Q. How do I get into the Birdhouse?
A. You can try to enter the Birdhouse:

> go to grand stair top
> w
(first opening the engraved door)
You reach for the handle, but your fingers go numb and slide away.

Lovely. With everything that's wrong on the Retort, this one security stricture remains perfectly
functional. It's reacting to your psychic signature - an ensign can't just walk into the Birdhouse,
so when you approach, the door gets defensive. Yes, "defensive" is a technical term in aura

But you can't just walk in. So we're going to need something to get us past that bit of "aura engineering". Hey, how about this ritual we found in the Master Rector's Quarters:

> recall aura invisibility
spiritual peace. Begin with a quartz token in the bound; this represents the ka soul. Invoke the
Ka Sealing. Sprinkle copper percalcinate over the token, representing the ba soul. Invoke an
idempotent structure. Pour sublime spirit over the token; this represents the evanescence of the
soul's name. Close with an elementary word of binding. This inscription will render the subject's
aura indetectable to malign forces, though only briefly."

OK, we need to make 'copper percalcinate' first:

> recall facts
> recall percalination (procedure found in Opticks Annex)
"Percalcination: to repeat the calcination procedure. (Typically produces a more stable and
potent reagent.) First, calcine a metal. Then seal the retort (Hermetic) and invoke the
Crystalline Tempering to clarify the salt's structure. Add more acid to redissolve, and continue
heating until a second crystallization occurs."

But that requires that we first calcine the metal:

> recall copper calcination (from a sheet found in the Chymic Lab)
"Lab demonstration #5: Calcinate of copper. Place muriatic acid and quickcopper (orichalcum)
in the retort. Heat to dissolve, and continue heating until the green salt crystallizes. Note:
product is unstable! Flush retort directly after demonstration; do not extract calcinate."

Ah. We need to do this in two steps, leaving the results of the first step in the retort as it's unstable: Click here to show/hide steps for creating copper percalcinate

Another prerequisite for the aura invisibility inscription is sublime spirit, the recipe of which can be found in the Observatory Alcove, South:

> recall sublime spirit
"THE SYNTHESIS of SUBLIME SPIRIT (the eighth distilled essence of mineral oil): Place mineral
oil and nickel into a retort. (Thin pieces of nickel are best, as the surface area must be large.)
Invoke the sealing, followed by a word of entension (to prevent the oil from igniting). Introduce
elemental fire into the retort to begin the distillation. You may then easily extract the desired

The instructions state: "Thin pieces of nickel are best, as the surface area must be large." So I ran the nickel rod through the wire-drawer first. The word of entension was on a sheet of paper in the Chymic Lab. You can create the elemental fire easily too:

> perform gold ignition

Then we can make the sublime spirit: Click here to show/hide ritual steps

That does it, but note that we have de-phlogisticated the gold rod in the process. Oh well. But now we can finally perform the aura invisibility inscription ritual. You can use either of the quartz prisms as a token, and either the rotor card set to 'Rainbow' or the Chinese amulet to create the atmosphere of spiritual peace. Click here to show/hide ritual steps

Now we can head back to the Birdhouse and gain entry:

> go to grand stair top
> touch self with prism
> w

Click here to show/hide spoilers concerning what you find in the Birdhouse

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