|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Spell Type||Town Enchantment|
Friendly units in the enchanted town may move to the other Plane freely, as long as combat will not result in their arriving in the corresponding tile on the other plane.Friendly units in the other plane, on the same tile corresponding to the enchanted town, may move to the town's plane freely.
Astral Gate is a Very Rare Town Enchantment belonging to the Life Magic realm. It may only be cast on the overland map, and must be targeted at a friendly Town. For the base Casting Cost of 350, the spell will open a gate that allows units to move from this town to the corresponding tile on the other plane, and vice versa. This costs the unit none of its Movement Points. It is possible only if the selected unit(s) can legally enter the corresponding tile on the other plane, and only if the move will not trigger combat.
The effect lasts as long as you keep paying its Upkeep Cost of 5 per turn, or as long as it is not dispelled or canceled manually.
Astral Gate creates a sort of artificial Tower of Wizardry inside the targeted town, allowing units to freely switch planes from the town's tile to the corresponding tile on the other plane, and vice versa. The Astral Gate does not allow units to travel into tiles they would not normally be allowed to enter, and does not work if the corresponding tile on the other plane contains anything that would trigger combat if your units were to try and move into it.
The Destination Tile Edit
The Astral Gate allows units to move into a tile on the other plane that has the exact same coordinates as the town in which it was placed.
To see where the corresponding tile is in relation to the enchanted town, simply move the overland view window so that the town is visible on it, and then click the "Plane" button in the upper-right corner. The tile now visible where the town was previously is the destination tile for the teleportation.
Note that it is possible to use the Astral Gate to shift into unexplored territory - i.e. when the destination tile is still unrevealed and you do not know what it contains. Nonetheless, if the destination tile proves to be illegal for the selected units trying to use the gate, teleportation will be impossible (an error message will pop-up on the screen to indicate this).
Invalid Destinations Edit
When a unit or stack attempts to use an Astral Gate, the game tries to make sure that the destination is valid for all selected units. If it is invalid for any of these units, an error message will pop-up on the screen, indicating this. No teleportation will occur.
For the destination to be valid, the stack must obey the following two rules:
- A stack containing any Walking units may not use an Astral Gate to move into Ocean, Shore or River Mouth tiles on the other plane.
- A stack may not teleport into a destination tile that contains enemy units, enemy Towns, or any Encounter zone (not including liberated Nodes).
In either case, the teleportation will fail, and the stack remains in its original location.
No Movement Costs Edit
It is important to note that use of an Astral Gate does not cost any of the units in the stack any Movement Points.
For example, if a unit had its full Movement Allowance of 3 Movement Points available before using an Astral Gate, it will still have the same number of Movement Points available after the teleportation.
When the spell is cast, the game automatically opens a town-information window showing the contents of the target town. A few moments later, a bluish-glowing portal will appear amongst the town's other buildings, indicating it is under the influence of this spell. The portal will remain in the town's information screen as long as the spell remains in effect.
At the start of each turn, the casting wizard must pay an Upkeep Cost of 5 to keep Astral Gate active. Failure to pay this cost due to lack of available Mana will cause the spell to dissipate immediately.
If you've placed Astral Gate on a town, you may remove it by examining the town's details and clicking the text reading "Astral Gate" in the town's Enchantments list. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
To use an Astral Gate, move the units you wish to teleport into the enchanted town. While the unit or stack is selected, click the "Plane" button to attempt to move the unit to the other plane. If the destination tile is valid (see above), the stack will appear on that tile in the other Plane, having spent no Movement Points on doing so. You may freely click the "Plane" button again and again to teleport the unit between Arcanus and Myrror.
If the destination tile is invalid for the currently-selected unit or stack, a red error message will appear on screen to indicate that this is impossible. The game will refuse to switch to the other plane at all while the invalid units are selected.
Note: The stack's actual location is on the last Plane you were looking at when you de-selected that stack. Remember to de-select the units after they've arrived at the proper plane to avoid situations where glancing over to other planes will cause the selected units to switch between them as well.
As a Very Rare Life spell, Astral Gate may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 3 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Astral Gate may not be acquired at the start of the campaign regardless of how many Spellbooks the wizard possesses. It must either be Researched during the game, or acquired through other means.
Wizards with 3 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Astral Gate during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Life Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 10 or 11 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research at some point, if it is not already available for casting.
Astral Gate has a base Research Cost of 2,250.
With at least 3 Spellbooks, the Astral Gate spell may be acquired as a reward for winning encounters in creature Lairs, Towers, et cetera, or when conquering the Fortress of a rival wizard who has already researched this spell.
Astral Gate is, for practical purposes, an artificially-made Tower of Wizardry. Naturally, it has one important advantage over a Tower of Wizardry: only your units may move through this gate. Naturally it also resides in the town of your choice, which means that you do not need to travel all the way to a Tower of Wizardry to gain access to the other plane.
Unless you've already scouted out the corresponding tile on the other plane, Astral Gate can be a bit of a gamble - it might lead to an Ocean tile (preventing Walking units from moving through it) or to an enemy town or Encounter zone (in which case you cannot move through this gate until you clear all enemies from the destination tile).
As with Towers of Wizardry, the enemy can actually block the Astral Gate by moving one or more units the destination tile - rendering the gate unusable until those units are destroyed. If a rival has cast an Astral Gate on one of his towns, you can perform this trick quite easily yourself.
Some players will construct a new Settlement at a strategic location simply for the purpose of putting an Astral Gate there, serving as little more than a friendly Tower of Wizardry. This may seem like a waste of Mana, but can be exceptionally handy in several different situations - especially when all Towers on the map are either inaccessibly far from your empire or when they are all held by rival empires. If you do not have access to other plane-shifting spells (like Plane Shift or Planar Travel), Astral Gate may be your last and best option for accessing the other plane at all.