The Elder Futhark is the oldest known set of the Scandinavian Futhark. It consists of 24 runes. Later, the Futhark was both expanded and contracted to fit the needs of the varied groups using them; at its largest, in the Anglo-Saxon Futhork, it reached 33, while the most striking reduction occurred later in Scandinavia, was 16 runes. Through all of the changes, however, the alphabet retained its basic order. The Germans had divided the Futhork into three parts consisting of 8 runes apiece in a fixed order. These were called aettir; aett is the Old Norse word for families or generations. Each aett was named for the rune that began it: Fehu, Hagalaz and Tiwaz.
For the history and lore surrounding these runes, try the following nodes:
And to learn how to cast and interpret runes, go here.