Dwarfs dont go in for magic. Like so many things embraced by humans and their allies, its just much too new-fangled and unreliable, at least from the Dwarfen point of view. Now runes on the other hand, thats a whole different story. Runes have an old power. Their carving is a ritual so refined that the results are as expected as rocks rolling down hill. The keepers of this art are the Runepriests, adepts and sages who spend their lives learning the language of runes. With their craft they can create effects of stunning power, accosting their foes with the power of the earth itself. They can also harden their allies against the most damaging of attacks, and heal their wounds.
In a world where magic is commonplace, it may seem that the Runepriests powers are unremarkable. However, his runes offer something unique and powerful - the ability to bind a rune to an object or creature to await a trigger which will unleash its power. A rune-marked blade burns as it strikes, a rune-marked breastplate hardens against a killing blow, and rune-marked flesh awaits only a word of command before releasing its healing energies. By marking his allies prior to battle, the Runepriest is free to join the fight where and when he is needed, be it shaping further runes of power, or entering the thick of the fight with rune staff in hand. It is important to note that runes retain their power even after the Runepriest expires.
Playing as a Runepriest
Preparation is critical to your success as a Runepriest, as is developing a keen sense of timing and coordination. You can use your runes to protect your friends and enhance their powers (even placing some of the runes effects under the subjects control), but their strength wanes quickly upon use and you must be ready to reinforce them as needed. Advance preparation makes it easier for you to split your attention between supporting your friends, and assaulting your foes. This division of duty is absolutely necessary in battle. Focusing purely on offense will leave your group mates without support after a short time. Conversely, playing purely a support role will rob your group of a rune-enhanced warrior of significant power.
Fighting against a Runepriest
A Runepriest can be a difficult foe to defeat. The powerful runes he can lay on himself and his equipment can make him a mighty warrior who is exceptionally difficult to slay. However, his abilities are primarily defensive or supporting in nature. In a group environment, it is wiser to leave the Runepriest for later and go after the heavy damage dealers or tanks first. They pose a more direct threat and, if ignored, are likely to tear you apart before you are able to work through the Runepriests defenses and healing powers.
Dwarf runes bind and hold magic, solidifying and stabilizing the power through the knowledge and craftsmanship practiced by Rune Priests through the centuries. A skilled Rune Priest can tap into this rune-etched power to call forth all manner of spectacular effects, from restoring life to his allies to calling down wrath and doom upon his foes. Dwarf runes are repositories of raw power, harnessed to a specific purpose by generations of skilled and focused runecarvers. A Rune Priest is adept at not only invoking these runic powers, but also at engraving runes on his allies equipment, granting them abilities far beyond their normal grasp. A true master Rune Priest can even call forth the power of mighty Master Runes, carving them into the very earth itself as an anchor for their tremendous energies.
Path of Grungni
A master of this path focuses on powerful and direct effects, learning to both restore his allies and smite his enemies with equal skill. The path of Grungni is for those who prefer to focus on a single target at a time, be they friend or foe, and unleash powerful effects upon them.
Path of Valaya
An arguably more subtle mastery, the path of Valaya is focused on effects which continue to linger after theyve been invoked. A master of this path prefers to stick to tested, tried, and true slow-and-steady abilities, whether hes building up his allies strength until they become unstoppable, or whether hes grinding his enemies down with inevitable and unescapable doom.
Path of Grimnir
This path is concerned with runes which affect large, sweeping areas as they unleash their innate power. A specialist in this path is an expert at changing the ebb and tide of combat by either bolstering his allies entire front line, or by sending vast swaths of crushing power across the enemy masses.