An Introduction to Runic Magic

Written by Ulrick von Hagen  

Translated into English by Khayman Zirak

 

                The archaic form of spellcasting called runic magic is perhaps the most difficult and potent of all known magical arts.   Runes were once the most prevalent source of magic, and were used both for spellcasting and as an alphabet in ancient Europe .   With the discovery of the much simpler spellcasting involving magic wands, the older and more complex runes began to be employed almost solely as an alphabet, which is still used today in some areas of the world.  The magical properties of the runes, however, have become nearly obsolete to the everyday witch and wizard, and the study of runic magic remains a subject that only interests runic scholars.

 

The Casting of Runic Spells

Unlike more commonly used forms of magic, such as charms or potions, runic magic does not make use of wands or reagents.  Instead, runic spells are cast with magical rune stones, used along with particular hand movements and the speaking of magic syllables.  Rune stones are special stones charged with mystic potency.  Each stone is inscribed with a rune identifying its name and power (see fig. 1 below) which, when combined with other runes, becomes articulated in a spell.  While holding the rune stones required for a spell, the caster must say the names of the runes in the correct order and perform a set of hand gestures.  These gestures are usually quite complicated, and it is the mastery of this element of the casting process that separates the accomplished runic mage from the novice.   One final requirement to assure the successful casting of a spell is the correct level of power that the caster possesses.

 

Rune

Name

Power

Rune

Name

Power

a

AN

Negate

N

NOX

Poison

b

BET

Small

O

ORT

Magic

C

CORP

Death

P

POR

Movement

D

DES

Down

Q

QUAS

Illusion

E

EX

Freedom

R

REL

Change

F

FLAM

Flame

S

SANCT

Protection

G

GRAV

Energy

T

TYM

Time

H

HUR

Wind

U

UUS

Raise

I

IN

Cause

V

VAS

Great

J

JUX

Harm

W

WIS

Wisdom

K

KAL

Summon

Y

YLEM

Matter

L

LOR

Light

X

X

Used for the alphabet form, but not spells.

M

MANI

Life

Z

Z

Fig. 1: List of Runes and Their Corresponding Names and Powers

 

                If a wizard attempts to cast a spell that is too complex for him, it will almost certainly result in failure.  In general, a failed attempt to cast a spell as no effect.  However, a failure may backfire (especially if the caster does not have the ability to perform the hand motions correctly).  While a backfired spell harms the caster to some extent, the damage is usually minor.

 

Types of Spells

                Spells come in three main varieties: instantaneous, targeted, and duration.  Instantaneous spells take effect as soon as they are cast.  While the results of the spell may be lasting, the magic itself is finished working immediately.  For example, the results of a healing spell are evident as soon as the spell is cast.  Targeted spells must be aimed at a specific object or place, and the magic of the spell continues to work until the spell's task is completed.  One example of such a spell is fireball, which must be directed at a target and ends when the fireball hits an object.  Targeting of such a spell involves a special type of hand gesture as well as the casterís ability to concentrate on the object or place that will be affected.  Many spells are known as duration spells, which last for a period of time after they are cast.  The length of the duration of such spells often depends on the power and skill of the caster.  A more advanced runic mage, therefore, would be able to cast a duration spell that lasts much longer than a less powerful caster.  In order to end a duration spell early, one must cast the counter spell, AN ORT, to terminate the spell.

 

The Eight Circles of Runic Magic

All of the runic spells are divided into eight circles, or groups, of magic.  Each circle contains spells that require approximately the same amount of power and casting skill in order to be effectively cast.  The Eight Circles of Runic Magic were originally organized by the renowned witch Morrigan Sosaria around 450  BC, but many revisions and additions have been made since that time.  Figure 2, shown below, lists some commonly used spells from each of the eight circles.

 

First  Circle

Second  Circle

U h p

UUS   HUR POR

Levitate

B I y

BET  IN  MANI

Lesser Heal

I l

IN  LOR

Light

O j

ORT  JUX

Magic Arrow

A e y

AN   EX   YLEM

Lock

B I s

BET  IN SANCT

Magic Shield

K y

KAL  YLEM

Summon Object

R y

REL   YLEM

Mending

E y

EX    YLEM

Unlock

O p y

ORT   POR YLEM

Telekinesis

I F

IN  FLAM

Rune of Flame

A J

AN  JUX

Disarm

 

Third  Circle

Fourth  Circle

S f

SANCT  FLAM

Flameproof

A n

AN  NOX

Cure Poison

U p

UUS  POR

Jump

O w j

ORT  WIS   JUX

Deadly Seeker

B w e

BET  WIS   EX

Locate

I m

IN  MANI

Heal

R d p

REL  DES   POR

Slow Fall

I n Y

IN  NOX  YLEM

Poison Weapon

 

Fifth  Circle

Sixth  Circle

P f

POR    FLAM

Fireball

V I l

VAS  IN  LOR

Daylight

O g

ORT  GRAV

Lightning

V I m

VAS  IN  MANI

Greater Heal

A e p

AN   EX   POR

Paralyze

O A Q

ORT  AN  QUAS

Reveal

Y p YLEM  POR   Water Walk   T R TYM  REL Slow Time

I Q

IN  QUAS

Concealment

K O S

 KAL  ORT  SANCT

Patronus

 

Seventh  Circle

Eighth  Circle

F h

FLAM  HUR

Flame Wind

V H P

VAS  HUR  POR

Fly

V I Q

VAS  IN  QUAS

Invisibility

I V S

IN  VAS  SANCT

Magic Armor

V o g

VAS  ORT  GRAV

Lightning Wind

V M

VAS  MANI

Restoration

Fig. 2: Common Spells from the Eight Circles of Runic Magic

 

A Word of Caution

                Because of the potential power and, therefore, danger involved with runic spellcasting, beginning runic students should be cautious when attempting to cast any spells.  Runic magic is an art that requires a significant amount of patience and practice.  Novices must be careful not to move on to a higher circle of magic until they are adept at the casting of spells in lower circles.  In addition, a word of warning must also be issued to even the most expert of runic mages because, in response to the dangerous spells available in runic magic, the Ministry of Magic has placed restrictions on the casting of certain spells.

 

Home Up