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 The Lore of Runes

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PostSubject: The Lore of Runes   Wed May 31, 2017 9:22 pm

"Runes are just markings to the eye... they appear no different than a black tattoo when on the skin. However, they are very far from just markings. No one is still too sure just how they work, or where they are made, but they are powerful things." 
- Penter; Polaris Rising








In the North, there is a river, which is often seen as dividing humanity and wilderness. On the south side of the river, people seek refuge against the ever-falling snow, and the biting cold, sometimes establishing permanent settlements, but on the North side, only the brave spend but a few nights, and nothing more. The North is a frozen wasteland, and if it were not for what it carried, it would be completely uninhabited by humans. However, the North is the only place in the known lands where runes can be found.


It is because of runes that certain people each generation take on the occupation of "rune chaser", for not anyone can seek them out. It is a rune chasers job to cross the river dividing civilization from wilderness, because it is only on the northern side of this river than runes can be found. For this reason, the river is called "The River of Runes". 


On the north side of this river, the trees grow taller, and closer together. The animals are more vicious, and less afraid. Wolves grow larger than anywhere else, and the second one crosses the river, their life is in danger. However, it was discovered that the most important discovery is in nature itself. 


If someone were to look closely at every tree or stone they passed, they would find that a few have strange markings on them. Some of these markings look similar, others look completely different, changing in size and stlye. Some are smaller than the palm of your hand, looking like jagged lines, forming what may seem to be letters. Others are larger, enough to cover an entire tree, and look like elaborate art, similar to Celtic knotwork. These are runes. 


No one is quite sure when their magical power was discovered, but it was. It was discovered that these runes could be written on the body, much like a tattoo, but to do so, one needed to use a rock; a piece of nature. The rock is drawn across the skin, as if to cut it, but if it is moved to perfectly recreate the rune, dark lines will appear instead of blood. If the rune is only partially completed, or done incorrectly, the rock will begin to cut into the skin, and the dark marks that it was leaving will be permanent, with no power. However, if the rune is recreated perfectly on the skin, then its power is available.


With this rune on the skin, one can instantly feel its presence, and its power. To use it, they only have to think. Some runes create a fire at the end of the user's hand, others can heal wounds, and others can kill a living being that they are touching. There seems to be no end to the different kinds of runes there are, and each one has a distinct shape. Runes were especially useful over magic as well, because using a rune took no energy. They only had to think, and the power would take place. However, after a rune was used, it would fade from the skin, and could only be used when re-inscribed.


After it was discovered that runes could be written or "inscribed" as the process became to be called, it was soon discovered that it could be transfered to a piece of paper instead, by tracing the rune, and the rocks would make the black marks still. From there, one could place the paper over their skin, and trace the rune with a rock once more, thus elimitnating the need to be the prescence of the origianal resting place of the rune. However, the paper can only be used once, for tracing it destroys the paper. It was also discovered that if one tried to hold the paper next to them, and then copy the rune, the rocks only cut, and could not create a rune on the skin. For a while, either using the copies or being next to the original rune were the only ways to use runes. 


It did not take long, however, for someone to have written a rune so many times that they remembered it perfectly. They memorized each of its curves and turns, and from this, they could replicate the rune by hand. This became popular for Northerners, especially with the more common runes, but they discovered that for some reason, runes were very difficult to remember and replicate, and so the paper inscription remained the most popular method.


With the paper inscription, runes could suddenly be given to someone in the South West, and they could transfer it onto themselves. The North finaly had an enterprise, and a reason for people to live there. It quickly became the North's largest source of income, and as the other known lands discovered the power of runes, it became the North's influence and power. With the need to re-inscribe a rune after each use, it seemed that the North would forever hold this over the other lands. It had also created a permanent need for the occupation of "rune chasers" in the North.






No one is sure why runes are only found in the North, or why it is beyond the river to be specific, but as time passed, the questions stopped. Runes were seen as a gift, and one that only the North would give.
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