- Upstairs: a mutable location (an island, or hill, or ridge, in an ocean or desert or ice-plain...) which requires five cooperating players to fully control.
- Downstairs: an alchemy lab where you can make several colors of ink, and then color a model world.
You stand in a chamber built of massive squared stones. The only exit is a plain doorway in the north wall. Shelves line the east side of the room; the opposite wall is painted with an elaborate mural. Between them, a worktable -- a single heavy granite slab, cluttered with the tools of your work.In the center of the worktable is a complex apparatus of mirrors and lenses. The table also contains an empty flask, a wooden basket, a leaden jar, and a scrap of paper.> READ PAPERYou have the formulation of the necessary ink scrawled here: "Winter lithontree resin, and sea-blood corundum -- equal by mass -- combine -- ensolve by exposure to (2 pulses) month-aged noonlight." Easy enough to repeat. The hard part was gathering those substances.
- The flask can contain one substance or a mixture of several. You can always add more blue dust or more gold resin.
- Adding a substance does not cause a reaction. Hitting the mixture with a pulse of light causes the reaction.
That's if you play in expert mode. In beginner mode, the "equal by mass" requirement is dropped, so the triple arrow is simplified -- gel always turns to ink.
"FOR THE CLEANSING OF BRASS TARNISH: Prepare an atmosphere of fiery principles. Place a brass token within the bound, and seal it. Speak a word of essential nature, so that the properties of brass may be evoked. Compound the atmosphere with a resinous note. Then intone the Lesser Phlogistical Saturation to complete the token's investment. Place token directly on tarnished item."
This diagram has quite a different shape. Each ritual is a chain of steps; you have to get each step right. This spell has one possible substitution -- figuring that out is an early puzzle. But other than that, if you make a mistake, you've entered a "junk" state and there's no way back.
> PUT PIN IN BOUNDYou put the brass pin into the workbench bound.> SAY SEALING WORDYou take a breath, trace the bound in your mind, and intone the simple sealing word.The arc begins to glow orange around the brass pin.> SAY WORD OF ESSENTIAL NATUREYou intone the word of essential nature. The metallic nature of the brass pin rises to the surface.> SAY BINDING WORDYou intone the elementary word of binding, but it echoes hollowly. There is nothing else in the arc to bind the brass pin to.
- Figuring out what the recipes mean;
- Figuring out what the resulting spells do;
- Then, when you've mastered those, untangling the complex dependencies. Spell X requires ingredient Y which you get from spell Z. But then spell Q also requires ingredient Y, and you only have one dose of Y, so maybe there's an alternative to casting X...?
This room is set up with rows of workbenches and Bunsen burners. A rack of fountain pens sits on a stand up front. You also see a small architectural model in an alcove, with a neatly printed note tacked by it. The exit is up the stairs.Your burner is off. You could turn it to low heat or high heat.Your flask is empty.You could add solvent, powder, or sap.
"The workstations are stocked with pure solvent, powdered galla leaf (yellow), and renadi sap (green). Should be enough to get you started on a variety of inks. Try heating the powder slowly in solvent, for a start."
This has yet a different shape from the earlier diagrams. Why?
- Seltani allows timed events. (The games above are entirely turn-based.) A mixture on the burner may change color and consistency over the course of thirty real-time seconds, and then burn.
- The flask only contains one substance at a time, but there are hidden variables: temperature, concentration, a couple of others. Adding an ingredient always causes a reaction, but you might not be able to see it.