“The worst thing about personal runes—” Uma grinned “—is that I can’t teach them to you.”

In the ruins of a subway station they’d slapped some protection wards on, they used rubble for seats and the tile as a chalkboard—but Uma wasn’t writing

“If I say here’s my rune for truth, all it means to you is ‘Uma’s rune’. Then it’s Uma’s truth, not ALL Truth. Ruined. Magic is a picky thing.”

“So how do we learn them?” Tim was not the only impatient one there, just loudest.

“You don’t.”


Uma motioned for calm as they complained. “No. You discover them. Take the runes that will work for your goal. When you come to a gap in your knowledge, reach for a shape from your life. Nothing complicated—like any rune, you'll draw it over & over— but yours. You take that & PUSH your history into it, right into the empty part of the spell.”

In the ruin of their world, Uma still found herself smiling at her students. “You’re pretty much putting your life into your spells. And it works.”


This above brought to you by yesterday's poll (Not a tie!)

You can find more of Uma and this world and other Tiny Tales here - (along with longer and )

If you like what I'm doing here, please consider slipping me a tip or a -age.

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@vicorva I think you asked about personal runes, so here above is a story for you!

@aldersprig Interesting. So what's the difference between personal runes and regular runes? Why does anyone use non-personal runes?

@vicorva The training, as i imagine it, master-to-pupil underground for a long time, was in an Established Runic Language and Established Magic Tongue.

(Maybe NOT Futhark and Latin, just to be shiny)

Especially with Magic is Finicky being the core consideration, many people like to stick with What Works.

cc @Teryl_Pacieco

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