|Cloud of Shadow|
|Spell Type||Town Enchantment|
|Every battle taking place at the target town will be under an effect similar to a Darkness spell.|
Cloud of Shadow is a Rare Town Enchantment belonging to the Death Magic realm. It may only be cast on the overland map. For the base Casting Cost of 150, the spell engulfs the target town in dark clouds. Any battle taking place at this town while Cloud of Shadow is still affecting it will have a special set of combat effects applied, identical to the Darkness spell. This makes all Fantastic Creatures from the Death realm (including the Undead) stronger, while making creatures from the Life realm weaker.
The effect lasts as long as you keep paying its Upkeep Cost of 3 per turn, or as long as it is not dispelled or canceled manually.
Cloud of Shadow summons a blanket of thick black clouds to cover the sky above the target Town, giving combat bonuses to Fantastic Creatures from the Death fighting to defend it (including the Undead), and penalties to creatures from the Life realm. These bonuses and penalties apply in each and every battle taking place at this town, and cannot be dispelled during a battle.
- Main article: Darkness
While Cloud of Shadow is affecting a town, each and every battle taking place in the town's tile is considered as being under the effect of the Darkness spell.
- +1 bonus to Melee Attack strength (if the unit possesses a Melee Attack at all).
- +1 (or +1 or +1 as appropriate) bonus to Ranged Attack strength (if the unit possesses a Ranged Attack at all).
- +1 bonus to any damage-dealing Special Attacks the unit possesses (including Fire Breath, Thrown Attack, et cetera).
- +1 bonus to the unit's Defense score.
- +1 bonus to the unit's Resistance score.
- -1 penalty to Melee Attack strength (if the unit possesses a Melee Attack at all).
- -1 (or -1 or -1 as appropriate) penalty to Ranged Attack strength (if the unit possesses a Ranged Attack at all).
- -1 penalty to any damage-dealing Special Attacks the unit possesses (including Fire Breath, Thrown Attack, et cetera).
- -1 penalty to the unit's Defense score.
- -1 penalty to the unit's Resistance score.
For more information about the significance of these bonuses, read the article on Darkness.
Automatic Area Effect Edit
Cloud of Shadow does not actually cast Darkness each time the battle begins. Instead, it has an area effect that does not require any casting (nor any expenditure of Mana), and cannot be dispelled during the battle.
When the spell is cast, the game automatically opens a town-information window showing the contents of the target town. A few moments later, the sky above the town will be covered with dark clouds, and only a few faint beams of light will shine through to the town below. This indicates that the town is under the influence of this spell. The dark clouds 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 3 to keep Cloud of Shadow active. Failure to pay this cost due to lack of available Mana will cause the spell to dissipate immediately.
If you've placed Cloud of Shadow on a town, you may remove it by examining the town's details and clicking the text reading "Cloud of Shadow" 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.
As a Rare Death spell, Cloud of Shadow may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 2 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Customized Wizards possessing 11 Spellbooks at creation time may choose this spell as one of their default spells before starting the game, in which case the spell will already be researched and available for casting immediately on the first turn.
Wizards with 2 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Cloud of Shadow during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Death 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.
Cloud of Shadow has a base Research Cost of 1,200.
With at least 2 Spellbooks, the Cloud of Shadow 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.
Cloud of Shadow is a good spell to cast in lieu of re-casting Darkness repeatedly. Its only other benefit is that it cannot be dispelled during combat, so the main reason to cast the spell is to have Darkness constantly in effect.
This comes in handy when a Town is coming under attack repeatedly, for instance a town right on the borders of a hostile enemy empire. Naturally, you'll want to defend the town with Death creatures to benefit from the spell.
Cloud of Shadow works even better if the enemy attacking the town often consists of Life creatures. In this case you gain both benefits from the spell: bonuses to Death creatures and penalties to Life creatures.
Remember that as with Darkness, the spell benefits all Death creatures on the battlefield. Therefore, do not cast this spell when the town is expecting to see combat with enemy Death creatures and/or the Undead - you'll end up giving them bonuses as well!