You are Oeis the Wise, professional Oracle. Your uncanny ability to predict how lists of whole numbers will continue – and only how lists of whole numbers will continue – creates infrequent but intense demand for your counsel: you usually leave your mountain home about once a month, whenever circumstances place a local noble or merchant lord in need of your services.
Today’s customer is Morgan, a monk. (Morgan has no money, but his temple has frequently provided you with food and shelter while travelling to more lucrative clients, so you’re fine doing this one for free.)
Morgan explains that he uses transcendental meditation to link himself to the substructure of the universe, observing the pulse and flicker of those lights which cast all we know as shadows. In his notes, he records flows of mana as they rise and ebb, forming the rhythms that undergird reality.
You tell him that sounds cool and you hope it works out for him.
However, Morgan continues, a recent supernova of unusual intensity has disrupted the leylines of the world, creating the possibility of flux in realms which have previously known only stasis. In ten days – day 384 in his record – he will have a once-in-several-lifetimes chance to not merely channel these flows, but change them: he plans to invoke two mana types simultaneously, wielding them in a ritual that subtly but profoundly reshapes the world for the better. If he is to do this, he must begin the endeavour now; to determine which sources of power he should prepare to conjure on that fateful day, he zealously entreats your assistance.
You tell him that sounds cool and you hope it works out for him. (Living alone on a mountain has not done wonders for your conversational repertoire.)
Morgan concludes by saying that his priorities for day 384 are as follows:
- Firstly, the strongest of the two mana types he channels cannot be Void, Doom, or Spite. These may be used if you are certain they will be the weaker of the pair, but if they dominate, darkness will possess him and he will transform into an immortal demon, wreaking horror and bloodshed upon the world he sought to improve.
- Secondly, the ritual must work. For this to occur, the two mana types together must have a combined power of at least 70.
- Finally, as a strictly tertiary objective, increasing the total amount of mana channelled would allow him to increase the amount of good done; however, this is much less important than guaranteeing the ritual works at all.
From the dedication in his eyes, you perceive Morgan will not be persuaded from this path: all you can do is ensure he walks it as best he can. You are Oeis the Wise, and you have a title to uphold. What, in your
Oeisdom Wisdom, will you advise him to do?
I’ll be posting an interactive letting you test your decision, along with an explanation of how I generated the dataset, sometime
next Friday on Monday the 23rd. I’m giving you a week, but the task shouldn’t take more than a few hours; use Excel, R, Python, Shivers, Inland Empire, Espirit de Corps, or whatever other tools you think are appropriate. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about the scenario.
If you want to investigate collaboratively and/or call your decisions in advance, feel free to do so in the comments; however, please use spoiler tags or rot13 when sharing inferences/strategies/decisions, so people intending to fly solo can look for clarifications without being spoiled.