Rune Compass

A Rune Compass is a magical item that allows its user to find objects. It consists of a sheet of paper with a small runic spiral. Once activated by the user, the runic spiral glows and a 1-inch diameter sphere hovers above the page.   The sphere has no physical presence apart from the light it emits. The light colour is dependent upon where the Rune Compass is activated. For example, if the Rune Compass is activated in House Lapin, the sphere will be pink whilst, in Mollusca, it will be purple.   The sphere emits the light onto the paper and one must walk until the light of the sphere is centred on the page. Once central, the object which you desire should be in front of you. The sphere has 27 positions from which it can depict the direction of the desired item. These 27 positions are arranged in a 3 by 3 by 3 grid which is invisible. This magical item is typically utilised within libraries to find books.  

Creation And Usage

Someone who wishes to make a Rune Compass requires; a sheet of paper, a stencil and a pencil. The creation of a Rune Compass is as follows:  
      Set the stencil at 10cm and draw a circle on the paper. At this setting, the stencil shall create a spiral 10cm in diameter.
      Within the spiral write in the designated runes between the lines. These runes are only known through the teaching of Literomancy classes. The runes used vary depending on what object is desired to be found. The last 3 lines of runes to be written are activation runes.
      A pencil is used so mistakes can be erased and the compass can be deactivated.
      Once activated, a sphere that emits light shall appear above the page. This sphere shall be in one of 27 invisible positions. A user must walk with the compass until the light shines in the centre of the 27 invisible positions. Only then will one be in the presence of the desired object.

Who Uses It?

  The Rune Compass is used by those who are members of the Great Houses. Minor Houses don’t have such magic items, as their libraries are less spacious. The item is not used by those who live in the territory of the Great Houses, as it is seen as unsafe to give non-members. Magical items for non-members are akin to giving people iron weapons when they haven’t even reached the Bronze Age.   A person searching without a Rune Compass either already knows where an item is, or does not wish to draw attention to themselves.  
Where are the Lapin Governmental Records?
— thoughts by Recruit Woodwright in House Lapin

Why Was It Created?

It was originally created by House Chiroptera, in 1054 and the technology was handed over to other Great Houses after a military conflict some 36 years later as part of the negotiations.   Rune Compasses were originally created as a way for the members of the Great Houses to increase productivity amongst their members, by enabling them to find books faster. This would allow members to write more and be on duty more regularly.  
These Rune Compasses are a godsend! I can have guards on Kelowna’s streets to keep my citizens safe while allowing my members to write more. Our scientific research will benefit from this!
— Colin Jackson, Former Leader of House Lapin


This magical item is highly common in the Great Houses.   New members of House Lapin designated as soldiers are given Literomancy classes to get them up to speed with magic. Everyone is magically talented, they just have to be taught how to use such talents.   When members of this house are at the rank of Corporal within House Lapin, they will be taught how to make Rune Compasses within their Literomancy classes. Those who are unable to make a compass - as they are of a lower rank - depend on others, such as Librarians, to produce the magical item for them. Members designated as librarians are taught how to produce Rune Compasses at the rank of Recruit, as it is a vital skill to be a useful librarian. Librarians, however, have a longer time between promotions in House Lapin than in other designations, such as soldier, which has a term of two and a half years between ranks.  


Rune Compasses are only used for finding an item or a collection of items. Attempts have been made to allow the Rune Compass to “track” moving things such as people or animals. This, however, does not work, as the Rune Compass leads its user to where they were when the Rune Compass was activated. This doesn’t seem to be the case for inanimate objects, as the compass’ sphere will move when the item is moved.   Attempts have been made on the runes to make it work with people and animals but this always leads to the same issue. Research is being carried out within House Avis to understand if this is a law of nature or a lack of knowledge on the part of the Great Houses. So far, no success in this area has been made.
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.
Item type

Cover image: Iron Tome by Misades


Please Login in order to comment!