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Norse Rune Decoder

Scattered throughout The Saga of Beowulf you will find occasional inscriptions given in Nordic Runes of several varieties. Most of these are provided with direct translations into Modern English. However, a few have been intentionally left undeciphered, that the more adventurous of readers might be provided with a mystery to puzzle out. Each of these is, in essence, a magic spell whose power is inherent in the very words which bind the object upon which they are carved. So Beware!

Below you will find the “key” to deciphering these passages. This is the “Elder Futhark,” a Runic alphabet intended for use in inscribing wood, stone or steel. There are many variations, of which this is but one of the more well-known. Below each Rune its modern equivalent is given, and by this means you might find out just what was written on the sword of Hrungnir and the cavern entrance of the Dragon’s lair.

The underlying passages are, of course, themselves in Modern English, whereas they would, in fact, have been inscribed in the Old English vocabulary. Here they are again for your reference...

NOTE: Hover your mouse over the inscription to translate it!


(Chapter 14: Lure of the Witch Queen)


(Chapter 28: The Crown of Kings)

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You might also try to decipher the engraving on the standing stone seen on the back jacket cover of Book Two. But this one you will have to work out on your own. I give it here in direct transcription from the displacement map used on the 3D model so as to be easier to read without the overgrowth of foliage...

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