The Retrograde Wheel
Night Magnitude 8
Performing the Ritual
Performing this ritual takes at least 2 minutes of roleplaying. The ritual targets up to three ingots or measures of one of the special Materials, which must be present throughout. All the ingots or measures must be of the same type.
At the completion of the ritual the ingots are permanently transformed into an equal number of ingots of another type. The ritual will not turn one material into any other; instead the transformation follows a fixed progression
- iridescent gloaming into beggar's lye
- beggar's lye into ambergelt
- ambergelt into dragonbone
- dragonbone into weltsilver
- weltsilver into tempest jade
- tempest jade into green iron
- green iron into orichalcum
- orichalcum into iridescent gloaming
All ingots or measures transformed must be of the same type, and they must all be transformed into the same type.
Someone who masters this ritual often calls themselves an alchemist, Someone who masters both this ritual and The Eight-spoked Wheel often lays claim to the title of master alchemist, and demonstrates considerable power over the raw materials of nature.
As detailed under the description of The Eight-spoked Wheel, this ritual is the result of decades of careful work refining a number of individual rituals that transformed one material into another material. Before this work was completed, ritualists used to have to employ a number of separate rituals such as the Landskeeper ritual Ashes and Honey which simply transformed beggar's lye into ambergelt.
It has not escaped the notice of theoreticians or alchemists that this ritual is a higher magnitude than The Eight-spoked Wheel. There has been a lot of discussion about why this might be, and the most common theory is that the ritual in some way goes 'against the grain' of the transformation process ... although that theory is challenged by those who point out that the results are still permanent, as they are with the other alchemical ritual.
Each of the eight transformations is technically a different ritual, with different incantations and equipment. The type of equipment needed often varies depending on a number of factors such as the time of year. Common elements include fire; beakers, bowls and other pieces of alchemical equipment; water and other liquids; samples of the material the alchemist wishes to create; charts and diagrams; and the other trappings of this ancient magical lore. Many ritualists wear masks or veils when they perform this ritual - not least because there are occasionally noxious byproducts of the transformation. They often work in private, out of public eye, especially if they are powerful enough to perform the ritual without the assistance of a coven.
The forces of the heavens are often referenced in alchemical rituals. If the theory that the stars represent in some way the tools of the Creator are true, then evoking the power of astronomancy seems entirely appropriate to the practice of enacting permanent transformation. The names of the eternals Murit and Soghter are sometimes used, especially in their aspects as the Azoth, a theoretical compound that provokes miraculous transformation.
A magical Mask of Gold and Lead can be used to empower this ritual. Not only does the mask make it slightly easier for a small coven or apprentice of night magic to perform the ritual, magicians using the power of these masks can transform more materials with a single casting - making the ritual somewhat more efficient at the task of transmuting materials (although all materials targeted with a single performance must be of the same type).
The rune Xun which represents transformation is usually evoked with this magic, although some alchemists choose to include Aesh for the power of the mind, Cavul to represent the idea of purifying materials into higher forms or Pallas to represent material wealth.