Paperback – January 16, 2015
The tale begins over three-hundred years ago, when the Fair People-the goblins, fairies, dragons, and other fabled and fantastic creatures of a dozen lands-fled the Old World for the New, seeking haven from the ways of Man. With them came their precious jewels: diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls... But then the Fair People vanished, taking with them their twelve fabulous treasures. And they remained hidden until now...Across North America, these twelve treasures, over ten-thousand dollars in precious jewels, are buried. The key to finding each can be found within the twelve full color paintings and verses of The Secret. Yet The Secret is much more than that. At long last, you can learn not only the whereabouts of the Fair People's treasure, but also the modern forms and hiding places of their descendants: the Toll Trolls, Maitre D'eamons, Elf Alphas, Tupperwerewolves, Freudian Sylphs, Culture Vultures, West Ghosts and other delightful creatures in the world around us. The Secret is a field guide to them all.Many "armchair treasure hunt" books have been published over the years, most notably Masquerade (1979) by British artist Kit Williams. Masquerade promised a jewel-encrusted golden hare to the first person to unravel the riddle that Williams cleverly hid in his art. In 1982, while everyone in Britain was still madly digging up hedgerows and pastures in search of the golden hare, The Secret: A Treasure Hunt was published in America. The previous year, author and publisher Byron Preiss had traveled to 12 locations in the continental U.S. (and possibly Canada) to secretly bury a dozen ceramic casques. Each casque contained a small key that could be redeemed for one of 12 jewels Preiss kept in a safe deposit box in New York. The key to finding the casques was to match one of 12 paintings to one of 12 poetic verses, solve the resulting riddle, and start digging. Since 1982, only two of the 12 casques have been recovered. The first was located in Grant Park, Chicago, in 1984 by a group of students. The second was unearthed in 2004 in Cleveland by two members of the Quest4Treasure forum. Preiss was killed in an auto accident in the summer of 2005, but the hunt for his casques continues.