The Runes are a race native to Roak who appear in Star Ocean, as well as its remake, Star Ocean: First Departure. They are rumored to be the source of Symbology on Roak, and are credited with teaching the planet's other races on its use.
Star Ocean/Star Ocean: First Departure
While searching for the Eye of Truth inside the inner sanctum of the Purgatorium Roddick and his party are greeted by three Runes. The Runes introduce themselves as "the source of all magic" and also are able to sense Roddick and Ilia's status as time travelers due to the temporal displacement surrounding them. When questioned about the Eye of Truth the Runes state that it is not inside the Purgatorium. In return for a promise to never enter the Purgatorium again the Runes grant Roddick a clue regarding the location of his missing comrades Millie and Ronyx, sending Roddick towards the Van continent. Ioshua also questions the Runes regarding the location of his sister Erys, but the Runes are not able to find her.
In truth, the Purgatorium actually is the resting place of the Eye of Truth, which is hidden inside ancient Muah ruins buried beneath the structure. When Roddick returns carrying the Emblems, the Runes reveal that they were the race inhabiting Roak when the Muah first arrived. They helped the Muah by teaching them Symbology. The Muah, combining their own technology with Symbology attempted to create a portal back to their home planet, but instead opened a path to the Demon World. With their people destroyed by monsters the Muah entrusted their greatest treasure, the Eye of Truth with the Runes who became its guardians. Roddick, carrying the Muah's emblems is admitted entrance into their ruins by the Runes and succeeds in obtaining the Eye.