The following writeup includes severe spoilers for the first three Suikoden games. If you intend to play them or are currently playing them, you might not want to read this.

And even a small spoiler for Suikoden IV.(Or you could just try and avoid the 'Rune History' parts, those are where most of the spoilers are.)

The 27 True Runes are a part of the Suikoden world. It should be mentioned that all the True Runes give the bearer immortal life, even if the Rune itself slowly kills the bearer.

At the beginning of the world, there was only Darkness. Over time, Darkness grew lonely. This loneliness became a heavy sorrow, and Darkness eventually cried one tear. From the tear two brothers were formed: Sword and Shield.

Sword said it could cut all that exists, Shield replied nothing could scratch it. Thay fell into war at lasted seven days and seven nights. In the end, Sword breached Shield and Shield broke Sword.

Pieces of Sword rained down and made the sky. Pieces of Shield rained down to make the earth. The sparks created during their battle became the stars. The 27 gems adorning Sword and Shield transformed into the 27 True Runes. And thus the world began it's life.

The known True Runes are as follows:

  • Rune of Beginning:
  • This rune is made of two halves, the Bright Shield and Black Sword runes.
    • Rune Abilities (Bright Shield):
    • Great Blessing: Heals 70 HP for all allies
      Shining Light: 130 damage vs. all enemies
      Battle Oath: Heals 300 HP for all allies
      Forgiver Sign: Heals 2000 HP for all allies
    • Rune Abilities (Black Sword):
    • Flash Judgement: 120 DMG to 1 E
      Twinkling Blade: 100 DMG to all Es, Sudden death 30%
      Piercing One: 700 DMG to 1 E
      Hungry Friend: 1200 DMG to all Es
    • Rune History:
    • These two runes were held by Han Cunningham (Black Sword) and Genkaku (Bright Shield). However, they were not able to control the Rune's desire for combat, and sealed them away in a cave. Years later, Jowy Atriedes and Riou Genkaku stumbled upon the cave, and were bestowed upon the power of the runes. However, due to the Rune's wishes for combat with each other, Jowy and Riou were drawn to different sides of the Dunan Unification War. Jowy married Jillia Blight and took the title of Emperor after Luca Blight's death. Riou, on the other hand, lead the remaining forces of the City-State of Jowston and Matilda Knights.

      Near the end of the war, Han Cunningham unsealed the Beast Rune from it's resting place in L'Renouille, and Riou was forced to fight it as Jowy made his escape. After the collapse of L'Renouille, Riou and Jowy met up in Tengan Pass, and Riou used the power of the Bright Shield Rune to heal Jowy from the killing influence of the Black Shield Rune. Together, they left to start a new life with Nanami.

  • Soul Eater:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Deadly Fingertips
      Black Shadow
    • Rune History:
    • This Rune was given to Ted by Ted's grandfather, 300 years or so before Suikoden. On a mission with Tir McDohl, Ted used the Soul Eater to progress. Lady Windy was notified of the Rune's location, after the mission, and tried to take it from Ted. Before she arrived, Ted transferred the Rune to Tir McDohl, who then managed to escape.

      Tir McDohl then went on to fight the Scarlet Moon Empire in the Gate Rune War. After his victory against Emperor Barbarossa, he went back to living in Gregminster until the time of the Dunan Unification War, where he might have joinded forces with Riou Genkaku.

  • Rune of Change:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Unknown.
    • Rune History:
    • Unknown. This rune is supposedly worn by the leader of the Sindar/Cyndar people, and is the cause of their endless wandering.
  • Rune of Punishment:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • This Rue has great powers, but the Rune slowly draws the life force of the bearer into it, until the bearer dies. Also, the Rune carries the fragmented personalities of previous bearers inside it.
    • Rune History:
    • Unknown, as all the bearers of the Rune die after prolonged use of the Rune.
  • Sovereign Rune:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Supposedly, this Rune give the bearer a complete immunity to all other Runes, and also the ability to transform into a gigantic golden three-headed Hydra.
    • Rune History:
    • This Rune was a hierloom of the Scarlet Moon Empire's royal family for years, until the Gate Rune War. Emperor Barbarossa has the Rune embedded on his sword, and it was never found after Barbarossa fell from the garden balcony.

  • Beast Rune:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • If this rune was actually bonded to a human, it would likely have an effect like the Blue Moon Rune, with the bearer going mad and killing everyone near him or her. If the rune was controlled, it's powers would likely reflect it's abilities in it's demonic incarnation: A protection spell, a ressurection spell, and two powerful attack spells.
    • Rune History:
    • This Rune was sealed into L'Renouille castle, and was kept dormant by semi-regular blood sacrifices. At the end of Suikoden II, it is fully awakened and manifests as a gigantic demonic wolf. It is unknown what happens to it after it's defeat.

  • Blue Moon Rune:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Vampiricism, and the ability to control the vampiric cravings for blood. It has additional powers, but they are unknown.
    • Rune History:
    • The earliest known bearer of this True Rune is Sierra. The rune has a powerful curse placed upon it, as it turns it's user into a bloodthirsty vampire until the bearer learns to master it's powers. Sierra, to avoid killing innocent people, retreated into a solitary forest until she mastered her powers. After she mastered the Rune's powers she was able to tap into the powers of the Rune to diminish her vampiric bloodlust. This led to the creation of Blue Moon Village, a town populated completely by vampires. Sierra had removed the rune from her body and placed it on an alter in the village, where it sat until Neclord stole it to enhance his power further. Most of the villagers died or started feasting on humans to retain their immortality. Sierra, however, was still the true master of the Rune, and chased after Neclord.

      Neclord, meanwhile, created a clone of himself using a Clone Rune, and hid away near Tinto. During the Gate Rune War his clone was destroyed, and several years later during the Dunan Unification War Sierra caught up to him and with the help of the Star Dragon Sword and Night Rune, managed to defeat him and reclaim the Blue Moon Rune.

  • Gate Rune:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • The Gate Rune has the ability to connect worlds. Also probably has the power of teleportation.
    • Rune History:
    • This Rune was held by the Gate Rune Clan, until troops from Harmonia invaded and tried to take control of the Rune. Leknaat and Windy split the Rune into two halves and teleported away, to hide until it was safe to return. Leknaat took the 'Back Gate Rune' and hid on a remote island, putting up barriers so none could take the Rune from her. Windy took the 'Front Gate Rune' and searched around the world for great power to get revenge on the Harmonians. She looked (with Yuber and Neclord) for other True Rune bearers for the secret to controlling more then one True Rune.

      She found Ted, who was at the time the bearer of the Soul Eater Rune, and tried to take it from him. However, by the time she had arrived Ted had given the Rune to Hero McDohl. Using her Black Rune, she controlled the Scarlet Moon Empire to try and capture Hero McDohl, leading to the war known as the Gate Rune War. After the war, she is missing and presumed dead, but the 'Front Gate Rune' is still missing.

  • Circle Rune:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Presumably something to do with order and stagnation.
    • Rune History:
    • Hikusaak, the Hero of Holy Harmonia is the bearer of this rune. Holy Harmonia exists in part because of the effect of the Circle Rune. However, Hikusaak has been missing for the part few hundred years.

  • Dragon Rune:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • This runes main power is the ability to command any dragon, even those that have been killed. Also, if the bearer of the Rune is killed, then all the dragons in the world will die.
    • Rune History:
    • This rune has been bonded to Joshua Levenheit for two centuries. After Milia was promoted to Captain of the Dragon Knights, the Dragon Rune was passed on to her.

  • Eightfold Rune:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Unknown. Possibly the ability to summon monsters or teleport.
    • Rune History:
    • Yuber is the current and only known master of this Rune. It's powers are unknown, mostly because Yuber is not human and may have those powers as innate abilities.

  • Night Rune:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • The Night Rune either is or is bonded to the Star Dragon Sword, and has the ability to destroy 'creatures of the night', undead such as vampires or zombies.
    • Rune History:
    • The Star Dragon sword was used during the Gate Rune War to destroy Neclord's clone, and again during the Dunan Unification War to kill Neclord, with the help of Sierra and the Blue Moon Rune.

  • True Fire:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Blazing Wall: 400DMG to target+foes+allies in area.
      Explosion: 700DMG to target+foes+allies in area.
      Final Flame: 1200DMG to foe.
      Hellfire: 1500DMG to target+all in area.
    • Rune History:
    • The Flame Champion received this rune, and formed the Fire Bringers to fight the Holy Kingdom of Harmonia when Harmonia tried to invade the Grasslands. However, the Flame Champion dissapeared years ago, when he sealed the rune's powers and lived a solitary life in the mountains. Years later, Hugo, Geddoe and Chris arrived, and one of them took the powers of the True Rune. Hugo is the 'offical' new Flame Champion.

  • True Water:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Rune History:
    • This Rune was used by Wyatt Lightfellow in the First Flame Champion War. After the war, the Rune's powers were sealed in various locations (Alma Kinan and the Cyndar Ruins). After the Rune was unsealed during the Second Flame Champion War, it's powers were passed on to Chris Lightfellow (Or Hugo, if Chris chose the True Fire Rune)

  • True Earth:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Rune History:
    • The current owner of the True Earth Rune is Sasarai, the Priest General of Holy Harmonia. It is unknown who owned the Rune before then.

  • True Wind:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Rune History:
    • Luc gained the power of this rune at an unspecified date, presumably between Suikoden II and Suikoden III. However, he lost the power of the Rune during the Second Flame Champion War, and it is unknown what happened to it after that.

  • True Lightning:
    • Rune Abilities:
    • Rune History:
    • Geddoe is the only known bearer of this Rune. He has had the rune since sometime before the Fire Bringer formed. If you choose Geddoe to receive the True Fire Rune, then True Lightning passes on to Hugo.

Keep in mind that Stallion's 'True Holy' rune is not, in fact, a True Rune.

This is a terribly long writeup, and I'm sure I managed to make quite a lot of errors. If you notice some, please /msg me with corrections. Likewise, the ability lists for the True Water/Earth/Wind/Lightning Runes will be filled out as I progress in Suikoden III.

Sources: Suikoden III for "The Birth of 27 True Runes" (that's that beginning bit), all three games for Rune information, Suikosource for information on the runes I forgot about and little details in the history.

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