The five runes can be viewed at any time, either by selecting the 'spell book' icon (located either in the item selection screen in the car next to the Notes and Medkit icons, or at the bottom of the HUD while in Dungeons) or by pressing TAB (Dungeon areas only).
The five runes are: AGN, BTI, EU, KZ, and SHM.
Spells are cast by accessing the Spells menu, and selecting the appropriate runes in order from the list.
In Dungeons Edit
Runes will be found painted onto just about any flat surface available in Dungeon areas - strangely, this seems to include even trees and bushes.
Runes will be painted in one of five colours; white, yellow, orange, red, or purple. The colours also have significance, as various colours are associated with particular Ancients. It is probable that the runes are painted on by a Cultist of the Ancient who has marked that territory for its own.
Runes in Dungeons are displayed in one of three ways:
- Right side up (indicating that either this Dungeon is the territory of that particular Ancient, or of its ally)
- Upside down (when the Ancient it denotes is the enemy of the one who holds the territory)
- On its side (a "deliberate display" of neutrality)
Dungeon runes have three specific uses.
- Can be an aid in identifying which Ancients are active, their chosen rune and colours; as well as who they are allied with or pitted against
- Accessing the 'spells' menu and chanting the inscribed rune will sometimes restore a few points of Sanity
- The Wizard can use these runes to renew runes that have degraded through use.
The Steam version of the Insanity Edition updated with Steam Trading Cards on December 29, 2015. This card has the following description when it is in the player's inventory:
- The rune system in The Consuming Shadow is based on Futhark, the oldest of all runic alphabets, used by ancient Germanic tribes. Futhark is still used today by practictioners of modern magic.
- The rune names are deliberately chosen to be near nonsensically impossible to pronounce, as the 'alien language that was never intended for human throats' is one of the most enduring of all tropes associated with Lovecraftian horror.