The 27 True Runes are special runes that hold an unusually strong and different kind of power in comparison to their ordinary counterparts. Because of their ties with the universe, they are engaged in an eternal struggle of chaos versus order, and often use humanity as their means to bring about their will.
Story of the True RunesEdit
In the beginning, there was "darkness."
Then finally, the "darkness" shed a "tear."
From that "tear," the brothers Sword and Shield were born.
Sword Bragged that he can cut anything. Shield replied that he could protect anything. then the brothers began a legendary battle for seven days and seven nights.
At the end, Sword cut Shield and Shield Smashed Sword.
Sword became the sky, Shield became the earth, and the sparks from the battle became the stars.
And the jewels that adorn Sword and Shield Became the True Runes--'
' The runes that all other runes were born from.
Role of the True RunesEdit
According to the legend, true runes are the backbone of the Suikoden universe, allowing it to exist. Each True rune is effectively a sort of god, with its own will or agenda. Because the True Runes hold such immense power, they are often sought by kings, emperors, and other secret organizations, which has ultimately led to many, many wars throughout the ages of Suikoden.
No one knows for certain where True Runes came from, but legend tells that the 27 True Runes were created when the brothers, "Sword" and "Shield" fought against each other, shattering themselves into 27 pieces.
Because of the eternal struggles between the different runes, or even the different aspects of the same rune, the battles between the True Runes are often parallelled by the struggles for power within and between nations.
Powers of the RunesEdit
All True Runes represent a certain aspect of existence, such as punishment, beginning, or even the basic elements (fire, wind, etc.). Because of their ties with the foundations of the universe, they bring both benefits and curses to its bearer, such as agelessness, immunity to disease, incredible magical powers, but most notably, the ability to control the destinies of entire nations.
As opposed to regular runes, which are chosen by people to wear or to temper into weapons, True Runes choose the people who will bear them. True Runes have been known to destroy their own bearer, or even swap bearers, so that they can be more properly aligned with those with great power, or even the stars of destiny in order to bring greater order or chaos to the universe.
Although the bearers of True Runes often stop aging and become immune to disease, they are still susceptible to death from physical causes, such as accidents, sacrifice, or murder.
Known True RunesEdit
- Current Owner: Sierra
- Past Owners: Sierra, Blue Moon Village, Neclord
- A Rune representing compassion and destruction, this rune also turns its bearer into a vampire. This rune carries with it a huge curse, as it actually dominates its bearer's mind until s/he gains mastery over its powers. When Sierra Mikain came into possession of this rune, she ended up going on a killing rampage, forcing her to retreat into the forest to keep herself from harming others. As she gained mastery over this rune, she was able to tap into the powers of compassion, which diminished her vampiric impulses to drink the blood of the living. This led to the creation of the Blue Moon Village, where Sierra lived with others who had cast their pasts away, such as Rean Penenberg and Neclord. Since then, Sierra removed the Moon Rune from herself and placed it on an altar at the center of the village. However, Neclord, overtaken by the lust for power, stole the Moon Rune and fled, robbing immortality from the villagers other than Sierra. Some of the villagers fled to sustain their immortality through sucking the blood of others.
- Although Sierra lost physical possession of the Moon Rune, the rune still recognized her as its master. Thus, when Sierra caught up with Neclord, she was able to command the rune to obey her and deactivate itself. Neclord used the Moon Rune during the Dunan Unification War to take over Tinto. He unleashed the power of the rune by sacrificing 100 lives to the rune, but the nature of its power is unknown.
- Current Owner: Unknown (Leader of the Sindar)
- Past Owners: Unknown
- A True Rune representing change that affects all in the universe. The powers of this rune and its whereabouts remain a mystery. However, it is said that the Leader of the Sindar hold this rune, forcing the Sindars to move from place to place as a curse. However, it is said that the Sindars finally found their "eternal city" after their eternal wander.
- Current Owner: Hikusaak
- Past Owners: Unknown
- A True Rune representing order and stagnation, not much is known about this rune as well as its bearer. The Holy Kingdom of Harmonia is named after this rune's power of bringing peace and harmony. However, scholars argue that the power of stagnation has become more prevalent in recent times, stalling the progress of the Holy Kingdom. The High Priest Hikusaak, its bearer, has also been rumored missing since Solis 230, causing a civil war.
- Current Owner: Milia
- Past Owners: Joshua Levenheit
- This rune enables dragons to exist in the world of Suikoden. It also grants the power to control dragons. This rune is possessed by the current leader of the dragon knights, and it was possessed by the former leader.
- Current Owner: Yuber
- Past Owners: Unknown
- Owned by Yuber, no one knows what powers this rune may hold. Scholars argue that Yuber's affinity with monsters (summoning, for example) and the power of teleportation is dervied from this rune, but no one is certain.
- Current Owner: Split into Front and Back halves
- Past Owners: Unknown
- A True Rune with the power to connect worlds, this rune holds great powers. The Blue Gate Rune was born from this rune. Belonging to the Gate Rune Clan, this rune has been protected for centuries. However, the clan was destroyed by invading Harmonians in Solis 78. The two sisters, Windy and Leknaat (In the Gate Rune Clan, all members were considered siblings), separated the Gate Rune into two halves and teleported away. The Gate Rune was unheard of for centuries but surfaced during the "Gate Rune Wars" when the Liberation Army fought against the Scarlet Moon Empire--controlled by Windy.
- The "Front half" of the Gate Rune remains missing after Windy's disappearance following the collapse of the Hanging Gardens of Barbarossa.
- Current Owner: N/A
- Past Owners: Leknaat
- The Back Gate Rune is one of the halves of the Gate Rune, separated by Windy and Leknaat. After Leknaat teleported away from the destruction of her clan, she eventually escaped to the Magician's Isle, creating powerful wards to protect herself from anyone who wished to take her rune. Her greatest threat, ironically, ended up being Windy. During the final battle of the Gate Rune Wars, Leknaat used her Back Gate Rune to send Windy's monster troops back to the "World of Emptiness." However, her power alone was too weak to send all of them back, requiring the help of Joshua Levenheit's Dragon Rune for complete success.
- Current Owner: N/A
- Past Owners: Windy
- The Front Gate Rune is one of the halves of the Gate Rune, separated by Windy and Leknaat. After Windy teleported away from the destruction of her clan, she sought greater power to seek revenge against the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia. Knowing that one person could only wield one True Rune, she researched ways to attach two True Runes on herself. Thus, she started searching for True Runes with other True Rune Bearers, Yuber and Neclord. She scoured the lands in search of True Runes, ironically doing the same thing Harmonia did to her clan to gain True Runes. In the end, she found the bearer of the Soul Eater, Ted, and tried to take it from him, but ultimately fails. Her unyielding wish to gain the Rune of Life and Death indirectly caused the Gate Rune Wars. In the final battle, Windy used her Front Gate Rune to summon 80,000 monster troops from the "World of Emptiness." However, her monster troops were sent back by Leknaat and Joshua Levenheit. In the end, she died when Barbarossa fell from the balcony of his "Floating Garden," taking her along. Since then, the rune has been missing, suggesting that Windy may still be alive.
- Current Owner: Edge
- Past Owners: Viktor
- A True Rune representing the "power of the night," this rune allows "creatures of the night," such as zombies, skeletons, and vampires to exist. There is argument over the nature of this rune due to the Zodiac Sword's claim that he is a "manifestantion" of the Night Rune. However, other sources state that the Night Rune is merely attached to its hilt. It is also known that the Zodiac Sword used to be another entity entirely, who had some past relations with Sierra Mikain. Whatever the truth is, the Night Rune also gives the Zodiac Sword the ability to destroy "creatures of the night", even vampires. The Zodiac Sword had been in possession of Viktor, but he passed it to Edge for "safekeeping", no one is certain whether Viktor or Edge actually aged while using the Zodiac Sword, so this doesn't serve as proof of whether the Zodiac Sword "is" the Night Rune. The Zodiac Sword itself is a legendary sword, never rusting, which makes one wonder if "immortality" even applies to inanimate objects.
- Current Owner: Tir McDohl
- Past Owners: Ted's Grandpa, Ted, Fog Ship Guide
- Better known as the "Rune of Life and Death," this rune represents two inevitabilities, life and death. This rune was kept by the Village of the Hidden Rune until Solis 150 when Windy, along with Yuber and Neclord, destroyed the Village. The rune was passed on from Ted's Grandpa onto Ted, and Ted since wandered the world. Eventually, worn down by the rune's curse and the social exclusion that it brought, Ted accepted the offer of the mysterious Fog Ship Guide to hand over the rune and disappear from the world. His exile lasted years, but when he saw the actions of the bearer of the Rune of Punishment (another heavily cursed rune), Ted decided to leave the Fog Ship and return to the outside world. The Fog Ship Guide was unwilling to part with the Soul Eater and battled for possession of it and the Rune of Punishment. Following the Guide's defeat Ted reclaimed the rune and aided the bearer of the Rune of Punishment in the war between the Island Nations and Kooluk. However, once the conflict was over Ted returned to a solo nomadic life.
- After his wandering, he befriended the son of General Teo McDohl, Tir. After Windy realized that Ted bore the Soul Eater, he was attacked by Windy. Barely escaping with his life, Ted begged Tir to become the next bearer of the Soul Eater, which Tir accepted. From that point onwards, the rune bent the fate of those around Tir and dragged them into the clutches of death, starting with Odessa Silverberg, then with Gremio, Teo McDohl, and even its own ex-bearer, Ted. However, it is uncertain whether having one's soul sucked by the Soul Eater means death, as the spirits of those who have died live on within the bearer of the Soul Eater.
- Current Owner: Lazlo
- Past Owners: Glen Cott, Brandeau, Graham Cray, Graham Cray's Son, Queen of Obel
- The Rune of Punishment governs atonement and forgiveness, attaching itself to a bearer's left arm. The Rune has tremendous destructive power, however, it comes at the cost of the bearer's own vitality. When the wielder's lifeforce is at an end, their memories are absorbed by the rune, and the person bearing the rune turns to dust. The Rune then appears on the closest person to the late owner. Rune of Punishment is supposedly to be the deadliest rune among all the 27 True Runes.
- Current Owner: Unknown
- Past Owners: Barbarossa
- A True Rune representing absolute rule, the Sovereign Rune has been the Rugner family's family heirloom since Kranach Rugner created the Scarlet Moon Empire. Before that, the Sovereign Rune belonged to the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia, and was protected within the Holy City of Rupanda (Later renamed Gregminster). The rune's powers are still a mystery, but it grants it's bearers complete immunity to all runes, and also allows its bearer to change into a three-headed dragon. Barbarossa, as its bearer, chose to embed this rune on his Dragon King Sword. Since Barbarossa fell from his castle's balcony, this rune's whereabouts are unknown.
- Current Owner: None
- Past Owners: Arshtat Falenas
- The True Rune representing the Sun, it holds power over both the nurturing and destructive benefits of the Sun.
- Originally connected to the Night Rune, the two runes were split when the Night Rune took the form of a sword and severed their link together. In the past, the Sun Rune was controlled by the King of the Ancient Armes Kingdom before he used its power to destroy his lands, while the Queendom of Felena used it to bring prosperity back to the lands.
- In Falena, the Sun Rune is considered to be too powerful to be controlled by one person so the Rune is traditionally sealed in a bust except in times of danger like the Lordlake Rebellion. The Sun Rune shares a symbiotic link with the Dawn Rune and Twilight Rune with the two runes creating a balance with the Sun Rune that prevents its harmful effects.This is because the Sun Rune has the power to seduce the mind of its weilder and creates split personality that bears a god-complex which wishes to use the rune's power.
- Current Owner: Sasarai
- Past Owners: Unknown
- A True Rune representing the power of the earth. The Earth Rune and Mother Earth Rune are born from this rune. It is currently owned by the Priest General, Sasarai. Its powers are vast, granting great protection spells to its bearer.
- Current Owner: Hugo, Chris Lightfellow, or Geddoe (assumed to be Hugo by most sources)
- Past Owners: The Flame Champion
- A True Rune representing the power of fire. The Fire Rune and Rage Rune are born from this True Rune. It is currently owned by the new Flame Champion, but it used to be owned by Harmonia. Hidden in the depths of the One Temple, this rune was stolen by the "Fire Bringer." Since then, the "Flame Champion" fought against Harmonian troops and even defeated them in numerous battles. However, the Flame Champion disappeared after wishing to be free from the True Rune's destiny, removing it from his body using an ancient Sindar secret. The rune grants powerful flame-based spells that hurt friend and foe alike if within the area of effect.
- Current Owner: Geddoe or Hugo (assumed to be Geddoe by most sources)
- Past Owners: Geddoe
- A True Rune representing the power of lightning. The Lightning and Thunder Runes are born from this rune. The rune was a treasure of a nation destroyed by Harmonia, but Geddoe escaped this nation with the True Rune. Later he lent his powers to the Flame Champion during the huge conflict in the Grasslands. He has sealed the powers of the True Lightning Rune ever since, but unsealed it during the 2nd Flame Champion War. The rune grants incredibly powerful offensive spells to its bearer.
- Current Owner: Chris Lightfellow or Hugo (assumed to be Chris by most sources)
- Past Owners: Wyatt Lightfellow
- A True Rune representing the power of water. The Water and Flowing Runes are born from this rune. Owned by Wyatt Lightfellow, the rune played a part during the First Fire Bringer War, assisting the Flame Champion along with the True Lightning Rune. Since that conflict, the rune has been sealed in multiple locations, but was unsealed once again during the Second Fire Bringer War, where the rune is passed on from the hands of Wyatt to either Chris Lightfellow or Hugo. The rune grants powerful healing spells along with attack spells to its bearer.
- Current Owner: Unknown
- Past Owners: Luc
- A True Rune representing the power of the wind. The Wind Rune and Cyclone Rune are born from this True Rune. It its current owner is unknown, but it was owned by Luc until recently. Luc has been seen using this rune to summon a Golem, and he also used it to defeat Harmonian forces during the Dunan Unification War. He also attempted to destroy the True Wind Rune during the second Flame Champion War, but failed due to the resistance given by the new flame champion.
Commonly Mistaken True RunesEdit
Due to misinformation, many people are under the assumption that some runes are True Runes, when they in fact are not. Here is a list of commonly misunderstood runes.
Current Owner: Stallion
Past Owners: Cedric
The True Holy Rune, despite its name, is not a true rune. The original Japanese word, "Shin shin gyou hou no monsyou" literally translates to, "True divine transportation method rune," and is based on an actual item used in the original story, the Water Margin. Konami has confirmed this rune to be a normal support rune.
- Conquerer Rune or Black Rune
Current Owner: N/A
Past Owners: Windy
The Conquerer Rune is often thought of as a True Rune, but some simple logic will tell otherwise. For one thing, even Windy can only wield two true runes at once. The fact the she already had the Front Gate Rune, and her attempt to obtain the Soul Eater would make it obvious that the conquerer rune is a normal rune (albeit quite rare). Also, sources list this rune to be a "Miscellaneous Rune" (such as the official guide). In fact, the Conquerer Rune is merely the official name of the Black Rune, which Windy uses to control Kwanda Rosman and Milich Oppenheimer.
Current Owner: Viki
Past Owners: Viki
Some people claim that Viki's Blinking Rune is a true rune version, but there is no evidence from official sources that confirm this baseless speculation, not to mention the fact a second Blinking Rune is attainable in Rokkaku Hamlet.