How to Solve the Volvelle Puzzle in Pentiment

Nothing says suspicious like using a puzzle to hide secret messages

In the Old Bailey in the church, you’ll find the Prior’s House. Within is a colorful volvelle. A volvelle is a rotating paper ‘wheel chart’, often found in early astronomy or mathematical books. They are constructed from a number of circles, layered over each other, and fastened together in the center with string so that they could spin. Volvelles are typically used to make calculations or predictions… but in this case, they’re meant to hide a code.

Here’s how to solve the volvelle puzzle in Pentiment.

How to Solve the Volvelle Puzzle in Pentiment

The one Andreas has stumbled upon has a top wheel with Greek letters, with holes cut out to reveal the Latin letters underneath. The outer edge of the lower wheel is divided into four sections, each one marked by a certain elemental symbol.

If you have the Heavens and Earth perk, Andreas will note the lines connecting the holes form constellations. Cassiopeia, the Great Wagon, Libra, and Aries. The Logician perk tells us that, given the number of letters and size of the discs, there’s enough space for a total of four versions of the Latin alphabet.

Related: How to Get the Quick Fingers Achievement in Pentiment

Unfortunately, the first time we see this puzzle we won’t be able to solve it. Head to the scriptorium to work. When everyone leaves, Brother Ferenc will enter. He won’t see Andreas but he’ll be clutching the volvelle. He scribbles something in a book at the lectern in the far right of the scriptorium.

During vespers the same day, you’ll finally be able to open the book and see what Prior Ferenc was writing. Doctor of Theology, Georg of Gran. Click on some of the underlined words, and after a bit of dialogue, you’ll see what Ferenc has annotated. It’s the symbols of Libra, Capricorn, and Aries. Beneath it is Greek. For whatever reason, Andreas won’t put two-and-two together, so you have two methods of progressing this puzzle.

The first is to enter the library at night. To do so, you’ll need to enter through the secret passage in the crypt, then examine several books, which will then give you the answer. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until the night of the second day to do this, and it will cost you an entire time block.

The second option is to go to Werner Stolz on the north side of town. Werner is insufferable, but he’ll reveal the elements associated with each astrological sign. This option is the best, most efficient option as it lets keep your investigation block open. Return to the prior’s house and to the volvelle.

To solve this puzzle, consider first the astrological sign. If it’s an air sign, rotate the outer wheel until the color of the letter in the white space corresponds with the color associated with that element.

So, for example, Libra is an air sign. For the first symbol, you should select the color yellow, which in this case is ‘h’. Press a and the letter will be confirmed on the dashed line, and you’ll move on to the next letter automatically.

Once all 9 letters are completed, you should have the word ‘higerhard’ spelled out. But even better than all that, you’ll get the Like a Record, Baby Achievement. Nice!

About the Author

Daphne Fama

A Staff Writer at Prima Games since 2022, Daphne Fama spends an inordinate amount playing games of all stripes but has a soft spot for horror, FPS, and RPGs. When she’s not gaming, she’s an author and member of the Horror Writers Association with a debut novel coming out in 2025. In a previous life, she was an attorney but found she preferred fiction to contracts and forms