|Reduces Unrest in this town by 1, increases Power output by +1, and enables the use of Nightshade when available.|
The Shrine is a type of Town Building. The Shrine may be built by any race in any town. A town must already contain a Builders' Hall in order to construct a Shrine. The Shrine's base construction cost is 100.
The Shrine itself provides three important bonuses simply by existing in a town. Its most important benefit is reduction of Unrest by 1 point, meaning that the town will have one fewer Rebel than it would without the Shrine. Furthermore, the Shrine produces 1 point of Power, fed directly to the town's controlling wizard. This Power can be invested in any way the wizard sees fit. Finally, if the town has one or more Nightshade tiles in its vicinity, the Shrine enables using this Nightshade to protect the town from enemy spells.
Also, for the majority of races, a Shrine is the first step down the religious branch of development, first unlocking the Temple - which provides even better bonuses than the Shrine.
The Shrine is a formal worship site where a town's citizens can make sacrifices and perform rites to appease the gods. Construction of such a site is itself an indication to the gods that the mortals are eager to please them, since it requires both dedication and plenty of forethought. The Shrine will pull in worshipers from the surrounding area, and also offer a place for Shamans to train their skills in manipulating divine magic.
The Shrine's physical appearance in the game is modeled after the pantheon - a Roman structure still standing today. Its primary part is a large, round hall with a beautiful dome. A round hole in the center of the dome allows light to shine into the hall, representing the gods coming down from the heavens. A small square extension serves as an entryway into the main hall, with columns lining its front side. The entire structure is built of white marble, and is impressive to behold.
Races and Construction Edit
All Races in the game have access to the Shrine, which is seen as the most essential and most basic tribute to the gods. Since the existence of gods seems indisputable in the world of Master of Magic, no race can afford to anger them by failing to learn to create such a structure.
A town requires the Builders' Hall before it can build a Shrine, due to the complexity of constructing such fine masonry. If the Builders' Hall is missing, the Shrine cannot be built. In fact, if the Builders' Hall is lost or sold off while the Shrine is still in construction, the project will be canceled prematurely and cannot be restarted until these required buildings are rebuilt.
Construction of a Shrine costs 100. Due to the Unrest-reducing effect, a Shrine will eventually become necessary in any town that grows large enough to have Rebels. Its bonuses make it almost essential in each and every town, but fortunately it is not too costly to build.
Continuous Effects Edit
The presence of a Shrine in a town has three separate effects, all of which are quite useful. They include reduction of Unrest in the town, extra Power production for the town's owner, and the use of any nearby Nightshade plants.
First and foremost, the Shrine will lower the town's Unrest by exactly 1 point. In other words, if the town has any Rebels (due to high Taxation, subservience to another race, or other reasons) the Shrine will turn 1 Rebel back into a normal, productive citizen. Since almost any town will eventually get its share of Rebels as it grows, a Shrine is almost indispensable.
Furthermore, the Shrine itself produces 1. This is added directly to the town's owner's Power rating. That wizard may distribute this extra point of Power just as he would distribute Power originating from any other source, such as the Fortress, Nodes, and so forth. Depending on the distribution, this can increase Mana production by +1 per turn, increase Research by +1 per turn, or hasten the improvement of the wizard's Spell Skill. Therefore, the more Shrines there are within an empire, the better its master's magical prowess will be.
Finally, if the town has any Nightshade plants within its catchment area, the Shrine unlocks the use of this mineral. The word "Nightshade" in black letters will appear in the town's "Enchantments" list, indicating that it has been activated. Nightshade helps protect the town from spells cast by enemy wizards, including all Town Curses and any offensive spell that targets the town, its garrison, or the tile upon which it stands. If several Nightshade plants are in the town's vicinity, the protection is increased further.
Unlocked Town Buildings Edit
As soon as it is constructed, the Library unlocks construction of a Temple, for those races that have access to this structure (i.e. all races except the Klackons). The Temple is a more advanced form of Shrine, giving even more Power and quelling more Rebels.
The Temple in turn unlocks more religious structures (if available to the town's race), and for many races is also an important component in reaching the Animists' Guild, which gives a massive improvement to the town's own development speed and may unlock very powerful units.
Unlocked Normal Units Edit
Shamans are mediocre Ranged Attack units, whose primary benefit in combat is that their attack is Magical and thus does not suffer penalties when used at long range. It is still somewhat weak, comparable to that of the average Bowmen. However, Shamans will significantly boost the healing rate of all units in their army stack. Most importantly however, Shamans are absolutely essential to combat Corruption caused by the actions of Chaos-wielding opponents, since the Shamans can Purify corrupted tiles.
The Shrine unlocks no racial units of any kind.
For a city that has no Unrest, a Shrine is of very marginal benefit -- the net effect is -1, 1, which is a rather poor return for 100. For a city that does have Unrest, it will allow converting one Rebel to a Worker. At the initial game state of Tax Rate 1 and no Commerce or Industry buildings, this means the net benefit is instead 1, 2, a much better net return, and a more developed city or a wizard with a higher tax rate will benefit even more; for a fully developed Dwarf city at a tax rate of 2.0 the net benefit would be 5, 6, 1. In general, it is worth building a Shrine in any city that would otherwise have Unrest.
In theory the Shrine interacts with Divine Power and Infernal Power, but since half-points are dropped, this has no effect. A Shrine also interacts with Dark Rituals, but it is unlikely that you will want to cast Dark Rituals on a city that only has a Shrine.
Note that for the 6 races that have access to Shamans, it is often a good idea to try and get one Shrine early on, in order to combat Corruption when it appears. This only applies when at least one enemy wizard has access to Chaos magic, since Corruption is almost always a result of the use of offensive Chaos spells (the random event Great Meteor can also cause Corruption). Still, it is better to be prepared for this eventuality with at least one Shamans unit. Note again that Shamans are also useful as support units for armies, allowing them to heal much faster than normal.
Races that have access to high-tier Normal Units produced at the Parthenon, Animists' Guild, Fantastic Stable or Cathedral will want to put a Shrine in their unit-production centers as well - but this can wait until the town is ready to advance towards these expensive structures and units. Again, since Shrines also reduce Unrest and increase Power, they will likely be constructed in every town anyway, but do remember their importance for unit production.