Eternal Flame

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The actions and elements of the ritual signify the creation and eternity of the flame. We add the trappings of a Celebration, mimicing the Olympic Games opening ceremony in style and intent (bring in the torch, parade it around, set it up in its proper place, add offerings to the glory of the flame, conclude the ceremony).

Pre-ritual:

  1. Mark six evenly spaced points around the perimeter of the shrine for use down below (ideally the shrine will be hexgonally shaped)
  2. At each of the points, put a metal baffle/flange that will be attached to the torch
  3. Place the parts of the unassembled metal stand in the shrine
  4. Place a set of fireworks in the shrine
  5. Place a set of six teacups with cold water and tea leaves in the shrine

Just before the ritual begins:

  1. Place the hexagonally-shaped torch on the ground in the shrine
  2. Pour the fenjiu into the torch and ignite it
  3. Immediately place the cover on it up to restrict the air intake and keep the flame merely smoldering

Start the ritual: The ritualist picks up the torch and moves to each of the six points around the shrine, bowing at each one, and makes an Accuracy roll with Cooking to gradually remove the cover, bringing the size of the flame up each time. He starts at one and must get one more success each time. After the last step, he then makes a Yang roll with Magical Ritual (6 successes needed).

The ritualist moves in reverse order to each of the six points again, bowing at each one, and takes up the metal baffle at that point and attaches it to the torch. The baffles channel up the flame and are shaped to cast a flame-shaped shadow on the ground. He starts at one and must get one more success each time on a Dexterity roll with Sleight of Hand/Sculpting. After the last step, he then makes a Yin roll with Magical Ritual (6 successes needed). See diagram below.

This gives direct connections to the flame and the torch which should be sufficient for a ritual of this size.

The ritualist then proceeds to the invocation of the elements:

  1. Creation of Metal: Assemble the metal stand (parts are preplaced) that will hold the torch inside the shrine. [The stand must have been designed and the parts created earlier with at least 3 successes in metalworking/smithing.] Three successes on sculpture, metalworking or engineering are needed. The stand has a set of triangle-shaped slots on its sides to hold a set of 6 small gems (see next step). The ritualist places the torch in the stand and bows again. (This reduces Creation a bit, but because metal is now a bit light, the plan is to get the Finger on the Balance schtick to adjust the metal part back up to balance with the other elements.)
  2. Seeking of Earth: Start with a preplaced wooden bucket, filled with water, a large number of stones and 6 Fire Opals in a trilliant cut. The ritualist must pull out six and only six objects (the 6 gems) without looking in the bucket by determining/feeling the correct shapes. He then puts the gems into the slots on the stand. Six successes on some sort of reasoning/deduction skill or some perception (touching) skill. The remaining stones are piled around the base of the metal stand.
  3. Destruction of Wood: Use the flame to ignite the fireworks. Ritualist needs six successes on Dex with Use Fireworks/Acting to do an impressive fireworks display without hurting himself.
  4. Transformation of Water: Take the six tea cups and use the flame to make tea. Six successes on cooking/tea ceremonies to make proper tea.

To complete the ritual, the ritualist kneels before the holder and drinks from each of the tea cups, giving a celebratory cheer after each one ("Kan bei!" [Dry cup!] is traditional). After he finishes the last one, the ceremony is complete. The Yang energy moves up to power the flame and the Yin moves down through the ritualist who soaks the damage.

Contents

Side view of torch and baffles

            ^^^^^^^^^
            |       |
      \     |       |     / <-Baffle 
       \    | Flame |    /   
        \   |       |   /   
         \  |       |  / 
          \ |       | /     
           \|       |/    
            \_______/  
            |       |    
            | Torch |  
            | Handle| 
            |       | 
            |       |     
            ---------     ---------- <-Shadow cast on ground

Experiment

Different Gem Shapes
2 points (Earth)
Of the ones you've tried, marquise is best.
Different Fuels
2 points (Fire)
Best fuel: Baijiu, especially one of the "light fragrance" ones like Fen jiu
Different Gem Types
2 points (Earth)
Fire Opal, Ruby, and Golden Tourmaline are the best and will all work. Fire Opal is the yangiest, Ruby is more balanced, and Golden Tourmaline is more yin, with a suggestion of smoke. Given that it's a pretty yang-y ritual, you probably want to go with fire opal, but you might decided that balance or yin was important (perhaps if you were to tune the ritual for the place, for example).

Ritual Hints

  • It would be good to make the invoking the Yang and Yin steps more strongly Yang and Yin-ish. Those are the weakest correspondences. (Puttering from 4/2-4/16)
  • A re-lighting "Eternal Flame" also wants some Creation in it. It's still mostly Control for not requiring fuel, but the re-lighting step is creation-y. So making the Creation step a bit lesser than the others would be good. (Puttering from 4/16-4/30)
  • You want an explicit step that soaks the Yin. (Puttering from 4/30 - 5/14)
  • Actually, a trilliant is probably an ideal shape, for the fire/triangle symbology (Different Gem Shapes experiment)
  • The best secondary aesthetics for the ritual are the ones that are all about "Hooray for this fire spirit!" Having a non-elemental non-verb bit that ties through all the steps incorporating it would be ideal. (Type of fuel experiment)
  • The new celebration aesthetics are good, and tie it together except for the bucket of water and gems bit. That's pretty minor, though. The invoking of the Yin is a little iffy still - maybe something to generate smoke (for darkness)? Or some other thing that's more strongly Yin on top of the flame (which is naturally very Yang). (Puttering from 7/9 - 7/23)
  • Setting off the fireworks probably wants some amount of Use Fireworks (cost: 2), not just Acting. (Types of gems experiment)

Planned/possible experiments

Fire

  • Test the amount/purity of fenjiu needd

Earth

  • No more needed

Metal

  • Shape of the stand holding the sconce
  • Best type of metal for the stand

Wood

  • What sort of fireworks to use?
  • What sort of display is best? (Aerial display, scattered across the ground, etc)

Water

  • What is the best tea to use?
  • What is the best amount of time to take to make the tea (heating and steeping)?