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Secrets are part of the currency of knowledge in Caves of Qud. The player can exchange secrets during the water ritual with a legendary or unique creature. This ritual provides an opportunity for the player to trade away some secrets that they've already learned in exchange for new secrets provided by the Water Ritual counterpart. This exchange does not cause the player to lose the secret that they traded, they will retain it along with the new secret that was given to them in exchange. During a single playthrough, a player may learn hundreds of different secrets.

The game automatically records each new secret that the player learns in the journal, which can be opened by pressing J if using the game's the default keybinds. The journal contains a variety of sections and subsections where secrets of different types are recorded.

A single secret can only be traded in the Water Ritual one time. After that it is considered "sold" on the secret market and cannot be shared with anyone else. This is indicated in the journal by a $ symbol - the symbol is green ($) if the secret has not yet been shared, and it turns black ($) after it is shared.

Types of Secrets

  • Locations
  • Sultan Histories
  • Village Histories
  • Gossip and Lore
  • Recipes
  • Chronology
  • General Notes

Learning New Secrets

New secrets can be discovered by:

  • Looking at or interacting with a shrine. This method reveals secrets of the Sultan Histories type.
  • Looking at painted or engraved objects. This method reveals secrets of the Sultan Histories or Village Histories type.
  • Trading secrets during the Water Ritual with a faction interested in sultans. This method can reveal secrets of various types, depending on the faction of the creature whom the player has entered the ritual with. For example, pariahs often share secrets of the Gossip and Lore variety.
  • Rifling through trash with the Trash Divining skill. This method can reveal secrets of various types.
  • Gaining the metabolized effect of cooking with psychal gland paste. This method can reveal secrets of various types.
  • Exploring new zones while infected with mumble mouth. This method can reveal secrets of various types.
  • Reading an advertisement for a legendary merchant. This method reveals a Location secret for a legendary merchant's workshop or lair.
  • Cooking a new recipe while inspired from the Carbide Chef skill. This method creates a new Recipe secret, based on the unique recipe created by your character.
  • Exploring new zones while having the Gloaming companion (Gloaming is a pet available to Patreon supporters).
  • Reading certain books, such as In Maqqom Yd.

Losing Secrets

  • Amnesia introduces a chance that the player can lose previously-known secrets whenever they learn a new secret.
  • A memory eater's attacks can cause the player to forget a previously-known secret.

Valuable Secrets

This section is opinion-based. Your mileage may vary.

Some secrets might be considered more valuable than others. For example, secrets can reveal:

  • Historic sites, which provide the player with guaranteed source of relic items and cybernetics credit wedges.
  • Legendary merchant lairs, which may harbor an opportunity to obtain potentially powerful items.
  • The location of the lair of Oboroqoru, Ape God, who is often sought after due to the unique and powerful cudgel that he carries, or due to the fact that he makes a powerful companion.
  • The location of unique artifacts such as Ruin of House Isner or Kindrish.