your team of preeminent enigmatologists to join an international collaboration of linguists, archaeologists, and cryptographers. We believe your help would be invaluable.

 Because the brutal Antarctic winter will begin in a few short weeks, we hope that your team can arrive at our site as soon as possible. We will be holding a briefing on our current progress at the South Pole on March 15th, 2019 at 6:28 PM EDT. We hope that you will join us for this historic investigation.

 Galactic TRENDSETTERS Command

Thank you so much for making it to the South Pole on such short notice! Unfortunately, we have made very little progress: we’ve now uncovered three artifact shards, but we still don’t understand what they mean. Please take a look and see if you can decode them. We will continue digging in the meantime, and make sure to pass on any additional shards that we uncover.

Galactic TRENDSETTERS Command

Each shard (i.e. puzzle) that you decode (i.e. solve) will let you dig deeper into the ice. Your depth will also gradually increase over time. New puzzles will unlock as you reach new depths. You can view how much deeper you need to dig in order to unlock the next puzzle at the bottom of the puzzles page.

The Artifact

We now have enough shards that we’ve been able to tentatively assemble them into a single, larger object. Can you help us determine its meaning? We’re this close to having the archaeological find of the century!

The Astrologers

You’ve managed to contact a civilization of astrologers who love to examine the heavens. What do the Astrologers need to realize about why they can’t communicate with everyone else?

The Archivists

You’ve made contact with an Empire that carefully stores all their knowledge in a vast collection of archives, and downloaded a transmission of one such archive. Why can’t they communicate with the rest of the civilizations?

The Animal Trainers

The next Empire you make contact with has been excitedly discussing a pair of things called utqunxe and eterqoye, but appears to have little concern for anything else. You’re trying to convince them to reestablish communications with the other civilizations, but your efforts so far have proven not very effective. What does this Empire need to do?

The Artists

When you get in contact with the Empire of Artists, they send you a series of vocal transmissions. Why are they unable to communicate with the other Empires?

The Galactic Conference

Now that you’ve re-established contact between all four Galactic Empires, they’re willing to talk to each other once again. You’ve managed to arrange a conference in neutral space, summoning one ambassador from each civilization to the negotiating table, but the communications channel you’ve hacked together isn’t enough to get a full picture of the proceedings. In order to give them what they all want, you’ll need to figure out the inner workings of their strange diplomatic negotiations...