Territory Map Strategic Mode

The Territory map is where all strategic events of a mission occur. Depending on the mission, heroes of different races (controlled by the computer or by other players) may be present on the map at the same time. At the beginning of each mission you'll usually control one or more heroes of the same race. Sometimes you may be able to select your race; often it is pre-determined. You will play the same race until the end of the mission. Heroes may have a Specialization giving them certain powers. Heroes can acquire other Skills that you may select as they gain experience levels; this is discussed in more detail under the "Heroes' Parameters" section.

In the single-player campaign game, your allies and enemies are pre-defined. In multiplayer games, you can select the race you play and, in most missions, players can establish diplomatic relations with each other (see "Multiplayer Game").


The main structure on the map is the Castle; each player has only one Castle. Heroes begin their mission here. Each Castle has a certain number of Structure Points and can be destroyed if it receives enough damage from enemy attacks. If your Castle is destroyed, your mission ends in failure. Conversely, in some missions, your primary goal will be to destroy an enemy Castle. In the Castle, you can also cast certain global spells like summoning new heroes.


To support heroes and buy new spells and runes, you need resources. There are eight types of resources found in the game. Seven of these resources will accumulate in your stockpile on a daily basis. One resource type is non-accumulating; any unused amount disappears at the end of the day. At the beginning of a mission, you receive small initial amounts of resources. Thereafter, you need to search for and accumulate resources yourself. Gathered resources belong to the race as a whole; individual heroes don't own or carry resources.

Accumulative Resources: These are either plants or minerals. Plants grow in gardens, while minerals must be extracted from mines. When you capture a garden or a mine, you begin receiving a certain amount of that resource daily. Some resources you can freely pick up in various areas of the territory map, but beware - access to these deposits is usually well guarded! You can also receive resources as loot after winning a combat. Extracted and spent resources are measured in resource units.

Plants (uncommon)

Minerals (rare)


Mandrake Root

Bloody Ruby

Frozen Flame

Black Lotus

Poison Emerald

Smoke Diamond

Star Sapphire

You normally need great quantities of uncommon resources (plants), so one of your goals should be to control as many gardens as you can and to develop them to increase their resource yield.

The demand for rare resources (minerals) depends on your race, since every race has its own preferred mineral (see chart below). When accumulating resources, you should consider the preference of the race you control.

Minerals (rare)

Favored by (race)

Bloody Ruby


Poison Emerald


Smoke Diamond


Star Sapphire


Frozen Flame is a unique resource whose deposits and mines are very rare and well-guarded. However, many uncommon and most rare spells will require this resource, as will upgrading your buildings, so it is worth your while to seek out these sources.

The non-accumulative resource - Ether. Ether can be found in Ether sources. Heroes initially need some amount of ether to create their Castle. As mentioned in the prologue, four types of ether exist and each source is shown in a different color on the map. As a rule, each race creates its Castle near a source of its preferred ether. Thus, ether of your own race's type is fairly easy to find. You can also seize and control another race's preferred ether source, but the ether income you receive from doing so will only be half of that received from an ether source of your own racial type. Seizure of an enemy's ether can significantly complicate his actions. Ether units are called "ether quanta."

Ether Balance. Each game turn, you receive a fixed amount of ether from your Castle and any ether sources you control. Most of your daily ether income is used to support your heroes. Hero upkeep requires a certain amount of ether quanta daily, and ether consumption increases the higher the hero's level. Ether is also used to maintain ongoing global spells you have cast and to cast new global spells in the Castle (See "Global Spells" for details). Any remaining ether can be used to regenerate your Castle's damage, if any. Any ether unused at the end of a game turn is lost; it does not accumulate like your other resources.

If incoming ether amounts dwindle (e.g. in case you lose one of the sources), these support processes slow down in reverse order. At first, Castle regeneration stops. Next, the casting of new global spell slows or stops. Third, ongoing global spells stop as well. If ether resources drop even more, your heroes won't receive any experience but will still be able to act.

Fortunately, the problems caused by lack of ether are reversible. Once you increase your ether resources or reduce ether consumption (e.g., canceling a global spell or dismissing a hero), the processes will begin functioning again.

Finally, White ether is not an ordinary resource. Heroes and enemies gain white ether through special ether channels only during combat; there are no White ether sources found on the map.

Your most important strategic objectives are accumulating new resources, increasing resource production by upgrading the structures where they are extracted, and capturing enemy resources. If you successfully achieve these objectives, you will be much closer to victory.

The Appendices include a summary table of all resource types and their sources. Structures

Besides the Castle, gardens, and mines owned by each race, the map shows many other structures. Some of these can be captured and used by a single race, while others cannot be owned and all heroes have free access to them.

The spells and runes necessary for combat can be bought in shops. Shops are any structure used for trade purposes. Spells are sold in towers and labs, while runes are sold at portals. Small quantities of runes can sometimes be found for free from gnome merchants or alchemists' wagons. Towers mainly sell summoning spells used to summon creatures during combat. Labs focus on other combat spells with short- and long-term effects.

Some structures can improve heroes' abilities. For example, teachers and masters can impart additional experience or skills to a hero. Springs can temporarily extend a hero's life or increase his mobility. A gnome-artificer can recharge artifacts found by your heroes. Finally, an altar can increase daily ether income, but only while the altar remains under your control. See the Appendices for the full list of structures used in the game.

Mines, gardens, and other structures can be upgraded up to two levels. With each level, the structures' parameters improve. Daily resource production in mines and gardens increases, new spells become available in shops, and portals sell runes at lower prices. To upgrade structures you'll need to expend resources; the higher the level of the structure, the higher the resource cost.

Another structure is the fort, a tower wherein a hero can be garrisoned. A fort has enough space to accommodate only one hero. Forts provide a large enemy interception radius; any enemy passing within a certain distance of your fort must fight your hero in order to pass by. By placing your forts skillfully, an enemy will be unable to reach your structures or Castle unchallenged. Some forts may be found empty on the map, waiting for you or your opponent to occupy them, while other forts can be created by special global spells. Maintaining a fort you create with such a spell will cost a certain amount of your daily ether supply. An enemy cannot capture forts you create yourself, but such forts can be destroyed.

Spells, runes and artifacts

The only way to attack or defend yourself in the game is to cast spells. Each hero has his own Spellbook containing 15 spells. These may be different spells or multiple copies of the same spell. Early in the game, heroes will possess only primitive spells called cantrips; which require no special components to cast. For stronger and more complex spells, special components called runes are needed. Runes can be purchased at portals or, rarely, found at gnome merchants or alchemist wagons.

Heroes can only purchase runes for spells that are in their Spellbook. The number of runes a hero can purchase and carry depends on his Resource skill. If a hero doesn't have this skill, he may only buy up to 5 runes for any spell. The higher a hero's Resource skill, the more runes he may have (See "Appendices, Hero Skills" for more).

During each combat round, you will see a set of randomly selected spells from your hero's Book appear in his hand at the lower left-hand corner of the combat screen. Cantrips can be cast any number of times, while more complex spells can only be cast if you have enough runes. Once a spell is cast, it disappears from your hand for that round. When a hero has no remaining runes for a given spell, it will no longer appear in his hand each round; instead, other cantrips will be randomly selected. Thus, to keep a supply of your stronger spells available to your heroes during combat, you will need to replenish your rune supply between combats.

Spells and runes can be bought at the various types of shops by expending various resources. The cost and availability of spells depends on the type and level of the shop (See "Appendices, Structures") and the number of spells of that type which you already own. The Bargain skill allows a hero to buy spells and runes at lower prices. Every shop has a "preferred" spell type that cannot be purchased elsewhere. For example, towers specialize in summoning spells. Portals work the same way - each portal specializes in runes for spells of a certain type. Runes for other types of spells will cost more.

The total number of spells in the Spellbook always remains 15, so when buying a spell, your hero must exchange it for another one from his Book. If you buy several identical spells, each successive copy will cost more. If you have several identical copies of a spell, the chances to receive that spell in your hand during any give combat round are increased. On the other hand, you can save resources by using the hero's Resources skill to buy more runes for one spell rather than purchase multiple copies of the same spell. However, the probability of this spell appearing in your hand during combat does not increase since it depends on the number of spells in the Spellbook. Part of your planning will be to decide how to balance and "finance" multiple copies of spells versus multiple runes for each individual spell.

When buying runes, you can either purchase a set of runes needed for all spells or just certain runes for individual spells, depending on how many resources you have. See the "Shops Interface" section for more on shopping procedures.

Artifacts are unique objects found only on the Territory map. Any hero who finds an artifact can keep it for his own use, pass it to another hero, or sell or swap it with another player (see the "Exchange Interface" section). Artifacts are only used during combat. Furthermore, several combat rounds must pass before an artifact can be used again in the same combat. The total number of times you can use an artifact depends on the hero's Artificer skill. Artifacts are initially found fully charged. Once expended, they will slowly recharge over time or a Gnome-artificer can recharge them.

In addition to casting spells through individual heroes, you can cast global spells that work on the entire Territory map. See below for more on global spells.

The Territory Map and the Game Turn - Moving around

On the territory map, you issue movement commands to your heroes. To move, left-click on a hero, then left-click a location on the map. Be aware that heroes can cover only a certain distance during the day, depending on their Mobility skill. Sometimes it might take several days (turns) to reach a remote destination. A destination can either be just a point on the map or a specific object such as an enemy or structure. If an object is selected as the destination, you are instructing the hero to complete a specific task there, e.g. attack an enemy hero or a monster, pick up resources, capture a structure, enter a shop, learn from a Master, attack a Castle, etc.

Heroes can move to any specified point on the map provided they can see it and there are no obstructions. Some portions of the map are not immediately visible (the "fog of war") but will become revealed as the heroes explore the map. Heroes will always try to take the shortest route to a selected destination, bypassing enemies when possible. Should you wish to fight an enemy on the way to your eventual destination, you will need to direct your hero to the enemy first and enter combat before proceeding onward. Heroes move farther along a road in a given turn than they do crossing the countryside. Mountains, water reservoirs, forest, lava, some bushes, and all structures (except empty forts) are considered impassable.

Once you have selected all your heroes and their destinations for a given turn, issue the End of Turn command (by clicking the "hourglass" icon in the lower right-hand corner) to have your heroes execute your orders. Heroes with more experience will move first. Once you have ended your turn, any remaining ether from that turn is lost.

Before you end your turn, if you instructed a hero to attack an enemy but the enemy has since moved, your hero will change his route and still try to move towards the enemy, providing he is still visible. Otherwise, your hero will stay where he was and wait for your next command.


Generally, your enemies are other players representing one or more Lords, depending on the mission. The Lords of the hostile races order their heroes to attack you and capture your structures, prevent your moving freely around the territory, and organize ether attacks on your Castle. In single-player mission and campaign games, the computer controls your enemies. In multiplayer games, you fight one or more human opponents. Remember, you will never actually face an enemy Lord but must instead face the heroes he controls. To destroy the Lord himself, you must destroy his Castle. On most maps, there are also neutral monsters to be overcome as well.

Area of interception. To attack an enemy, you must approach him. Every monster has its own "interception area," a space of variable width around the monster, which, if entered by a hero, automatically triggers combat. Neither your own nor enemy heroes have interception areas; combat between them can only be initiated by direct contact ordered by a Lord. However, a fort controlled by a hero does have an interception area. Therefore, forts provide an effective means of controlling territory since a hero cannot pass by an occupied enemy fort without triggering combat. Building several forts around your Castle and important structures is an effective means of defense.

When combat begins, the game automatically switches to the tactical mode and the Combat Screen appears. Confrontations with enemy heroes and neutral monsters on the Territory map happen in essentially identical ways (see "Combat" and "Combat Screen" sections for more).


In multiplayer games, players can enter into alliances with each other. In a campaign game, the game script determines alliances. Any party can terminate alliances at any moment. Any changes in diplomatic relations become effective on the next turn. Alliances exist exclusively between the two parties; your relationships with your ally's other allies and enemies don't change. Similarly, your ally will not be obliged to attack your enemies if they are currently not at war with each other.

All monsters are hostile to all players. There can be no alliances with monsters or alliances between monsters themselves.

There are four types of alliances:

Ethereal Truce

Attacking the other party in ether or casting offensive global spells is not allowed. Helpful global spells act for both parties.

Land Truce

Attacking the other party's heroes or structures is not allowed.

Shared Access to Shops

Parties can buy spells and runes in each other's shops.

Shared Field of Vision

Territory and objects seen by one party's heroes or structures are visible to the other party too.

All alliances can be formed and terminated independently from each other. A party willing to make an alliance sends a proposal to the other party. This happens during one game turn. The receiving party may accept or deny the proposal or send a counter-proposal with a different offer.


In a multiplayer game, partners can send each other proposals to exchange resources, artifacts, or items containing global spells. You can trade with any partner regardless of his current diplomatic status. In the campaign game, the player can also swap or donate resources (for example, to help his allies).

Only accumulative resources (plants and minerals) can be exchanged; ether cannot be exchanged. Resources can be only exchanged for other resources. Artifacts or global spells can be traded for other such items or for resources, but you can only trade one artifact or global spell in a single transaction. The price of resources or artifacts is completely negotiable. Both sides agree on the price and strike a deal.

Similar to alliances, the party wanting to exchange resources sends a proposal to the other party. The other party receives the proposal within the same game turn. The receiving party may accept or reject the proposal or make a counter-proposal.

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