In the end I settled on twenty-five runes, with meanings so complex and incestuous (and still in development) that it would take several lifetimes to master them- which, fortunately, the Pfeni have had. You can cast them like the runes we're familiar with, but more often they get laid out in patterns/spreads, like tarot cards.
|(The runes aren't actually carved on squares- I was just working on graph paper at the time. Don't ask.)|
It's a serious rabbit-hole of World Builder's Disease, and has already sucked up more hours of my life than I should really admit- and I can't help but find myself thinking, "You know, if you didn't want to draw this story, you wouldn't have to spend so much time developing a bunch of symbols..." and then I'm all, "Pish tosh, this is superawesomefunplus!"
Part of why it's so superawesomefunplus is because for once I don't have to do any friggin' research- I've spent my entire (reading) life educating myself on various forms of divination, so now I can just run around crazy as a kid in a water feature. It's fun.
(Actually it's also been fun to do research on the flora and fauna of the Arctic and Antarctic- a subject which I also have a bit of grounding in- it's like this is the story I was always meant to tell...)
Speaking of drawing (remember that, two paragraphs ago?) here is a reindeer, along with a list of some of the patterns the runes can be cast in: