(cue music)

AIRBENDER: Air. (demonstrates airbending)

WATERBENDER: Water. (demonstrates waterbending)

EARTHBENDER: Earth. (demonstrates earthbending)

FIREBENDER: Fire. (demonstrates firebending)

AIRBENDER: Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.

Twenty-four years ago, I, Avatar Aang, head of the Mathcamp Junta, defeated Fire Lord Ozai and heroically stopped the Hundred-Year War. I restored peace to the four nations, but I commited one grievous error.

FIREBENDER: (annoyed at Avatar Aang) Avatar Aang signed a treaty ensuring that peace would last. The treaty consisted of four rules. And among them: Rule 3: No fire.

Imagine how that feels for us. A whole nation living in disgrace. But this cannot hold. With all firebending powers vanished, the world is falling out of balance, and the other three elements are going haywire. Airbenders are running from hurricanes, waterbenders wake up floated out to sea, and trust me, don’t stand next to an earthbender.

But this special year, Rule 3 is suspended. This may be our only chance to restore unity.

EARTHBENDER: You're not exactly the Avatar, but you are a team of powerful puzzle-solvers. You must travel to each of the four nations to master their bending art. Only then can you restore the harmony of the elements.

WATERBENDER: We have created a vessel to guide you in your quest. I am posting the link in Zoom chat, (https://hunt.mathcamp.org/puzzles/2021/) and also on #announcements on Slack. Your own team’s login info will be posted to your team’s Slack channel.

Use your team’s Slack channel to coordinate your efforts. We will send you a link to a spreadsheet you can use for puzzle-solving. Put each puzzle in a different tab; the text from the website should be easy to copy to a spreadsheet when necessary.

When you solve puzzles, submit the answers on the website, and it will confirm them. On occasion, we might contact you if it looks like something is disrupting the flow of that process. But you should definitely contact us if you’re feeling stuck or not having fun; we can give out hints, starting with a gentle nudge.

EARTHBENDER: There are also prewritten hints, but you can’t get ‘em yet; it’ll take us time to dig ‘em up. But unfortunately, those hints lean on the vague side. And since they’re already set in stone, they might have nothing to do with where you’re stuck. If these hints haven’t been released yet or aren’t helpful, I will be oh so happy to help. (Seriously, I will: it’s lonely here just sitting at HQ with these twerps.)

AIRBENDER: Remember, until you do something about it, my four rules are still in effect during the puzzle hunt. In particular:

If you think a puzzle is telling you to do something illegal, like calling 911 without an actual emergency, please don’t.

Do not give spoilers to other teams, and don’t try to get answers from other teams. You’re not competing with each other, and you don’t want to ruin the fun of other people working on the puzzle hunt.

Bending uses up a lot of calories, so be sure to eat a time-zone appropriate meal during the puzzle hunt.

And again, if you’re not having fun, please let us know!

FIREBENDER: The website will start working at X time. We’ll continue confirming answers and giving out hints until 4pm MCST.

Although your puzzling skills are great, you have a lot to learn before you’re ready to save anyone. But I believe you can save the world.