The Let's Play Archive

King of Dragon Pass

by Haifisch

Part 27: Runes

Let's talk runes. Every religion has its own runes, of course - ones they use to identify and call on the power of the gods, spirits and saints. Each enity has its own rune, called an Entity Rune by the God Learners. They traced the runes back to combinations of Core Runes, finding correspondences between various entities of different religions. (Most Gloranthans now avoid using this kind of magic, for fear of sharing their fate.)

The Core Runes, the best-known of the runic systems, was developed by the God Learners, who believed them to be the primal runes that empowered all lesser runes. There's thirty Core Runes, divided into five types. The Five Worlds runes map the relationships of the mortal world, magic and other worlds.

The God Learners, you see, were unique in that they could perceive and explore all the planes outside the Mortal World. The Five Worlds runes are Mortal, God, Spirit, Essence and ????. Mortal is associated with innate magic, God with theist magic, spirit with animist magic, essence with wizardry, and the ??? runes with mysticism. Outside the God Learner system, they are almost unknown.

The Ten Polarity Runes represent abstract forces, commonly called the powers. They are said to be the ancient Gloranthan Court, identified with the first deities and so on. These are Harmony (Chalana Arroy's rune), which opposes Disorder, Movement/Change (Vinga's rune), which opposes Stasis/Stability, Fertility/Life (I believe Uralda's rune), which opposes Conflict/Death (Humakt's rune), Truth (Lhankor Mhy's rune), which opposes Illusion (Eurmal's rune), and Cosmos/Law, which opposes Chaos.

The Five Elemental Runes are the basic materials that make the Mortal World. They are raw essence, inert until acted on. These runes are Darkness, Water, Earth (Ernalda's rune), Fire/Sky and Air/Storm (Orlanth's rune).

The Five Movements represent the most primal manipulations. All forms of worship and interaction between runes can be seen to come from these. These are Equal Exchange/Trade (Issaries' rune), Recreation/Rebirth, Balance/Moon, Annihilation/Void (which resembles Urox's rune somewhat) and Unequal Exchange/Theft (which resembles Lhankor Mhy's rune but has an extra upper prong).

The Five Forms characterize the living things of the Mortal World, and are the basic molds that were used to populate the worlds. These are Mineral, Plant, Animal (Odayla's rune), Man/Human and Otherworld Being.

The Magical Abilities Runes are those which are used to channel power. They are not Core Runes, but other runes, which bring magic anyway. These are: Magic, Awareness/Perception, Defense/Protection, Blessing, Literacy/Writing, Wilderness, Hunting, Ernalda Allmother, Family, Anti-Chaos (Urox's rune), Victory, Thunderstone, Orlanth Allfather, Mastery and Crafting/Making.

Other runes include the Gloranthan Tribes Assembled, Luck, Fate, Force, Infinity, Heort/Heortlings, Hrestol/the Hrestoli Church, Arkat, Rokar/the Rokari Church, Pelandans/the Pelandan Gods, Prax/Praxians, Kralorela/the Kralori Gods, Blood Sun, Teshnos, Wolf Pirates, Dara Happa, Esroloia, the Esrolvuli, the Grazers and the Dragonewt rune.