Before the Throne of Estavus
Autumn Magnitude 4
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. This ritual targets an opaque container.
When the ritual is performed, the ritualists put five ingots or measures of special materials in an opaque container. At the completion the contents disappear, presented to the factotum of Estavus, an Autumn eternal who is always hungry for raw materials from the mortal realm.
It will take at least an hour for anything to happen, potentially longer. After this time, when the box is opened, it will contain a single pouch of ashes from the fire-mountain Shikal. Each pouch of ash can be used as part of an Autumn ritual as if it were up to three crystals of mana. All the ashes in a pouch are consumed regardless of how much is needed, but the pouch can be passed among multiple magicians who are contributing to the ritual if desired.
The ashes have no use in spellcasting, or in the rituals of other realms.
The ritual can affect additional ingots. Each additional five ingots included in the ritual increases the magnitude by 2. Additional ingots must be placed in the same container but need not be the same type of material.
The eternal Estavus, called the Forgemistress, is always hungry for rare materials from the mortal realm. This ritual represents a binding covenant between the eternal and mortal magicians - in return for the raw materials she desires, she provides them with the magical ashes which she has in abundance. The ashes are only useful for Autumn rituals, but they allow a coven with a surfeit of special materials to convert their surplus into additional ritual power.
Before he became interested in the Tribute to the Thrice-Cursed Court ritual, the Freeborn scholar Serval i Riqueza of the Unfettered Mind spent a year (and a small fortune in ingots from his family's green iron mine) exploring the way this ritual worked. He concluded that, like Missive for Sadogua, the ritual could theoretically have been designed at a lower magnitude if its only purpose was to send materials to an eternal. He theorised that the additional magnitude existed to ensure a small 'profit' for Estavus, but that without the extra magnitude the exchange would not be binding - the Autumn eternal would be free to simply take the ingots or measures and provide nothing in return. The additional mana and magnitude make the ritual a 'formal' exchange. He also commented in his footnotes that he appreciated the symmetry that a pouch of the ashes of Shikal was exactly sufficient to allow a single casting of this ritual to produce two pouches, and mused that this was probably not a coincidence.
Some magicians dislike the overtones of submission in the name of this ritual, and prefer to call it The Slopes of Mount Shikal.
A box or sack, often of rare woods. fine silk or velvet, is the obvious focus used with this ritual, The container is often inscribed with the rune Lann, or with symbols of weights and scales. Ink and parchment may be used to write down the exact contents of the box and the expected return in pouches of ashes, and transferred along with the ingots. Often the ritualists weigh and measure the ingots carefully before they place them in the container, to ensure that everything is above board.