Spoiler Warning!!!: Plot and/or ending details of a Fighting Fantasy publication follow. Please DO NOT read this article if you do not want foreknowledge of this publication. Although the article below is based on canon, some of its content is considered extrapolation because it assumes a certain course of events through an adventure that has many possible routes.


Lortag the Elder in his study[1]

Lortag the Elder is an elderly scholar and leading citizen in Kharé.

He wears a gown and lives in a large stone and mortar house in the south-west of the city.[2] The house has a solid, elaborately carved oak door, which has a large brass knocker in the middle.[3] He is most often to be found in his study, where the walls are lined with books such as Axiome, Balykoth, Dwarf Hymns, Ions, Jes, Malkuth, Necropolitics and Unlife.[4] In addition, Lortag spends his time teaching the children of the city and trying to civilize the Cityport of Traps.[1] As a leading citizen, he may well be one of those who knows some of the spell which unlocks the North Gate of Kharé.[5]

Lortag keeps a Bristle Beast as a pet and a guard, and although he is generally friendly, he will not hesitate to set this creature on intruders who he fears may do him harm.[6]

Acquiring the Spell Line from LortagEdit

To gain Lortag's line of the North Gate spell, the player must assist the scholar with a puzzle. Lortag is in the process of translating runes, but has been unable to infer what rune follows next in the sequence he has found. He turns to the player for help, and, if successful, rewards him not only with the sought after spell line, but also with a Green-Haired Wig.

Puzzle SolutionEdit

The puzzle is very simple, but has a large amount of misdirection that prevents the solution being obvious.

The player is provided with an illustration of Lortag with five sheets of parchment strewn on the table in front of him. There are various numbers of four different runes written on the pieces of parchment. But in fact, the type of runes doesn't matter and Lortag referring to them as a sequence is also somewhat misleading.

This is because only the number of runes on each sheet matters. Although the runes present do have 2, 3, 4 ,5 and 6 runes on them, there is no logical sequence from left to right or vice versa, there is only a missing number from the collection - 1. The actual logic of the puzzle is that each piece of paper contains a number corresponding to one side of a six-sided die,[7] so they are more a collection of those six numbers than a sequence of them.

In any case, the answer is 1, whether it be arrived by disregarding the misdirection and thinking in terms of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or whether it is found by thinking in terms of a six sided die ultimately doesn't matter. Choosing the option of 1 rune takes us to reference 274, which proves this to be the correct answer.

The player is rewarded with a Green-haired Wig and the spell line, "So tumblers two sealed deep inside".[8]

Further notesEdit

  • Lortag can be easily reached if the player has befriended Flanker in The Shamutanti Hills. If he recognizes Flanker at (244) during Kharé's fair then he gets the opportunity of being taken directly to Lortag's abode.[9]

See AlsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 336
  2. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 140, 172, 229, 316
  3. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 140
  4. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 208
  5. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 274, 336
  6. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 95, 172, 229
  7. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 274
  8. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 274
  9. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 111

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