This ritual allows memories to be extracted wholesale from the victim’s mind. The magician must speak with the victim on multiple occasions for a significant amount of time (at least about half an hour), on each occasion making some reference to the memory and following it with a specific phrase of the magician’s choosing. Eventually, any stimulus that would trigger the memory being recalled instead recalls that phrase. A particularly insidious variant allows the memory to be absorbed by the magician. Specific limited events (a brawl, for example, but not a siege) or facts may be affected. This ritual may be enacted upon oneself with the aid of a mirror. Although the implications of this magic can be terrifying, and spies have been known to use it to extract information from targets, it has also proven moderately effective as a therapeutic tool for dealing with trauma.
The GM sets a threshold for the memory. Recent, fleeting memories may have a threshold of one point; old memories tied deeply into someone’s psyche may have thresholds of a dozen points or more. During each conversation, the base difficulty is set by the caster; the target must make a Psychic save against the base difficulty. Each failed save counts as one point toward the threshold; once this number is reached, the memory is erased and replaced. Each conversation costs one point each of strain and fatigue for the magician; they can lower the casting difficulty from the base by a step by doubling the cost. Each degree of success beyond regular on the casting, or a critical failure on the save, adds another point toward the threshold. A critical failure on the casting makes the target aware of the process if they weren’t already. An aware target resisting the spell gains +2 to all their saves. Attempting to gain the memory being extracted raises the difficulty by a step and increases the costs in strain and fatigue by one each.
If the ritual is successfully completed, any long-term strain effects associated with the memory are removed, but any event that forces the subject to confront an obvious gap in their memory inflicts at least one point of temporary strain, and in extreme cases may cause an immediate break roll.