Once upon a time, many years ago, a much-feared beast roamed the woods of Box. For the most part, it kept to itself, but there were occasional reports of a large, boar-like creature being sighted. Villagers steered well clear of its haunts, only daring to cut through the woods in pairs, in daylight, and in haste!
One fateful day, however, the two sons of a villager named George Wilberforce Rivers were playing hide and seek, and they strayed deep into the woods. They did not return that evening. George was distraught, and without heeding the warnings of his fellow villagers, he ventured into the woods, in search of his beloved sons.
For days, George scoured the woods. The beast was elusive indeed, but George would not give up his search. At last, George stumbled across the boar-beast’s lair. The beast was startled and bolted. However, George was a good woodsman and an experienced tracker. Now that he had the start of a trail, he could track down the beast until it revealed the secret of his sons’ fate.
George’s trail started at the beast’s lair. The published coordinates are not quite at the lair, but from them you should have a good view to the East of the opening of the beast’s underground home. George stood at the entrance to the lair, facing out. Directly in front of him was a tree that appeared to have a split personality. He left a 6-letter message there, for anyone who may one day follow him, fishing for clues. Using ordinal values of letters, convert George’s message into a series of digits (use leading zeroes where appropriate, eg B = 02):
AB CD EF GH IJ KL
From the lair, George tracked the progress of the beast through the woods. He drew steadily closer to the beast’s final location. The trail took him to a resting place, where he took stock of his position.
Proceed to George’s resting place at: N 51° 25 E(J-H)(L-D) W 02° 14 (H-I)(L+F-J)(B+C)
Having got this far, George decided to leave another clue here to his next destination; the clue was again based on ordinal values of letters that would be recognisable to those that knew him, should they ever come looking. Convert the 3-letter clue at George’s resting place into ordinals (use leading zeroes where necessary):
PQ RS TU
And thence find the site of George’s showdown with the beast at:
N 51° 25 (Q-H)(L-S)(P+Q) W 02° 14 (A+R)(U-C)(T-I)
George approached the great boar-beast, face-on. Its head alone was almost as big as a man. Surprisingly, the beast was still and allowed George to slip past. Behind the boar-beast stood a tall beech tree and George left another message there. It resembled "HI" followed by four more letters, which spelled out the start of the name of George's first true love, the mother of his sons. (I'm not sure if he meant to complete the name, or if the abbreviation was his pet name for her.) Again, convert this 4-letter clue into ordinals (as usual, use leading zeroes where necessary):
MN GH WX YZ
(The more observant among you will notice there is less work to do, as one of the earlier clue letters has been re-used.)
He tracked on a while to find his sons sleeping amongst some trees at:
N 51° 25 (Z-M)(Q+W)(N+R) W 02° 14 (U-H)(N+Z-H)(X+Y)
Nearby was hidden a small collection of trinkets that had been amassed by the beast, and you may wish to trade some of these.
Of course, George and his sons lived happily ever after. As for the beast … well it is still going strong as far as I know; if you’ve followed the clues, you’ll have seen that. But beware, if your trades are not up to scratch, the beast may stir!
Changed Stage (April 2018)
The penultimate stage (the encounter with the beast) used to be a physical micro, but this is no longer viable. Instead there is a virtual clue now. Just follow the tale above; it has been modified accordingly.
Lodging Residential Geocoin (February 2015)
Amberel kindly made one of his Top Cache geocoins for this cache. It is called The Singing Bone. I have chosen to hide it as a RESIDENTIAL geocoin, attached to a logbook. However, it is not attached to the Beast's logbook because, since the muggling a while back, this cache is too small to home such a large coin. No, The Singing Bone is attached to the logbook of a neighbouring cache of mine, Highs and Lows of Box (GC1ZD4D). Complicated? No, I'm sure you'll figure it out if you're keen on discovering it. Remember to feel free to discover it, but please do not remove it. Thanks.