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Hactar, Luna, Banderson, et al., 2024-04-15

One autumn day, Neophyte Cherto approached their mentor, Master Nazir, with a new design for a puzzle. Cherto had heard of the Shrine of Manifestation, where the Priests of High Symmetry imbue 4-dimensional or even 5-dimensional symmetry unto ordinary 3-dimensional shapes, and decided to try their hand at designing such a spell. They had counted the stickers and the pieces of a 4D puzzle, and had constructed a 3D shape with the same stickers.

Master Nazir, having been presented with the neophyte’s design, sighed deeply and gently shook his head as they walked through the garden together.

“Young neophyte, how will the pieces twist? Have you accounted for the orientations of each piece? Do they change according to the moves?”

Neophyte Cherto scrambled to fix the issues. “Well we can adjust the orientation of the pieces after each twist!”

“And how, young neophyte, is that any better a puzzle than the soup we eat for lunch?”

Cherto’s face fell. They knew that when incantations failed at the Shrine of Manifestation, the polytopes on the altar melted into a formless blob that the elders called “soup.”

“But surely there must be a way to make this work! I have even constructed an analogous 2D representation of a similar 3D puzzle–“

Master Nazir hushed them and gestured toward a nearby tree. “Surely there must be a way for you to climb this tree! I have even routed a path through a similar tree.”

“But that tree is dead.” Cherto paused, then continued more confidently. “The branches may be weak; it cannot be compared to another tree.”

At that moment, Cherto was enlightened.