Suikoden II takes place years after the events of the original Suikoden, and centers on an invasion by the Kingdom of Highland of the City States of Jowston. The player controls a silent protagonist whose name is chosen by the player; he is the adopted son of Genkaku, a hero who saved the City-State of Jowston in a war against Highland years ago. The protagonist and his best friend, Jowy Atreides, each gain one half of the Rune of the Beginning, one of the 27 True Runes of the Suikoden setting, and become caught up in the intrigues of the invasion and the dark fate of those who bear the halves of that Rune.