The Rite of Accession is a ritual in Tales of Legendia performed only by exceptionally rare and gifted Ferines. The rite attempts to create a connection between the Ferines attempting it and Nerifes, the divine voice of the sea, thereby granting the Ferines in question awesome powers by transforming them into the next Merines.
During the Kingdom of Terises era, the ritual was performed at the Altar of the Sea. It is said that during this time, each generation's Merines traveled to that place to hear the voice of the sea. During the ritual, every candidate made several prayers to Nerifes, and if Nerifes deems the candidate worthy, the accession may take place by its power. Although the rewards of the successful Rite of Accession are great, it is an extremely dangerous undertaking. The success of the ritual depends entirely on the favor of the powerful and capricious sea god Nerifes, and failure can result in death. The first time Shirley Fennes attempted the ritual, she went into a coma, got a high fever and spent days on the brink of death and only the Tear of the Sea could revive her from, and even once she was out of immediate danger became deathly allergic to salt water and the sea breeze.
The Rite of Accession can be attempted multiple times, assuming the candidate survives the first attempt. It is even possible for a Ferines to hear the voice of Nerifes and become the Merines without completing the rite, as Shirley did when her second try at the rite was interrupted by Gadorian soldiers. Accession to the power of Nerifes can also be forced, even upon a Ferines who is unconscious, as long as she is powerful enough and Nerifes approves of her strength. Vaclav Bolud somehow managed to artificially elevate Stella Telmes to the status of Merines, even though she was comatose, close to death, and frozen in a cryogenic capsule, and through her had great influence over the Legacy before the story even begins.