Another Friday looms, and I realized I don’t have a post ready. (I have one I’m working on, but it’s not done yet.) So here’s another thread item that may appear in the upcoming Earthdawn Companion. This one ties into the enchanting rules which will be in the book (some of which we previewed a couple weeks ago). Enjoy!
Quick reminder, tonight is the first Friday of the month, which means I will be in our official Discord server starting at 9pm Eastern time.
- Maximum Threads: 3
- Mystic Defense: 18
- Tier: Master
The object commonly known as the Enchanter’s Table is a long, lacquered bench made from dark cherry wood. It has a large work area with drawers and a built-in basin. The basin is a shimmering, milky material, almost impossibly smooth. It reflects light curiously, particularly when filled with water or other liquids, and just translucent enough to cast shadows underneath when exposed to bright light.
This item has been coveted by enchanters for centuries, perhaps millennia. Its origins are a mystery and it isn’t unusual for it to trade hands against the owner’s wishes. While the task of stealing a large table is daunting, the table itself is lovely, but banal. The basin is what brings the magic to the table.
The truth about the table and the basin is a closely guarded secret. No one wants to reveal how easy it is to steal this potent artifact. Notes from owners who have carefully studied the basin indicate the magic is unlike anything they have seen before. The powers aren’t alien, just arranged in wholly unfamiliar ways.
Yung, a Theran Wizard and self-styled expert regarding the table from long ago, claimed the basin’s True Name, Gywrthyn’s Eye, is not a euphemism. He believed the basin was crafted from the actual eye of Gywrthyn. What Gwyrthyn might have been is a mystery, though Yung’s favorite theory was a great dragon. A competing theory is a Horror, though the connotations that carries make it significantly less popular with the artifact’s owners.
The table has some interesting properties outside of what it offers its owner. First, it often finds its way through circumstance into the hands of powerful magicians willing to make use of its powers. The level of coincidence involved can be staggering. Second, no matter how it may start out, the table always ends up looking very similar. Lavishly decorated tables are soon worn down, or replaced, and those too small are expanded. Events conspire to produce the same setting for the basin.
To use any of the table’s powers, the owner must anoint themselves with liquid from the basin. This can be as simple as rinsing hands. Once anointed, the owner gains the benefits of the table until dusk or dawn, whichever comes first. The owner may anoint themselves again if they have access. The owner may also anoint others up to the owner’s thread rank. This grants them the bonuses as if they were the owner for the duration, but does not provide access to Karma stored in the table, or the Blood Pattern ability.
Thera was the table’s last known location, where it passed between various hands, but its current whereabouts are unknown. It is currently surmised the table found its way into the hands of the Denairastas family of Iopos. If true, little good will come of it, and it will only get worse in time.
While not stated outright (and this will not be revealed through Item History or similar abilities), the owner must alter the table at each thread rank, moving it ever closer to the ideal form for the basin. Events will conspire to help this process along and the owner feels a small compulsion to do so, and nagging guilt if they fail to do so. Failure almost certainly causes the owner to lose the basin in some fashion.
Thread Rank 1
- Deed: The owner must construct a suitable table for the basin.
- Effect: The owner gains +1 to Alchemy, Patterncraft, and Thread Weaving tests related to enchanting.
Thread Rank 2
- Effect: The owner may store a number of Karma Points in the basin up to the thread rank. The owner may freely transfer Karma between their Karma pool and the basin as a Standard action, and may spend Karma from the basin as if it were in their pool. Karma stored in the basin is shared between owners, but each owner uses their own Karma Step.
Thread Rank 3
- Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the basin.
- Effect: The eddies and shimmer of liquid in the basin give insight when the owner gazes into it, giving the owner a +2 bonus to Knowledge tests. This bonus increases to +3 if the contents of the basin are symbolically appropriate to the Knowledge test and the owner anointed themselves with it.
Thread Rank 4
- Effect: The owner gains +2 to Alchemy, Patterncraft, and Thread Weaving tests for the purposes of enchanting.
Thread Rank 5
- Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the Name of the basin’s creator,
- Effect: Blood is a well known source of powerful magic, particularly for enchanting. The basin stores this blood magic for use in breathing life into a True Pattern. This Blood Pattern can be used in two ways. First, the owner can take damage equal to their Wound Threshold (causing a Wound) and drip the blood into the basin. This must be done every day, immediately after either dusk or dawn, following the lunar cycle from new moon to new moon. After the month, the basin has accumulated one Wound. The second method involves sacrificing a Namegiver over the basin and draining their blood into it. This provides a number of Wounds equal to the Namegiver’s Recovery tests. Regardless of the method used, the basin can store a number of Wounds equal to the highest thread rank, and all owners add to and use from the same pool. These Wounds may be spent to meet the blood magic requirement for enchanting. The blood spilled in the basin is absorbed, giving it a slightly pink hue until dusk or dawn, whichever comes first.
Thread Rank 6
- Deed: The owner must have stored at least one Wound using the Blood Pattern ability.
- Effect: The owner gains +3 to Alchemy, Patterncraft, and Thread Weaving tests for the purposes of enchanting.
Thread Rank 7
- Key Knowledge: The owner must learn about the original table constructed for the basin; where the materials came from, what it looked like, etc.
- Effect: The owner may spend an additional Karma point on any enchanting test. This additional Karma point must come from the basin. Wounds from Blood Pattern may be spent to improve Karma used in this fashion, using the thread rank as the Karma Step instead of the owner’s Karma Step. Additionally, the bonus from Rank Three increases to +4, or +6 with appropriate symbolism.
Thread Rank 8
- Deed: The owner must obtain some physical connection to the original table, whether it is a part of the original table, materials from the same source, etc., and incorporate it into the current table.
- Effect: The owner gains +5 to Alchemy, Patterncraft, and Thread Weaving tests for the purposes of enchanting.
Thread Rank 9
- Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the origins of the basin.
- Effect: Wounds from Blood Pattern may be spent to reduce the time required for enchanting activities. Spending a Wound in this fashion allows the owner to make tests to create or modify enchanting patterns, and enchant non-thread items in one day, as the owner becomes possessed by the knowledge contained within the basin. The time to enchant a thread item is reduced by 9 days per Wound, to a minimum of 1 day per tier.
Thread Rank 10
- Effect: The owner gains +7 to Alchemy, Patterncraft, and Thread Weaving tests for the purposes of enchanting.