During the Third Age of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Gandalf the Grey organized an expedition of 13 Dwarves and one Hobbit (Bilbo Baggins) to reclaim the lost treasure in the Lonely Mountain (Sindarin Erebor), located in the north of Rhovanion.
For the uninitiated, Erebor is the source of the Celduin River, as well as the location of the Kingdom Under the Mountain. The town of Dale lies in an expansive vale on its southern slopes.
To guide the above-mentioned quest, Gandalf the Grey provided the expedition with a map and key to Erebor, finding his famous sword Glamdring along the way.
The Key to Erebor – a major artifact of both The Hobbit and Middle Earth – will be available as a 3D blueprint on December 13, courtesy of Microsoft UK (MSN/Xbox 360/Windows 8) and Warner Bros. Meaning, LOTR fans will be able to create an exact replica of the key on Atmel-powered 3D printers like MakerBot and RepRap.
“Anyone familiar with the story or who has seen the films knows that Bilbo Baggins could teach most people a thing or two about storytelling,” said Owen Sagness, General Manager for Microsoft Advertising & Online UK. “By offering fans a blueprint for a 3D model of one of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’s ‘key’ artifacts, we’re providing a genuinely valuable and unique experience, while pushing the boundaries of what is creatively possible using new technology.”
The Hobbit – based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 fantasy novel – is a series of three epic fantasy adventure films directed, produced, and adapted by Peter Jackson. An Unexpected Journey was released back in 2012, while The Desolation of Smaug is slated to go live on December 13, 2013. There and Back Again is scheduled to hit theaters in 2014.