There is a legend that tells of a time long ago, when humanity was still young. The elder race of Agha-yin had long fallen to decadence, worshiping obscenities and things from Outside. The sorcerer-kings of Arkhemea embraced wilder and darker magicks in their endless struggle for primacy. These litanies and incantations echoed across the chasms beyond space and time, and terrible things turned their attention to this small realm of light and life.
Out of the north came a sage cloaked in grey, and with him he brought three great secrets. The first was the secret lore of wizardry, a more constructive magic that attuned its user to the harmonies of the cosmos. The second was the secret artifice of the rune-swords, that would give any stalwart soul the means to battle the spawn of chaos. The third secret has been lost to time.
There are other legends, of course. There are texts that were written in scripts more ancient than any human tongue, and fragments still survive, copied and annotated in tomes of forbidden lore. Among those scholars and sorcerers who have read these passages, there are those who have claimed that rune-swords were known to these pre-humans, and that even the princes of Agha-yin had rune-swords of their own.