13 November 2012
Second Age Umathelan Runes
The Gloranthan runes themselves are believed to be God-Learner in origin, or at least it was the God-Learners who spread their use throughout Glorantha. As a consequence, they became very popular and well-known in Umathela, even amongst the illiterate Umathings. After the fall of the Middle Sea Empire, their use was not discontinued — contrary to other legacies from the God Learners. The simplicity and the clear shapes of the Gloranthan runes made them even favourite tattoo patterns or shield motifs amongst the uncivilised Umathings.
At the time of my campaign, the runes in use in Umathela are categorised in the manner described hereafter.
32 Core Runes, subdivided as follows:
5 Elemental runes
8 Form runes
14 Power runes, in opposing pairs:
5 Condition runes
Amongst the above-mentioned 32 Core runes, both the Malki and the Umathing add a further subdivision between 15 Major Core runes and 17 Minor Core runes.
The Major runes are: Darkness, Water, Earth, Air, Fire, Plant, Beast, Man, Dragonewt, Spirit, Chaos, Infinity, Law, Magic, Mastery.
The Minor runes are: Dragon, Mineral, Cold, Heat, Death, Fertility, Disorder, Harmony, Fate, Luck, Movement, Stasis, Illusion, Truth, Light, Shadow, Trade.
There are many other Minor runes that are not Core runes, but which are nonetheless quite common throughout Umathela. These have several different origins:
These were found by the God Learners during their HeroQuests. They convey personal power to whomever manages to get them in a HeroQuest, like Defence, Force, Perception.
These correspond to the peoples within or close to Umathela: Malki, Umathings, Fonritans, Doraddi.
These are mostly linked to minor deities— major deities are linked to major runes. These are the ones used in my campaign: Aleshmara, Balumbasta, Eler, Nontraya, Rabilis, Ty Kora Tek.
Special interest runes
These are linked to special "groups" that are neither really ethnicities nor deities: God-Learners, Undead.
Note: the runes not depicted here can be found among this list.