Caster ( 10)Illusion
|Random Abilities||2 (Mage)|
Aerie is a Champion. She may randomly appear for hire if a wizard has at least 40 Fame points, in which case her Hiring Cost is 500 by default. Alternatively, Aerie can be summoned using the Summon Champion spell.
Aerie's Magical Ranged Attack strength is deceptively low: She inflicts Illusion Damage, which will completely bypass the target's Defense rating. She will even ignore the defense of units with Magic Immunity, unless those units also possess Illusions Immunity. This makes her very dangerous to the majority of enemy units, especially after she gains some Experience. She has plenty of Mana to use for this attack as well.
Aerie has the innate ability of Missile Immunity, which protects her from several types of Ranged Attacks. Furthermore, Aerie is always granted 2 extra Random Abilities picked from the "Mage" category, which can significantly boost her performance.
Aerie also has the ability to cast spells, for which she will pay from her own Mana pool. In addition to any spell known to her employer, Aerie may also cast the Psionic Blast, Vertigo and Mind Storm spells - assuming she has sufficient Mana to do so.
While Aerie has virtually no Melee Attack capabilities nor a strong Defense, she will rarely if ever be called upon to use them anyway. It is best to keep her safe and away from enemies if at all possible.
Aerie may be equipped with the mage set of Magical Items, contributing primarily to the strength of her Ranged Attack and spell-casting abilities. Spell Save bonuses from items can make her Vertigo spell incredibly difficult to resist! The lack of armor, however, makes her more vulnerable to enemy attacks.
General Description Edit
Aerie the Illusionist is practically a child compared to some of the other Heroes, but she already possesses frightfully-powerful abilities - all related to the effects that magic can have on the minds of others. She can cause her enemies to believe in all sorts of bizarre visions which she spins from raw magic. These illusions can be anything from terrifying visions to downright mind-destroying abominations.
It is possible that Aerie's own appearance is itself an illusion. She seems nothing more than a child, with an innocent face and short blond hair. She holds a white half-face mask, which is likely an important component of her magical abilities. A small snake serves as her companion, and she rides a light-brown horse. Aerie is dressed in very vivid yellow and orange clothes.
Initial Properties Edit
Note: All data below assumes Aerie is at her lowest Experience Level, and without any Magical Items or Random Abilities - After all, any Hero can become devastatingly powerful after gaining several levels and powerful items. Please refer to the tables and chapters below for more information.
Attack Properties Edit
Aerie the Illusionist's primary mode of attack is a Magical Ranged Attack of moderate strength, and she also possesses a weak auxiliary Melee Attack. Both attacks are deceptively weak however - they can be devastatingly powerful thanks to Aerie's Illusion Damage.
Aerie's Ranged Attack has a default strength of 5. Given a basic To Hit chance of 30%, she can be expected to deliver about 1.5 points of Damage with this attack, on average. Nominally, this would be a fairly-weak attack for such an expensive Hero.
However, Aerie delivers Illusion Damage with each of her attacks, and this means that the target does not get to make any Defense rolls to block this damage. As a result, Aerie will actually deliver about 1.5 with each attack even if the target is extremely well-armored! Note that targets possessing Illusions Immunity or the True Sight spell can ignore this effect and will roll for Defense as normal. Aerie's attack is thus much less powerful against them.
Note that Aerie's Magical Ranged Attack uses Mana from her own personal pool as ammunition. Each attack reduces her remaining Mana by -3. When she has only 2 or fewer left, she may not use her Ranged Attack anymore for the rest of the battle. Since this is the same Mana that Aerie uses to cast spells during combat, she must decide whether to use Ranged Attacks or cast spells depending on the situation on the battlefield. Mana is restored to full capacity at the end of each battle.
Aerie's Melee Attack has an initial strength of only 1, a token attack that is highly unlikely to cause any damage. Given a basic To Hit chance of 30%, it can be expected to deliver no more than 0.3 points of Damage on average. This attack also delivers Illusion Damage, and will thus ignore virtually any armor, but is still too weak to be useful - at least until Aerie can improve it through Experience.
Defensive Properties Edit
By default, Aerie the Illusionist has a rather-low Defense score of 4. This enables her to block, on average, about 1.2 points of Damage from any damage source. This is in no way impressive, and means that most enemy units can damage Aerie. If she is to go into any battle, she definitely needs extra protection.
This vulnerability does not apply to enemy Ranged Missile Attacks, thanks to Aerie's innate Missile Immunity ability. Whenever such an attack strikes her, her Defense rating is temporarily boosted to 50, essentially making her totally immune! Very few units (mostly high-Experience and very-well-equipped enemy Heroes) would have anywhere near the amount of Ranged Attack Strength to penetrate this much armor. Note that a Slingers unit's attack, though marked by Boulders, is considered a Ranged Missile Attack.
As with most Heroes, Aerie possesses a default Resistance score of 6. This makes her somewhat vulnerable to Curses and other combat maledictions. It will take at least 4 Experience Levels before she can become immune to some of these effects, assuming no Magical Items or Random Abilities augment it.
Other Properties Edit
Aerie the Illusionist has a basic Hero's Movement Allowance of 2. This is good for speeding up her movement on the overland map, through plain land tiles like Grassland and Deserts. During battle, Aerie may need to use her speed to avoid her enemies.
Aerie may cast any combat spell known to her employer. In addition, regardless of whether they are available to the employer, Aerie also has access to Psionic Blast, Vertigo and Mind Storm. Some spells, including these three, may be unavailable for casting until Aerie can gain some Experience and increase her available Mana.
Note also that Magical Ranged Attacks will draw 3 Mana from Aerie's pool each time they are used. This will reduce the remaining Mana for spellcasting. Fortunately, Mana is completely replenished at the end of each and every battle.
To cast a spell with Aerie during combat, you must select Aerie, press the "Spell" button, and then select "Illusionist" from the pop-up list. If Aerie is out of Mana, out of Movement Points, has been killed or is otherwise incapacitated, her name will not appear on this list.
Note that using Aerie to cast spells does not reduce your own available Spell Skill or Mana - she is completely independent and uses up her own skill and Mana.
Finally, the Caster ability also allows Aerie to augment your wizard's own Spell Skill. To perform this, place Aerie in the same tile as your Fortress town. While she is inside this town, your Spell Skill is increased by half the value of Aerie's Caster skill, rounded down.
The following table illustrates how Aerie's various skills and attributes increase as she gains Experience. Attributes not appearing on this list do not improve with Experience. Also note that Aerie always receives 2 extra Random Abilities which may also increase with Experience, and may adjust any of the attributes listed below!
|Icon||Level Name||EP||Melee||Ranged||To Hit||Defense||Resist||Hits||Mana|
|Hero||0 - 19||1||5||30%||4||6||5||10|
|Myrmidon||20 - 59||2||6||30%||5||7||6||20|
|Captain||60 - 119||3||7||40%||5||8||7||30|
|Commander||120 - 199||4||8||40%||6||9||8||40|
|Champion||200 - 299||5||9||40%||6||10||9||50|
|Lord||300 - 449||6||10||50%||7||11||10||60|
|Grand Lord||450 - 599||7||11||50%||7||12||11||70|
|Super Hero||600 - 999||8||12||50%||8||13||12||80|
Average Damage Output Edit
The following table shows Aerie's average Damage output with each of her attacks, based on her current Experience Level. Note that this table completely ignores bonuses from Magical Items, if any. You can use the checkboxes to see the effect of some of the Random Abilities that Aerie may pick at the start of each game.
Remember that with Illusion Damage, Aerie can actually be expected to deliver the amount of damage listed above to most targets. Only targets possessing Illusions Immunity or True Sight can use their Defense scores to try to lower the amount of damage they take!
Improvement Overview Edit
With additional levels, Aerie's Caster ability will allow her to perform several more Magical Ranged Attacks in each battle (or cast more spells). This can turn her into a powerful ranged attacker.
Since Aerie can gain up to 2 additional Random Abilities, either or both of these abilities may grow with Experience as well. In particular, acquiring the Arcane Power ability will rapidly boost Aerie's Magical Ranged Attack strength with each level - making her attacks absolutely devastating. Augmentations of the Caster ability will allow her even more spellcasting in each battle than she can normally accomplish - to the point where she might be able to cast spells and/or make Magical Ranged Attacks throughout an entire battle.
Ability Overview Edit
- This Hero may cast spells during combat, withdrawing Mana from his/her own personal Mana Pool to do so.
- The Hero may spend only 10 per battle. This Mana Pool is reset at the end of each battle - assuming the Hero survives at all.
- With each Experience Level gained, this Hero receives a permanent bonus of +10.
- Spellcasting takes up all of the Hero's remaining Movement Points for the turn.
- While this Hero is inside his/her employer's Fortress town, the owner's Spell Skill is increased by half the value of the Hero's Caster ability.
- When this unit attacks an enemy, that enemy does not get to make any Defense rolls to reduce incoming damage.
- Enemy units with Illusion Immunity ignore this effect, and may make their Defense rolls as per the normal combat rules.
- Any Missile Attack performed against this unit will temporarily raise the unit's Defense score to 50 - allowing it to block virtually any incoming damage.
- Magical or Boulder attacks do not trigger this effect, and will damage the unit as normal.
Random Abilities Edit
When a new game is started, the program randomly chooses 2 additional abilities for Aerie. These are called Random Abilities. The selection is done completely at random (while observing a limit on the strength of certain abilities) from the list below:
Whichever Random Abilities were picked, they are permanent. Aerie will never re-randomize her abilities during the course of a single game. She may, however, pick different abilities in the next game.
The Charmed, Lucky and Noble abilities may only be picked once each, since they have no "Super" version. All other abilities may be picked either once or twice. If this occurs, Aerie receives the "Super" version of that ability, which is 50% stronger than the standard version.
The Caster ability may be picked once or twice, despite the fact that Aerie already has this ability by default. If picked once, it will increase Aerie's available Mana for spellcasting by 2.5 per Experience Level (including the first level) to a total of 12.5 per level. If Caster is picked twice, the bonus is 5 per Experience Level, to a total of 15 per level.
The Arcane Power ability is undoubtedly the best pick from the list, especially if taken twice ("Super" Arcane Power), or together with the Lucky ability. This will boost Aerie's damage output so high that she might be able to kill some surprisingly-powerful enemies with a single attack!
Some of the other abilities in the list above are also useful for Aerie, but to a much lesser degree.
Aerie the Illusionist has the following item slots:
|Icon||Name||Items that fit here|
|Staff Slot||Staff or Wand|
|Jewelry Slot #1||Any Jewelry|
|Jewelry Slot #2||Any Jewelry|
This set-up is unique to mage-type Heroes, and allows them to significantly boost their magical abilities. The Jewelry pieces can be used to augment defensive properties instead (in order to increase Aerie's survivability), but might also combine offensive and defensive capabilities to make a well-rounded Hero.
Recommended Items Edit
The mage set-up doesn't leave much choice in terms of items, as it will strictly increase Aerie's magical prowess. However there are several possible outcomes from mixing and matching various bonuses.
- With a Staff Slot, Aerie is limited to using either a Staff or a Wand (with Staves often being stronger). In both cases, only some of the bonuses would be truly useful for this Hero.
- By far, augmenting Aerie's Magical Ranged Attack (through either Attack Strength or To Hit bonuses) is the best choice. With every tiny boost, Aerie becomes significantly more dangerous.
- On the other hand, Aerie does need to cover the deficiencies in her Defense score if she is to survive battle (especially against enemy wizards and Magical Ranged Attackers). Only a Staff can provide such bonuses, but they should be taken if at all possible. Resistance bonuses are similarly important, but will become less important as Aerie gains more Experience.
- Mana bonuses and Spell Save penalties are less important, but in large quantities they can still be helpful. Spell Save, in particular, will allow Aerie to utilize her Vertigo spell more efficiently (i.e. having a better chance of affecting her targets).
- Aerie can wear up to two pieces of Jewelry, and thus can mix-and-match bonuses from these items to get both a good magical prowess increase and some good defensive properties. Going for only one or the other may prove useless - try to get some of both.
- Once again, Attack Strength, To Hit and Defense bonuses are of roughly equal importance. Do not neglect Defense, or else you may lose this valuable Hero!
- Note that attack Strength and To Hit bonuses on Jewelry will apply to both of Aerie's attacks, but don't expect them to actually make her a good Melee Attacker - she is too fragile for this role.
- Movement Allowance bonuses of +1 or +2 at most may be beneficial, as they help Aerie avoid enemy Melee units trying to chase her down. Don't exaggerate, she doesn't need to be very fast-moving.
- You can probably ignore Mana bonuses, as Aerie will likely have plenty of Mana after gaining just a couple of Experience Levels (especially if she gets an upgraded Caster ability). Similarly, Resistance bonuses can be useful, but will become less important as Aerie's Experience increases.
Aerie the Illusionist can be acquired in one of three different methods:
- By hiring her as she comes to visit your Fortress town,
- By casting the Summon Champion spell,
- By Resurrecting her after she has been killed in battle.
Hiring Aerie Edit
Every once in a while, a Hero will arrive at your Fortress town to ask for employment. The frequency of this event depends on your current Fame score, the number of Heroes already under your employ, and whether or not you have particular Retorts that affect this chance.
In order for Aerie to appear for hire in this way, you must meet several requirements:
- You must have at least 40 Fame points.
- You must have sufficient Gold in your treasury to hire Aerie (more on this below).
- Aerie must not have already been killed in battle.
Since the game randomly chooses which Hero appears during this event, there's no guarantee that Aerie will ever appear. The chance, however, increases if the number of other valid Heroes dwindles (such as when most other Heroes have died in battle).
The default Hiring Cost for Aerie is 500. This is reduced to 250 if your wizard has the Charismatic Retort. If you do not have this much Gold at the start of a turn (after paying all Upkeep Costs), Aerie will not appear for hire. In fact, if she is picked as the Hero who approaches you, and you lack the money to hire her, you are effectively forfeiting your chance to hire any Hero this turn.
After agreeing to hire Aerie (you can always refuse), you may give her any name you choose - she will be known as "<name> the Illusionist". Her overland unit will appear at your Fortress town or, if that town's garrison is full, next to your Fortress town.
Summoning Aerie Edit
Once the spell is completed, the game chooses a random Champion to bring to your Fortress from a list of all available and valid Champions. Therefore, there is no guarantee that Aerie will appear when this spell is cast, unless all other Champions are unavailable.
Again, you get a chance to agree or refuse to hire Aerie. If you agree, she will appear in your Fortress town and/or next to it.
Resurrecting Aerie Edit
For most wizards, losing Aerie in battle removes her from the game permanently. She will never appear again.
For Life-wielding wizards, however, who have access to the Resurrection spell, it is possible to bring Aerie back to life after she has died. In this case, Aerie returns to your Fortress town, with no Magical Items, but keeping all Experience she had prior to her death.
You may repeatedly resurrect Aerie each time she dies.
Upkeep Costs Edit
Once Aerie is in your employ, you must pay her an Upkeep Cost of 10 at the start of each and every turn. Failure to pay this price due to lack of Gold results in Aerie leaving your employ. This is not permanent however: Aerie may still be acquired in any of the above methods with no penalty.
Alternate Names Edit
Other wizards can also have a Illusionist, but they are different characters (what happens to one has no effect on the others), and go by different names, as follows: