not a runes expert, but a friend of mine is and i've studied various dragon runes. runes are normally viking letters, people typically use them as a way to read fortunes, like tarot cards. they are normally written on stones, people take a handful from a bag and cast them onto a surface [table normally, but if you're on the floor that works too] then the way the runes land [upside down, right side up, reverse, sideways whatever] coupled with the order gives a reading. i believe you can also communicate with spirits through them, but my friends never tried that, and like i said, i don't read runes.
another thing runes are used for is writing. they were originally viking, so they can be used like an alphabet, some runes [such as dragon runes] are individual words, instead of letters, so there are different interpretations of runes depending. commonly though i think it's letters and not words.
for more information, you could google it, or look in the articles section, i think i've seen one or two articles on runes kicking around. hope i helped a little.