Two Lines Twine

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On May 22, 2009, Melissonomoi added seven new songs to her 8tracks playlist with the following message: "in three days time, two lines will twine." Three days later, a newly registered forum member named sveinjt posted a thread concerning letters he had found in his attic.

Who is Nicolas Belmont?

A new topic on the official forums posted by forum member sveinjt asked "Who is Nicolas Belmont?", indicating that he found a pile of papers signed by the mysterious man in his mother's attic:


I live in Lofoten Norway and I found something in my mother’s loft the other day. Its a pile of papers with some diary writing on it. Its signed by someone named Nicolas Belmont. I tried to find out who it is and then I put the name in google. I found this site here and I thought maybe you could help me finding out what this is. I scanned all the pages and put it on flickr.
sveinjt, forum post

In a later post, sveinjt says that the pages are, in fact, not the original ones written by Nicolas Belmont, but rather are copies of the originals typed by his father. This makes the handwritten statement on the first page clearer. The queen names were written on the margins of the original text, but are annotated at the bottom of the typed version.


Ok. So many questions. I am afraid a cant answer very many of them.
I talked to my uncle, my aunt, and my other grandmother. They know nothing. They agree its dads handwriting.
My dad was born in 1956 and his father in 1932 so this happened before they were born. None of them could be on the boat with Amundsen.
The pages are written with my dads typewriter I think, so can’t be original.
I wonder why he was so interested in this, but from all you say I think maybe its dangerous. I don’t want to say my full name now. I wonder should I never have posted them because it says it should be hidden.
I will remove the pages now, and try and forget about this.

Thank you for the help.
sveinjt, forum post

Below are the text versions of the writing on each of the page images. The translations were provided by Svimen.

Page transcripts

"Above us I can hear the rotors of the Latham circling the Barents skies, slowly disappearing in the distance." refers to the plane on which R.A. supposedly disappeared historically. Apparently R.A. was not on the Latham according to Nickolas Belmont's Journal.

Aveline's involvement

On May 26th, 2009, community members received an email from Aveline Belmont regarding the notes received from sveinjt.

From: Aveline Belmont

Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 1:17:42 PM

Subject: The journal pages

I swore I wouldn't do this again but circumstances being...well, circumstances. Can't fight circumstances.

You've found something important and it doesn't belong to you. By 'you' I mean everybody in your big cuddly love-in of a community.

But as chance (or circumstance) would have it, it's exactly what I've been looking for. More or less. And you've managed, yet again, to both help me and hurt me. Thanks a whole fucking lot. I mean that with all my heart.

So I have a box. A very old box. I found it in Halifax. It's locked. The lock has 25 digits. And Belmont's journal contains the code. I know, because I've been looking for those pages. The fact that they should pop up in Norway makes absolute perfect sense. The fact that they should be found by a civilian with absolutely no fucking idea of what he's getting into - in the context of recent events, yeah, that makes perfect sense as well.

If he knows what's best for him, by the way, he'll go away, far away, and stay away until this is all over. People are going to be looking for him. Bad people.

Here's the deal: I need that code and you're the guys who will find the code. Once I have the code, I can open the box. If I need your help again, I'll let you know. And at the end of all of this, I'll let you in on a little secret.

By that point, if I'm not already dead, I can afford to share.

And the sooner? The better.

Aveline Belmont, email

Melissonomoi's involvement

On May 27, 2009, Melissonomoi posted the following tweet:

the key, the lock, the key, the lock
Tweet published on 5/7/2009.

A popular interpretation of this message is that it is a reference to the pages of notes left behind by Nicolas Belmont to be used as a key for the locked box in the possession of Aveline Belmont, which contains a yet unknown key to a yet unknown lock. The contents of the box might possibly be a key to another puzzle (lock) or to an actual gate.

Community interpretation


Many interpret the mentions of polar bears, coal mining, and sharp, tooth shaped mountains and not to mention the proletariat mining camp as a reference to Bear Island, Norway.

Hidden text and queens

Hidden Text: False color image of the first page, created by Spyne

It was discovered that when the first page of the set was viewed under high contrast, a second, lighter, body of text became visible. Within this text were referenced a different ordering of queens.

The three queens revealed were:

  • Nefertiti
  • Artemisia
  • Agrippina the Elder

Another interesting point is that the hidden text is, by majority, the same as the visible text, except for a few variations. Firstly, the list of queens is enumerated at the top of the page, rather than the bottom, and an extra paragraph is added between the third and fourth paragraphs of the original text. The hidden paragraph reads:

I imagine a million possibilities, all bleak, all causing me to break into a cold sweat as I consider the gamble we have taken, one that can easily be lost. R.A insisted this was the only way, that we have to be dead to the world if we are to save it from itself.
Nicolas Belmont, forum userSpyne

This brings up questions of why, since these typed pages were created by sveinjt's father from the originals by Nicolas Belmont, would this paragraph be omitted from the final version? An argument may be made that the hidden text comes as a result of a failed first draft that was typed on a page overlaying the page used for the visible text. Why this discrepancy? There is no certain answer as of yet, but the hidden paragraph may yet play a role in solution to this Alternate Reality Game event.

The key: 25 digits

One interpretation of the 25 digit key solution involves using the first letters of each word in the names of the queens to represent their position within the alphabet. The full listing of the queens in the notes are:

  • Cleopatra
  • Artemisia
  • Livia Drusilla
  • Guinevere
  • Titania
  • Gorgo
  • Zenobia
  • Makeda
  • Sibylla
  • Isabella
  • Yohl Ik'nal
  • Dido
  • Elizabeth
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Myeongseong
  • Nefertiti
  • Gyutrulma
  • Nefertiti
  • Artemisia
  • Agrippina the Elder
  • Number of Queens: 17
  • Number of Words: 25


After puzzling over the meanings of the names of the queens for the duration of the day, forum member Rosner came up with a solution, which disregards the queens from the hidden text:

Well, in fact we got a 17-queens problem (counting the queens, listed on the 7 pages), isn't it?

The number of unique solutions of course is too low to reach 25 digits. The positioning sequence though has exactly 25 digits. Unfortunately it's a bit dull i fear but maybe worth trying.




EDIT: 17-queens problem... this fits too damn well... The queens... game of thrones (being chess)...

could it be true?
Rosner, source

17 Queens Problem-2.jpg

After a bit of debating of whether or not it was the correct answer, the forum member sent out the answer to Aveline. A short while later, a response was issued:

Well, congratulations. It worked. You solved it. Nicolas was a big chess player and game theorist so it makes sense for him to come up with something as convoluted as this.

The box is open. I promised to share and, much as I hate to admit it, you guys have given me valuable insight before. So this is what I

found inside.
Aveline Belmont, email

Attached to the e-mail were three photographs of illustrations contained within the box. It is unclear if that is all that was in the box, but Aveline was kind enough to entrust us with the three photographs.

Now the community was presented with yet another puzzle, just as Melissonomoi's earlier tweet suggested: the key, the lock, the key, the lock. Whatever the case, the community moved onto what was inside the box.

Alternate Reality Games
Dark Days Are Coming - The Photo - They Are Coming Back - Code Name: Wagtail - Two Lines Twine - Inside the Box - At the Door - Something in the Static - The Dark Places (disambiguation) - The Fool's Journey - Gather the Pieces - Council of Venice Systems Malfunction - The Fool's Journey, Act 2 - A New Mission Begins