It has come to my attention through a discussion on IRC (to the participants of which, incidentally, I gave no hints other than that * and x are intentionally differentiated) that people (even those people) (you know who you are) are having some trouble figuring out what it's all about. Since I intended any trouble to be in the working of the puzzle, not the decoding of it, I offer this clue now:
E who would endeavor to be
The Twenty-Fourth must learn by rote:
That One and Two and Four and Three
Refer to ordinality,
And do not cardinals denote.
I apologize once again to the Treasure Harfer for separating the clues, and e'd better accept it this time. (Yes, K 2, someone *does* read the found treasure pages. :-))
I actually figured it out rather quickly too, just after I left IRC to do my physics and before you posted the hint. But I have the same problem as thinman.
If you've figured it out, you shouldn't have much of a problem with the x's. But just in case, I'll capriciously decide to tell you that: