Dating back to ancient Iceland, the runes were utilized every 13 years in a pagan festival to sacrifice 13 humans to Kahlil. When touched, a person was marked and the Messenger of Kahlil appeared from a portal, retrieved the person, and took him or her to Kahlil's Dimension. Once all 13 runes were touched, the ritual was complete and the chosen ones were permanently enslaved until they died. At some point, the pouch containing the 13 runes was hidden within the mouth of a statue of a slave hoisting up a statue of Kahlil.
In 1997, the statues were on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and stumbled upon by Steve Rifkin. By taking possession of them, Rifkin had accidentally inherited the title of "Keeper of the Runes." Eventually, Rifkin realized what he had stolen and began to use the runes on those who wronged or insulted him in life. Eventually, the Extreme Ghostbusters caught up to him but Eduardo Rivera caught the 12th by accident. The others used the 13th to lure the Messenger into an ambush then proceeded to save Eduardo and the other victims.
- Bruno offered Steve $10 for the assorted runes.
- On page 11 of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #17, a Rune of Kahlil makes a non-canon cameo in the Firehouse's R&D lab on the table Kylie works at.