Q. How do I know when I am ready to perform the final ritual in the Chancel, and how do I go about it?
A. In order to get to the Chancel with all four pure elements, and to be able to execute the final ritual successfully, you need to have done at least the following things:

  1. Subsumed all three of the lifeless dragons into the active one.
  2. Visited all possible locations on the marcher, including: the Tertiary Alchemy Lab (key to door is in Exoscaphe Dome), the Opticks Closet (opens up when Syndesis repairs the fracture in the Opticks Lab), the Dead End Pit east of the Confusing Cracks, and the Dressing Room (through the marble door in North Arcade).
  3. Visited the Exoscaphe Bay via the North Arcade window.
  4. Visited the Ruined Chamber in the alien wreck and examined the knot there.

You also should have received the extended status report - and learned the intensional ballast ritual - from the active dragon. Though, this is not essential to completing the game. It just gives you a better chance of getting the marcher to a safe haven. So if you can, perform the intensional ballast ritual right now, and drop the inscribed brass pin where the active dragon told you to... *except* if it was Syndesis. You will consume some unreplaceable resources if you try to get to the Birdhouse Crawl, so just drop the brass pin in the Barosy Crevice instead, which is where Baros instructs you to put it. Pneuma instructed me to: " it below the garden." So you can also drop it in the pool in the Paper Garden (if you enter the pool with the brass pin, it starts to glow). And Aistheta tells you to place it in Observatory Crawlspace, Flooded. Anyway, all those places are always accessible at this stage in the game, without having to consume any one-of-a-kind items. And in the endgame you have to manage these items very carefully.

Before you set about making your way to the Chancel, you may have noticed that after you subsumed all the lifeless dragons, your crewmates moved once more. Examining the shadows in the last place they vacated through the oculus completes the backstory: affairs were being had, reagents messed with, and all of it mixed in with a bit of jealousy, angst, and dodgy alchemy. Oh my. It's no wonder the Retort is in such a state. But again, none of what you learn here is essential to completing the game.

OK then. Once you're ready to roll, this is all about using what you've learned about dependencies and substitutions to figure out how to get to the Chancel with all four pure elements. You also need to make the dragon fulcrum and place it in any lair. Again, Pneuma's lair is always accessible, so I'd place it there.

Hidden just below is the line of reasoning that gets you to the Chancel. Obviously, it's better for your gaming experience if you can figure all this out on your own, but just in case: Click here to show/hide strategy for getting to the Chancel with all four pure elements in your inventory

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