The First Arcana Ritual was performed in 161 AYZ in Amarna. It was held on the same day as the birthday party of Prince Alastair Rimânez. All of his closest family members, friends, and allies were invited to the celebration. Unbeknownst to most of the guests, they were unwittingly made to participate in the ritual.
The ritual technically failed, as Alastair was killed by an unknown assailant before it could be completed. However, the Arcana were indeed summoned, and many of the participants made deals with them.
Prince Alastair Rimânez came up with the initial idea for the ritual, though he was inspired by his advisers. Having already bound several of the Arcana to him as servants through various dealings, he wanted to place the others under his thrall.
From his court magician Selca Ducani, Alastair learned that a young man named Ardath Dastagir had visited Selca to request access to his books on the occult. Ardath had admitted to Selca he wanted to summon the Arcana to make a deal with them, although he did not reveal what the deal would be. Alastair arranged a meeting with Ardath, and the two discussed the occult, tarot, and the Arcana. Ardath was easily convinced to participate in the ritual.
The two planned to gather enough people to represent each of the Major Arcana cards. Alastair arranged for the ritual to occur on his birthday, using the guise of a celebration to attract the necessary individuals as party guests. They would dine in the palace dining room, unaware that they were participating in the ritual. Ardath would cast a spell on the guests, making them impulsively drink the wine all at the same time (this form of communion would link them all together), and complete the summoning with another spell.
At some point, Alastair concluded that it was possible to have one person represent more than one card, as not all of the cards were personified. Ardath was ambivalent about this, but went along with it once he was assured it would not prevent him from summoning the Arcana. Thus, several of the guests were made to play dual roles, with one in particular - the arena champion Titus - playing two and a half.
In total, Alastair planned for his wife, Princess Philomena, various city officials, and all of his household servants to become hosts to the Major Arcana.
On the night of the ritual, everything appeared to go smoothly. The guests arrived on time, and there were no delays in getting them to the dining room. The only issue was in moving Selca, who had been in the dungeon for some time, to the table so he could represent the Hanged Man.
However, once everyone was seated but before Ardath could complete the first spell, Alastair proposed a toast. He thanked everyone for coming, then proceeded to make well-wishes for each person sitting at the table. At some point during the well-wishes, he was struck from behind with a kitchen knife.
Ardath quickly finished the spell, forcing everyone to drink the wine compulsively even as Alastair lay dying before them. He then rushed through the summoning spell.
Of the 22 Major Arcana expected, only four appeared. The Magician, the High Priestess, the Hanged Man and the Hermit each successfully made deals with Ardath, Philomena, Selca, and Titus.