ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.


General

The Entities normally do not and cannot exist in the physical world - in order for them to do so, they must "merge with reality" by changing the world to be closer to the essence of the Entity. Servants of the Entities can perform a ritual to accomplish this.[1] If the ritual succeeds, the entire world will be reshaped in a way that reflects the Entity, making the Entity's fear-energy much more plentiful. Rituals require massive amounts of power built up over centuries, and if the ritual fails, that power is lost and must be rebuilt before another ritual can be attempted.

Robert Smirke devised rituals for each Entity, though he was not sure whether he invented the rituals or merely discovered them.[2] Smirke suspected that the entities always had rituals; if nothing else, Maxwell Rayner had discussed rituals for the Dark before Smirke ever codified anything about the entities. The Magnus Institute later learned that The Stranger attempted a ritual in 1787 when Smirke was only a child.[3] However, Smirke feared that his ritual designs created blueprints for the Entities' followers, making it easier for rituals to be attempted.

It is unclear if all Entities have a ritual as there are no known attempts by The Web or The End.[4]

As of MAG 160, it is revealed that every ritual attempted to date has failed because they have aimed to only bring one Entity into the world, even though all of the Entities are connected. Elias Bouchard came to this conclusion after observing Gertrude Robinson's attempts at stopping rituals. At one point, she simply let a ritual play out to see what would happen, and it still failed.

It is worth noting that even though individual rituals were always doomed to fail, stopping the rituals was not pointless. In the few cases where a ritual was not purposely stopped, many lives have been lost and an Entity grows stronger, as was the case for Elias' first attempt at the Watcher's Crown. Hundred of prisoners were killed, and Elias grew in power.

Individual Rituals

The Buried

  • The Buried's ritual is called "Sunken Sky" and the end result would be called "the Forever Buried."
  • It was attempted in 2008 in Bucoda, Washington, involving Bucoda residents throwing themselves into a vast pit which grew wider with each life it consumed.[5]
  • Gertrude Robinson disrupted the ritual by throwing astronaut Jan Kilbride, a person marked and partially consumed by the Vast, into the pit. Gertrude believed that she was merciful for killing and dismembering Kilbride first.[6]
  • Backlash from the ritual's premature end caused an "earthquake" that obliterated Bucoda.[5]

The Corruption 

  • There is currently no information on The Corruption's ritual, though one has apparently been attempted at some point. It is possible the Corruption doesn't have a formal ritual, but rather simply finds a narrow place between worlds and tries to burrow through.
  • It is possible that Jane Prentiss was attempting a ritual in the tunnel beneath the Archives. This was attempted when the Corruption attacked the Magnus Institute, as the worms of Jane Prentiss were apparently attempting to create a ring or door of some kind before being killed by Tim.[7] On later inspection of the spot, Jonathan Sims noticed that the stone within the ring had been beginning to seemingly liquefy.[8]

The Dark

  • The Dark's ritual is called the "Extinguished Sun."
  • The Dark's rituals seem to take place coinciding with solar eclipses in Ny-Ålesund, with one apparently happening in 1715,[9] and then again in March 2015.[10][11]
  • The 2015 ritual held by The People's Church of the Divine Host started with the creation of a "Dark Star", a ball of pure darkness that was created by Manuela Dominguez aboard the space station Daedalus.[12] In various locations around the world, The Dark's followers began a "Week of Horrors", with hundreds of sacrifices meant to culminate with the eclipse at Ny-Ålesund, at which point the Dark Star was supposed to replace the sun.
  • The ritual failed for no apparent reason, leaving many cultists dead. This fractured the followers of The Dark, falling into bickering and blame-slinging.[11] Some believed the ritual was stopped by Gertrude Robinson, but she had allowed the ritual to continue unabated to test her theory that rituals will fail on their own.
  • The Dark Star was put into storage, where it was later destroyed by Jonathan Sims.[11]

The Desolation 

  • The Desolation's Ritual is called "The Scoured Earth."
  • The Cult of the Lightless Flame created Agnes Montague as a "messiah" whom they hoped would prepare the world for the Scoured Earth,[13] but Gertrude Robinson suppressed Agnes' power and delayed the ritual for decades.[14] Agnes began to doubt her destiny during that delay, her doubts strengthened when she dated a man untouched by the powers.[15]
  • Agnes ultimately gave up on the ritual and convinced the cult that she should die without attempting the Scoured Earth, saving the long-hoarded power for another attempt. The cult hanged her at her own request.[16] It is believed that this death will allow Desolation to attempt another ritual soon.

The End 

  • According to Peter Lukas, The End has never attempted a ritual since it knows it "gets everything eventually" because everything dies.
  • A world in which The End manifested would be lifeless, with no terror of death to feed on.[4]

The Eye

  • The Eye's ritual is called "The Watcher's Crown."
  • Jonah Magnus attempted the Watcher's Crown at some point closely after February 13th, 1867,[17] using the panopticon of Millbank Prison.
  • Though the ritual failed, it killed hundreds of prisoners residing in the prison, destroyed the prison, and left Jonah with his semi-omniscient powers.

The Flesh

  • The Flesh's ritual is "The Last Feast."
  • Followers delivered meat to a Gnostic temple in Istanbul, where it was thrown into a large "meat pit" in the basement, that grew as it was fed.
  • Gertrude stopped the ritual in October 2008 by throwing explosives into the pit.[18]
  • Jared Hopworth refused to help with the ritual because he liked the world the way it was.[19]

The Hunt

  • The Hunt's ritual is called "The Everchase."
  • The ritual involves an endless hunt with no real end. One manifestation involved groups of explorers hunting for a mythical location, such as the Lost City of Z or the Northwest Passage, which led groups of explorers from various locations to the same place, as they lost track of what they were hunting.
  • Jonathan Sims and Daisy Tonner speculate that the ritual may be impossible to complete because the Hunt and its avatars value the act of hunting more than capturing their quarry, thus driving the Hunt to continue the Everchase forever.[20]
  • It had apparently not happened by 2007, as Gertrude was looking at North America for its location but wasn't completely sold on this, and expected it to be at some point after that of The Buried in 2008.[21] It is possible that the ritual was already in progress, as it will always be, as historical explorers were noted to be part of the event.

The Lonely

  • Peter Lukas invented a ritual for The Lonely, which he called "The Silence" because he thought it needed a name.[22]
  • His attempt involved constructing an apartment complex designed to isolate the inhabitants, filling it with stressed and miserable people, and, upon the residents reaching a critical degree of loneliness, sealing them inside and leaving them to die.
  • Gertrude Robinson stopped the ritual[4] by bringing the building to the attention of a reporter at The Guardian, causing an enormous influx of attention.[22]
  • The Lonely won't be able to attempt a ritual for a few decades or even centuries.[4]

The Slaughter

  • The Slaughter's Ritual is called "The Risen War."
  • It was attempted in 1942 aboard a ship called the Nemesis, wherein the ship was loaded with prisoners of war, who were then compelled to massacre each other.
  • The ritual seems to have failed on its own, to the great disappointment of those who orchestrated it. Gertrude Robinson speculates that the ship was supposed to have been bombed during the massacre in order to complete it, but the ship sank before that could happen.[23]

The Spiral

  • The Spiral's ritual is called "The Great Twisting". It happened some time after mid-2009 and at latest 2011, and took place on Sannikov Land, a phantom island in the Arctic Ocean.
  • Many Spiral manifestations were present, such as the Distortion and The Worker of Clay,[24] who built a massive altar through which the Great Twisting would occur. The Ritual included the presence of a thousand human sacrifices, mesmerised by The Worker of Clay's construction. The ritual centred on the Distortion, "the door that would open to all the places that were never there."
  • Gertrude Robinson stopped the ritual by sending Michael Shelley into The Distortion with a map of its interior, able to navigate to the Distortion's centre and merge with it, turning the two of them into Michael. The resulting confusion of The Distortion's identity caused the ritual to collapse, banishing the Spiral's servants and returning Sannikov Land to nonexistence.[25]

The Stranger

  • The Stranger's ritual is called "The Unknowing."
  • It takes the form of a chaotic, surreal dance accompanied by a choir of false people where the semiotic facilities of those who witness it fail.
  • The Stranger has made two known attempts at The Unknowing.

The Vast

  • Simon Fairchild devised a ritual for The Vast called "The Awful Deep."
  • Simon attempted the Awful Deep in 1853, taking a group of sacrifices deep underwater in a specially-designed diving bell.
  • The ritual was sabotaged by an agent of The Hunt, and by Fairchild's own admission, the ritual was 'not a very good idea' and 'sort of fizzled,' possibly because thalassophobia was not common enough for a ritual to take advantage of at the time.[26]
  • Simon has vague plans to conduct a ritual set in deep space but estimates it will be at least another century before human technology makes it possible.[27]

The Web 

  • According to Peter Lukas The Web, has never attempted a ritual. Peter speculates this is because it prefers the world as it is, where it can play everyone off against each other.[4]

The Mass Ritual

  • Only one mass ritual attempt has ever been recorded, and it is the only ritual of any kind that has ever succeeded.[28]
  • Devised by Elias Bouchard, the ritual attempts to bring every single Entity into the world at once, based on the concept that all individual rituals have failed because the Entities cannot be separated.
  • The ritual requires a linchpin, someone who has experienced and been marked by all the Fears.
    • In this case, the linchpin was Jonathan Sims, the Archivist. Additionally, Elias used the Archivist because it would mean the ritual was centred on the Eye.
  • This ritual does not have a canonical name and "The Magnus Archives" is the only name Jonny Sims has tentatively provided.[29]
  • The ritual required an incantation read by the Archivist.
You who watch and know and understand none!
You who listen and hear and will not comprehend!
You who wait and wait and drink in all that is not yours by right!
Come to us in your wholeness! Come to us in your perfection!
Bring all that is fear and all that is terror and all that is the awful dread that crawls and chokes and blinds and falls and twists and leaves and hides and weaves and burns and hunts and rips and bleeds and dies! Come to us!
I open the door!

References

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