Spell of Return
Realm Arcane
Spell Type Instant Spell
Casting Cost  1,000
Research Cost ( 20) *
Effects
The caster is returned from banishment. The caster's new Fortress and Summoning Circle are placed at a targeted friendly Town.

The Spell of Return is an Instant Spell of the Arcane Realm. This spell behaves very differently from all other spells. It may only be cast if a Wizard has been banished from the world due to an enemy conquering their Fortress Town. It is in fact the only spell that can be cast in this situation, and its casting will begin automatically if the player is not defeated instead.

The Spell of Return has a Casting Cost of  1,000 and, if successfully cast, allows the Wizard to choose a friendly Town in which to place their new Fortress and Summoning Circle. If no Town is available, the Wizard loses the game - though this actually occurs when the last friendly Town is lost, not upon casting the Spell of Return.

Effect[edit | edit source]

The Spell of Return ends a Wizard's banishment, returning them to regular play.

Banishment vs Defeat[edit | edit source]

When the Town containing a Wizard's Fortress is conquered by an enemy force, the Fortress is destroyed and the Wizard is banished. If the player has zero  Mana at the time of the Fortress capture, or if they have no other Towns left, they instead are defeated, and removed entirely from the game. The Wizard's Summoning Circle also disappears, from whichever Town it happens to be in at the time.

While banished, a Wizard can continue to move their armies and micro-manage their Cities, but cannot cast any spells - other than Spell of Return, whose casting begins automatically and immediately upon banishment.

New Fortress Town[edit | edit source]

When the casting of the Spell of Return is completed, the game prompts the player to choose a friendly Town where they would like to place their new Fortress. Once selected, the cityscape view of the Town opens, and a few moments later the Fortress will materialize among the other Town Buildings.

This choice of Town may be of great importance, as most Wizards can not move their Fortress after it has been placed. Its location not only affects the difficulty of defending it, but also influences Spellcasting Range, which determines  Mana expenditure during combat. This is because spells cast during battles cost more  Mana proportionally to the distance from the Fortress.

In addition, the chosen Town also becomes the empire's new capital. This means that from this point onward, racial Unrest in all of the player's Cities will be calculated as if they started the game with the Race occupying their new Fortress Town. A Summoning Circle is also automatically placed in the Town, although this may then be moved freely if the Wizard has access to the Arcane spell of the same name. However, apart from the Spell of Return itself, a Fortress may only be relocated using the Very Rare Move Fortress spell.

Usage[edit | edit source]

The Spell of Return may not be cast voluntarily. It does not appear in the overland spellbook. Instead, its casting begins automatically whenever a player is banished from the world. It has a base Casting Cost of  1,000 however, making it one of the most expensive spells in the game. This is possibly why the developers chose to deny the player the opportunity to attempt it if they have  0 left at the time of their banishment.

Otherwise, the computer reports the minimum amount of turns it would take to complete casting the Spell of Return, based on the Wizard's Spell Casting Skill and  Mana reserves available. The player is then offered a chance to simply resign from the game immediately based on this information, as coming back from banishment may be impractical or altogether impossible, and in any case being banished may have already cost the player their game.

Gathering Mana[edit | edit source]

While a Wizard is banished, they do not receive any  Power income, and thus cannot generate  Mana. Therefore, Wizards who did not have at least  1,000 at the time of their banishment may find it impossible to return to the game at all, as they might not be able to complete casting the Spell of Return. This is exacerbated by any persistent spells or Fantastic Units that the Wizard attempts to maintain while banished, as these all draw additional  Mana out of their reserves as long as they continue to exist.

Therefore, even if a Wizard has plenty of  Mana in reserve, the main priority would be to get more - in order to avoid ending up running out of it without the means to obtain any, and thus losing the game entirely. Though it cannot be generated from  Power,  Mana can still be gathered from other sources even while banished. The most reliable way of accomplishing this is typically to transmute it from  Gold by way of Alchemy. The Wizard's units may also try to seek and clear out Encounter Zones for possible  Mana rewards, and Magical Items can be broken down as well to convert them into  Mana.

Enemy Wizards Casting the Spell of Return[edit | edit source]

When the Fortress of an enemy Wizard is captured or destroyed (by anyone), that player may either be banished or completely defeated. Defeat always occurs if the Town was the Wizard's last remaining one - in which case they have nowhere to return to, and thus can no longer cast the Spell of Return. Similarly, if they have no  Mana at the time of banishment, it is deemed that they won't be able to cast the spell, and are defeated immediately instead. An on-screen animation will reveal which of these is occurring.

If the AI Wizard can and does cast the Spell of Return, another animation will show once they have finished casting it, notifying the player of the Town they chose as the location of their new Fortress.

Acquisition[edit | edit source]

The Spell of Return is available to all Wizards as soon as the game begins. It requires no Spell Research, and cannot be traded between Wizards (since everyone already possesses it).

Strategy[edit | edit source]

There is little strategy involved with the casting of the Spell of Return, since it is automatically selected for casting as soon as a Wizard is banished, and cannot be cast at any other time.

The primary points that need to be understood are the means to gather the necessary  Mana to complete the spell (this is discussed earlier in this article), and the reason why it is often better to make sure that an enemy does cast this spell after they've been banished (discussed below).

Why Let Another Wizard Cast the Spell of Return?[edit | edit source]

When an enemy Wizard's Fortress Town is captured, a victorious Wizard may gain up to two of the spells already known by the conquered Wizard. This is a great way to increase one's repertoire - by forcibly taking spells from enemy Wizards. The only requirement is for the conquering player to be able to learn the spells based on the Spellbooks they possess. While the specific spells awarded are chosen randomly, their amount is not. As long as the conquered Wizard has at least two spells that the victor could learn, they will always receive two.

In addition to this, banishing or defeating an opponent also rewards players with +5 Fame. Naturally, this can only be gained once for defeating a Wizard; but there is no theoretical limit on the amount of times they can be banished. The Fame award is granted every time. It is also important to note that both the amount of spells known by a Wizard, as well as their Fame total, contribute to their final Score at the end of each game. In fact, banishing rival Wizards is one of the best sources for either. Furthermore, conquering a Fortress rewards the victorious Wizard with half of the  Mana Crystals that the defeated or banished player had in reserve!

As a result, many players will actively ensure that enemy Wizards are kept in play as long as possible - defeating them over and over again, at least until all of their spells have been acquired. If the situation allows, it is typically better to capture an enemy's Fortress while they have plenty of  Mana left in reserve, and have at least one other Town they could return to after their banishment is ended. This ensures that they will be banished instead of being defeated, and may later be assaulted again, provided that they are given some time and space to re-establish lost Towns in order to again have a place to return to.

If the enemy Wizard is low on  Mana when their Fortress is attacked, this can lead to them using up all of it during the siege of their capital, and thus be defeated instead of being banished. In this case, it may help if the battle is won as quickly as possible to prevent the enemy from wasting all of their remaining  Mana.

It is also important to note that in the official game, the Global Enchantment Suppress Magic can actually counter a Spell of Return as it is being cast. This results in the enemy Wizard being defeated, since they will never start casting the spell again. For this reason, it is often better to cancel Suppress Magic before assaulting an enemy's Fortress. On the other hand, if the goal is to ensure the defeat of a Wizard instead banishing them, spells like Drain Power may be used to sap all of their  Mana immediately prior to attacking their capital.

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