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Runestone dwarf

A typical dwarven runestone, as seen in Dwarves Deep

Runestones were stone slabs, with messages carved into them. These messages could be warnings, instructions, stories and accounts of events. They varied in shape and size, depending on the creator and time they were made. Some runestones even have magic enchantments installed into them.[1]

HistoryEdit

The ancient civilization known as the Adamant Kingdom of Xothaer, was home to numerous dwarven scholars. They recorded vast amounts of information on runestones. These records are still found today underneath the Cloud Peaks in various conditions, most shattered.[2]

Around 1370 DR the people of Iltkazar were famous makers of Runestones.[2]

DescriptionEdit

Runestones were large slabs of durable stone, usually about an inch thick. The had stories, instructions and accounts of events carved into one or both of their faces. Runestones were sometimes carved with images or runes in relief, and thus could have been used as seals or a temporary path markers when pressed into wet mud. Although extremely rare, there were runestones made of precious metals.[1]

VariationsEdit

Dwarven RunestonesEdit

Dwarven runestones were written in the Dethek script. They usually came in diamond or circular shapes. The text started at the edge and spirals into the center, where an illustration (such as a clan symbol) was usually carved. Due to this they are read from the outside edge to the center.[3]

Dwarven runestones were also used to mark graves, where an illustration of the dwarf in question would be carved into the center of the stone. Most Dwarven runestones were used as maps and clues to hidden hordes of treasure. These stones were some of the most sought after by greedy adventurers.[1]

Ward TokensEdit

Ward tokens were small slabs of stone, usually no bigger than a clenched fist, with magical properties. Ward tokens were used to reveal hidden doors, grant access to magical rooms and even travel across planes.[citation needed]

Ward tokens usually has a single rune or symbol inscribed into them as a clue to their purpose. Most runes did not appear to be magical until used, which made it difficult to determine their authenticity.[citation needed]Durlag Trollkiller created various ward tokens as a means of navigating his dangerous, trap filled home, Durlag's Tower. Due to the adventuring popularity of the tower, many fake ward tokens were created by merchants to sell to adventurers. A few of the original ward tokens were in circulation but they were indistinguishable from the genuine ones.[4]

Known RunestonesEdit

  • Thunderholme Runestones: These runestones granted access to the ancient city of Thunderholme. Although some were recovered, many were still lost or hidden.[5]
  • Spawn Wars Runestone: A fragment of this runestone was discovered several hundred years after it was made. It detailed the events of the Spawn Wars.[6]
  • Axemarch Stone: This huge runestone stood 15 ft tall and 10ft wide. It rested on the highest peak of the Marching Mountains, commemorating the dwarven king Aldir Velms leading the dwarves to the mountain range as well as the founding of High High Shanatur. The rune dated this event as "day 75 of the 492nd year of the founding of House Axemarch".[8]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ed Greenwood (October 1990). Dwarves Deep. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-88038-880-3.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 103. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  3. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  4. Ed Greenwood (1994). Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. (TSR, Inc), pp. 90, 91. ISBN 1-5607-6940-1.
  5. Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
  6. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  7. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  8. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.