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The message was limited to 66 letters or characters (spaces were not counted) but could appear on any non-liquid surface such as paper, wood, stone, glass, sand, soot, or snow up to 80 ft (24 m) away, and even farther for more experienced casters. The caster and one other person named during the casting of encrypt could read the message, as well as any persons specifically named in the body of the message. All other beings viewing the enchanted area found it to be illegible; smeared and distorted beyond comprehension. The message could not be a spell or any other magical writing, but any non-magical text could be created in any language the caster knew.
The medium used to hold the message gave off a magic aura that could be detected, but encrypt foiled all magical attempts to read the message (read magic, comprehend languages, etc.) except for true seeing. The message could be created by the caster at the time of casting, or could be a note written previously by anyone. If the medium was destroyed, the message was also destroyed. The encrypted text could also be destroyed by an erase spell or dispel magic.
Messages longer than 66 characters required multiple castings of encrypt.
The verbal component optionally included naming one individual to whom the message would be legible. In addition to somatic gestures, this spell required a pinch of dust or fluff, and a feather.