I am programming a game (minetest lotr subgame loth), and I want to include riddles I a rune language. I think the language should be understandable/resolvable. This is a little story about some happenings in that lotr world, packed into runes. Try to decrypt it. (that rune language is invented by me) Info:

They are entire words, their look is even related to their meaning, but they can have multiple meanings.

All of them have meanings related to words you may need in a magical medieval world full of fearsome creatures. (of course some general expressions may be needed in a magical world, too. right?)

Some runes stand for symbols used in our language too, for example ( ) . .

First sentence (sense translated, not word by word)

recently many bad snakelike monsters using light magic and many spiderlike monsters killed a whole army.

If you want some more Information (for example, some runes explained), just comment. enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Is it a puzzle game or is this a side/lore thingy? Probably more a gamedev-related thing, but don't expect players to go full 'Sherlock Holmes and the Dancing Men' on this one, not everyone is that smart. Give them at least the spaces to indicate word length. If it is too hard at a first glance, some players will just ignore the puzzle. If it takes too much time to solve it with little reward, they will walk away the next time they see this cypher. $\endgroup$
    – PL457
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 11:24
  • $\begingroup$ For this site you need to give a little more information, otherwise it is unsolvable. Is it a code, ie do these symbols substitute for letters of the alphabet? Or are they entire words in their own right, like hieroglyphs? $\endgroup$
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ Or are they entire words in their own right, like hieroglyphs? - YES, their look is even related to their meaning, but they can have multiple meanings (will add that info to post) $\endgroup$
    – KGM
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 11:48
  • $\begingroup$ @ PL457: If it takes too much time to solve it with little reward, they will walk away the next time they see this cypher. - Thats why I made this question, I want to know how much information one need. $\endgroup$
    – KGM
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 11:55
  • $\begingroup$ You might want to take a look at the Nancy Drew Hieroglyph puzzles from 'Tomb of the lost queen.' (i.ytimg.com/vi/e5dlxyDxBtI/maxresdefault.jpg) They were interesting and clear. The best part was that they start easy, but every puzzle after that one, you could start with the glyphs you still remember from the last puzzle. When the players can make connections like 'those three symbols are T H and E' they won't think that the next puzzle is too hard. $\endgroup$
    – PL457
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


This is written as reading all runes on a given line, left to right. I don't really have an idea of what's going on, since I remember neither snakes nor spiders in LOTR (albeit I never read it), but this is what I see from the runes. Honestly made up a story after investigating what each rune could be, but that seems to be the point with no key, right?

hourglass, anvil?, ?, pitchfork, "snake", advance, the Eye, advance, ?, star, symbol(reminds me of a badge or crest of a peoples), ?, "spider web", the Eye, anvil?, scythe, wizard/scythe wielder, knight, knight.

After waiting ..... the rebel forces of the Eye summoned snake-like creatures to advance upon the shining army. Large spiders joined the fray to aid the snakes, resulting in the death of many men.

wizard/scythe wielder, enclave?, man, advance, night, scythe, ?, pitchfork, snake, symbol, web, hourglass, ?, symbol, target, chest, enclave?, hourglass, ?, man.

The army waited until nightfall to bring death to the snakes. The shining army also joined in the surprise attack, but was flanked by the spiders. As the battle dragged out, a victor was beginning to emerge: the race of man. Loot was at the end of the tunnel, but there were other men to think about.

cross, symbol, man, ?, target, pitchfork, man, advance, ?, scythe, man, ?, ?, hourglass, ?, ?, eclipse, symbol, ?, ?, the Eye.

They had to bury their dead before true victory could be claimed- such was the way of the shining army. The amount of dead was unusually high- this angered the men, and they began to train in the field. However, their training was cut short from the alarming cries- the sun was disappearing! An eclipse was under way, and the army was shrouded in darkness. The Eye saw a chance.

sun or egg, symbol, pitchfork, wizard/scythe wielder, knight, knight, wizard/scythe wielder, symbol, eye, scythe, ?, man, symbol, buff, ?, eye, advance, ?, egg or sun, moon.

With the blackout, the shining army made a last stand- they knew they were at their weakest point. An incredible battle ensued, with death at every corner. The Eye would get the upper hand, but the army would hold its ground. The battle carried on until true nightfall.

?, advance, ?, knight, ?, symbol, ?, shield, man, advance, egg or sun, ?, knight, symbol, man, egg or sun, ?, knight, advance. moon, advance, man, shield, ?.

With major losses on both sides, it was time for the last push. The strategy entailed multiple steps. They shielded a runner to destroy what appeared to be a dragon's egg- if that thing hatched, the army would be obliterated. With info on the egg, the army closed in. As night turn back to day, the battle had drawn to a close. To the victor goes the spoils, and what can I say? What was left standing was the shield.

  • $\begingroup$ watch out, some runes mean symbols like ( ) > <, and some mean verbs like create, defend. It is part of a game, it has additional content. loth-game.github.io $\endgroup$
    – KGM
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ SUPER! some smaller missinterpretations, but roughly correct. and much better than the original story. the start is mostly correct. one little hint : Egg means to spawn, to birth something, and moon may also mean strongly magical. : ) $\endgroup$
    – KGM
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 16:30

X are runes I haven't deciphered yet.

X ( X bad snake > monster > X light magic X spider > monster ) kill mage soldier soldier mage . man > X kill X bad snake magic spider X X magic see treasure . X X man X magic man X see bad man > ( kill man ) . X X X X magic X monster X magic bad mage soldier soldier mage magic monster kill X man magic X X monster > ( X X ) > X soldier X magic X defend man > man X X soldier magic man X X soldier > X > man defend .

So far, I guess:

Bad snakes using light magic and spider monsters killed an army. A man killed the bad snakes with magic and the spiders with magic to get a treasure. He encounters a bad man and kills him. There's a bad monster using some "unknown" magic and a bad army of magic monsters who want to kill a man. A soldier uses magic to protect the man. The man give the soldier new powers/magic.

I'm filling huge gaps with my imagination here. How am I doing?

  • $\begingroup$ quite good, you understand the runes very well, but think that the symbols for man, soldier etc may stand for many different things, depending on the context. especially, they can stand for groups of that type creature. $\endgroup$
    – KGM
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ I like that you found out that magics plays a role in the whole thing, and what role it plays. the other one got this wrong :/ $\endgroup$
    – KGM
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 16:48

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