The apex of technological achievement, or at least many claim in the rune-tech firms of Turn. First developed as an experimental music player [ one that the user could change songs without touching the device], the inventor unwittingly stumbled on a simple, intuitive interface between a simple circuit board and the mental impulses of the human mind.
Human thought could now turn a device on and off — and through reverse-engineering the inventor was able to codify many primary thoughts universal to almost all functioning brains. Want, Push, Pull, Danger, Hunger, Heat, Cold, etc. Since these thoughts were generally classified in simple words such as these, the inventor took to calling them runes after the old word for Word.
After classifying these thoughts, these runes — the inventor asked himself a simple question. Now that a machine can recognize these basic thoughts, what happens if a machine amplifies them?
The results of his experiment were astounding. And often lethal.
From this basic design all rune-tech is derived. Most runes are simple conduits through which these basic thoughts can manifest. Fire runes produce flame. Water runes produce water. As technology and the study of runes continued, more complex ones were developed. Runes of pure force, runes that could increase physical strength and stamina, runes that allowed mental domination and subjugation, runes that could bend light and runes that could manifest physical matter on command.
Runes today take the form of colored crystals, generally inlaid with various circuitry and mechanized components. They are grafted into the living flesh of the operator, the better to combat latency between the mind and the rune.
Not all minds are equal. Not all humans have the neccessary mental prowess to command these devices, and even a subject with the aptitude will require years of careful training.
Most operators can only safely operate one rune. Exceptional operators can safely have two complementary runes implemented. Humans that can safely manage three or more runes are exceedingly rare, but are guaranteed for swift advancement through the ranks, the most dangerous of missions. During the war, these operators were referred to as Rune-Lords.
- All citizens of Turn are screened for rune aptitude upon entering the Academy at age 14.
- GMO Humans almost never are suitable for rune-usage. Scientists hypothesize that something about their genetic modification has altered their brain wavelength sufficiently that they do not register as human for the purpose of rune-tech.
- Unlicensed use of rune-tech is illegal.