Runes (紋章, Monshō) are a natural phenomena in the Suikoden series.
History and Social Effect
In the words of some, runes "make the world the world," encompassing many elements of life, both physical and mental. Runes are the root of power for all that exist, for all the phenomenon in the world. Everything is symbolised or born from a rune.
In the beginning, there were only 27 runes in the world. These runes are called the 27 True Runes. If a person is able to become an heir to a True Rune, they would obtain a truly powerful force. However, due to the enormity of this power, bearers of such runes and their friends, even history itself, can be affected and destroyed. Some wars, such as the Gate Rune War and the Dunan Unification War have been greatly affected by these runes.
Runes are usually fragments of True Runes, possessed with different abilities and powers based off the rune they came from. The abilities of a rune can vary greatly but they can usually give the ability to cast magic, strengthen weapons or enhance the bearer's physical ability. Of course, someone can be a warrior without the use of runes. However, for people and groups to gain influence without the power of runes is said to be very difficult indeed.
As long as the use of war as a driving force in civilization remains, the importance of runes as used by individuals or groups cannot be eliminated.
Runes usually exist within sealed orbs, allowing their transference to an individual by way of a runemaster. In rare cases, however, there are those who are born with a rune in their body. Such runes cannot be transferred to an orb, even through the hands of a rune master. Such runes are usually called "fixed runes."
Some runes are known only to exist as fixed runes while some may also be found and sold in sealed orbs for use with the aid of a rune master. It is said that those wielding a fixed rune can do so with greater prowess than someone who had the same attached from an orb. Some people born with a fixed rune can be treated with suspicion, such as the magician Sarah who was ostracized as a "witch" for her abilities.
Though the power of such runes is incomparable to that of the 27 True Runes, they are similar in the respect that the rune bearer has been chosen by the rune they bear.
- Genso Suikoden Encyclopaedia (ISBN 4-575-16297-3), pages 283-4
- Genso Suikoden Genso Shinsho Vol.8 (ISBN 4-7753-0081-4), pages 20-1