All spell-casters are assumed to be using some form of runic magic for their, spells, but any character can also learn to use the magic of runes: these are limited magic effects that can be used often and require a Save versus Spells to be successful.
Runes of Power are learnt from other rune-casters, gained by insight or instruction, discovered or given as gifts by supernaturals or even gods. A starting character may begin the game with two known Runes, determined by the Character Generation.
To successfully learn a Rune requires a week of study (normally) and always requires a successful Languages test; failure means that the Rune cannot be learn until a new level has been gained.
Runes have to be created anew each time they are used: a slow process known as Shaping. The Rune has to be carved in order to work. This is a three-step process, and requires a full Turn of undisturbed contemplation before the process can even begin:
The planning and carving take 1d3 Turns to complete. Once the Rune has been carved, it must be activated by reciting a poem, anointing it beer, spit or even blood or some other means (see rune descriptions), and requires a successful Save versus Spells: a failed roll either means that the Rune is nothing more than a fancy carving, or has a malign effect, as determined by the Rune.
The following Runes are currently known to the rune-casters of the land:
Source: the old HR1 Viking Campaign sourcebook of AD&D2e.