Image from EoinColfer.com, but I have taken out some of the grid lines, to make it easier on the eye.
There are 2 different codes hidden in different versions of this book. They are both decoded on this page.
New UK Version Decoded
“One of the fairy people’s most popular pastimes is a card game called “Bottoms Up”. This game is almost the direct opposite of the human game, poker.
In “Bottoms Up”, the object is to end up with the least valuable hand possible.
There are four suits “Acorns Toads”; a weird shape known as “Splats” which is thought to be based on the shape a stinkworm would make if it were stepped on by a troll and of course bottoms, which gives the game its name.
Historians tell us that the curved “W” shapes which represent bottoms are actually supposed to represent ocean waves, but gamblers prefer to call them “Bottoms” and now the name has stuck.
If a player realizes that he is in danger of assembling a good hand, which is bad, he must trick his opponents into taking his valuable cards. The most valuable cards are a “Golden Acorn”, a “King Toad”, an “Eight Pointed Splat” and a “Mega Bottom”.
There is also a hologrammed wild card which can be anything the holding player wishes it to be. If you are tricked into taking a wild card then you must get rid of it in the two next rounds or it freezes at its current value.
When playing “Bottoms Up” it is very important to hide any behaviour which might betray nervousness or glee. These behaviours are called “tells.”
An elf’s “tell” is to toy with his pointed ears, or their wings causing a downdraught, which is never a good idea in a card game.
Gnomes eat anything they can reach including insects and pieces of furniture, and dwarfs lose control of their internal gases. Once these gases build up past a certain point it becomes almost impossible to hold them in. So if you see a dwarf with red face it is a good bet that he has a very bad hand.
Which is good!”
Decoded by Kristian Haaber. Thanks Kristian!
Original UK Version Decoded
“A message from Artemis Fowl.
My dear newfound ally, if you have deciphered this code then you are of sufficient intelligence to aid me in my mission. You may have heard of the Fowl family and imagine this mission to be illegal or even dangerous. I promise you this is not the case.
All I ask is that you help me to keep my memories where they belong. In my head. There are certain forces at work that wish to deprive me of memories that are rightfully mine. These forces would wipe certain facts from my brain that are extremely important, not to mention valuable. Who are these forces? They are magical fairies known as the People. I know what you are thinking,
“This person, Artemis Fowl, has obviously lost his mind. Fairy people! He cannot honestly expect me to believe this nonsense”.
It is an understandable reaction. Two years ago I would have reacted exactly the same way. But a lot can change in two years. I have seen greenskinned sprites fly under their own power. I have seen dwarfs use their cavernous mouths to dig tunnels. I have witnessed the healing power of elves, and touched the flank of a noble centaur. These creatures exist. Take my word for it.
But as powerful as these creatures are, they fear one thing: humans. We are the only creatures with the power to overthrow their underground society. Our numbers could subdue even magic. So the People have decided that it is too dangerous to have a human boy with fairy knowledge in his head. Soon they will mindwipe me, and this extraordinary information will disappear.
There is one way to stop this happening. I have entrusted a computer disk to a reprobate dwarf by the name of Mulch Diggums. The disk contains all my knowledge of fairy folk. Of course, the mind wipe will cause me to forget all about the dwarf and the disk. Diggums should bring the disk to me, but common criminals are not to be trusted.
I ask you to get a message to me. The message is simple. Six words only, “Artemis Fowl must find Mulch Diggums.” Wherever you see one of the faithful clutching this book, repeat those words. The message will spread like a virus across the world, eventually reaching my ears. I will act upon it, putting all my resources into locating the mysterious Mister Diggums. Once I find him, the disk will reactivate all my memories and the knowledge will be mine again. Do this for me and when I rule the world you shall be rewarded. Remember, “Artemis Fowl must find Mulch Diggums.”
Your new friend,
Artemis Fowl the Second.”
The message here parallels the plot to this book. As the story progresses, Artemis comes to believe that the Fairy People will mind-wipe him and therefore, they hope, prevent him from endangering them any longer.
Naturally, Artemis has no intention of losing all of the knowledge he has gained in the last two years, and so, looks for a means to being able to restore this knowledge at a later date. He creates numerous ways in the book, and this code is another one.