Lord of the Rings


Do you remember the blockbuster film trilogy from a while back… no, not that one, the one with wizards and elves in it? The Lord of the Rings? Well, it’s a load of Bilbo Bobbins isn’t it… isn’t it?

No, no it isn’t. Turns out that the one ring has been found… about 200 years ago. The only difference is that we don’t call it Isildur’s Bane, we call it the Kingmoor Ring …or the Graymoor Hill Ring, whichever is cooler.

The Kingmoor Ring, yesterday

The Kingmoor Ring is a 9th century anglo-saxon ring currently held safely in the British Museum (which operates a strict “NO RING WRAITHS” policy). It is made of an unspecified carat of gold and is 27mm in diameter… which makes it about a Z+15, so the grizzly warrior who wore this must have been built like the old Grammar School science block.

It’s outer edge is festooned with a load of runes, which are collectively known as the futhorc… just saying, and you’d probably suspect these runes say something really bland like “If found, please return to Ugg, 3 Mud Hut Terrace, Grimsby”, I know I did. Well guess again because it turns out it is engraved with a runic magic spell!

Admittedly, it’s a dead language and the majority of the inscription isn’t logical by current understanding of the syntax, however, the bits that are understood are a spell to stop bleeding! In an amusing side note, the “rosetta stone” they used to decipher the runes was a 9th century anglo-saxon medical book called… wait for it… Bald’s Leechbook (which I believe is still used to this day in Old Goole).

Old Goole resident reading Bald's Leechbook

It turns out that charms to prevent blood loss weren’t uncommon right up to the 17th century when they were largely replaced by something called WEAPONSALVE… yeah, let the coolness of that one sink it… which was a chemical compound that if rubbed onto the blade of the inflicting weapon, somehow closed the wound it had caused.

Before we judge these people too harshly I think we should remember that this was a much simpler time when people prayed to imaginary deities… oh, wait…