The runes are items that allow the bearer to enter the corresponding Shrine of Virtue in times of need or searches of enlightenment. In front of every rune is the symbol of their virtue, on the back is a runic letter. In the correct sequence, they form the word "Infinity". It is important to know that the runes are not needed if someone wants to meditate at a shrine in normal times.
- The Rune of Spirituality was stored in Lord British's treasure chamber.
- The Rune of Humility was found in Paws.
Having obtained all the runes, the Stranger was able to continue the Quest of the Avatar, being able to visit all the shrines.
The runes weren't seen in Ultima V, but reappeared in Ultima VI. Each rune was in the corresponding city, but to get them all, the Avatar had to solve a number of quests. The runes together with the mantras were needed to dissipate the force fields erected by the gargoyles around the moonstones, so that the shrines could be free again.
- Though the eight runes seem to be unique (in Ultima IV, they are always referred to as "the" rune of the Virtue that corresponds, and the Stranger has to go to great lengths in order to find each of the eight specific ones), Azure from Minoc is a rune-carver, which implies that there are more runes, as he probably carves more than the eight runes for a living.
- The size of the runes is inconsistent, and they seem to grow with each installment.