Runestone dwarf

A typical dwarven runestone, as seen in Dwarves Deep

Runestones are stone slabs, with messages carved into them. These messages could be warnings, instructions, stories and accounts of events.

They vary in shape and size depending on the creator and time they were made. Some runestones even have magic enchantments installed into them.[1]


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]


Runestones are large slabs of durable stone, usually about an inch thick. The have stories, instructions and accounts of events carved into them. Runestones can have messages carved into one or both sides. Runestones were sometimes carved with images or runes in relief. This meant they could be used as seals or a temporary path markers when pressed into wet mud.

Although extremely rare, runestones have been discovered made of precious metals.[1]


Dwarven RunestonesEdit

Dwarven runestones are written in the Dethek script. They usually come in diamond or circular shapes. The text starts at the edge and spirals into the center, where an illustration (such as a clan symbol) is usually carved. Due to this they are read from the outside eadge to the centre[3] Dwarven runestones are also used to mark graves, where an illustration of the dwarf in question would be carved into the center of the stone.</ref> Most Dwarven runestones are used as maps and clues to hidden hordes of treasure. These stones are some of the most sought after by greedy adventurers.[1]

Ward TokensEdit

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

Ward Tokens usually have a single rune or symbol inscribed into them as a clue to their purpose. Most runes do not appear to be magical until used, this makes it hard to tell the difference between a fake and a genuine ward stone.

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 are in circulation but are indistinguishable from the genuine ones.[4]

Known RunestonesEdit

  • Delzoun Runestone

This runestone is said to explain the whereabouts of the legendary Hammer of Thunderbolts.[1]

  • Thunderholme Runstones

These runestone grant access to the ancient city of Thunderholme. Although some were recovered, many are still lost or hidden.[5]

  • Spawn Wars Runestone

A fragment of this runestone was discovered several hundred years after it was made. It details the events of the Spawn Wars.[6]

  • Rockfire Disaster Runestones

In 1374 DR, Cragwarden Samiel Tussin discovered two runestones southwest of Trythosford at Itzcala. The two stones described the events of the Rockfire Disaster of 987 DR.

  • Duergar Runestones

This series of runestones explains the history of Clan Duergar. They were discovered in 1383 DR by the crusaders of the Great Rift.[7]

  • Axemarch Stone

This huge runestone stands 15 ft tall and 10ft wide. It rests on the highest peak of the Marching Mountains. The commemorates the dwarven king Aldir Velms leading the dwarves to the mountain range and the founding of High High Shanatur. The rune dates this event as “Day 75 of the 492nd year of the founding of House Axemarch.[8]


  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. Lands of Intrigue is a boxed set and so should not be cited directly. Please use one of the following citation subtemplates: