The Maiden in the Forest is an 18-card solitaire game using only cards. The rules are contained within the 18 cards. The object of the game is to rotate, then turn over, each of the twelve tree cards from their blooming to dormant side. If you can do this before the end of the twelve clock cycles of day and night, you win your freedom.
To begin, shuffle the twelve tree cards and place them in a ring like a clock face. All cards should have their blooming side revealed and the trunks should point towards the center of the ring. Each card also shows one of four objects. Place the maiden card inside the ring at the 12 o'clock position. Set the four object cards to one side. Each day, you perform two actions:
1. Shuffle the four object cards and place them face down in a pile. Draw the top card and view the object shown therein. All tree cards with this object may not be touched by the player during this cycle of day and night.
2. Take the remaining three object cards and use their actions to move, that is, to swap the positions of the tree cards allowed to be touched, keeping their current orientations. You may use these actions in any order and may use none, one, two, or all three of the actions as you choose to.
Each night, you perform two actions:
1. You may now rotate blossoming tree cards with matching colors or matching objects that you are allowed to touch this night. Cards are rotated so that their trunks point outward from the ring. Cards previously rotated can then be turned over so that their dormant side is showing. Cards must be rotated (either clockwise or counter-clockwise) or turned over to their dormant side in accordance with the three patterns on the other side of this card. You may use each of the patterns only once during this night, but you may use them in any order you choose.
2. Move the maiden card one position in the ring clockwise to signal the end of this day and night and the beginning of a new turn.
If you turn each of the twelve tree cards to their dormant side before the end of twelve clock cycles of day and night, you win.