Nightshade is a type of Terrain Special - specifically one of the Minerals. This mineral appears on the overland map as a plant with small red fruit. Nightshade is abundant on both Arcanus and Myrror, and will only appear in Swamp tiles.
Unlike other Minerals, Nightshade does not offer any direct, turn-by-turn benefit to nearby towns. However, once a town has constructed either a Shrine or Sages' Guild, the presence of the Nightshade plant will protect that town, its tile, and its garrison from the effects of various enemy spells. It will automatically attempt to dispel them as they are being cast, and will make additional attempts to remove enemy Town Enchantments affecting this town, at the start of each and every turn.
Shamanism, an early form of medicine, made various attempts to study the properties of various plants and minerals found in the vicinity of tribes in order to heal and protect the tribesmen. As understanding of the world grew, some of these resources turned out to have powers far beyond the mundane. Nightshade, a seemingly innocuous plant, was discovered to have strong anti-magical properties.
The Nightshade plant, when properly prepared and applied, confers protection from evil magic. Rituals using these plants can actually create magical auras that will protect an entire area - along with all the people, buildings, and even the land inside this area.
The Nightshade plant looks like a small bush, growing bright red fruit. The fruit is not edible, but the plant's properties make it extremely valuable nonetheless.
Nightshade is very easy to locate on the map, as it is light-green and always appears on the background of Swamp terrain - which is dark.
Initial Placement and Terrain Edit
When a new campaign is started, the game will place Nightshade plants on Swamp tiles across both Arcanus and Myrror. This Mineral is abundant on both Planes, though it seems that Myrror contains more Nightshade on average.
Nightshade will only ever appear on Swamp tiles. It is nonetheless possible to encounter Nightshade on other types of tiles, if a Change Terrain or Gaia's Blessing has transformed the Swamp into Grassland or Forest.
Though it is theoretically possible that the game will generate no Nightshade tiles at all, this is extremely rare.
The only way to remove Nightshade from a tile is to raise a new Volcano underneath it. This permanently removes Nightshade from the affected tile - and it cannot be restored. Volcanoes can be created using either the Raise Volcano or Armageddon spells.
Mineral Effects Edit
Nightshade is a Mineral, but does not operate like any of the other Minerals in the game.
By default, Nightshade provides absolutely no benefit to any nearby town. However, once a town with access to Nightshade constructs a Shrine or Sages' Guild, it will gain the protection of this plant - automatically making dispel attempts at any evil magic cast by enemy wizards at this town!
Dispelling Enemy Spells Edit
When a town has one or more Nightshade tiles within its catchment area, it can potentially utilize this Mineral to gain protection from enemy spells. However, this requires the town to first construct either a Shrine or a Sages' Guild. Without these structures, the Nightshade plant has no effect on the town.
Once either of the required structures is built, the word "Nightshade" will appear in black letters in the town's Enchantments list. This indicates that Nightshade is currently protecting the town. Enemy wizards can see this when inspecting the town as well.
As long as the town is under the effect of the Nightshade plant, this plant will automatically make a dispelling attempt against any rival overland spell that is targeted directly at the town or its contents.
The chance for Nightshade to successfully block an enemy spell is calculated using the following formula:
Chance = (100 * Nightshade) / ((100 * Nightshade) + TSCC) * 100%
In this formula, "Nightshade" represents the number of Nightshade tiles within the town's catchment area. "TSCC" represents the total Casting Cost of the enemy spell targeted at this town or its contents.
For example, lets assume that the town has access to 1 Nightshade plant, and is being targeted by an enemy Famine spell, which has a total Casting Cost of 200. The chance to block this spell is as follows:
Chance = (100 * 1) / ((100 * 1) + 200) * 100% = 100 / 300 * 100% = 0.33 * 100% = 33% chance to dispel the enemy's spell
The more Nightshade plants are available to the town, the higher its chance of dispelling the enemy spell. On the other hand, the stronger the enemy spell, the lower the chance of it being blocked.
Which Spells are Blocked? Edit
- Nightshade will automatically attempt to block any destructive spell that is directly targeted at the town itself, at the tile underneath the town, or at the town's garrison (units inside the town).
- The following is a list of possible spells that the enemy could target at any of these assets, and would have to resist the dispelling attempt:
- Note that the Corruption and Raise Volcano spells can be cast on tiles adjacent to the town without being blocked. They will only be subjected to a dispelling attempt if cast on the town's own tile. Also note that both spells can be cast on the tile containing the Nightshade plant without being blocked - a good way to get rid of the town's protective magics.
- Furthermore, note that some enemy spells are not subjected to this interference at all - since they are not an immediate threat to the town. For example, it is possible for a rival to cast Change Terrain at the town's tile without it being dispelled. Why a rival would want to do this, however, is anyone's guess.
Dispelling Existing Town Curses Edit
Even if a Town Curse manages to get through the Nightshade's dispelling attempt, the Nightshade will continue to make dispelling attempts at it at the start of each turn!
In other words, at the start of each and every turn the Nightshade will make a dispelling attempt at each enemy Town Curse affecting the town. It will continue to do so until all enemy Town Curses have been removed.
Therefore, casting a Town Curse spell on an enemy town protected by Nightshade is often wasteful. The plant may take a few turns to dispel the curse, but it will do so eventually - and often too soon for the curse to do any serious damage.
Note that Nightshade will target any Town Curse affecting the town, regardless of when it was cast. It will target spells that were in effect before the Nightshade plant was utilized, and any spells that managed to get through the Nightshade's protection - with the same chance of success.
Miners' Guild Edit
It is possible to build two towns close enough together that their catchment areas overlap. Shared tiles are marked by a red "1/2" label, seen in each town's details screen. Normally, Minerals within such tiles will give half their bonus to one town, and the other half to the other town.
However, Nightshade does not split its bonus at all. Instead, both towns will have access to the Nightshade plant and will utilize it with the same effectiveness as they would a non-shared plant. The chance for dispelling enemy spells is not negatively affected for either town.
As a result, it is possible to maximize the protection of one Nightshade plant by building two towns adjacent to it.
The Corruption spell can be cast on a tile containing Nightshade. In such an event, both the Nightshade itself as well as the tile it is on will cease providing any bonuses to nearby towns.
While a Nightshade tile is corrupted, it does not confer any protection to nearby towns. Note that while Nightshade will prevent a town's tile from being corrupted, it does not prevent its own tile from being corrupted. Thus, the best way to remove the protection of Nightshade from a town is to corrupt the nearby Nightshade tile.
To combat this, send Shamans or Priests to Purify the affected tile immediately. If several tiles are Corrupted, Nightshade tiles usually take priority, since their protection can be invaluable. Several spells, including Gaia's Blessing and Consecration, may also help if they are available.