|Earth to Mud|
|Spell Type||Combat Instant|
|Turns a 5x5 tile section of the battlefield into mud. Normal Walking units must waste all their movement points to enter a mud tile.|
Earth to Mud is a Common Combat Instant belonging to the Nature Magic realm. For 15 it may be cast on the battlefield itself, creating a 5x5 area covered with mud. Any normal Walking unit that wishes to enter a mud tile must spend all of its remaining movement points to do so.
Earth to Mud creates a patch of muddy terrain on the battlefield, slowing down any Walking units that attempt to move through it. The mud remains until the end of battle.
Mud Tiles EditThe Earth to Mud spell turns a 5x5 tile area of the battlefield into mud. Tiles within this area are referred to as "mud tiles", and in most cases they are visibly altered on the battlefield view, as can be seen in the image to the right. Occasionally, such as when casting Earth to Mud on rugged terrain or a town, the effect may not display properly for some of the tiles - but it is there.
Whenever a Walking unit moves into a mud tile, it expends all its remaining movement points - regardless of how many movement points it had left - ending its turn immediately.
This affects both enemy and friendly units indiscriminately. Only Walking units are affected, and only if they don't have an alternate method of moving across the battlefield, such as Merging or Teleport. Flying units ignore the mud entirely. Strangely enough, mud slows down Non-Corporeal units.
The mud's slowing effect itself is triggered when a unit moves into the muddy area, or from one mud tile to another mud tile, but not when moving from a mud tile onto regular terrain.
Note that combat between two units, when either unit is in a mud tile, does not count as movement, and does not trigger the mud's effect. Therefore, a unit attacking another on the muddy ground can still move after its first attack, as normal, if it wants to do so. Again, once the unit moves, all of its remaining movement points are lost due to the mud.
The number of movement points each unit has at the start of every turn is not affected, regardless of whether it is standing in mud at the start of its turn or otherwise. Only the movement cost into/through mud is changed.
Earth to Mud may only be cast during combat, for the Casting Cost of 15. It may be targeted at any tile on the battlefield, and that tile will be the center of a 5x5 tile square that will be turned to mud.
Although it is a Combat Instant, the Earth to Mud spell's effect lingers until the end of the battle. Therefore, the mud cannot be dispelled or removed in any way, as it is not sustained by any magic (only created by magic). This also means that there is no Upkeep Cost to pay to keep the mud on the battlefield.
Subsequent battles in the same tile will not automatically feature the mud that was created there during previous battles; Earth to Mud must be cast again to recreate that mud.
As a Common Nature spell, Earth to Mud may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least one Nature Spellbook. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 7 Spellbooks.
Customized Wizards possessing up to 10 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 11 Spellbooks are guaranteed to have this spell available for casting as soon as the game begins.
Wizards with 6 or fewer Spellbooks who have not chosen Earth to Mud as a guaranteed spell have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Nature Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 7-10 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research if it is not already available for casting.
Earth to Mud has a base Research Cost of 20.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Earth to Mud 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.
Earth to Mud is an excellent way of slowing down an enemy's advance, buying time for Ranged Attack units to pelt the enemy with arrows, boulders and bolts before his units can cover the distance. It also gives the wizard more time to cast spells.
Earth to Mud may be cast multiple times during the same battle, at different locations, thus causing more and more of the battlefield to turn into mud. You can, potentially, cover the entire battlefield with mud, if you so desire.