Part 73: Bestiary, Neutral Creatures, Part OneBeastiary - Elementals, Part I
Unlike most games, it is almost impossible to recruit neutral creatures into your party. This means you won't get to see their normal biography and stats. Since I'd like to cut down on size by not showing as many battles with the neutral stacks, I'll probably talk about them in a separate section, ala the Bestiary.
This post focuses on the first 3 Elementals we saw in the Tutorial. There are 6 kinds, corresponding to the 6 different element schools. All Elementals are considered Elites for talent/skill purposes.
Water Elementals can rise up from the seas, rivers, lakes, or glaciers; any place where the power of Shalassa, the Dragon Goddess of Water, is present, or a dragon vein run with Water magic. Their appearance varies widely, depending on the region and the type of water in which they are born. They can be made of crystalline water, sea foam, mist and fog, snow flakes or ice slabs, or even muddy and stagnant water when formed in swamps and river deltas. Their mood is also variable. The Nagas consider them manifestations of the quiet joy of Shalassa, but sailors justly fear them, for they sometimes splash seemingly random victims off of decks and docks and hold them under the water until they die. The larger Water Elementals are also often blamed for the sinking of ships.
(All neutral creatures do have growth/week and cost data. However you can't ever buy them, so that data is currently useless.)
Water Elemental Might: 10-14 (Magical, Water) Defense: 14 (28%) Magic Defense: 16 (31%) Health: 85 Initiative: 40 Movement: 5 (Walking) Range: None Destiny: 7 Morale: 10 Abilities: Amphibian, Water Affinity, Spirit Form, Water Strike, Liquid Body, Ice Bolt, Living
All the Elementals posses the Spirit Form and their respective Affinity abilities. Spirit Form is straightforward, in that it gives the stack a 50% reduction from all forms of damage till it makes its first move that is not Defend (moving also breaks it).
Affinity abilities reduce the damage taken by the respective element by 50% and increase the damage by the opposing element by 50%. In the Water Elemental's case, it takes 50% less damage from Water attacks, and takes 50% more from Fire attacks.
Amphibian is an ability that we won't see the full effects of till we get to the Sanctuary campaign. One effect that the Water Elemental makes use of though is an immunity to movement reduction via Water spells. Spells like Ice Bolt won't reduce or impair its movement.
Liquid Body is a free 20% passive reduction to all forms of damage. Just makes them that much harder to kill.
Water Strike causes the Water Elemental's attacks to inflict the 'Soaked' effect on the stack for two turns, increasing Air damage dealt to that stack by 20%. Relatively useless unless Air Elementals are also on the field.
Ice Bolt can be used every 2 turns. (It has a cooldown of 2 turns) It does moderate Water damage to one target and immobilizes them until the end of their next turn, unless they have the Amphibian ability or are cured of the effect.
While the Water Elementals are hardly the most threatening of the Elementals, they are, to say the least, a pain. Aside from respectable defenses and health, they are hard to demolish completely because of Liquid Body, and Ice Bolt is just pure harassment. There's no avoiding Ice Bolt unless you have very strong Fire spells, since Liquid Body + Spirit Form make them just a pain to kill on the first turn, and they will always cast Ice Bolt whenever possible.
When the anger of Arkath, the Dragon-God of Fire, grows great enough that it breaks the barrier between the Elemental Plane of Fire and the world of Ashan, this rage can create a wave of elemental magic that generates rash and ill-tempered Fire Elementals. The intensity and cause of the fire determine to an extent the personality and power of the Elemental. Most are born from spontaneous forest fires, others from unusual flows of lava, or volcanic eruptions. Fire Elementals born deep in the bowels of Ashan, near the gates leading to Sheogh, are unstable and occasionally contaminated by the influence of Urgash, the Dragon of Chaos. A Fire Elemental can also rise up from the hearth of a household devoted to Arkath, or a sacred brazier lit by the prayers of a Dwarven Rune Priest. Dwarven smiths often summon Fire Elementals to help them in the forging of their legendary weapons and armour.
Cremation causes the stack to explode upon death, causing Fire damage to all nearby creatures. However, the ability is currently bugged, and does nothing. (Hey, good for us!)
Fire Elemental Might: 16-18 (Magical, Fire) Defense: 13 (26%) Magic Defense: 14 (28%) Health: 80 Initiative: 40 Movement: 5 (Walking) Range: Half Destiny: 10 Morale: 10 Abilities: Fire Affinity, Spirit Form, Cremation, Fire Ball, Living
Fire Ball inflicts damage back to any melee attackers. Damage dealt is dependant on the number of Fire Elementals in the stack.
On the other side, the Fire Elementals are hardly a threat. While they do deal decent damge and have alright combat stats, it's all let down by their half range and their bugged ability. Melee attackers will take a bit of damage, so it's better to snipe them from range, where they will do half damage anyway. You can also exploit their weakness to Water.
Most of the Darkness Elementals develop in the depths of Ashan, in caves and tunnels and places of darkness where the influence of Malassa, the Dragon-Goddess of Darkness, is great. Caverns, crevices, and pits are all potential birthplaces. Dormant from sunrise to dusk, they strengthen and grow at nightfall. They sometimes rise to the surface, but will never appear in direct sunlight, yet the more powerful ones can manifest themselves even in the light of a hazy day. Spirits of obfuscation and mystery, their exact form is elusive. They often appear as moving shadows or areas within which light appears unusually wavery and feeble.
Shadow Form causes the Darkness Elementals to not only avoid retaliation on their attacks, but also return to their original position immediately after attacking.
Darkness Elemental Might: 14-17 (Magical, Darkness) Defense: 10 (21%) Magic Defense: 13 (26%) Health: 75 Initiative: 50 Movement: 6 (Teleporting) Range: None Destiny: 4 Morale: 7 Abilities: Dark Affinity, Spirit Form, Shadow Form, Weakening Grasp, Shadow Strike, Living
Shadow Strike has the effect of dispelling on positive effect whenever they attack. It can't dispel permanent abilities (like Liquid Body).
Weakening Grasp reduces the Might damage of creatures struck by 10%. It lasts for 2 turns unless dispelled or renewed.
While the weakest defensively among all the Elementals, just like any of them (except Fire), Darkness Elementals are still troubling to fight. They're the first creature we see to teleport, which means they can pass through obstacles and walls and go over traps without setting them off (as long as they don't end their turn on one). They also avoid retaliation, dispel positive effects and weaken your physically inclined troops. They're very much an offensive creature and it shows. That said, they do have weak defenses, and a vulenerability to Light is nice (great for Haven heroes). They also have a low Destiny score, so at the very least you won't have to worry much about Lucky Strikes. Just don't bother with buff spells.