Santharian symbols and runes were already used in the Age of Myths by the elder elves, the so-called Axhi. While symbols in general are only used for religious or magical purposes or as protecting signs on elven coat of arms, elves do all their common writings with runes. Aside from the religious and magical significance the main difference between symbols and runes is the fact that the meaning of symbols can be interpreted directly when viewing it while runes are only abstract representations (although they also have a certain, but very complicated basis). However, at former times runes - especially their design - were used quite arbitraryly, and it often was difficult to decipher their meaning for elves not accustomed to the writing habits of other tribes. 

Note that many symbols currently indeed can be called Santharian and not elven only. After Sarvonian War II many friendly visits were paid to the humans by the former elven enemies and at certain locations temples were erected together, e.g. the famous Sanctuary of the Twelve at Elsreth. Such buildings all bear elven symbols of the gods and the elements and many humans have followed this example in their own architecture later on.

In the Age of Awakening an elven sage named Mira'Shijm of the Aellenrhim elves collected all symbols and runes and together with his scholars described the symbols as detailed as possible and set up a dictionary of runes which still is the main reference when deciphering elven runes nowadays. During the centuries several adjustments had to be made to the Mira'Shijm runes and there still exist runes which cannot be converted to Santharian by using the interpretation of runes Mira'Shijm offered. But it is estimated that at least ninety percent of all elven runes are covered by applying the so-called MiSh-conventions for translations.

Yours Santharian rune specialist,
Koldar Mondrakken