Q. How, and when, can I perform "The Great Marriage"?
A. You can perform this ritual as soon as you have all four pure elements: earth, air, fire, and water at your disposal. However... I personally would wait until you have visited all four of the damaged dragons. There's no particular reason for waiting, just that you might be getting ahead of the story a bit if you perform this ritual too early. Enough said. Once you do decide to proceed:

> recall great marriage (High Tower, cabinet locked with symbol for attraction)
"THE GREAT MARRIAGE must be performed at the Heart of the House, in an Orderly
Environment." (...scribbled with an arrow: "?NAVE!") "...Employ the Marcher's Invocation to
seal an empty Bound. Add a Signifier of the Marcher's Location to the Gestalt; waft a Resinous
Note. Now add the Four Elements to the Bound, and invoke the Dragon."

Great Marriage? This isn't modern alchemical science; it's a fairy tale. And the only indication of
the goal is "THE HOMUNCULUS."

There's one thing you need for the ritual that's a little tricky to figure out. That would be: "...Add a Signifier of the Marcher's Location to the Gestalt...". What the heck does that even mean? Well, think about it. Where does all the marcher's navigation happen? In the Observatory, right? And isn't there a "complex machine" in Observatory Alcove, South?

> x machine
This majestic piece of machinery is intended to condense heavenly observations into a portable
form. You've used the result - small slips of tin engraved with the equivalent of dozens of
astronomical ephemera; they're crucial for certain very precise sorts of alchemical operations.
But you've never used the Calculator itself. That's Aithery work.

The Calculator is the size of a large console desk. The upper surface is dominated by an
armillary sphere, or rather a nested set of spheres: gleaming brass orbits and cycles, balanced to
follow the movements of the visible stars. On the front is a smaller dial, surrounded by the
marks of the Greek alphabet, to which it can be set. Next to the dial is a tiny slot.

A tin slip rests in the slot, ready for engraving.

> x spheres
The Calculator contains eight nested brass spheres, supported in delicate armillary gears. The
spheres are piercework, of course, so that you can see down to the center; each is engraved with
orbits, stars, nebulae, and the other landmarks of the heavens. By adjusting the Calculator, you
can match the spheres up to the observatory's environment... or at least, a trained Aithery pilot

Each sphere is marked with a scale in Greek letters. From the outside in, the spheres are aligned
at gamma, pi, sigma, tau, alpha, kappa, xi, theta.

However, the patterns marked on the spheres don't seem to match the visible heavens at all.

Hmm. Spheres made of brass. We should have found something on our travels that can work wonders with brass mechanisms. Do you remember what it is? Well...

> recall clock tincture (found in Exoscaphe, cabinet sealed with white-fuse)
"WINFIELD'S CLOCK TINCTURE (to repair or realign clockwork): This ritual requires an
environment of precision and order. Place a measure of alum into the bound, and perform the
Sealing of Shamash. Add perfect mud; speak a syllable of counterbalance; add sublime spirit,
then a token of brass. Conclude with the Major Animus. The resulting potion embodies
perfection in brass, and will induce perfection in any brass mechanism it touches."

Note that: "The resulting potion embodies perfection in brass, and will induce perfection in any brass mechanism it touches." I'm betting if we can use the clock tincture to align the brass spheres in the Calculator, we'll be able to get the marcher's location printed out onto that tin slip. First we'll need to make perfect mud:

> recall perfect mud (found in Deep Stacks, look through oculus)
"THE SYNTHESIS of JACKSON-MUD (a perfect balance of elemental earth and water): Begin
with a medium of simple sand, and the Hermetic sealing. Invoke the
Crystalline Tempering. Add one of the pure elements to the retort, and speak
the word of entension; then add the other, and speak the word of emulgence."

That requires elemental earth, and elemental water (which you can find right here in the Observatory. Just borrow the capsule of elemental water from the compass pedestal). So to make perfect mud: Click here to show/hide ritual steps

And we also need to make sublime spirit, the recipe of which can be found right here 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. 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 clock tincture synthesis ritual. You can use the brass pin as a token, and that thick key from the kiln you're always carrying around is perfect for creating an orderly environment. Click here to show/hide ritual steps

Now we can:

> go to observatory
> s
> pour clock tincture on calculator
You slowly pour the tincture into the guts of the Calculator. Just as slowly, the spheres begin to
turn, until they are all aligned: zeta, rho, pi, omicron, iota, pi, beta, mu.

An escapement whirrs. The patterns on the spheres seem to match the stars arrayed around you,
as far as you can tell. The blank tin slip is drawn into the Calculator.

After a brief cantata of rattles and clunking noises, the slip is ejected back into your hands, now
imprinted with complex symbols. It is now an ephemeris billet, summarizing the heavenly
coordinates you have set up.

Wow. This game is just full of cool. Anyway, we have now consumed a few of the pure elements in the process of creating the ephemeris billet, so we must reset before we can proceed with The Great Marriage. We have the correct settings for the Calculator spheres memorised now ('the ephemeris billet combination', in our facts list), so we don't need to make the clock tincture again when we come back from the Void :-)

So after the reset, gather/create all four pure elements and gather the rosemary. Getting the elemental air is not exactly simple, so: Click here to show/hide procedure for getting elemental air

And finally:

> create ephemeris billet

Then head for the Nave. Now we're ready to perform The Great Marriage... or, are we? What about that very last bit of the ritual: "... and invoke the Dragon". How are we supposed to do that? Tell you what, let's chance it and see how far we can get: Click here to show/hide ritual steps

Well, that accomplished *something*. Note how when you woke up this time, you automatically make your way from the Secondary Alchemy Lab to the Mechanica Lab. And if you look closely at the room description there, you find a new addition at the bottom:

"... You notice a fresh sheet of paper by the door. Hm? That wasn't there before."

> take sheet of paper
The paper appears freshly written, but you don't recognize the script.

"A homunculus is not a daimon or a servant. It is a seed of animation without volition, a
quickening spark. It cannot act or move on its own; but in combination with other works, it may
become something greater."

Hmm. Time to have a good look 'round the Retort and see what else has changed...

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