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Rune Design Origins


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Wyrm's Footprints #3 p.19 gives six "design notes" for power runes:

Quote

Harmony  harp 
Disorder 
Death,  sword
Fertility,  cup 
Movement,  wheel 
Stasis,  stone 
Truth,  torch 
Illusion

none for Disorder (a broken circle, a twisted knot) or Illusion (everywhere where Truth doesn''t cover)

Beast and Dragonewt are said to mirror a dragon's scale. Mastery is a sylized crown.

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8 hours ago, Bergguy said:

Hi everyone!

I'm curious as to the origins of the Gloranthan runes from a design perspective. Are there any sources or information out there as to why they look the way that they do? Why death a cross, harmony three lines etc?

Some are copies Futhark runes with new meanings:

PvK3IUc.png

Western Glorantha used to be pseudo Medieval European, and their rune, the Law rune, was probably a triangle to allude to the Christian Trinity. The Death rune is a sword, but the cross is also a symbol for death because it was famously used as a Roman execution method. The two runes for Undeath are just the Fertility/Life runes fallen down and cut in the middle. The Communication rune is a pair of cartwheels and axle, and it can be formed from the Harmony rune's three lines. The Motion rune is formed from thee legs and is a Triskelion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triskelion

The Mastery rune is a crown, the Plant rune is a three-leaf clover, the Moon rune is a vagina, and the Stasis rune is a hill

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48 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I've seen suggestion in some old reference that Illusion is a mirror (or three mirrors - you just can't be sure which is the real one).

All these stories are equally true.

The puppeteer counter is portrayed juggling what appears to be a six-ball shower, which is extremely difficult. We usually start with three.

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9 hours ago, Bergguy said:

Hi everyone!

I'm curious as to the origins of the Gloranthan runes from a design perspective. Are there any sources or information out there as to why they look the way that they do? Why death a cross, harmony three lines etc?

In addition to @Joerg's  references, many are preexisting in many cultures. I've always kept a copy of An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols by J C Cooper to hand:

https://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Encyclopaedia-Traditional-Symbols-ebook/dp/B00BUHXG4O

It's cross-cultural and is is invaluable as a thesaurus for Gloranthan runes. Likewise with petroglyphs and runes, many can be found in Glorantha. There is also a relationship between hypnagogic structures in trace states (look up hypnagogia) and the Gloranthan runes. I myself have experienced this and spoke to Greg about this link. Many of the runes were simply lifted from their real world places and put in Glorantha. Others evolved from doodles...

Have a look at these pictures:

http://scienceviews.com/indian/cedareast.html

any of these look familiar:

incorporation.jpg.c5299e74eaae5051c1a6dad67faf437b.jpg

https://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2006/petroglyphs.html

Have look at real carved runes (not modern inspired ones) and see if you can spot anything Gloranthan...

set-old-norse-scandinavian-runes-600w-1022094370.jpg.db13c8da7ddc8f1e59cb333cafac2de9.jpg

I can see dragon, life, spirit, pamalt, Orlanth's thunderbolt (not a rune but there), fate, magic, ice...

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