Q. How do I lower the ladder in the Observatory to gain access to the ironwork bridge above?
A. If you look carefully at this excerpt from the Observatory location description:

... One level above you, an ironwork bridge crosses the dome, north to south. A
ladder descends at either end, but only one of the two is lowered, and that one
is obstructed by a fracture that cuts off the north side of the dome. The
south-side ladder is folded up under the bridge; its counterweight hangs near
the floor.

> x counterweight
The counterweight is a massive block of lead. It hangs from the bridge, at the end of a steel

Hmm. If we could do something to that counterweight to make it heavier...

> recall lead weight increase (found in Deck Suite, locked cabinet)
derives from the Subcontinent, but we translate it into European terms.) Create an anchored
(Saturnine) environment. Place any common bit of stone into the bound, and invoke a simple
sealing. Add a resinous note to the atmosphere; speak a word of essential nature; add a measure
of Gaian precipitate. Conclude with the Binding of the Celestial Sphere, to align the alchemical
axis (Earth-Saturn, low-high) with the mundane axis of gravitation."

For the anchored environment, you can use either the horn coin you find in the Exoscaphe, or one of the lead file seals you've been making. But... let's just say that you might need lead for something else later on. So I'd recommend you use the horn coin, as it doesn't consume any resources.

First though, we need to make some Gaian precipitate, the recipe for which can be found in the Deep Stacks, trapped under an intrusion of alien coral:

> recall gaian precipitate
"THE SYNTHESIS of GAIAN PRECIPITATE: This reagent is of great value in
rituals pertaining to the Earth. Prepare your retort with a measure of vitriolic
acid; place orichalcum therein. Invoke the sealing and raise the heat. When the
metal dissolves, recite a symmetric sequence (the symmetry induces a positive
connection to the Earth). Measure in alum until the solution turns violet; then
add pure elemental earth and reduce to a powder."

The piece of paper that tells you how to recite a symmetric sequence is also in the Deep Stacks. Gathering the ingredients for this ritual is a non-trivial exercise, so here's how to go about it if you get stuck: Click here to show/hide steps for gathering the items for Gaian precipitate synthesis

Now we have everything we need to make Gaian precipitate: Click here to show/hide ritual steps

And we've done it. Creating the lead weight increase inscription on a piece of rock (any rock will do, like the chip of granite or sandstone) is pretty easy compared to that, but just in case: Click here to show/hide ritual steps

Once you've managed to create the lead weight increase inscription, then:

> go to observatory
> touch counterweight with sandstone (or whatever piece of rock you made the inscription on)
> u

Click here to show/hide spoilers concerning what you find at the top of the ladder

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