There is a strong Norse influence in northern Scotland, owing to ancient Viking settlements. This misty landscape is peppered with a legacy of standing stones, many inscribed with the Runic alphabet of ancient Norse. The word "Rune" means "hidden secret" or "mystery" in the Scandinavian and Gaelic languages. In this ancient alphabet, each of the letters possessed a symbolic meaning as well as a sound. Runes were used for writing, poetry, inscriptions and for divination.