Advisor Sorcery Buggy Feature
As of Master of Magic v1.31, Evil Presence is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below. The earliest game version that does away with (all of) these, thus in which Evil Presence works fully as intended, is v1.50.

Evil Presence
SpellIcon EvilPresence
Realm Icon Death.pngDeath
Spell Rarity Rare
Spell Type Town Curse
Casting Cost Icon Mana.png 100
Upkeep Cost Icon Mana.png 4
Research Cost Icon Research.png 1,040
Cancels the Icon Power.png Power production and pacifying effect of religious Town Buildings in the target Town.

Evil Presence is a Rare Town Curse from to the Icon Death.pngDeath Magic Realm. It may only be cast on the overland map, and must be targeted at an enemy Town.

According to its description, Evil Presence is supposed to negate the Icon Power.png Power output of all religious buildings in the Town (Shrine, Temple, Parthenon, and Cathedral). However, in the latest official game version, it negates these structure's pacifying effects instead. The Official Strategy Guide claims that the spell is meant to do both, but the in-game text only implies the former.

In any case, Evil Presence will have no effect if the Town's owner can also use Icon Death.pngDeath magic (i.e. if they have at least one such Spellbook).

Effects Edit

Evil Presence cancels the effects of religious Town Buildings in the City it is cast on, apart from their unlocking the production of certain units or other buildings. These structures have two different effects, and so does this Town Curse. However, as mentioned above, the arguably more prominent of the effects, the removal of Icon Power.png Power generation, is unfortunately bugged, and not working at all in the latest official game version.

Loss of Power Output Edit

Religious buildings, when built, normally produce Icon Power.png +1, Icon Power.png +2, Icon Power.png +3 and Icon Power.png +4, respectively. While Evil Presence is in effect, they all produce exactly Icon Power.png 0 each. By tallying the values, one can deduce that casting this spell on a Town containing all 4 buildings will cause it to lose a total of Icon Power.png 10 from its output. As a result, the Town's controlling Wizard receives up to Icon Power.png 10 less every turn. Depending on their Icon Power.png Power distribution choices, this could translate into loss of Icon Mana.png Mana production, slower Research speed, and/or slower Spell Skill increase. The effect is even more profound on Icon Life.pngLife Wizards possessing the Divine Power Retort.

With more and more Evil Presence spells targeted at various Towns belonging to said Wizard, they will gradually begin to stagnate in their progress towards becoming a mightier Wizard - giving an advantage to all of their rivals, whose magical attributes keep steadily increasing in the meantime.

Loss of Unrest Reduction Edit

The second effect of religious buildings is their Unrest reduction. While not mentioned in the spell's ingame description, the Official Strategy Guide clearly states that Evil Presence also cancels these "pacifying" effects. Each of the four Town Buldings affected would normally reduce the Rebel count in the Town by a cumulative 1. This is negated entirely by Evil Presence, possibly causing up to 4 of the affected Town's citizens to turn into Rebels. They will then stop contributing to the City's resource incomes, including taxes, while still requiring the allocation of Farmers to provide Icon Food.pngFood for them.

Depending on the amount of the cancelled Unrest reduction, the Town can lose a significant portion of its Icon Production.png Production output as a result. Although this may be partially offset by building non-religious structures that reduce Unrest, these are not available to all of the Races. Creating units to "police" the City instead places a drain its Icon Food.pngFood and possibly Icon Gold.png Gold income, typically also resulting in a sizeable net loss of economical contribution.

Death Book Wizards Edit

Evil Presence has no effect whatsoever on Towns owned by a Wizard possessing even a single Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbook.

Usage Edit

Screenshot EvilPresence 1

The visual effect of Evil Presence is a series of demon-shaped silhouettes displayed over every religious building in the Town. Note that the Cathedral lacks the silhouette as a result of a bug.

Evil Presence may only be cast on the overland map, for the base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 100. It must be targeted at an enemy Town that is not already suffering this curse. If Spell Animations are enabled, successfully casting the spell opens a window with the cityscape view of the target Town. A few moments later, the image of a glowing-eyed demon silhouette will appear over each religious Town Building, indicating that it is now under the effect of this Town Curse. Evil Presence will also appear in the city enchantment window when opening the City Screen for the Town, with its name printed in the banner-color of the Wizard that cast the spell.

To keep Evil Presence in play, the spending of an Upkeep Cost of Icon Mana.png 4 is required at the beginning of each of its caster's turn. If the player does not have enough Icon Mana.png Mana income or reserves to pay for this upkeep, the curse will instantly dissipate from the target City. It may also be removed manually by the caster, by left-clicking on its name on the City Screen of this Town.

Acquisition Edit

As a Rare Spell of the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm, Evil Presence may become available to any Wizard who acquires at least Icon Death.png2 Spellbooks. With any less, the spell can not be learned during the campaign. This is the minimum requirement for it to be traded for, appear in Treasure, or be found in the spoils of victory when conquering the Fortress of a rival Wizard who already knows it.

The base chance for Evil Presence to be Researchable (at some point) in the campaign is roughly 10% (with Icon Death.png2 books), which gradually increases with the amount of Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbooks possessed or found during gameplay. With Icon Death.png10 or more, the spell is certain to show up sooner or later, unless acquired from another source. It has a Research Cost of Icon Research.png 1,040, although its research is quicker for Wizards possessing the Sage Master Retort, or a bookshelf containing Icon Death.png8 or more.

Evil Presence may also be selected as a starting spell by players who allocate all of of their picks into Icon Death.pngDeath books when creating their Wizard. In this case, it will be available for casting as soon as the game begins.

Strategy Edit

In the official game, Evil Presence is only marginally useful. Casting it by itself on an AI player's Towns will generally not have a noticeable impact. However, this naturally increases with the amount of religious buildings present in the Town. Evil Presence can also greatly enhance the effects of other Town Curses that reduce resource output or Population, or create Unrest on their own. Thus, it is best used in combination with other Icon Death.pngDeath magics. This also makes it more likely that the owner of the Town will spend time and Icon Mana.png Mana trying to remove the curses, instead of casting other spells.

On the other hand, Evil Presence may be much stronger against a human player relying on Town Buildings to quell Unrest, as opposed to using garrisons. Icon Life.pngLife Wizards can, of course, counter this effect entirely with Icon Life.pngStream of Life; or remove and prevent it with Icon Life.pngConsecration. Icon Nature.pngGaia's Blessing can also offer some additional Unrest reduction for Icon Nature.pngNature Wizards, while players specializing in Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery should find this curse fairly easy to remove with Icon Sorcery.pngDisenchant True. Thus, it poses the greatest threat to Icon Chaos.pngChaos Wizards, who can only dispel it with the basic Icon Arcane.pngDisenchant Area spell; or otherwise have to recruit more police forces, or lower their taxes to compensate.

Known Bugs Edit

As stated already, Evil Presence is completely lacking the effect described by its in-game tooltip in the latest official game version. In addition, the effect the spell does have is completely missing from the context-based help, although it is mentioned in the Official Strategy Guide. Furthermore, if a Cathedral is present in the affected Town, the game will also fail to display the Evil Presence visual on this specific building, even though it is still affected by the spell.

The Unofficial Patch 1.50 fixes both the negation of Icon Power.png Power production, and the missing graphics on Cathedrals.