History of The Runes Puzzle

Who Designed
 THE RUNES Puzzle and Why?

What I can tell you
The questions keep coming. So here are the answers as far as I can determine them.

I didn't know the man. Apparently he knew my grandfather. Yes, the papers did come directly to me and yes of course I made enquiries.

I will tell you what I discovered.

But don't expect detailed names and locations. These seem to be of no consequence and I have been pestered too much recently to wish to expose other people to that sort of attention.

I will tell you what I found out about the circumstances of The Runes creation. I can tell you why I made the effort to set up this site and produce the replica puzzles. I can also offer my view of what the the puzzle is really about.
The Package
My involvement started with the delivery of the package.

At first it was a disappointment. Someone I didn't recall ever meeting had died and left a package for me. A small fortune out of the blue would have been nice. But it turned out to be just some sort of game or puzzle on about 30 sheets of paper.

Meticulously done - letters, symbols, drawings - and I have to say intriguing from the very first glance, but not of the value I was rather wildly speculating about before I opened the package.
First Enquiries
I made the sort of enquiries you would expect, but there wasn't much information to be had.
 
The solicitor told me the man was into his nineties and had spent his last years as something of a recluse. It seems that he had been a friend of my late grandfather and knew of me and my address.
The Puzzle
On looking more closely at the sheets, I could see it was a puzzle and an intricate one too. The start was seductively simple, but it soon became more challenging. I rather liked it. I would work on it when I felt like it and then set it aside for a while.

But things changed sharply one evening when I discovered that the puzzle would reveal more than just puzzle solutions.

I felt both smart to have made the discovery and slow not to have realised before that someone would hardly have made all this effort simply to fill my idle hours.
Later Enquiries
I was also angry with myself that I had been so casual in finding out more about the designer of the puzzle.

Now it was all rather late. His house had new tenants. There weren't any known relatives. His furniture and belongings had been cleared as a job lot to repay some outstanding debts.

The neighbours said that he had lived there for about 15 years and that there was nothing out of the ordinary about him.
The Meetings
Apart, that is, from the meetings.

These took place regularly at his house until a few years before his death. The neighbours noticed that from time to time he would invite the same group of people to his house. In the summer the group would sometimes sit outside, reading and discussing old-looking books and papers. On occasions these debates became quite heated.

As the years went by the group became steadily smaller. One of the neighbours believed that illness and age was taking its toll of the members.

She said that she once met the man on his way to a funeral. He was emotional and had mumbled, "It's just me now.", as he shuffled off.
The Final Years
That was two years before he died, but after that there were no more visitors to the house and he was hardly ever seen.

He kept late hours though. Whatever the time of night, his study light would be burning.

He left the package addressed to me with a solicitor. His instructions were that it should be delivered after his death - an event which occured within three months.
A Personal View
There seem to be no more facts to be had, so the rest I admit is speculation - but speculation based in good measure on what I have gleaned from the puzzle so far.

I have no doubt that this man spent the last years of his life designing the puzzle.

I suspect also that exhaustion from the effort and the anticlimax after finishing it led to his death shortly afterwards.

Why did he give the puzzle to me?

I would flatter myself if I said: So I could solve it. I can only make uncertain progress and I think he would have known that. Anyway, what is the point of spending years designing a puzzle just to have its message immediately revealed? 

No, I don't think he wanted the puzzle to be solved quickly. He had information to pass on, but there was some other task that he needed to accomplish as well.

Whatever his task was, there was an urgency to it. His advancing age meant that he was running out of time and I believe that he designed the puzzle as the tool that would make sure the task was completed even after he was gone.

I wasn't chosen to solve the puzzle. He was looking for something more mundane from me. He knew that I had been involved in publishing and simply expected that I would make the puzzle more widely known. As he was a friend of my grandfather, he probably also hoped that I would do this in a way sympathetic to his purpose.

Did he know that my days in publishing were over and that my resources would be limited to a website and replicas of his work? I like to think this was part of his intention and not just an oversight. In any case, that is why this site exists.

Some have said that the puzzle reveals where some ancient treasure is buried. I tend to agree and this makes for an absorbing quest. But I also believe that those with the right skills will find that this is just an appetiser.

The question is, do you have the skills to find out?



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THE RUNES - 27 pages of linked puzzles
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THE RUNES - 300 new puzzles, 1 ancient mystery