Runes and their positioning

I’m looking to design an emblem for my group using the runes of Empire that we strive for. However not all the runes I want fit in their current position, does rotating them change their meaning? similar to drawing a Tarot Card upside down changing its meaning.

A number of the runes are quite similar to each other so it could cause some confusion - for example, Evrom on its side is not that different from Hirmok. As the wiki says as well, they are “believed to physically resemble an iconic item or creature” so they may not have a different meaning as such, but they may just not really convey the meaning you want them to.

Some characters such as myself who read runes (as others would read tarot) do place significance on the orientation of runes. As Triska noted, some runes are similar to each other as well.

It would depend on how you do it. Are you trying to put runes around a circular symbol? You see that sort of thing on coins and it doesn’t confuse people.

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Indeed, that would work fine because they all share the same origin point, emanating from the centre. It’s if they have different orientations to each other that could make things confusing.


IMO you definitely can rotate - most of the ones that are similar, if you look carefully, actually have slight distinctions. Evrom, for example, has the little flick on the wide end of both strokes, while Hirmok has a flick on the inner but not the outer stroke.

Some characters might place some significance on them, but that’s one of those reasonable in-character differences. There’s certainly no canonical mainstream meaning of inversions and rotations.

I would, however, take care to be rotating the runes, not reflecting them - some runes are pretty direct reflections of others, like Aesh and Sular.

There’s potential for confusion, but again, that’s IC reasonable and if you’re careful and go at it with some attention to detail (really looking at which parts of the runes are single strokes and which have the serif-y bit on the end, that kind of thing) you can get it done entirely consistently.


Also be careful with things like Verys, if it’s flipped it becomes Kyrop which has a totally different meaning.

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I think there are a few places where inverting the rune is called out. Rhyv, the rune of blood, as the example that comes to mind is nominally a healing rune but its called out that Rhyv inverted is often used in rituals and items that invoke or create poison.

If you look closely, Verys and Kyrop are slightly different - Kyrop has a serif on the outer stroke, Verys doesn’t. The pages mention some runesets use the same rune for both and distinguish by orientation, but it’s not inconsistent to claim that the way you’ve drawn it makes them distinct.

D’oh! My mistake

It’s an understandable one when the pages suggest that aspect! I just have this attention to detail thing. :wink:


The wiki specifies that some runes can take on other meanings if drawn upside down, e.g. Bravash becoming Infertility if upside down - exactly like an inverted tarot card would.


Ah, that does appear but only on the specific rune page which is why I missed it. Who do we suggest adding that to the main “runes” wiki page to? :slight_smile:

Thank you guys, I’ll keep working on it. I’m trying to get them to sit nicely inside a silhouette of a hawk, some fit well, others aren’t quite there yet.

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