07 September 2020

Earthdawn 4E: Anatomy of a Thread Item 77 - Homefires

This is the seventy-seventh 4E Anatomy of a Thread Item, an ongoing series about Earthdawn Fourth Edition. Introduction and Index.

Everything contained here is the work of a fan and not associated with FASA Games.

A thread item written for an online game I offered to help with thread items. This was written in collaboration with a player. They wanted a variety of different effects around Weaponsmith (and additional Karma), and using all the enchanting techniques. In all, this was tricky because of how broad these concepts were, but it came together. Incorporating spirits is difficult because there are (and should be) concerns about the moral implications of binding a spirit to a thread item. The solution I came up with for the Deeds and their services provided was the kind of equity the enchanter wanted.


Homefires

Maximum Threads: 1
Mystic Defense: 14
Legend Point Cost: Warden

This bronze anvil-shaped amulet is an excellent example of classic Throalic craftsmanship and styling. The masterful craftsmanship has stunning engravings of Throalic architecture, presenting a feeling of both majesty and comfort. It’s always pleasantly warm and heavy feeling to the touch, and the engravings sometimes glow like tiny embers. This is particularly true when someone breathes on the amulet.

Thread Rank One
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the amulet’s Name.
Deed: The owner must be a Weaponsmith.
Effect: The wearer may spend 1 Strain to eliminate the penalties when using the Traveling Smithy Weaponsmith ability.

Thread Rank Two
Effect: If the wearer uses their Traveling Forge ability, they gain a +2 bonus to Charisma-based tests with other Namegivers when used around the forge. This does not affect intimidation or fear-based abilities, or if the wearer attempts to take advantage of the other party.

Thread Rank Three
Deed: The owner must strike a deal with a fire spirit, performing a minor service for them in exchange for future services rendered.
Effect: The wearer gains the Homefires ability. The wearer performs their Karma Ritual (which cannot have been performed yet) and uses their Traveling Smith ability. They take the Strain as Blood Magic Damage and forge themselves as part of the ritual, causing their skin to glow with an inner fire. The wearer gains +2 to Physical Armor until no later than sunrise the next day. The owner can end this effect as a Free action before it expires if desired. They can heal the damage once the ability ends.

Thread Rank Four
Effect: When the wearer uses Traveling Forge, they attract fire spirits—typically flames, which look like a candle flame that produces a mouth and eyes when interacting with someone, and their color reflects their mood. Though the color to mood correlation isn’t consistent between these spirits. The wearer can invite a fire spirit to bind with them, effectively using the Aid Summoner power, and takes on some superficial characteristics of the spirit. The wearer cannot benefit from other binding effects while using this. The wearer can take 1 Strain to gain +3 to a test using their Traveling Forge.

Thread Rank Five
Key Knowledge: The owner must learn the creator’s Name.
Effect: The wearer increases their highest Circle by 1 for determining their Karma Pool.

Thread Rank Six
Effect: When the wearer uses Homefires, they can forge their pattern as well, taking an additional 2 Blood Magic Damage to gain +2 to Mystic Armor.

Thread Rank Seven
Deed: The owner must strike a deal with an earth spirit, performing a minor service for them in exchange for future services rendered.
Effect: The wearer can spend an additional Karma Point on Action tests using Traveling Smithy to create or repair something, or on an Action test using something they created. This can be done once per round.

Thread Rank Eight
Effect: When the wearer uses Traveling Smithy, earth spirits are also coaxed to the area—typically gnomes. They are shy, harmless, and very hard working. The earth spirits quietly get to work constructing a large, colorful ger. This is equivalent to the Shelter spell (Player’s Guide, p. 274). The wearer makes a Perception Step + Thread Rank test as a Spellcasting test and it always gets at least one success. Once complete, the earth spirits may silently observe the work done around them. Their hard eyes staring without blinking. It’s easy to wonder if they are judging as they watch everyone move about the area. Yes, they are judging.

The fire spirits now also hide in the fire and cooling embers, keeping the camp warm during even the coldest temperatures. Their frequently mischievous and expanded domain can put them at odds with the earth spirits and any Namegivers who don’t appreciate their antics. Which are adorable until something catches fire and they are easily offended by putting fires out. In addition, they also warn the owner of any intruders to the campsite. If anything with a Mystic Defense less than or equal to the owner’s Perception Step + Thread Rank enters within a 10-yard radius of the camp (this does not include innocuous normal animals—the spirits can tell the difference), the campfire flares to life briefly as a towering inferno. It’s not subtle, but it gets the job done.

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