Runes are small, weightless stones that allow players to cast spells using the Magic skill. Runes can be either bought from the various Rune shops found across RuneScape, traded with other players, purchased on the Grand Exchange, created from rune essence or pure essence through the Runecrafting skill, obtained from the Runecrafting Guild, procured from drops by killing monsters, or picked up from spawns on the ground.
The elemental runes (air, water, earth and fire, named after the Greek classical elements) can be substituted for by wielding a respective elemental staff, battlestaff or mystic staff. The only time an elemental staff cannot be used to substitute for runes is when setting up a portal in the Portal Chamber of a player-owned house.
Runes come in a number of different types, but they can be categorised according to themes based on their names. For example, mind, body, blood and soul are all constituent parts of a human; cosmic and astral pertain to outer space; nature is in Guthix, law is in Saradomin, and chaos is in Zamorak; and life and death occur in time. The six combinations runes (mud, mist, lava, smoke, steam and dust) cover all possible pairs of the four elemental runes.
Runes have existed since the creation of RuneScape. They have had times of shortage and prosperity, and even times where they were forgotten. Yet, currently they are in massive quantity.
When Guthix shaped Gielinor in the early first age, he used the power of the Stone of Jas, an ancient relic left by the Elder Gods, to create runestones, so that all of Gielinors inhabitants could use magic. When Guthix's powers drained, he hid the stone and delved into a deep sleep. Humans like Jack began using the magic, learning spells and naming them.
But the use of magic made the runestones slowly disappear from the world, making it a very rare supply during the Second Age. Many battles were held by many Wizards in attempt to obtain some of the remaining runes in Gielinor. As the God Wars raged on centuries later, the rune supply depleted due to extensive use in battles. The humans in the Fourth Age were left undefended and vulnerable.
At the end of the Fourth Age, a Fremennik Seer discovered an ancient cave beneath the eastern mountains of the Fremennik Province, or, according to Wizard Sedridor, in a cave beneath the North. In this cave he found the Stone of Jas that Guthix hid. In the time it was hidden, it had created the Rune Essence rocks. Eventually, the Stone was taken away by "those who walk a higher astral path". However, the essence rocks were not. The seer who discovered the mines learned how to harness energy into them, creating runes.
With the knowledge of crafting runes, he went to Misthalin to show the magic you could cast with these stones. Soon, the knowledge of magic spread through all of the human kingdoms and with this knowledge the power of the kingdoms grew incredibly fast. The Wizard's Tower was built and became the centre of all magical studies. Some Fremenniks traveled south to create Runecrafting Altars all across the world, so all humans could craft runes themselves easily and thus the runes became everything but rare.
The group Fremenniks who created the Runecrafting altar were banished from their tribe by the other Fremenniks because they thought magic should only be used by the gods. The banished group went to an island north of Rellekka. These Fremenniks later became the Moon Clan. They must have brought the Stone with them to Lunar Isle as a Rune Essence mine is located there.
The Fremenniks who were not banished started the Runecrafting Crusades, attempting to halt any creation of other runes. Enormous armies went south into kingdoms to destroy the Runecrafting altars. However, they were only able to damage their entrances as the altars their selves stayed intact. When the Fremenniks stopped the crusades, followers of Zamorak went to the Wizards Tower in attempt to take it over, and it was subsequentially burnt down during the battle.
The destruction of the tower resulted in the loss of all Runecrafting knowledge. The humans weren't able to create runes themselves anymore, so the runes became a rare supply once again. With the expansion of the human empires, years later the wizards' tower was built again. And the wizards spent all their time on rediscovering the art of Runecrafting, without any success. But in the Year 169 (the current age), the find of a runecrafting talisman by an adventurer resulted in the rediscovery of Runecrafting. Wizard Elriss of the wizards' tower set up a Runecrafting guild, where the wizards are still researching Runecrafting today.
All players can use the runes listed below. There are two categories of runes referenced in the game: elemental runes and non-elemental runes. Elemental runes include air, fire, water, and earth runes. Non-elemental include all others, which are: mind, body, chaos, death, blood, soul, cosmic, law, nature, astral and armadyl runes.
However, free players can only craft runes up to body runes (using the Runecrafting skill). Also free players are limited in the runes they can find in stores and that can be bought on the Grand Exchange. The two magic stores (in Varrock and Port Sarim) only sell the basic elemental runes, chaos runes, and death runes. The other types of runes can be traded with other players, gotten as drops or spawns, or bought on the Grand Exchange in Varrock.
|File:Fire Rune.png||Fire rune||One of the four elemental runes. Used to cast fire missiles and one of the four basic elemental runes. Also used in Ancient Magicks. Can be runecrafted.|
|File:Water Rune.png||Water rune||One of the four elemental runes. Used to cast water missiles and one of the four basic elemental runes. Also used in Ancient Magicks. Can be runecrafted.|
|File:Air Rune.png||Air rune||One of the four elemental runes. Used to cast air missiles and one of the four basic elemental runes. Also used in Ancient Magicks. Can be runecrafted.|
|Earth rune||One of the four elemental runes. Used to cast earth missiles and one of the four basic elemental runes. Also used in Ancient Magicks. Can be runecrafted.|
|Mind rune||Used to cast basic missile spells (Wind, Water, Earth and Fire Strike). Can be runecrafted. Also used in magic dart.|
|Body rune||Used to cast low level curse spells. Is the best rune that can be runecrafted by non-members.|
|Chaos rune||Used to cast low level missile spells (Wind, Water, Earth and Fire Bolt) as well as Crumble Undead. Can be runecrafted, but only by members. Also used in Ancient Magicks.|
|File:Death Rune.png||Death rune||
Used to cast medium and very high level missile spells (Wind, Water, Earth and Fire Blast/Surge ). Can be runecrafted, but only by members after completing Mourning's Ends Part II. Also used in Ancient Magicks and in magic dart
|File:Cosmic Rune.png||Cosmic rune||Used for item enchanting spells (jewellery, crossbow bolts, and orbs). Can be runecrafted, but only after completing the Lost City quest, which is members only.|
|File:Law Rune.png||Law rune||Used to cast teleportation spells. Can be runecrafted, but only by members.|
|File:Nature Rune.png||Nature rune||Used in transmutation spells. For example, low level and high level alchemy, superheat and binding. Can be runecrafted, but only by members.|
The following runes, Elemental Runes and Catalytic Runes, are given to players who are participating in the Fist of Guthix activity, Dominion Tower, Barbarian Assault activity, or Stealing Creation activity. They are substitute for other runes. However they can only be used in combat spells. If a player tries to cast a non-combat spell, he or she will receive one of the messages:
You did not come here to do that!
|Elemental runes||Can be used instead of elemental runes (air, water, earth, and fire combined).|
|Catalytic runes||Can be used instead of non-elemental runes (mind, chaos, death, blood, body, nature)|
The members-only Lunar spell Stat Spy can be cast in Fist of Guthix, despite not directly affecting combat. These runes cannot be dropped. If they are dropped in the Fist of Guthix waiting room, they will be lost immediately. You will have to exit the waiting room and enter again to get them back.
Only members can use the runes listed below.
|Astral rune||Used to cast the Lunar Spells. Must complete the Lunar Diplomacy quest first. Can be made using the Runecrafting skill.|
|Blood rune||Used to cast high level missile spells (all wave spells and surge spells). Can be made using the Runecrafting skill after completion of the Legacy of Seergaze quest.|
|Soul rune||Used to cast high level curse spells and in teleother spells. Can only be player made at the ZMI Ouranian altar but only randomly. The image of Soul talisman and Soul tiara were discovered in the Knowledge Base at one time, but these images have been removed by Jagex.|
|Armadyl rune||The only rune used to cast the spell Storm of Armadyl and released with the Ritual of the Mahjarrat quest. The quest must be completed to use it. It has no other use than the spell. It is also only made with Dust of Armadyl.|
These runes are members only, and act as one of each of their composite runes. To make them, you will need some elemental runes, a talisman of the same element, and an equal amount of pure essence. You must then take these items to the secondary elemental temple, and then use the elemental runes or talisman on that altar. For example, if you wanted to make dust runes, you would bring air runes, pure essence, and an air talisman to the earth altar; alternatively, you could bring earth runes, pure essence, and an earth talisman to the air altar. The talisman will be consumed as the combination runes are made.
- Crafting combination runes uses one of the talismans, so it is recommended that one only crafts combination runes of the talismans one has the most of. The Lunar Magicks spell Magic Imbue allows a player to craft combination runes without the use of the opposing talisman.
- Crafting combination runes has a 50% chance of success. A Binding necklace allows 100% success for crafting combination runes 15 times.
|Dust rune||Earth + Air|
|Lava rune||Earth + Fire|
|Mist rune||Water + Air|
|Mud rune||Water + Earth|
|Smoke rune||Air + Fire|
|Steam rune||Fire + Water|
Many monsters drop runes in RuneScape, but some drop more than others. These are some of the more notable monsters that drop runes:
- Level 7 and 20 Dark Wizards south of Varrock, north of the Black Knights' Fortress, and south of Taverley.
- Wizards in the Wizards' Tower south of Draynor Village.
- Infernal Mages in the Slayer Tower.
- Air wizard, Earth wizard, Water wizard, Fire wizard south of Falador.
- Chaos Druids in Taverley Dungeon.
- Flesh Crawlers in 2nd floor of the Stronghold of Security drop fire, body, nature and dust runes.
- Moss Giants on Crandor and the Moss Giant Island, west of Brimhaven drop Air, Earth, Nature, Law, Chaos, or Cosmic runes occasionally.
- Goblins just South-west of the Grand Exchange.
- Ghostly Warriors in the parallel dimension of the Axe Hut in level 55 Wilderness.
- Cockroaches drop many different kinds of runes, mainly air, water, fire, death and law.
- Hill Giants drop air runes, nature runes, cosmic runes, fire runes etc.
- Ankou drop law, death, or blood runes, 15 noted pure essence, or 15 rune essence.
- Barbarians drop Earth, Chaos, Law, Mind, or Fire runes occasionally.
- Stone statues in Bandos' throne room drop many dust and earth runes.
- Black Knights in the Black Knight's Fortress
- Lesser Demons drop 60 fire runes from time to time.
- Fire giants and Flesh crawlers occasionally drop fire runes.
- Elemental workshop's guardians (Air Elemental, Earth Elemental, Fire Elemental and Water elemental respectively) regularly drop runes.
- Nex will drop up to 6500 blood runes (rare), or 4800 pure essence (common).
Main article: Firemaking
You can get runes as a possible reward from Fire spirits. The runes obtained are not optional however.
After completing the activity, players are able to obtain runes for a cheaper price.
|Fire rune||17 coins||47|
|Water rune||17 coins||22|
|Air rune||17 coins||28|
|Earth rune||17 coins||16|
|Mind rune||17 coins||8|
|Body rune||16 coins||32|
|Chaos rune||140 coins||45|
|Death rune||310 coins||221|
|Cosmic rune||232 coins||291|
|Law rune||378 coins||384|
|Nature rune||372 coins||291|
|Blood rune||550 coins||445|
|Soul rune||410 coins||
Here is a short list of respawn locations of runes throughout RuneScape.
Note: The best place to get rune respawns in f2p is in the Dark Warriors Fortress. The northernmost room contains respawns of 5 Earth, Water, Air and Fire runes. The room directly west of this contains 5 Chaos, Mind and Body runes. Players should be wary when approaching this area: Although this a good place for a rune spawn, the Wilderness is nevertheless a player-killing zone. Its not usually crowded and can be a good place for low levelled players to gain a few magic levels on the Dark Warriors!
|Air rune||West of Lumbridge, behind Luthas' house on Karamja Island, Dark Warriors Fortress, and on the ground floor of Lumbridge Castle next to the northern staircase.|
|Water rune||Chasm Mines in Al Kharid, Dark Warriors Fortress.|
|Fire rune||Chasm Mines in Al Kharid, inside Karamja Volcano, in Camelot Castle, and the Dark Warriors Fortress.|
|North of Varrock, in Varrock Sewers, and Dark Warriors Fortress.|
|Varrock Castle grounds, Varrock Sewers, in the Al Kharid Scimitar Shop, scattered in Level 6 - 8 Wilderness, Dark Warriors Fortress and Lava Maze.|
|Southern stairway in Lumbridge Castle, Varrock Sewers, Wilderness, Dark Warriors Fortress.|
|Levels 36-40 Wilderness, and Dark Warriors Fortress. Two spawns near the Trollweiss patch on the Trollweiss Mountain.|
|Death rune||South-west of Yanille in the Feldip Hills. Members only.|
|Treasure chest in the Chaos Druid Tower and next to Demonic Ruins in the Wilderness. Members only. A thieving level of 59 is required to open the chest.|
|Cosmic rune||Ice Plateau in Level 48 Wilderness.|
|Nature rune||Level 45 Wilderness, Treasure Chest in East Ardougne and an island north of Rellekka. A thieving level of 28 is required to open the chest.|
|Ali Morrisane||Al Kharid||All except Astral||Requires The Feud and Rogue Trader activity|
|Betty's Magic Emporium||Port Sarim||Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Mind, Chaos, Death||Non-members|
|Aubury's Rune Shop||South-east Varrock||Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Mind, Chaos, Death||Non-members|
|Wizards' Guild||Yanille||All except Astral and Cosmic||66+ Magic required, or 61+ with a magic potion|
|Baba Yaga's Magic Shop||Lunar Isle||All except Cosmic||Must have started the Lunar Diplomacy quest. It also is the only shop in-game that sells Astral runes.|
|Mage Training Arena||North of Duel Arena||All except Astral, including all Combination runes||Uses Pizazz points instead of coins as currency.|
|Mage Arena||Level 50-55 Wilderness||All except Astral, Blood and Soul||Located in the mage bank, a non-wilderness area.|
|Mage of Zamorak||Level 5 Wilderness, north of Edgeville||Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Mind, Chaos, Death, Blood||
Cheap Water (17 coins), Earth (17 coins), and Death (310 coins) Runes. Very close to the Grand Exchange.
|Tutab's Magical Market||Marim (Ape Atoll)||Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Law||Don't forget you MUST be wearing a monkey greegree.|
|Void Knight Magic Store||Void Knights' Outpost||Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Mind, Chaos, Death||It is not recommended to buy from here because it is usually 10 coins higher than market price.|
|TzHaar-Mej-Roh||TzHaar City||Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Mind, Chaos, Death||South east from the entrance to Tzhaar, Uses Tokkul as currency.|
Note: Only the shop in the Mage Training Arena stocks combination runes.
The Barrows activity provides large numbers of combat runes (mind, chaos, death and blood) from the chest, though very high combat skills are required in order to be successful at the Barrows.
- An update fixed a bug in which runes purchased from the Grand Exchange used the image of a pure essence in place of the actual rune in the Grand Exchange collection box.
- On June 9 2010, the images of runes in the inventory and bank were given a graphical revamp which tilted them to an angle, to make them look more 3D. Rune and pure essence were not included in the update.
- The true size of Runes can been seen in the Runecrafting Guild, whilst a female wizard makes them float in the air. They can also be seen in true size in a Rune display case in a POH.
- Despite the fact that they could be used for combat, runes could be brought into Entrana.