Where do they get their power?
Runic energy is channeled into symbols of power. These symbols have been lost in time until recently. Adventurers have studied the symbols found in ancient places throughout our world to discover powers that once existed with great reputation. Though their fame has dwindled, the marks remain charged with energy through time. One theory that exists is that the marks are not the source of the power, but the catalyst which keeps an open channel between the originating plane or planes of the energy and our plane of existence. This would explain why some runic spells are able to exist without any time limitations, so long as the runes remain unaltered.
While it is not required of runic mages to physically draw out, or hold a pre-made symbol, a rune in order to use their power, many find that the focus this gives aids them in performing the spell. Others prefer to write the incantations in their spell books in the shape of the symbols they are drawing energy from. Others imagine the symbol in their head. That being said, there are SOME spells that indeed require a rune to be drawn. Typically these are ones so powerful that a pre-made or mental symbol do not provide enough focus.
It is rumored among runic mages that there is a symbol so powerful, that if any were to learn its form s/he would have mastery over all things. This pursuit has led many runic mages to associations with daemons, who are beings of great power and know many things that ordinary mortals do not. However, such encounters rarely end the way one would expect.
Runic mages, in their pursuit of all kinds of knowledge, enjoy a rather wide range of abilities granted to them by their understanding of the power of symbols. Their spells are of great variety.