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Many who have played through the Suikoden Series have been introduced to the god-like entities known as True Runes. They are the jewels that fall to the earth based on what the Creation myth tells us. I will pay homage to these entities in this thread.
I believe True Runes are 'Eternal Truthst' which cannot be denied and are essential to existence. Therefore I will go deeper and seek to understand why they exist (not how because the Creation Myth attempts to explain this) and the effects they have on the Suikoden World and its inhabitants, but not based on their powers but as a basic foundation for existence. If you want a general summary for the known True Runes please see the history section of this website.
You will notice that I place each True Rune into one of three classes. The three
classes are Ethos, Logos and Pathos. Ethos is ethics, morality, conscience, and
natural law. Logos is logic, universal ego, and world principal. Pathos is feeling
Throughout the process of my analysis I will tell what each True Rune embodies, symbolizes and bestows based on my beliefs and of course I will provide support.
Last tidbit of information, I will begin my analysis with the Rune of Change. Most
would begin with the Rune of Beginning, but I feel that the Rune of Change holds a bit more significance...and it's more intriguing to me.
Rune of Change
~ Let my voice be that of wisdom. Within my words exist chance for survival.
This True Rune is of the Logos class. It embodies the truth that all things must
change. I will begin the in-depth analysis by looking at the word, change. Change can be defined as to differ. Synonyms for this word are to make over, diversify, convert, adapt, naturalize, evolve, metamorphose, transform, and revolutionize. This True Rune bestows the idea that nothing will always remain the same. The Rune of Change is that which allows the inhabitants of the Suikoden World to grow, adapt and better themselves. It is that which represents evolution.
Beings of Suikoden reflect the will of the Rune of Change by building new cities,
making new innovations in technology, and by constantly moving forward by adapting to their surroundings. The change of rulers and development of new nations is most likely under the influence of this True Rune.
Many speculate that the Circle Rune is the Rune of Change's opposite. I am inclined to disagree. I believe the Rune of Change has a dual property inherent to its very own existence. You will notice that I believe all True Runes have an inherent dual nature and possibly no other True Rune is an exact opposite to any other True Rune.
If we look at change again, we can see that more synonyms are to convert, remove, reverse and displace. These are, in fact, opposing factors of the nature of the Rune of Change which I explained earlier. This opposing nature is necessary for the harmony and prevention of unbalance during the proces of change.
Many who research the True Runes will find that the bearer, Sindar Chief, had to wander, endlessly, for years seeking the 'Eternal Capital'. This is due to the
displacement aspect of the Rune of Change. In the midst of change, things are lost and forgotten. Evolution, or change, causes a shift in being that can never be undone. Constant change in itself denotes instability. This is shown by the constant fall of nations.
In conclusion, the Rune if Change embodies the will of evolution. It imposes the
will of constant change while enforcing displacement. This retains the balance of
the Suikoden World in which growth and development are necessary.
~ My will compels thee causing an endless spiral. I represent the chain of
existence. My will is law.
This True Rune is of the Logos class. This True Rune embodies order and symbolizes law. In order to prove this, I will again take a look at the base words which are circle and order.
Cirlce is synonymous with eternity, surround, and enclose. Order is synonymous with law, mandate, direction and instruction. This True Rune is the natural law which governs all that exist in reality. People will be confused, I don't mean to suggest that it governs other True Runes. I believe True Runes exist beyond law as they are beyond the realm of reason. The Circle Rune is the law which is the foundation of mortal existence.
I speculate that the Circle Rune is the law which prevents anarchy. When nations create laws, or regulations, and enact them, this is the will of the Circle Rune being perpetuated. Its will is law that is never changing. Think of it as
representing the laws of physics or the Ten Commandments which we have in our reality.
Therefore, I believe that the Circle Rune does not oppose the Rune of Change
directly. I believe it encompasses a totally different scope. Law diminishes chaos but does not directly oppose it. The inherent duality of the Circle Rune is
stagnation. Mnay will argue that this affects the Rune of Change, but again I will
Law in itself is stagnant and unchanging because it's the foundation of existence. There are certain rules that must always be constant to prevent the unraveling of existence. The Circle Rune symbolizes law, which is order, and must remain consistent.
Rune of Beginning
~ I am the voice of reason, let my hand guide your fate. Within me resides destiny.
This True Rune is of the Ethos class. This True Rune supposedly embodies the
Creators, Sword and Shield, but I speculate that it truly embodies harmony. This True Rune symbolizes the dual nature of reality. This True Rune is the equalizer or balancer. The Rune of Beginning is composed of the Bright Shield and Black Sword Runes which represent the duality of this True Rune.
Lets take a look at the Bright Shield Rune first. A shield by its very nature
denotes protection. Many believe this encompasses Order, but this is not true. The shield is, in fact, Chaos and Chaos is synonymouswith lawlessness.
Shield as a verb is synonymous with conceal or cover up, as well as defend. Chaos may sound bad, but disorder allows for change which constitues evolution. The vision the True Wind Rune showed Luc, predicted a future dominated by Order, which is not the order or law I believe the Circle Rune perpetuates, but the Order opposing Chaos.
I speculate that the Bright Shield Rune actually embody the will to protect
revolution allowing beings to live life based on their free will. Revolution is the
break down of a system already in existence. This could be seen as chaotic, or
lawlessness. Therefore, even though the Shield may be the aspect of Chaos, Chaos actually allows for advancement and progression.
The Black Sword Rune represents, or is believed to represent the Sword which is equivalent to Order. Once again, this Order should not be confused to be the order I believe the Circle Rune to perpetuate. This Order stands for patterned existence resistant to any development.
I believe the Black Sword Rune is simply the offensive, progressive, or aggressive side of balance. It is the strict essence enforcing Order while marshalling over existence.
~ My voice compels thine heart and boils thine blood. I am fury, fear my roar.
This True Rune is of the Pathos class. It embodies passion. This True Rune bestows the mortal feeling of passion which is needed to motivate.
The Beast Rune has a duality based on its nature. Passion is synonymous with misery, anger, agony as well as devotion, ecstasy and excitement. Passion is a motivating emotion that can drive a being to action, but too much passion can cause blindness leading to rage due to negative emotions such as jealousy, hatred, and envy. Luca Blight unseals the Beast Rune in order to exact revenge.
Blue Moon Rune
~ I bleed for thee, I am mercy, but do not cross me for I convey annihilation.
This True Rune is of the Pathos class. It embodies compassion. The Blue Moon Rune allows for the feeling of mercy to be bestowed apon existence. It flows into every beings heart.
The very compassion this True Rune bestows also leads to its inner duality.
Compassion is synonymous with sorrow and yearning. Sorrow and yearning can oppose compassion due to the fact that the overly compassionate may seek to destroy out of mercy or in order to ease the pain of another. The example would be Sierra turning individuals to vampires, destroying their original humanity, out of mercy. This dual nature is also prevalent in the human heart.
~ I am lord of the skies. Be at ease my brethren, my voice speaks freedom.
This True Rune is of the Logos class. So, how does this True Rune effect the
Suikoden World? Other than the fact that it allows dragons to exist outside of the World of Wing and Scales, the Dragon Rune bestows upon its bearer the responsibility of all dragons present in the Suikoden Realm. This True Rune embodies the idea of responsibility. It forces mortal beings to take responsibility for their actions. This is most prevalent in rulers.
The dual nature of this True Rune is expressed in the fact that if the bearer of the Dragon Rune dies then so do all the dragons present in the Suikoden Realm. It ties the lord to its citizens and vice-versa. This is further portrayed by the fact that a dragon is pain can return to its own world when they become unpleased. This displays the ideal that citizens have the right to rebel against their lords.
Eightfold (Hachifusa) Rune
~ Hear me, my voice eases suffering. Rebel not, thy are a part of my flock. I shall lead thee to Nirvana.
This True Rune is of the Logos class for now. There is not much information on the Eightfold Rune, therefore there is much room to speculate about its nature. I believe the Eightfold Rune embodies the Noble Eightfold Path which desires to end suffering.
People commonly agree to this, but the idea is rather sketchy due to the fact that Yuber is a being who deals out fair share of suffering. I argue that this occurs because Yuber defies the will of the True Rune causing a conflict with Yuber's very existence.
There is no easy path to ending suffering. I will use the Noble Eightfold Path as a basis for the analysis for this True Rune, but I will not go into much lengthy
The Eightfold Path's goal is to free an individual from attachments and delusions. Note, Yuber attempts to destroy all. I speculate that this, in fact, Yuber's effort to be freed from attachments. Yuber constantly looks down on mortals for their weakness. I believe Yuber is, in fact, the most vulnerable due to Yuber's higher form of existence. Yuber seeks understanding or the truth of all things and Yuber has become delusioned based on the conflict with the Eightfold Rune.
The Eightfold Path consists of three parts:
1) Wisdom - composed of the Right View
and Right Intention.
2) Ethical Conduct - composed of Right Speech, Right Action,
and Right Livelihood.
3) Mental Development - composed of Right Effort, Right
Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. I won't go into much detail, but here is a
website on the Noble Eightfold Path: www.thebigview.com. Anyone who wants to discuss the paths in length and how they pertain to the Eightfold Rune, please feel free to bring them up and I'm sure there will be plenty willing to discuss them.
To generalize, I speculate that the Eightfold Rune symbolizes the quest of
knowledge, through discipline, and it bestows apon reality the path to each of these disciplines necessary in order to end suffering. The duality of this True Rune would be the fact that the quest to end suffering implies suffering through
self-discipline and inner turmoil. I speculate that this True Rune demands
discipline and causes a strain on the psyche of its bearer.
Research on the Hakkenden provided very interesting findings. As the story of
Hakkenden suggests, there are 8 Noble Virtues. These virtues combat 5 Moral Evils.
Check out the information, which comes from: http://www.pure-panjab.net/EV.htm.
5 Moral Evils
lust and illegitimate sex. It is one of the greatest evils that tempts people away
from God. It makes an individual weak-willed and unreliable. Normal sexual
relationhip as a house-holder is not restricted in any way in Sikhism. But sex
outside marriage or sex against the will of the partner is taboo, as it can cause
anger needs to be controlled. A person overcome by 'krodh' loses his balance of mind and becomes incapable of thinking. According to Sikhism, 'krodh' takes a person away from God as hatred has no place in religious practise.
greed is a strong desire to possess what rightfully belongs to others. It makes an individual selfish and self-centred. It takes a person away from his religious and social duties. A person can become blind with greed if an effort to control the desire for unlimited possessions is not made.
the strong attachment that an individual has to worldly possessions and
relationships. It blurs the perspective of a human being and makes him narrow
minded. It deviates a person from his moral duties and responsibilities and leads him towards a path of sin.
means false pride due to one's possessions, material wealth, intelligence or powers. It gives an individual a feeling that he is superior to others and therefore they are at a lower level than him. It leads to jealousy, feelings of enmity andrestlessness amongst people. Sikhism requires that a person serves the society and community with humility. Hence, the practise of cleaning the footwear of visitors to a Gurudwara is followed by many devout Sikhs.
8 Virtues To Combat The 5 Evils
is the complete knowledge of a set of religious principles. It can be achieved by
hearing good, thinking good and doing good. A man of wisdom tries to achieve a high oral standard in his life and interaction with others. According to Sikhism, the first steps to wisdom is to consider oneself as an ignorant person who has to learn a lot in life.
This is more than 'truth'. It means living according to the way of God i.e. the
thoughts should match the words that a person speaks and his actions should also match his words. Truthful living brings a person closer to God.
means freedom and equal oppurtunities for all. Respect for the rights of others and strict absence of attempts to exploit a fellowbeing. Sikhism forbids the desire to loot anothers property. It also strictly instructs the Sikhs to show respect even for the women and children of an enemy.
means self control which has to be developed through meditation and prayers. A Sikh has to banish evil thoughts from his mind by constantly repeating Gods name and reciting prayers. Torture to the body to develop self-control is not advocated in Sikhism.
implies a high level of tolerance and empathy for others. It requires control over ones ego and willingness to overlook anothers weakness or mistakes. It requires that a Sikh should be strongwilled, but kind hearted.
means bravery i.e. absence of fear. It is the ability to stake ones life for ones
convictions and for saving others from injustice or cruelty.
is a deliberate denial of pleasure at one's own praise and admiration. It means
underplaying ones own strengths and respecting the abilities of others. It is the
antidote to 'ahankar'
means refraining from worldly fears and submitting oneself to the will of God. The typical worldly fears can be fear of death, poverty, disrespect and defeat. It is this virtue that has given the Sikhs the moral strength to withstand the various atrocities committed on their community in the last three centuries
Note: These are Indian principles I believe, so they may not necessarily correspond to Chinese or Japanese concepts of virtues and evils
Due to Yuber's internal conflict, I believe Yuber has become to embody the 5 Moral Evils which plague mortal life. I also speculate that the Eightfold Rune embodies the 8 virtues and the 5 moral evils, as well.
It seems that this True Rune embodies both the path to suffering and the path to end suffering. Here are the eight characters from the Hakkenden which represent individual virtues:
Kou - means filial devotion
Chuu - means loyalty
Tei - means brotherly affection
Chi - means wisdom
Gi - means duty
Shin - means faith
Jin - means sympathy
Rei - means proper form
These eight virtues are present in Confuscious' teachings and they are also believed to be noble virtues inherent to all samurais. Samurai also means to serve. That is also a point to note. This may denote that through the Eightfold Rune, Yuber is serving some ultimate goal to enforce the noble virtues to end suffering or that Yuber is a catalyst for suffering.
More research on the nature of the Eightfold Rune has led me to more interesting findings. Recall how I mentioned that this True Rune may embody the path that leads to the end of suffering or possibly to more suffering, well this led me to research the Four Noble Truths. Here they are listed, with a brief summary of each Truth.
The Four Noble Truths
1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering.
1. Life means suffering.
To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical
suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof.
Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardor, pursue of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a "self" which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call "self" is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the
unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth
expresses the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirodha
extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering.
Attaining and perfecting dispassion is a process of many levels that ultimately
results in the state of Nirvana. Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering.
There is a path to the end of suffering - a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described more detailed in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely "wandering on the wheel of becoming", because these do not have a final object. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.
This is very interesting and may be an explanation for Yuber's passion for causing suffering and chaos.
~ My voice is that which connects. Pass through me if you wish. All are one within me.
This True Rune is Logos class. This True Rune embodies the doorway or simply put, the way. The Gate Rune symbolizes passage. I speculate that this True Rune bestows the intangible aspect known as faith or hope.
The Gate Rune is said to connect the Worlds of Suikoden, as we know, but this is just scratching the surface. It is a doorway to the unknown. It allows mortals to experience the unseen. It bestows the ability to summon. Summoning means to call. In order to call on something you must first believe that it exist even if you have not seen it with your own eyes. This is the essence of faith and hope.
The duality of the Gate Rune is that a doorway is both an entrance and exit which is the Front and Back portions of the Gate Rune. Without understanding the path you want to take after passing through the gate, you can become lost, never finding your way to the exit. This is equivalent to the absence of hope and faith.
Rune of Life and Death a.k.a. Rune of Judgement a.k.a. Soul Eater
~ My voice speaks commencement and finality. I shall judge all.
This True Rune is of the Ethos class. It embodies birth and death. There is not much to say about this True Rune that is not already known. The effect it has on the world of Suikoden is pretty obvious by its name. It signifies the beginning known as life and finality known as death.
The duality of this True Rune is deadly obvious. If anyone wants to discuss this in length I will be glad to do so, but there's not really much more to say.
~ Come thou, those who shun light, let thine veil of darkness comfort thee.
This True Rune is of the Ethos class. It embodies decline, darkness and twilight.
This True Rune allows for the decline of mortal beings. It allows for a place for
those who have fallen, the lost and confused, to reside.
As the summary of the Night Rune states, it has the power over creatures of the night. This is significant because these creatures are all fallen. They are beings that have given up on life or have failed at their existence. This is what leads me to speculate that this True Rune symbolizes the despair of those in perpetual decline.
The duality of this True Rune is represented by its nature to perpetuate decline as well as providing for a comfortable place for those in twilight. The obscurity of twilight leads to revelation. All things must decline in order to reach an end. The Night Rune gives those who have fallen a chance to try again.
~ My voice speaks lordship, all shall bow before me.
This True Rune is of the Logos class. It embodies supremacy. This True Rune gives birth to a society which allows for a status system. This True Rune symbolizes absolute royalty. The Sovereign Rune bestows majesty and excellence. All rulers can thank this True Rune's will for their ability to lord over all.
The dual nature of this True Rune is prevelant in its absoluteness. Sovereign is
synonymous with authoritarian, tyrannical and dictatorial. Being the sovereign of all promotes tyranny because it opposes the idea of community. It promotes
independence which can be seen as both good and bad.
True Earth Rune
~ My voice is sublime, I am Mother to all that roam my lands.
This True Rune is of the Ethos class. It embodies fortitude and symbolizes
fertility. Earth is vast and giving. Mortal beings are dependent on the earth in
order to sustain their lives, but they must also be kind to the earth in order
maintain its valuable resources.
The duality of this True Rune is displayed by natural disasters such as earthquakes, droughts, and famine. The True Earth Rune helps to sustain life, but can be harsh and become baren. Earth is nurturing as well as rough and unforgiving.
True Fire Rune
~ My voice is warmth, but beware less thy be consumed by my flame.
This True Rune is of the Ethos class. It embodies courage, determination and pride. This True Rune also bestows heat which warms and helps to sustain life. It symbolizes the flame which can't be put out, which is the human will to survive. This True Rune can be said to harness the mortal determination which can't be broken.
The dual nature of this True Rune is the fact that flames give protection, but stan too close and you can be burnt by those very flames. Flames are by nature uncontrollable and can be destructive when used incorrectly. This is very similar to foolish pride which leads to one's own downfall.
True Lightning Rune
~ My voice is inspiration. Let thee be dazzled by my song.
This True Rune is of the Ethos class. It embodies enlightment and bestows
inspiration. I also theorize that this True Rune is the energy constantly driving
The duality of this True Rune is similar to the True Fire Rune. I speculate that
that the spark of inspiration and enlightment is also uncontrollable. The spark
which drives life cannot be tamed. Too much inspiration that is falsely guiding can lead to destruction and one's own downfall. Examples of destruction caused by too much energy can be seen in thunderstorms.
True Water Rune
~ My voice is clensing. I shall wash away all that is unclean.
This True Rune is of the Ethos class. It embodies clarity and symbolizes the
flexible or fluid nature of existence.
The duality of this True Rune is the fact that water can be a rocky and raging
storm, rising and swelling. Like the other True Elemental Runes, nature is
unpredictable. The True Water Rune bestows tranquility and is based on healing, but it also encompasses the destructive nature of water when uncontrolled or properly contained. Tsunamis, floods and monsoons are just a few examples of the destructive nature of water.
True Wind Rune
~ My voice is soothing. Let my breath bring welcomed calm.
This True Rune is of the Ethos class. It embodies serenity and symbolizes
creativity, ingenuity, spontaneity, and unpredictability which is present in all
living beings. The True Wind Rune can also be seen as the breath of life necessary for all things.
The duality of this True Rune is in its unpredictable nature. At times wind can be
calm and serene, then other times wind will be gusty and violent. This is also
synonymous to how creativity can easily go awry causing destruction. Examples of the destructive and uncontrollable nature of wind can be seen in tornadoes and hurricanes.
Rune of Punishment a.k.a. Rune of Atonement and Forgiveness
~ My voice is purgatory, I embody penalty for thy wayward soul
This True Rune is of the Logos class. It embodies retribution and symbolizes trial. This True Rune gives birth to the process of penance, where one must pay for their crimes and wrong actions. Reparations and amends are also born into this world thanks to this True Rune.
The duality of this True Rune is apparent in the nature of punishment. Note how each bearer suffers while bearing the Rune of Punishment while constantly reliving the memories of the past bearers. This is the call of retribution for the past sins of the world. All are held responsible for the downfall of the world. This is the meaning of atonement.
One must realize their faults before they can correct them. The Rune of Punishment forces each bearer to atone for the sins of the past, but it also allows for forgiveness, as well. This is the nature of a trial. Within a trial, an individual is tested. This is a form of tribulation. Trial is also synonymous with nightmare. One must conquer their very own fear in order to be able to gain forgiveness.
The forgiveness gives absolution for our sins. Once a mortal being can conquer their trial and withstand their very own atonement, they can attain a reprieve or pardon. This is the very dual nature of the Rune of Punishment. Trial and then absolution, atonement and then forgiveness. Many can't receive absolution without the aid and compassion of others. Note, Hero 4 needed plenty of friends and had to make many sacrifices before the Rune of Punishment absolved him.