Runes aren't alive, but they channel a power that gives each rune a distinct nature. As a whole, the runes can appear to have a vicious sense of humor. New initiates often have vivid, incomprehensible dreams as they forge a contract with their power through the runes. It is, in part, how the runes attune themselves to each individual runecaster.
As a runecaster's knowledge of the craft matures, the dreams become easier to comprehend. According to my mistress, some are even prophetic. I only had enough experience that the runes occasionally took pity on me and offered up a riddle or two to help me find a solution to a problem.
That night, I had my first runedream since returning to the Southern Circle. At first, I wasn't certain it was a runedream. Runecasting is a Hotan craft, and all my previous runedreams spoke to me through Hotan imagery. This dream spoke to me through Umi imagery.
I was Terhi. I was trapped in Ivö's fortress, bound in the stone and earth through his death curse. Layers of snow and ice blanketed me, and my heart beat slowly, in time to the ebb and flow of the moon. Understandable, since the moon was my brother, and I had given him half my heart when Mount Otsu had pierced his.
My brother did his best to sustain us, but the two halves of my heart were not meant to be separated by so much distance. Ivö's curse kept me bound in the earth. Mount Otsu's spear kept my brother pinned to the sky. We would both die soon.
I had no regrets. Saika was safe. Ivö was dead and could not abduct her again, and his generals were scattered, none strong enough to become new bear kings. So no, I had no regrets. Just desires: the warmth of Saika's touch, the joy of my brother's smile, the freedom to roam in search of new knowledge.