Runes are one of the hardest yet most reliable ways to use magic. Runes are technically little more than objects engraved with symbols and infused with magic and even the symbols themselves actually do little and are typically used to signify the function of the rune. These symbols, often in the form of engravings, are come in two forms: a power symbol, and a control symbol. The power symbol indicates what form of power the rune is using while the control symbol allows for direct human control of a rune. A small input of magic into the control rune will activate it. To create a fully functioning Rune, the crafter must first find a strong object such as a stone and begin to infuse it with the correct energies. When infused the mage must 'program' it to undergo a series of magical discharges within defined parameters. This is by far the most work intensive part of the process and truly refining a simple rune to the point where it's safe can take weeks on end. Rune crafting is in fact so intense a task that practitioners are required to become part of a government controlled guild and the sheer amount of time necessary to create complex runes drives their price sky high. Plus runes wear out. Like a battery, a rune will eventually expire and requires recharging unless it is specifically built to constantly draw power from its user.
Runes have many applications ranging from weapon upgrades to the mundane fire-starter. Some have sought to go further however using the technique of rune connection. Runes can be successfully programmed to transfer energy between one another and even work in cohesion. When first proved to be possible the researchers responsible dreamed of the ability to create truly autonomous machinery until they discovered that the transferral of energy between runes results in a 75% energy loss per transferral. The furthest this concept has been taken is with the Magas Firale's golems which can function effectively for a day without losing power.