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- The supply has 8 magic items and 5 essences (calm, elan, life, death, gold).
- Place 5 places of power.
- Shuffle the monuments and put 2 of them face up.
- Each player gets 1 of each type of essence, 2 mages and 8 artifacts. Examine the artifacts and select 1 mage.
- In counter-clockwise order, each player chooses 1 magic item, starting from the player to the right of the first player.
Each game usually consists of 4-6 rounds. In each round, do the following:
Phase 1: Collect
- Each player activates their collect abilities, which gives them new essences to use on their turn.
- If there is a number on the essence, take that number of essences; otherwise take 1.
- If there is a +, take all of them.
- If there is a /, choose 1 to take.
- If a pentagon is shown, choose any type of essence, subject to the restrictions.
- You may also take essences off some components (including places of power), but if you take any essence off a component, you must take all of them.
- After collecting, pay the collect costs (if any) and resolve any effects caused.
Phase 2: Actions
- Starting with the first player, each player resolves an action until anyone has passed:
- Play an artifact: place an artifact from your hand onto the table, paying its cost.
- Claim a monument/place of power: place the card you claimed in front of you, paying its cost. You may claim the top monument on the deck.
- Discard an artifact: discard an artifact from your hand into your discard pile, where it will be recycled into your draw pile at the end of the round. Then, gain 1 gold or any other 2 essences.
- Activate a power: use a power on one of your straightened components or use a reaction.
- Pass: if you are the first to pass, take the starting player token. Then, swap your magic item for another in the supply and draw 1 card. You need to wait for the other players to finish before you can continue.
- You must pay all of the required cost to use a power.
- If a card is turned, its powers (except reactions) cannot be used.
- Each use of a card's power is a separate action.
- If you have to place essences on a component, take them from the supply.
- Reactions are used on another player's turn, when its activating conditions happen. It can be used if the card is turned, unless turning the card is needed.
- Life loss is only inflicted on opponents that haven't passed. If an opponent cannot pay the loss, lose any other 2 essences instead. If an opponent has no essence, nothing happens.
- Discarding is from your hand, while destroying from the playing field; either way, the card is put into your discard pile. When destroying a card, put any essence on it back to the supply.
- If you have no cards in the deck when you need to draw a card, shuffle the discard pile to form a new deck.
- If there is an equal sign on the pentagon, you have to pay identical essences.
- If you need to choose any opponent, you can choose an opponent who has passed.
- If the effect produces a mix of essences, total the cost, modify by any modifiers, and take any mix of essences from the supply.
- Once a player passes, he cannot do any actions or be affected by life loss, but can still be affected by rivals' other powers.
Phase 3: Victory
- After all players have passed, check if anyone has 10 or more points.
- If at least 1 player has 10 or more points, the game ends and the player with the most points wins.
- If several players are tied, count the number of remaining essences with gold counted as double. The player with the most essences wins.
- If any players are still tied, they share the victory.
- If nobody has 10 or more points, straighten all components and begin the next round.
- Use the beginner sides of the places of power.
- Give each player a pre-set 3-card hand, with 5 random artifacts in the deck and the matching mage.
- Instead of drawing 8 artifacts, deal 4 artifacts to each player.
- Each player keeps 1 and passes the rest clockwise. Repeat 4 times.
- Each player draws 4 artifacts again and repeats the passing process 4 times.
- These 8 artifacts become your deck. Shuffle and draw 3 for your starting hand.