The first appearance of the runic Alphabet, and the custom of raising runestones, has sometimes been associated with a group of people known as the Heruli.
The origin myths of the Germanic tribes of the Migration Period show a high degree of uniformity in that most of them call Scandinavia their ancient place of origin. Though these tales should be taken with a grain of salt (and is likely an influence from earlier Roman accounts of the societies of the Northern Barbarians) it is nonetheless true for the Goths, the Langobards and the Burgundians, among others. The Heruli are likewise associated with Scandinavia, though their origin myths are long gone. They were supposedly a warlike group with a reputation for martial prowess, belonging to the upper strata of Germanic society. The Byzantine scholar Procopius mentions them having left their continental European exploits to return to their earlier home in the North, where they settled near the Geatish tribe.
A commonly accepted theory is that the Heruli tribe's name has given rise to the title of Jarl/Earl, which shares etymological roots.
Procopius on the Heruli:
"When the Eruli, being defeated by the Lombards in the above-mentioned battle, migrated from their ancestral homes, some of them, as has been told by me above, made their home in the country of Illyricum, but the rest were averse to crossing the Ister River, but settled at the very extremity of the world; at any rate, these men, led by many of the royal blood [...] passed by the nations of the Dani, without suffering violence at the hands of the barbarians there. Coming thence to the ocean, they took to the sea, and putting in at Thule, remained there on the island.
Now Thule is exceedingly large; for it is more than ten times greater than Britain. And it lies far distant from it toward the north. On this island the land is for the most part barren, but in the inhabited country thirteen very numerous nations are settled; and there are kings over each nation.
And one of their most numerous nations is the Gauti, and it was next to them that the incoming Eruli settled at the time in question."