Previews of the forthcoming Earthdawn book Magic: Deeper Secrets are located in a variety of different places, which makes tracking them down difficult if you doing inhabit those spaces. This means they can end up as whispered lore. This consolidates what was put out there to make things easier and adds a few new items. Nothing here is final, so details may change from these previews.

New Knacks

Acrobatic Defense

Rising Strike [Special Maneuver]
Talent: Acrobatic Defense
Requirements: Rank 6, Acrobatic Recovery
Restrictions: None
Rising Strike (Adept, Close Combat): The adept can spend an additional success on an Attack test to stand after the attack is resolved.

Air Dance

Air Strike
Talent: Air Dance
Requirements: Rank 6
Restrictions: None
Step: Rank+DEX
Action: Free
Strain: 3
Skill Use: No
Standard Effects. If the adept makes an additional attack because of Air Dance, it gains the air keyword.

Astral Domain

Astral Stronghold
Talent: Astral Domain
Requirements: Rank 9
Restrictions: None
Step: Rank+WIL
Action: Sustained (30 min)
Strain: 3 (See text)
Skill Use: No
Standard Effects. Creating an astral stronghold requires a 30 min ritual as the adept prepares and consecrates the area, taking 3 Blood Magic Damage. Additional Astral Domain knacks may be included in the stronghold at an additional Blood Magic Damage cost as noted in the description. An astral stronghold lasts for one month, but may be renewed with the same 30 minute ritual at any time, maintaining all Blood Magic Damage. If the owner wants to modify their stronghold, such as adding or removing additional knacks, it must be taken down first. To take down their stronghold, the owner must be present and use a Standard action to release the enchantments.

Charge

Lancer
Talent: Charge
Requirements: Rank 5, Strength 14
Restrictions: Cavalryman Circle 5
Step: Rank+STR
Action: Free
Strain: 1
Skill Use: No
The adept charges at their target with their lance, often accompanied by some manifestation of the magic unique and appropriate to the adept. For example, one may be surrounded by strong winds, while another’s footsteps may crackle with lightning. These are only visual effects. The adept substitutes their Lancer Step for their Strength Step on a close combat Damage test with a lance. The adept cannot be mounted and must move over half their Movement Rate toward their target in a relatively straight line. This knack cannot be used if their Movement Rate is reduced.
The affected attack is a Charging Attack for the purpose of the adept’s other talents (e.g., Double Charge and Wheeling Attack) and is subject to the same prohibitions (Player’s Guide, p. 397). The adept cannot be thrown from their mount or drop their weapon due to the charging attack.

Cobra Strike

Hydra Strikes
Talent: Cobra Strike
Requirements: Rank 9
Restrictions: None
Step: Rank+DEX
Action: Free
Strain: 3+
Skill Use: No
Standard Effects. Instead, the adept gains +1 per success to their close combat Attack tests against the opponent. Until the end of the round, the adept must pay 1 Strain when they make an Attack test benefitting from this talent.

Distract

Firefly Lure
Talent: Distract
Requirements: Rank 9
Restrictions: None
Step: Rank+CHA
Action: Simple
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
The adept’s blade becomes surrounded with beguiling flame, causing opponents to be distracted by the bright, darting colors and drawn to the adept. The adept makes a Firefly Lure test against the highest Social Defense of each adjacent opponent. If successful, all affected targets must remain adjacent to the adept and include them in all of their attacks until the end of the next round. If a target moves away from the adept, or makes an attack which doesn’t include the adept, they are Blindsided to everyone except the adept until the end of the next round as they find it nearly impossible to pay attention to anything other than the flames. The Blindsided duration is independent from the talent duration.

Engaging Banter

Incite Monolog
Talent: Engaging Banter
Requirements: Rank 7
Restrictions: None
Step: Rank+CHA
Action: Standard
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
Standard Effects. The adept keeps a target talking without requiring concentration or even being present. If the adept leaves, the target keeps talking for an additional Engaging Banter rank rounds, though the adept needs to at least have the appearance of someone else around to listen to the target. Combat of any kind immediately ends the effect.
This cannot be combined with other Engaging Banter knacks.

Melee Weapons

Armor Cutter [Special Maneuver]
Talent: Melee Weapons
Requirements: Rank 9
Restrictions: None
Armor Cutter (Adept, Close Combat) The adept cleaves into the target, rendering their armor useless. Each success spent costs 1 Strain and reduces the target’s Physical Armor by 1 until it is repaired. The adept must be wielding a weapon in two hands to use this special maneuver. This may not destroy thread armor.

Momentum Attack

Storm Momentum
Talent: Momentum Attack
Requirements: Rank 10
Restrictions: None
Step: Rank+DEX
Action: Simple
Strain: 2
Skill Use: No
Standard Effects. The adept may apply a penalty up to their talent rank for the Attack test and apply the same number as a bonus to the associated Damage test. Their attack gains the air–electricity keyword as the energy of the storm surges through the weapon, such as lightning crackling around it or glyphs of blue electricity circling it.
This cannot be used with the Defensive Stance combat option and the adept must be using a two-handed weapon or Body Control.

Patterncraft

Signature Spell I
Talent: Patterncraft
Requirements: (Special, see text)
Restrictions: None
Step: NA
Action: NA
Strain: 1
Skill Use: No
The adept researches and develops a personal version of a spell, binding it to their pattern in the process. Once this knack is learned, the adept selects a spell learned and is in their grimoire. Then the adept spends 8 hours a day for one week in active research and experimentation on the spell pattern using their grimoire. After this time, the adept takes the Strain cost as permanent Blood Magic Damage, improves the Effect Step of the spell by +1, and gains +2 to Thread Weaving tests with the spell. The appearance of the spell changes slightly, reflecting the adept’s personality. This doesn’t change the properties of the spell, but does make it more difficult to identify by increasing the Difficulty of all such tests by +2.
The required Patterncraft rank for this knack is the selected spell’s Circle +4. For example, a signature Fireball is learned as a Patterncraft rank 9 knack. This knack can be learned multiple times, though the spell must be different with each rank and all costs must be paid again. The Blood Magic Damage can never be healed. Spells sharing a matrix are not the same spell and must be learned separately. If the spell doesn’t have an Effect Step (e.g. Air Armor), this knack cannot affect the spell.

Spellcasting

Valor [Special Maneuver]
Talent: Spellcasting
Requirements: Rank 9, Courage
Restrictions: Illusionist 9
Valor (Adept, Courage): The adept can spend additional successes to give an additional target within range per success the bonus to their next Initiative test until the end of the next round. This costs 1 Strain per additional success spent using this special maneuver.

Spot Armor Flaw

Show Armor Flaw [Special Maneuver]
Talent: Spot Armor Flaw
Requirements: Rank 9
Restrictions: None
Show Armor Flaw (Adept, Spot Armor Flaw): The adept may spend additional successes to allow another character to benefit from their Spot Armor Flaw result. This costs 1 Strain per success spent in this fashion.

Improved Spell Knacks

Elementalist

Metal Darts
Circle: 1
Requirements: Patterncraft rank 5, Earth Darts
Restrictions: Elementalist Circle 5
Strain: 1
When casting Earth Darts (Player’s Guide, p. 272), the Effect is WIL+5/Physical and -2 Physical Armor.

New Spells

Elementalist

Second Circle

Liquid Arrow
Threads: 0
Weaving: 6/11
Casting: TMD
Range: 40 yards
Duration: 1 round
Effect: WIL+2/Physical
Water. This spell forms a missile from a small quantity of water. The magician scoops up a handful of water, hurls it at the target, and makes a Spellcasting test against the target’s Mystic Defense. If successful, the liquid transforms into an arrow that strikes the target. The target suffers Physical damage equal to the Effect test result.
Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step)
Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step), Increase Range (+10 yards), Additional Target (+1)

Fifth Circle

Air Sentry
Threads: 3
Weaving: 9/14
Casting: 6
Range: Touch
Duration: 8 hours
Area of Effect: 12-yard radius
Effect: Circle+4
Air. Spirit. This spell summons an air elemental as a sentry for the area of effect. The magician sits in the approximate middle of the area, weaving threads, then blows into their hands and makes a Spellcasting (6) test. If successful, their breath swirls to life as the air elemental manifests before them. The magician tells the air sentry the area to watch—if it is smaller than the maximum area (e.g. a room or not beyond a stream)—the alarm’s nature, and indicates anyone exempt from its scrutiny. Air sentries can watch secretly from astral space and report to the magician when they return or raise an alarm. The alarm’s nature can be nearly any audible sound, such as a particular bird call, warning claxons, a popular tune, or the sound of two men heckling an imagined frog and bear show. Regardless of the exact nature, it doesn’t convincingly serve a second purpose and is loud enough for the magician to hear if they are within the area. Air sentries use the Effect test as an Awareness or Astral Sight test to detect things within 10 yards of the area they are guarding. They automatically detect anything crossing the established perimeter if the Effect Step is greater than or equal to the intruder’s Mystic Defense.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 hours)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 hours), Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step), Increase Area (+2 yards)

Seventh Circle

Lightning Cloud
Threads: 2
Weaving: 11/16
Casting: 10 (see text)
Range: 50 yards
Duration: Rank rounds
Effect: WIL+4/Physical
Air-Electric. This spell conjures a swirling black and purple cloud that crackles with electricity. The cloud finishes forming when the last thread is woven and the magician succeeds at a Spellcasting (10) test. Each subsequent round as a Standard action, the magician may draw lightning from the cloud and hurl it at an opponent within range, making a Spellcasting test against the target’s Mystic Defense. If successful, the magician’s Effect test determines how much damage is inflicted and the target must make a Knockdown test against the Effect test after armor is applied. Additional successes on the Spellcasting test against an opponent give +2 per additional success to the Effect step for that lightning bolt. This spell can only cause one Knockdown test, regardless if a Wound is inflicted.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+2), Increase Range (+10 yards), Additional Target (+1)

Nethermancer

Fourth Circle

Fatal Food
Threads: 3
Weaving: 8/13
Casting: 10
Range: 10 yards
Duration: Rank +10 minutes
Effect: Nethermancer Circle+8
This spell creates an effect in different foods, causing a fatal reaction when they are ingested and combined. The magician points at three different types of food, envisioning the end result when consumed (which must be obviously unnatural, such as veins and eyes turning black), then makes a Spellcasting (10) test. Each thread is woven to a different dish of food, such as a loaf of bread, bowl of soup, plate of roast, etc.—the targeted foods cannot be touching each other or already mixed together. If even a taste of each affected food is eaten, mixing them together, the victim suffers the effects of a damaging poison using the Effect Step [Onset: 1 minute, Interval: 8/1]. Affected food remains potentially poisonous for the duration and any left uneaten after the spell ends returns to normal and can be consumed safely. Each victim can only be affected by one instance of this spell at a time and once affected, the spell’s duration no longer matters, only the onset and interval of the poison.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step), Increase Range (+10 yards)

Sixth Circle

Netherwave
Threads: 1
Weaving: 10/15
Casting: TMD
Range: Self
Duration: 1 round
Area of Effect: 6-yard radius
Effect: WIL+4/Mystic and -2 to Initiative
This spell summons energy from a nether realm. The magician spreads their arms wide, stretches their fingers out, casts their head back with eyes wide, and spins in a circle, then makes a Spellcasting test against the highest Mystic Defense of targets in the area. If successful, necrotic energy issues forth from the magician in an undulating wave, temporarily sapping the vitality of those in the area. The Effect test determines how much damage is inflicted on each target and each target suffers a -2 penalty to their Initiative test next round.
Success Levels: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step)
Extra Threads: Increase Effect (+2 to Effect Step), Increase Effect (-2 to Initiative), Increase Area (+2-yard radius)

Binding Secrets

Elementalist

Kifa the Relentless Storm
Strength Rating: 12
Strain: 8
While many air elementals are flighty, Kifa the Relentless Storm is focused. She is undeterred in the pursuit of her goals, much as her Name alludes. Despite this single-minded nature, much about her is an enigma. She holds much about her, including goals and desires, secret, and keeps others distant. Those in her presence rarely see her form, but feel her around them—she darkens the sky, whips up gusts of wind, and the air crackles with electricity. What is known is Kifa the Relentless Storm is proud above all else. Injuring her pride is a dangerous game, though nakedly appealing to it will never earn her respect. Dealing with her can be tempestuous, but those who do may find it safest to stay in her eye than anywhere else.

Kifa the Relentless Storm empowers Mantle of the Lightning Vanguard (Player’s Guide, p. 292). If Kifa the Relentless Storm is summoned when casting Mantle of the Lightning Vanguard, the magician must indicate a destination. The spell’s duration is 8 hours instead of Rank ×10 minutes and the bound character gains a flying Movement Rate of 44 (30 miles per hour).

The bound character must travel through the open air directly towards the destination and can only deviate to avoid obstacles. The spell and binding end with no ill effect when the bound character reaches their destination, even if there is duration remaining. If the distance they can travel is insufficient to reach the destination, the bound character slows to land safely with all affected “passengers.”

A character affected by this spell is fatigued after their travel and every two hours or fraction thereof gives a -1 penalty to Toughness tests to resist fatigue (Gamemaster’s Guide, p. 193). Kifa the Relentless Storm can only be summoned once per day and will not answer if this spell was already cast (successfully or not), and no other spirits will answer until after sunrise if Kifa the Relentless Storm is successfully summoned.

Success levels and extra threads are replaced as below.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+1 hour)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+1 hour), Increase Effect (+5 miles per hour)

Nethermancer

The Black Duchess
Her plate and chain are made of the night given form. Hair of the void tumbles past her shoulders and her eyes are pools of darkness. Infinity swirls within her cloak as she strides with confidence, never sparing a second glance for those beneath her. The Black Duchess is cold, regal, untouchable.

If summoned or approached, she respects the act and treats all who wish an audience with a minimal respect until they prove worth or more or test her patience. She expects everyone in her presence to follow all decorum. Failure to do so immediately ends all negotiations at best; she has little time for such impertinence. Survivors of her wrath tell stories indicating she is unaffected by attempts to banish or hold her. If true, only her personal code of honor stays her hand. When it does.

Any negotiation with her must have an equitable arrangement. She does not tolerate either party taking advantage of the other. This includes any withheld information or unexpected difficulties, in which case there will be renegotiation for her efforts. Which she values highly. However, her motivations tend to be less alien than many other spirits, leading scholars to speculate about her origins. Perhaps as a Namegiver ghost or a former familiar. She seeks to consolidate power and whatever will help in that aim.

The Black Duchess empowers Aspect of the Menacing Tyrant (Player’s Guide, p. 328). If The Black Duchess is summoned when casting Aspect of the Menacing Tyrant, the spirit is haughty but respectful and never attempts to remain bound to the target when the duration is over.

Butcher-With-a-Smile
Strength Rating: 9
Strain: 2
As far as spirits of murder go, Butcher-with-a-Smile is almost downright pleasant. This does not make her any less unsettling for most to be around. She appears as an elf, human, or ork woman with pale skin, braided red hair, red eyes, and red lips that appear slick and a too wide smile showing off her too-white sharpened teeth. The spirit moves with a sinuous grace, making no effort to hide how she sizes up everyone as potential prey.

However, she abides by all her bargains and always honors her word. Dealing with her is relatively straight-forward, so long as those involved aren’t disturbed by the grisly imagery she likes to conjure while speaking and no-so-subtle references to their violent deaths. Butcher-with-a-Smile seems to genuinely enjoy occasional contact with Namegivers, preferring those who find her more unsettling to those particularly comfortable around her. They are “no fun.” She likes to push those resistant to her methods, wearing them down.

While she makes no claims to it, some Nethermancers believe she was once a Namegiver based on how she recognizes and abides by their norms. The other likely possibility is she was someone’s longtime familiar. Though how she came to be as this raises unsettling questions.

Earning her favor invariably means getting the supplicant’s hands dirty. Frequently literally. She wants to know they’re worthy of her and she’ll have fun in the relationship. Though they cannot be too eager. As strange as it may seem, she establishes limits and seems to adhere to a personal and private code of conduct. Violating that goes poorly and most who offend her are simply never seen again.

Butcher-with-a-Smile empowers Aspect of the Casual Murderer (Player’s Guide, p. 336). If Butcher-with-a-Smile is summoned when casting Aspect of the Casual Murderer, the bound character is only required to attack Blindsided, Knocked Down, and Surprised enemies.

Crafty Unter
Rumor has it, Crafty Unter is the ghost of a Scout or Thief adept who cheated Death and thus Death cheated him out of closure. More serious scholars find this unlikely, theorizing the hunter spirit is more likely a former familiar or simply has a fascination with Namegivers. He certainly has an affection for Namegiver styles and idioms. Though often gets them wrong.

Crafty Unter appears as a dwarf with a significant amount of equipment hanging from his pack, belt, pouches, bandoliers, etc. His white hair and carefully trimmed goatee stand out against his dark skin. A fantastic hat completes the look. Crafty Unter’s weapons of choice are a massive boar spear and his bear hands.

When at rest, he prefers to smoke a pipe. Going through all the motions, but without any smoke, though the area is permeated with a spicy scent while he does so. Crafty Unter considers deeply before he acts in any way. He speaks slowly with a drawl and carefully measures each word. “Measure twice, stab them through the rib cage as many times as it takes to keep them down, but be careful to not catch your weapon on their ribs,” he likes to say, “The early bird lays ambush for the superior foe,” and “Plans are like weapons, always have a backup. Same goes for friends.” Once Crafty Unter is committed to a course of action, there is very little to sway him.

Dealing with the spirit can be as simple or as complicated as both parties try to make it. If he is met with direct negotiations, he responds in kind. Reticent negotiations find Crafty Unter to live up to his Name. He is cagey and knows far more than he lets on, often already aware of the other party’s true intentions, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, knowing is half the battle. The other half is the battle. Two halves, one battle.”

Crafty Unter empowers Aspect of the Shadow Hunter (p. XX). If Crafty Unter is summoned when casting Aspect of the Shadow Hunter, the bound character gains +3 to Attack and Damage tests against their quarry, and +3 to Physical and Mystic Defense, instead of +2.

He can also teach the magician the improved spell knack Summon Crafty Unter (p. XX). The magician must form a separate pact from Aspect of the Shadow Hunter to learn this.

Enchanting

  • Fetishes
    • Single use matrices
  • Named spells
    • Permanent spells tied to a location
  • Wards
    • Long-duration spells tied to a location