The Unfortunate Letter

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A ritual which will create a letter that says nasty critical things in the voice of the sender.

Light a candle before the Tao is invoked (this will bring in Fire, without Creating it during the ritual).

Invoke the Tao

Prepare the rice paper and the ink.

The rice paper should be the finest and lightest of paper; pass over it with a lens which focuses the heat of the sun's gaze upon it, to bleach it without burning until it is purely white.

The ink must be the best and deepest black, and must be prepared in a completely darkened room, mixing the ink cake with just enough water for a thick ink.

Each roll:

  1. Dexterity roll with the paper and the lens
  2. Yang roll with magic ritual skill
  3. Intelligence roll (including Calligraphy) to prepare the ink in the dark
  4. Yin roll with magic ritual skill

must score at least 1 success, as the ritual is only power 1.

Invoke the Elements and the Actions

This ritual is one of Creation of Metal, for the "cutting, caustic remarks".

Take the rice paper (Wood) and divide it in half by tearing it. Place one half over the other. Place the ink stone by a bowl of clean water (Water), to refresh the ink, and a bowl of sand (Earth), to blot it.

Using a brush with fox-hair bristles and a handle of fox's bone[1], brush the character for "cruelty" on the top paper, as large as will fit. In the interstices, brush very finely an unpleasant secret that you have never told anyone (1 success with an Intelligence roll and Memory skill required; this is Seeking). Then, covering the rest of the paper, brush unpleasant insults until the paper is black and unreadable, and the clean water has become black with ink (Transformation). A Dexterity roll with Calligraphy is needed for all this (1 success). When the paper is wet and black with ink, take a single handful of sand, and let it stream slowly and evenly from your hand (Control) onto the paper, first in the character for "word", and then following the path traced by the lens at the beginning. The sand should cover the paper evenly, with none left. (Accuracy with any relevant skill: 1 success needed).

After the sand has blotted the ink dry, carefully lift the upper page away from the lower page without letting any of the sand spill onto the empty page, and burn the paper with the initially lit candle (Destruction).

1 success on a Resolve roll with Strong Will is necessary to hold the paper on fire until it has fully burned; the holder will soak the Yang energy of the ritual and burn his hand, leaving the Yin energy to funnel into Create Metal in the remaining blank page.

To activate the letter, the sender must seal it with spittle, and the letter will speak in their voice.

  1. First, "animal" is none of the elements, so is neutral. Second, the Fox spirit embodies words, including those which can wound. This is not a Grand ritual, so it is not necessary to treat the Fox as the imbalance.