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[NEWS] Runes, So much more than a transport system!

Discussion in 'UO White Stag Inn' started by Bryelle Vaughn, May 5, 2011.

  1. Bryelle Vaughn

    Bryelle Vaughn Journeyman
    Stratics Veteran Alumni

    Oct 4, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Runes: So much more than a transport system!

    An unmistakable hum, sizzled along the edges of her nerves. Cool and crisp night air seems to swirl as if a cyclone were permanently surrounding the tiny space she was encapsulated within. She need not say the words aloud for the smooth stones to understand, but she did it anyway. Her tone soft and whispered she requested kindly what she wished to know.

    “So mote it be.” Familiar, the words sealed the request. Her hands outstretched but cupped she turned them over, tossing them outward. Watching the stones she had cradled just a moment before scatter and tumble onto the kitchen floor she drew in a deep breath. Carved by hand, each symbol lay before her: turned, hidden, openly glaring. All she needed to do was listen to what they said.

    Ultima Online uses runes a form of travel. We mark them, place them in books and use them for travel like our own form of Sossarian wide teleportation system. Occasionally, those of us with big enough bank boxes get a glowing rune and are thrilled as it is a fantastic decoration. While marking the runes and even giving them credit for a magical use is correct historically, it is an extremely limited use for these items.

    Runes at the most basic level are a form of communication. They have been their own alphabet since before the first century. As with most languages The Elder Futhark, as the alphabet is called, does not correspond directly with every letter of the English alphabet. It corresponds with sounds. For example: Th, K (no c), ei, ng and more. Around the fifth century this changed with the invasions of the Anglo-Saxons north of Germany and thus the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc (the new name), came to be. Those changes included a number of new runes, including the letter c, oe and ea.

    Those are the dry facts. While they were used for writing they were much more than that. Each rune had its own name, own identity and own meaning that stood alone from the rest. Rune symbols were scrawled on everything from money, to walls in the house. Most commoners knew how to read them and in fact depended on them. If a good harvest was requested the rune Jera would be written down either in the soil or on a stone and a ritual performed to invoke its abilities. If a new position were being started Berkano would be used. As this is the rune for new beginnings. Rituals were not always long drawn out either. Runes work very easily in brief requests. A single candle, a spoken word. Or if the idea is to bind what the rune represents, to keep it from happening you place the rune in a bag and tie it tightly then bury it or place it somewhere it will not be found or opened.

    The most well known use for runes however is a form of divination or what's called casting. Casting in this context doesn't mean a spell really. It means taking your runes and tossing them in front of you onto a surface. Depending on how the runes lay (faceup, facedown, backward) is how you read the meanings of them. Similar to the way one would use Tarot cards, runes tend to be more personal and rely more on instinct than pictures. Since it's a symbol instead of a picture you have to rely more on what your gut thinks they are telling you and less on what the lines themselves draw.

    All of these uses can be effectively portrayed in game no matter your template. Runes do not require one to be a mage to use them. They didn't historically either. Again, commoners used them the most. If nobility wanted something divined they would call in a professional, someone from the kingdom who was well trained in this, even a healer. Your normal every day Butcher and his wife made their own.

    If interested in getting runes in the world we live in now you can purchase these online or in any Metaphysical shop. By far though, handmade stones are more personal and more in tune to you as a person. They are also inexpensive to make.

  2. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Alumni BRPA

    Oct 9, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Mm. Not bad.

    Ms. Vaughn of course refers to two distinct concepts - the Germanic Alphabet and Nordic Divination - both having a basis in Ultima Fiction.

    You can find the runic alphabet of Pre-Britannian Sosaria here. It can still be found on several maps and is related to the Occultic and Esoteric practices of Britannian Sorcerers and Witches.

    Then of course there is Runic Magic and the Cult of Runes. But I will allow those interested to search for themselves.