|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Spell Type||Instant Spell|
|Target wizard loses 1% to 10% of his current Spell Casting Skill.|
Cruel Unminding is a Very Rare Instant Spell belonging to the Death Magic realm. It may only be cast on the overland map, and must be targeted at a wizard with whom contact has already been made. For the base Casting Cost of 250, the spell will reduce the targeted wizard's Spell Casting Skill by anywhere between 1% to 10% of its current value (or by 1 point, whichever is higher). As a result, that wizard is less able to spend his accumulated Mana and to rapidly cast spells both overland and in combat.
Cruel Unminding directly attacks the mind of a rival wizard. That wizard forgets part of his spell-casting abilities, making him less capable of casting spells quickly and of putting his Mana to good use.
Loss of Spell Casting Skill Edit
Each wizard has a property known as Spell Casting Skill. This is a numeric value indicating the amount of Mana this wizard can spend on spell-casting during each overland turn. It also dictates the maximum total Casting Cost of the spells this wizard can cast during combat.
When Cruel Unminding is targeted at a wizard, that wizard randomly loses between 1% and 10% of his/her current Spell Casting Skill. If the resulting loss is smaller than 1 Spell Skill point, the wizard loses exactly 1 point.
With a lower Spell Casting Skill, the wizard will no longer be able to spend as much Mana each turn on spell-casting as he/she did before. This reduces the number of cheap spells this wizard can cast each turn. The casting of particularly-expensive spells will take longer to complete.
During combat, the affected wizard's abilities are also reduced. Spells with low Casting Costs may be cast fewer times than before during a single battle, and possibly the more expensive spells may become completely unavailable for casting due to lack of Spell Casting Skill.
Note that the drop in Spell Casting Skill is absolutely permanent. There is no way to dispel this effect. The targeted wizard will have to reacquire the lost points by investing Power into Spell Casting Skill increase.
Usage EditCruel Unminding may only be cast on the overland map, for a basic Casting Cost of 250.
Cruel Unminding must be targeted at a known rival wizard - i.e. any wizard with whom diplomatic contact has already been established, or at least will be established as soon as the turn ends. If no living wizards are known when Cruel Unminding is selected for casting, the game will warn you of this to dissuade you from casting the spell. If Cruel Unminding is actually cast when no living wizards are known, it will fizzle automatically with an on-screen error message, wasting the spell's Casting Cost.
If the spell is cast legally, the game will display a menu containing the portraits of all known rivals. Their disposition towards the player's wizard is noted below their portraits, making it easier to figure out which target is best, though it does not describe the current Spell Casting Skill of any wizard (this data does not appear anywhere in the game).
Once a target wizard's portrait is selected, his/her portrait will be covered with purple energy spikes, while a caption at the top of the menu confirms that the spell has done its work.
As a Very Rare Death spell, Cruel Unminding 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.
Cruel Unminding 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 Cruel Unminding 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.
Cruel Unminding has a base Research Cost of 1,850.
With at least 3 Spellbooks, the Cruel Unminding 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.
Cruel Unminding is a little tricky to use, as the game gives virtually no feedback about any wizard's current Spell Casting Skill. This makes it harder to choose the best target for this spell.
Of course, it is usually best to simply target a wizard with whom you are conducting a heated war. In this case, you will naturally benefit from this spell whatever happens, but also have first-hand knowledge about how many spells this wizard tends to cast during combat. If the enemy uses plenty of spells and is making your life harder, Unmind him for a guaranteed advantage!
If there are no obvious targets around, you can always check the power graph (Info->Historian) to determine the current leader in the chart. That would usually be the wizard with the highest Spell Casting Skill (though there's always a chance he/she might be winning thanks to Retorts, Normal Units and Heroes more than on spells...).
Naturally, after casting this spell once or twice on a wizard, you'll usually have a good idea of their current Spell Casting Skill - based on how much Spell Casting Skill the game says you've drained with each casting. If you drain about 1 Spell Skill point or so from a wizard, then their Spell Casting Skill must be pretty low. If you consistently drain over 10 Spell Casting Skill from this wizard, he/she must be very powerful and should be targeted repeatedly if possible.
Remember that the targeted wizard will eventually recover, but will have to spend plenty of Power on doing so - Power that would otherwise go to Mana production and Research. Nonetheless, do not expect Cruel Unminding to shut down an enemy's spell-casting efforts permanently.
Of course, if you can possibly afford it, try to bring at least one wizard, or possibly all of them, to as low a Spell Casting Skill as possible. You can effectively render an enemy wizard incapable of casting anything more than the most token spells, by casting Cruel Unminding repeatedly on him. This is highly recommended when you are waging a war on a specific wizard.