The Black Hole, also known as Thordur's black hole, was Jagex's early punishment system back on RuneScape Classic, before the banning system was implemented. Players who were misbehaving were sent to the Black Hole. It existed throughout most of 2001, but was removed by December of that same year.
It was essentially a place of total blackness where the players could not move, and were blocked from teleporting. Players were sent to the Black Hole for an indefinite period of time before being taken out. The Black Hole consisted of the void space outside the programmed areas. Players who were sent into the Black Hole would have their law runes removed to prevent them from teleporting out. This made the Black Hole impossible to escape.
The Black Hole Experience
A lot of players began deliberately misbehaving to see what it was like to be inside of the black hole, so eventually Andrew Gower programmed a clone of the Black Hole, dubbed "The Black Hole Experience". Players went into the western section of the Dwarven mine (where Boot the Dwarf can be found on present-day RuneScape) and purchased a Disk of returning from a dwarf named Thordur for 10 coins. Once a player had a disk in their inventory, they were allowed to go down the ladder into the mock black hole.
The Black Hole Experience was eventually removed, along with the real thing, due to players attempting to scam one another by claiming that "something really cool" would happen if players dropped the disk while in the hole, effectively trapping them until Jagex rescued them. This was before the game system could prevent players from dropping certain items, and almost 6 years before the Lumbridge Home Teleport spell was added to the game.
In Runescape Classic, if players were to visit Boot the dwarf, they could see a blue dot on the minimap (indicating the presence of an object) out in the distance where the Blackhole used to be. When focused on, it is clearly a table in the midst of the void - likely left behind unintentionally during one of the various reworks to the area.
Today, in RS3, an area that could be reminiscent of the Black Hole can be seen from Hura's crossbow shop in the Dwarven Mines. It looks to be just a hilly black field on closer inspection, but could more than likely be just filler area between the dwarven mines and the Taverley Dungeon.
Jagex's response to the removal of the Black Hole
Thordur used to have a theme ride really close to my little shoe, er, sorry, cave. I used to live in a shoe, you see, it's easy to get confused...but anyway, he was forced to close it down. You see, it was a magical journey to some really dark, really empty shoes. I mean caves. People wanted to see the "black hole", a place where all the naughty dwarves were sent when they had been bad. My mother used to tell me that I would be sent there if I didn't clean my shoe in the morning. I used to live in a shoe, you see, that's why I am called Boot. Anyway, Thordur ran into problems with the board for Dwarven tourism who had issues with some humans who didn't like shoes. No, hang on, that's not it...no, wait a mo... They had become stuck out in the blackness. The black guard had tried to shoe them, er, I mean shoo them out, but they, like all humans, wouldn't stop complaining. So he had to close the place down. Anyway, the secure cells they send bad folks too are far more organised now, so the tale of Thordur's black hole is more of a legend these days. Now, where's my old woman gone?
- Before the update that added Thordur's Black Hole, the official game manual did not acknowledge this method of punishment. As such, some players who had been placed in the Hole often reported it as a bug.
- It was possible to walk through some walls and enter the void area. However, the player could only move a small distance from where they went through the wall.
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