# Merlin and Hermes: Mysterious Lines

Two adventurers, Merlin and Hermes, approached a large iron door built into a cliff face."Well...", said Hermes, "What do we do now?". Merlin produced an old, large piece of crumpled paper from his pocket. "Hrm...", Merlin mumbled. "It says here that we must speak the six letter keyword to open the door and enter the secret chamber, but I don't remember seeing any signs as to what that keyword might be..."

After a bit of searching, Hermes notices something etched into the ground. "Come over here!", he yelled, pointing frantically. And sure enough, barely visible and obscured by dust, was a series of lines of differing color etched into the ground:

"Ah", Merlin said, "So that is the keyword." Hermes was lost and confused. After staring at it for another thirty seconds, he grumbled "What keyword!? All I see is a bunch of lines!". Merlin simply responded, "You're just looking at it the wrong way. It's obvious!"

Isn't it?

• Too bad the answer isn't FRIEND Dec 16, 2014 at 0:25
• Good puzzle, but this sentence : "You're just looking at it the wrong way. It's obvious!", made it way too obvious unfortunately. Mar 7, 2016 at 22:18

The word is

The images are

views of the letters from the top

More precisely,

the gradients correspond to how close part of the letter is to the top of the letter, with black being flush with the top, and white being all the way at the bottom. For example, in the second letter (N), the left and right edges touch the top and so are black, and the middle part lowers from black to white as you go left to right. The last letter (K) has this same pattern reflected, but less intense, as the dip only goes halfway down. The I is just a single bar in a sans-serif font.

• What we need is a three-dimensional GIF of the effect.
– user88
Mar 8, 2015 at 4:31
• How about just a shot of the 3D text? Mar 27, 2015 at 12:30
• That is Genius! May 27, 2015 at 14:15