Ringen: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained   7 comments

The opening graphic when logging into VikingMUD.

I managed to find a torch and do a little mapping, this time with the actual names of places attached.

I didn’t find anything that remarkable, but here’s some of the scenery. Upon entering the main complex:

This must once have been the main junction in the Mines of Moria. There are exits everywhere. Westwards there is a rough opening which leads to the top of a wide stairway. To the north and south there are wide openings. To the east, there is a small round hole, which may be 6 feet (2 meters) wide, but it is still small when compared to the other exits. In the floor, just near your feet, a steep shaft leads down into the deep. Small steps have been made out of the rock, but it looks dangerous all the same. A steep spiral staircase rises from a corner of the room.
There are five obvious exits: down, east, north, up and west

After a bit of exploring:

You are standing by the window. You have a majestic view over the scenery from here. From this spot high up in the mountain you can see past mountains and valleys out in the free, and the clear full moon shines upon the landscape. Southwards the Misty Mountains extend, and to the west there are the grassy plains of your homeland. (Sniff!) You cannot squeeze yourself through the window, but there is a hole in the floor here, and a spiral staircase in the south end of the room.

I found King Durin’s Hall, but it was already raided.

King Durin’s Throne Hall! It is said that the King of the Mountains used to keep his court here, before the trolls took over almost all parts of Moria, and made it uninhabitable for dwarfs and humans. By the western wall there still is standing the grand throne of the King, but no one is ever here. To the south is a portal to a smaller room, and to the east a wide passage.

I also ran across an ogress who wanted to pose riddles; I declined as I was still mapping at the time.

You’re in the rat trap. Left-overs lie scattered on the floor and hords of small mucky rats run to and fro. West there is a white-clothed opening of pentagonal cross-section, but a little down to the south, there is a square door. On the door there is a little yellow sign:
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
There are two obvious exits: south and west
>SOUTH
This is the dwelling of the ogress. It is a dark cave with a crackling fire-place in a corner of the room. The walls are covered with soft carpets, and the only exit is to the north, where you came from.
There is one obvious exit: north
An old wicked ogress
>
The ogress turns her hideous face into a grotesque grin.
The ogress asks: Are you prepared to answer three difficult and fatal riddles?

I found the eastmost point of Moria and the exit, which is a little more ignominious than you might imagine.

The corridor ends! The corridor gets aborted here, due to a peculiar looking wall. There is a shimmering curtain in the north wall.
There is one obvious exit: west
a bulletin board (7 unread)
>
examine curtain
It is the exit out of the Mines, since it is not finished. Just enter it, and you will end up in the village.

Indeed, testing the curtain, it leaves the whole Ringen area. In case you are curious about the bulletin board (a built in system for the MUD) …

Thread: YEAH!!!

FIRST!!!

lol

… you aren’t missing anything.

Finally, I suffered death by bat.

The Bat Cave. Up under the roof there hangs thousands of small vampire bats. The floor is covered with bad-smelling excrements, and it is an intense vapour here. Some of them beasts moves and and wheezes load. I would higly recommend you to get out of here, or else you would end up being a non-volantary blood-donator.
There are four obvious exits: east, north, south and west
a big bat
a bat
a bat
a bat
a bat
You notice Big bat approaching you with murder in its eyes.
You notice Bat approaching you with murder in its eyes.
You notice Bat approaching you with murder in its eyes.

I actually managed to run away before all my hit points were gone, but later on when mapping I came back to The Bat Cave from a different way (without realizing the exit went that direction!) and was thusly slain.

I was then without a torch, but I had a suspicion that I could visit the ogress of riddles even in the dark, so I went back with a “guest” character and found her dwelling was lit. I was then challenged to what turned out to be Tolkien trivia.

The ogress turns her hideous face into a grotesque grin.
The ogress asks: Are you prepared to answer three difficult and fatal riddles?
>say yes
You say: yes
The ogress says: Thank you, here comes the first:
Round it is, made of purest gold.
A creature covets it more than anyone other.
The Lord of Darkness. What is his name?
>say Sauron
You say: Sauron
The ogress says: Excellent! Here’s the second:
A dwarf made The Great Western Gate.
What was his name?
>say Narvi
You say: Narvi
The ogress says: You know your things, I hear.
Now to the last, and decisive riddle:
Deep in the Mountains, in the heart of Moria.
Ogress and witch, what is my name?
>say Fuithluin
You say: Fuithluin
Ogress says: Wrong, so wrong fool!
Ogress says: Hmm, what should the punish be? Hmm… What?! Do I not have the
mushroom?
Ogress says: This must be your lucky day. I can’t transform you to a toad,
yet…
Ogress says: Out, out! You miserably fool!

That last one’s pretty obscure and only from the Book of Lost Tales (ogres don’t come up as a topic in the main Lord of the Rings books, and they get only a passing mention in The Hobbit). I’m fairly sure my answer is correct but I haven’t been able to find any alternate spellings. Anyone have an idea? I may be wrapping this one up soon even if I can’t resolve this puzzle (or the dragon one I mentioned last time) just because there’s not really a “quest” to solve in order to escape Moria.

Posted February 18, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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7 responses to “Ringen: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

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  1. As the bulletin board poster said: FIRST!!!

    (Well, someone had to do it.)

    Anyway, Ringen was originally in Norwegian, right? So maybe it wants Fuithluin’s name from the Norwegian version of the Book of Lost Tales? Does anyone know if it’s different from the English one? If it is and the people who translated the game into English didn’t know, maybe they could’ve left the Norwegian name in by mistake.

    • It’s certainly possible. Also note, since the book was released in the early 80s (after Ringen was made) it would have been one of the additions made when porting to the MUD.

      I’ve been poking around pages in Norwegian without any luck.

  2. Pingback: Ringen: Digital Arcaheology | Renga in Blue

  3. The top search result for me for ‘ogress moria’ suggests the variant spelling “Fluithuin”. “Ulbandi” might also be worth trying.

  4. Pål-Kristian Engstad commented on the ogress riddle in an old Usenet post: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/rec.arts.books.tolkien/nLPfmVxwohM/jlLnekaJa8sJ
    It confirms that he invented the character, and he doesn’t seem to be aware of Fluithuin.

    Maybe the ogress is named “Mithril”? I don’t think it can be the name of a Tolkien character, since if I remember correctly Tolkien made it explicit that the only inhabitant of Moria was the Balrog, at least until Sauron sent orcs and trolls there.

    • That’s very useful, thanks! Good to know I don’t have to keep trying exotic spellings.

      Yeah, Lost Tales has the ogress as the mother of the Balrog (although it may not be “canon”) and I think you’re right there weren’t any other creatures there.

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