Age Of Wonders 3 Wiki
Age Of Wonders 3 Wiki

Summary of the expansion

This expansion is discussed on the official forum.
Six videos have been released:

Eight articles have been published revealing information about the expansion:

Item Status Developers
  • 1 new layer, the Shadow Realm layer
  • 1 new climate (+ 2 from Decodence)
Charlatan, Gloweye & HousePet (RMG integration)
  • 2 new spawners
  • 11 new treasure sites (including 3 from Decodence), including a new Heart
  • 3 new visit sites
  • 6 new Mystical City Upgrades
Charlatan & lordoflinks (3D models)
Race 1 new race, the Shadow Elves (31 units, 9 Leaders, 10 heroes, a full Racial Governance, etc.) Qwaeb/Dr_K & Bob (modding), vfxrob (3D models)
Dwellings 1 new dwelling: the (living) Archons Qwaeb/Dr_K
Non-racial, non-Dwelling units 5 new units: the Shadow Demons roamers on the Shadow Realm and the Archon Legionnary vfxrob (3D models), Qwaeb/Dr_K & Bob (modding)
Abilities More than 40 new abilities
Campaign 1 new campaign featuring 3 scenarios and 5 maps (multiple endings) Refineus & Draxynnic, RUIN (art)
Class No class planned
Specialisation No specialisation planned

Team and skills:

  • Charlatan: 3D models (did the Dark Elves + several strategic structures but left since)
  • vfxrob: 3D models
  • Lordoflinks: 3D models for strategic map structures, icons
  • Gloweye: coding for mods
  • Qwaeb/Dr_K: coding for mods
  • Bob5: particle effects, coding for mods
  • Draxynnic: lore
  • Hiliadan: coordination, 3D model rigging
  • Bagas: icons (did the Shadow Elf race icon then left)
  • Refineus: campaign maps, modding, icons, textures
  • The Mentat: abilities' icons
  • HousePet: clb optimization, RMG modding
  • Flenoom: living Archons' textures
  • Artfactial: retexturing
  • greyHaunt: Russian localization, coding for mods
  • Rodmar18: French localization
  • Yunalesca: German localization
  • Rook_: Polish localization
  • RUIN': art

Layer - the Shadow Realm

The expansion introduces a new wild and dangerous layer, the Shadow Realm.

Inhabitants of the Shadow Realm

The Shadow Realm layer is inhabited by the Shadow Elves (Race), the (living) Archons (Dwelling) and the Shadow Demons (roaming units), who are all "native" Shadow Realm dwellers and are not affected by File:Hiliadan/Shadow Sickness.png Shadow Sickness.
Many magical creatures from Athla also inhabit the Shadow Realm.
DraconianIcon.png Draconian and ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf cities can be found in the Shadow Realm, as well as Dragon.png Dragon and (living) Archon Portrait.png Archons Dwellings.

Shadow Sickness and Shadow Walker

Non-Shadow Realm natives are Vulnerable to Shadow Sickness.png Vulnerable to Shadow Sickness. When they are in the Shadow Realm, they suffer from -1 Defense, -1 Resistance, -1 melee damage (they are unaffected when outside the Shadow Realm). They can also get affected by abilities related to the Shadow Realm, like Shadow Artifact.png Shadow Artifact, which will give them Shadow Sickness.png Shadow Sickness, thereby weakening them even when outside the Shadow Realm.
Draconians and other Shadow Walker.png Shadow Walkers are not affected by the Vulnerable to Shadow Sickness.png Vulnerability to Shadow Sickness.

A partial immunity to the effect of the Shadow Realm can be acquired through a few sources like Shadow Walker Aura.png Shadow Walker Aura, Shadow Weed Decoction.png Shadow Weed Decoction or Shadow Weeds. This partial immunity is called Lesser Shadow Walker.png Lesser Shadow Walker and protects only from the effect of the Shadow layer, i.e. the Vulnerable to Shadow Sickness.png Vulnerability to Shadow Sickness. It is inefficient versus the stronger form of weakness, i.e. the Shadow Sickness.png Shadow Sickness, which will still affect Lesser Shadow Walker.png Lesser Shadow Walkers.

Technical considerations about Shadow Walker

In modding terms, Shadow Walker is a property. It is being displayed in relevant units' panel because they have the hidden "Shadow Walking" requisite. It means Shadow Walker is displayed as "Inherent" and not as originating from their unit type (e.g. "(Machine)" for Machines).
To display it as originating from "(Machine)" for Machines, we'd have to make a separate hidden Machine property in between the two, and do that for every different group of units that gets Shadow Walking, and then change Shadow Walking to essentially create a different version of Shadow Walking for each of those groups just so that for example Elementals won’t have it showing up as (Machine) as a source (as Elementals are obviously not Machines). We’d have to add all those things to the Requisite checkers everywhere (Shadow Artifact, Shadow Weeds, Inflict Shadow Sickness, and so on).
Another option would be to move the property that’s displayed in the unit panel from the Shadow Walking Requisite to the Machine Group, Elemental Group, and so on, but that’d conflict with other mods that also change those entries and it’d be harder to track down bugs with it.
Remark: the unit property is what shows up in the unit panel, the Requisite is what the game checks for to see if magic and spells and other stuff affects the unit or not, and right now the Requisite automatically causes the property to show up, allowing us to see at a glance in-game whether or not a unit has Shadow Walker.

See Changes to the base game (Units) for details on how independent Shadow Walkers get their ability.

Technical considerations about Shadow Weed

Immediately after a non-Shadow Walker unit benefits from Shadow Weed.png Shadow Weed, its attack will display +1 damage on all channel on the strategic map. This is a display issue: it actually benefits from no additional damage since in truth, it gets +1-1 (the -1 being the base malus from Vulnerable to Shadow Sickness.png Vulnerable to Shadow Sickness). It can't be fixed with modding tool, only devs can fix this display issue.
The display issue will disappear as soon as a tactical battle starts or the game is loaded.

Technical considerations about Shadow Artifact

Shadow Artifact gives adjacent non-Shadow Walkers a Shadow Sickness debuff that reduces defences and base damage by 1 on the Underground and Surface layers, it has no effect in the Shadow Layer (even though the debuff does appear in the unit panel of adjacent enemy units in the Shadow Layer).

Lesser Shadow Walker, either from Shadow Weeds or Shadow Walker Aura, would give a buff to units, increasing defences and base damage by 1 on the Shadow Layer, cancelling out the debuff caused by Vulnerable to Shadow Sickness.

The thing is that Shadow Artifact is a halo ability, it can only filter on Requisites, it can’t filter on properties like Lesser Shadow Walker would be. So it would debuff Lesser Shadow Walker units just as much on the Surface and Underground Layers as it’d debuff units that aren’t Shadow Walkers at all. We can’t create an interaction there.

RMG - Technical considerations

Mountain Islands SR are associated to the Wetlands scaling, i.e. their quantity is linked to the Wetlands RMG settings.


Shadow Elves

A entirely new race native from the Shadow Realm has been developped.

The story of the Shadow Elves (by Draxynnic)

The Sealing of the Shadow Gate Much of this introductory section is a summary of relevant background lore that has previously been published by Triumph: see for more details

The defeat of the All-Devourer in the year 382 of Queen Julia’s Rule (236 years before the start of Age of Wonders 3) precipitated an exodus of armies from Athla into the Shadow World. First to leave, having no claim on Athla itself, were the archons (who had formally relinquished their claim on Athla during the final battle against the All-Devourer) and the syrons. Shortly afterwards, delegations from this initial wave returned to Athla, requesting assistance from Athla’s wizards in claiming other worlds that had been discovered in the Shadow World. Many of the wizards respond to the call, including Meandor.

While those who know the truth have not spoken on it, it is clear that something went wrong. Within fifty years, as viewed from Athla, and possibly over a thousand from the perspective of those in the Shadow World, most of the wizards that had entered the Shadow World had been lost. A century after the founding of the Commonwealth, a delegation of archons arrive seeking reinforcements, but are largely ignored by the Commonwealth Synod, and leave with few additional recruits. Thirty years afterwards, Meandor returns.

Having remained distrustful of humans, Meandor refuses to divulge his news to the Commonwealth, speaking only to Merlin and Julia. Nevertheless, a rumour spreads that a new power has been found in the Shadow World, sparking a second exodus into the Shadow World by wizards seeking to claim it. Whatever the reason for Meandor’s return, it was evidently enough to spark drastic action.

While Julia stockpiled supplies to tide Athla through the cataclysms to come, Meandor gathered a large army and used it to destroy Sunbirth Citadel, the city which had been built close to the last remaining Shadow Gate on Athla. He drives the population of the area away before direction his army through the Gate. Before anyone else could react, Merlin enacted his ritual to seal the Gate, protecting the people of Athla from whatever might have been happening beyond the Gate… but leaving those who had already passed through stranded.

Here ends the summary of official Age of Wonders lore. What follows is extrapolation from official lore for the purpose of the mod, and may vary from the direction Triumph takes in future instalments.

The reinforcements from Athla, led by Meandor, made the difference. Whatever dire threat to Athla had prompted such drastic action was held off for long enough for the gate to be sealed, and with the sealing of the Gate, efforts to seize Athla through the gate slackened, the attacker or attackers instead seeking to influence agents within Athla to reopen the Gate from Athla’s side.

The Shadow Elves:

In order to gather an army quickly without attracting the notice of the Commonwealth, Meandor could afford to recruit only those that he trusted implicitly. Dead men tell no tales, and in a twist of irony, the army that Meandor led to reinforce the archons in the Shadow World included the largest gathering of undead seen in Athla between Julia’s coronation and the resurrection of Melenis. However, despite having been absent from Athla for over a century, Meandor retained allies among the living as well, and the most numerous of those were the Dark Elves he had once ruled. Many of the eastern Dark Elf fortresses were emptied, their garrisons departing to march hundreds of miles through the caverns beneath the earth, emerging into the light only after they had gathered at the rallying point close to Sunbirth Citadel.

The majority of the Shadow Elves were part of this army, or are descendants of those that were (time passes strangely in the Shadow Realm). Some Wood Elves that were also part of the army have been assimilated into the fold, and other Shadow Elven groups are survivors of previous expeditions into the Shadow Realm by Serena, Arachne, and even Meandor’s initial forays.

While elves have traditionally preferred to dwell in the forests, they are capable of adapting to life in a new environment within a matter of decades – a talent that allowed the Dark Elves to adapt to living underground after the fall of Inioch’s court. This gave the Dark Elves a head start in adapting to the Shadow World – some, in fact, had already learned to exchange their physical bodies with the essence of shadow, and arrived in the Shadow World already immune to the nausea and disorientation that strikes most mortals on arrival to that plane. While forfeiting their natural form was too much of a sacrifice for most, the Elves that were now stranded in the Shadow Realm devised a ritual to infuse themselves with enough shadow essence to inoculate themselves against the debilitating effects of the Shadow World.

This ritual, applied to Wood Elves and Dark Elves alike, served as a kind of mirror to the Mending, although at the time this symmetry passed unnoticed on both sides of the Gate. Since the reopening of the Shadow Gate, some have claimed that the development of this ritual occurred too close to the timing of the Mending to be coincidence, although the difficulty of accurately tracking the passing of time in the Shadow Realm makes such claims difficult to verify. However, while the High Elves of Athla clearly resemble the Wood Elves more than the Dark Elves, in the Shadow World it is the other way around: in part because the ritual is derived from Dark Elven magic, and in part simply because the majority of Shadow Elves were Dark Elves to begin with. Nevertheless, while many similarities remain, the Shadow Elves remain very distinct from what they were: their wounded souls have been healed (some would say by filling the void inside them with shadow), the spider cults of Arachne have been eradicated from most of their holdings, and they are no longer as motivated by old hatreds as they once were. Instead, their society has been shaped by the needs of survival in the Shadow Realm, and by the need to retain control of their side of the Shadow Gate should it ever reopen.

While the Shadow Elves have stood watch over Athla since the sealing of the Shadow Gate, this does not mean they necessarily welcome the lords and representatives of Athla within their realms. Some remember the direction in which the Commonwealth was heading when they left, and word of the exile of the Elves after they left and of the fighting between the Commonwealth and the Court will only confirm their prejudices. Others are suspicious – and rightly so – that whoever opened the Shadow Gate is likely in league with their enemies, and are wary of being attacked from both sides. Still others tire of a life of constant conflict in the Shadow Realm, and may seek to desert their posts and seek safety in Athla, taking new holdings by force if need be. While Meandor and the Torchbearers seek to keep such incidents to a minimum, the potential for misunderstanding and conflict remains high… and the Shadowborn would like nothing more than to spark another war that will leave Athla ripe for the taking.

Specific gameplay of the Shadow Elves

– of course, very good on the Shadow Realm, but less so in other layers
– not very good aggressive fighters
- strong to use but also fight magic

Inherent traits

A result of a mending of Wood Elves and Dark Elves beyond the Shadow Gate, Shadow Elves have adapted to life in the Shadow Realm over their wars with Shadow Demons. Shadow Elves are skilled in the use of Shock damage both from their Dark Elf ancestry and its effectivity against Shadow Demons. Shadow Elves have also learned how to harness the powers of shadows themselves to fight.
ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf Laboratories are 50 Gold cheaper Cities generate -10% Population Growth

Racial units

A few more details on the units can be found on a dedicated page.
Night Guard
Arcane Archer
Storm Priest
Umbral Weaver Charioteer

Racial Governance

Racial Governance is part of the Eternal Lords expansion.
Note that only ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf units are affected

Racial Governance Military Economic
Patron Your ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf Irregulars gain Shadow Concealment.png Shadow Realm Concealment and +2 Movement Your ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf cities and units are indifferent to Blighted and Subterranean terrain.Shadow Elf Reanimators are 20% cheaper
Protector Shadow Elf Exterminator's gain Athletics.png Athletics Your Leader and all your ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf heroes receive +5 Casting Points each.
Champion Shadow Elf Infused now has a 1 Turn cooldown on Shadow Shift.png Shadow Shift Class specific buildings are 10 Gold cheaper and produce +5 Mana
Prophet All ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf Support.png Support units ignore ranged penalties with their attacks and Umbral Weavers and Umbral Weavers Charioteer's Invoke Darkness.png Invoke Darkness gets +2 frost and +2 physical damage Laboratories in your ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf cities now provide an additional medal to all units, not just Supports.
Deity All your ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf units get +1 Defense. Your ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf Archer.png Archer and Support.png Support units get Inflict Marked by Shadows.png Inflict Marked by Shadows. Your ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf Pikeman.png Pikeman, Infantry.png Infantry, Irregular.png Irregular and File:Cavalry .png Cavalry units get Exploit Shadows.png Exploit Shadows. Shadow Elf cities with a Grand Palace give +10 Casting Points

Class racial units


More details on the units can be found on a dedicated page.

Monster Hunter
Mounted Archer
Manticore Rider


More details on the units can be found on a dedicated page.

Shrine of Storms


More details on the units can be found on a dedicated page.



More details on the units can be found on a dedicated page.


Arch Druid

More details on the units can be found on a dedicated page.



More details on the units can be found on a dedicated page.



More details on the units can be found on a dedicated page.

Lightning Cannon

Heroes / leaders

Each class needs 2 heroes and 1 leader of that race.

Arch Druid







Racial buildings

Tenebrous Citadel.png Tenebrous Citadel
Storm Tower.png Storm Tower

City visual

The following files need to be edited to produce unique visuals for the Shadow Elves (based on the High Elf buildings):
Structure/City_Elves.clb (strategic map models for living & ghouled)
TC/City/Elf/TC_Elves_Background.clb (background settlement clusters for tactical combat) (done)
TC/City/Elf/TC_Elves_Foreground.clb (individual buildings at various levels of detail) (done)

Traditionally, Dark Elf (which are somehow similar to Shadow Elf cities) cities have been like Wood Elf cities, except a slate grey rather than the ivory of Wood Elf and High Elf cities. So at the basic level a recolouring of the High Elf cities would do… although that would be the minimum standard. Introducing our own twists should enhance the effect, such as introducing shadow crystal as a building material, or even in such a manner that suggests it’s being used for a mystical purpose (say, a ring of crystal towers around the main tower, similar to how Lizard and Naga settlements had egg towers).
Additional inspiration could be taken from the Dark Elf dwelling structure and from syron and shadow demon cities.


Archons as a Dwelling

The living Archons are back! Dedicated page of the Dwelling.

Archon Footsoldier
Archon Archer
Archon Paladin
Archon Saint
Archon Avenger
Archon Titan

Non-race non-dwelling units

Shadow Demons

The expansion introduces some Shadow Demon units as roamers or defenders on sites. The Shadow Elf Shaman will be able to take control of some of them.

Few things evoke as much disgust as the larvae of the Shadow Demons. The writhing, worm-like body, the repulsive bile that they squirt at those who threaten them or at the behest of their elders, and the knowledge that if allowed to grow they could become something much more dangerous. But worst of all are the eyes – despite physically being the eyes of an insect, there is something unmistakeably human about them…

'‘Eradicating the Threat’, from the Book of Ariane
Shadow Demon Larva.png

Unit: Shadow Demon LarvaRecruitOrigin: Shadow Demons
Tier I: 35 Hit Points 28 Movement 9 Defense 9 Resistance Cost: 45 Gold Upkeep: 4 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
Experience Ranks:
  • Trooper +1 Physical Damage Melee +2 Hit Points
  • Veteran +1 Blight Damage Ranged +2 Hit Points +1 Defense, Blight Protection.png 20%Blight Damage Protection
  • Expert +1 Blight Damage Melee +2 Hit Points +1 Resistance
  • Elite +1 Blight Damage Ranged +4 Hit Points +1 Defense

We dove behind cover, and the demons responded by bringing up the Bombards. The rocks and improvised barricades proved little defence against the noxious liquids and fumes from the toxic globs they hurled at our position. Worse, some of those who succumbed exploded in clouds of poisonous gas, driving us back into the open.

‘Reports from the Land of Shadow’
Shadow Demon Bombard.png
Unit: Shadow Demon Bombard RecruitOrigin: Shadow Demons Tier II: 45 Hit Points 28 Movement 10 Defense 12 Resistance Cost: 70 Gold 20 Mana Upkeep: 8 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
Experience Ranks:
  • Trooper +1 Physical Damage Ranged +2 Hit Points
  • Veteran +1 Blight Damage Ranged +2 Hit Points +1 Defense
  • Expert +1 Spirit Damage Ranged +2 Hit Points +1 Resistance
  • Elite +1 Physical Damage Melee +4 Hit Points +1 Defense

The last we saw of the Lieutenant was his boots as they disappeared down the bulbous creature’s gullet. Before we could bring down the beast, it gave birth to another squirming larva. Most disturbing of all, as the newborn turned to spit poison into our ranks, I could not shake the feeling that the Lieutenant’s soul was staring back at us, trapped behind its compound eyes. :::‘Reports from the Land of Shadow’

Shadow Demon Harvester.png

Unit: Shadow Demon HarvesterRecruitOrigin: Shadow Demons Tier III: 85 Hit Points 28 Movement 11 Defense 13 Resistance Cost: 140Gold 30Mana Upkeep: 16 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
Experience Ranks:
  • Trooper +1 Physical Damage Melee +6 Hit Points
  • Veteran +1 Spirit Damage Melee +6 Hit Points +1 Defense
  • Expert +1 Physical Damage Melee +6 Hit Points +1 Resistance
  • Elite +1 Spirit Damage Melee +12 Hit Points +1 Defense

Most Shadow Demons could be mistaken for overgrown, black-carapaced, vicious bugs, at least if you don’t look into their eyes. This dark, horrific being, however, was clearly not born from our realm. Heedless of the arrows and bolts of the defenders, it marched straight to the walls and tore them asunder, allowing the Harvesters that followed to flood into the breach. If I hadn’t been caught in the collapsed rubble until after the swarm had moved on, I would probably now be seeing through the multifaceted eyes of a Larva.

‘Beyond the Shadow Gate’, by Ham the Wanderer

Shadow Demon Lord.png
Unit: Shadow Demon Lord RecruitOrigin: Shadow Demons
Tier IV: 92 Hit Points 28Movement 15 Defense 14 Resistance Cost: 300 Gold 40 Mana Upkeep: 32 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
Experience Ranks:

Brainstorm: OPTION 1: give access to Summon Larva in Forgotten Thrones.
OPTION 2: give access to Summon Larva in Vault of Knowledge and Summon Shadow Demon (with Harvester and Lord) on Forgotten Thrones.
OPTION 3: make sure the Larva Pool is high level enough (including by making it a site that you can enter only with 1 stack). Right now, it’s based on a Necromantic Circle, that’s not sufficient. And add Summon Shadow Demon as a possible reward.

Elder creatures

These Elder creatures can be unlocked in Forgotten Thrones.

Eldritch Horror.png

Unit: Elder Eldritch RecruitOrigin: Monsters
Tier IV: 111 Hit Points 32 Floating 14 Defense 14 Resistance Cost: 500 Gold Upkeep: 32 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • blabla
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.

Experience Ranks:

There is an ancient legend of a Frostling girl who befriended the spirit of winter itself. When orcs attacked her township in early spring, it returned in the form of an ice dragon to drive off the fire dragons that accompanied the orcs. While victorious, the ice dragon was too wounded to fly back north and melted along with the next thaw. Obviously, this tale has been embellished over the centuries. No Frost Dragon could take on five Fire Dragons and win.

Legends of the North by Jorgerar Swallow
Elder Frost Dragon.png
Unit: Elder Frost Dragon RecruitOrigin: Forgotten Throne Requires: Frost Cavern
Tier IV: 108 Hit Points 30 Flying 14 Defense 13 Resistance Cost: 350 Gold 75 Mana Upkeep: 32 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
Experience Ranks:

Elder Phoenix.png

Unit: Phoenix RecruitOrigin: Monsters
Tier IV: 80 Hit Points 30 Flying 14 Defense 13 Resistance Cost: 360 Gold Upkeep: 32 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
Experience Ranks:
  • Trooper +1 Physical Damage Melee +4 Hit Points
  • Veteran +1 Fire Damage Melee +4 Hit Points +1 Defense
  • Expert +1 Physical Damage Melee +4 Hit Points +1 Resistance
  • Elite +1 Fire Damage Melee +8 Hit Points +1 Defense, Fire Aura.png Fire Aura


Unit: Elder Cockatrice RecruitOrigin: Monsters
Tier IV: 100 Hit Points 36 Movement 13 Defense 13 Resistance Cost: 300 Gold, 75 Mana Upkeep: 32 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
Experience Ranks:

The ancient lairs are guarded well, they said. What a ridiculous excuse to avoiding places chock full of treasures and ill-gotten loot, I thought to myself! Hiring a few brave adventurers, I set out to claim fame and gold. We camped not far from the entrance. For a few days, the expedition into the depths was going well, but then we met Her. An angry spider with mandibles the size twice my arm. Her offspring attacked my companions on sight, and the slaughter began. Needless to say, we stood no chance, and my fallen comrades only added to the brood. If not for Allfather's help, I wouldn't have managed to escape with my life intact.

Web of Greed by Arvel the Hapless
Elder Spider Queen.png

Unit: Elder Queen Spider RecruitOrigin: Animals
Tier IV: 105 Hit Points 32 Movement 14 Defense 13 Resistance Cost: 300 Gold, 20 Mana Upkeep: 32 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.

Experience Ranks:

Elder Bone Dragon.png
Unit: Elder Bone Dragon RecruitOrigin: Dragons
Tier IV: 102 Hit Points 30 Flying 14 Defense 13 Resistance Cost: 350 Gold 75 Mana Upkeep: 32 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
Experience Ranks:

It was a quiet evening the day before, but close to dawn the ship I've been on found itself impaled on the reefs. A few ghastly figures appeared out of the water, seeking to plunder us. Our captain told me that he had never seen creatures like that among the sea dwellers. Their attack was a rising ocean tide, and little of the crew survived the brutal sweep. How could it be that those Lost Privateers were once sailors? Their mastery of Water seemed unparalleled, and the ship sank after a harsh Geyser hit. We could barely make our escape by boats.

Lost at Sea by Marina Telanave
Lost Privateer.png
Unit: Lost Privateer RecruitOrigin: Forgotten Throne Tier IV: 94 Hit Points 28 Movement 13 Defense 13 Resistance Cost: 300 Gold, 40 Mana Upkeep: 32 Gold/Turn
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
Experience Ranks:

Other units

The villagers claimed that those who sought to plunder the Wizard's tower would become its protectors. After they joined my dark family, their bones strode into the ruins. Strange lights arose around them, settling on skull and rib and femur. I felt the strings break, and my puppets turned on on one another, cracking bone and tearing at mummified flesh. Nowhere else have my dark children disobeyed me except to the call of another Necromancer.

Shadow Puppets by by Ambule Grimber, Necromancer

Will Breaker.png

Unit: Will Breaker RecruitOrigin: Fey
Tier II: 28 Hit Points 28 Movement 10 Defense 10 Resistance Cost: 100 Gold Upkeep: 8 Gold/Turn
Can be summoned with Summon Will Breaker (30 Casting Points) until the end of combat
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.
  • The most in-elegant way to force a line break.

Experience Ranks:
  • Trooper +1 Physical Damage Melee +4 Hit Points
  • Veteran +1 Spirit Damage Melee +4 Hit Points +1 Defense
  • Expert +1 Frost Melee +4 Hit Points +1 Resistance
  • Elite +1 Spirit Damage Melee +8 Hit Points +1 Defense


The following structures are added to the Shadow Realm:

Link between layers

The Shadow Gates link the surface layer to the Shadow Realm (design by lordoflinks).

Spawn sites

Structure name Effect Original idea Status
Larva Pool Spawn Shadow Demons esvath Designed by lordoflinks + brainstorm idea: have inhabitants instead or in addition to defenders so you can only use one army to clear it.
Warband Campfire Spawn Shadow Elves and brigands esvath Designed by lordoflinks
Magic Rift Spawn Cast Spell.png Magical Origin creatures HousePet Assembled with existing models by HousePet

The following spawn sites from the Surface layer are NOT be present in the Shadow Realm:

  • Animal Den
  • Brigand Hideout
  • Haunted Boneyard
  • Necromantic Circle

Treasure sites

Structure name Effect Original idea Status
Forgotten Throne (Mythical)
Once, a Wizard King reigned here. Now, only Shadow Demons lurk in the ruins left.
See description.
esvath Designed by lordoflinks
Hollow Grove (Legendary)
There are traces of nature magics which formed this grove and moulded it in a likeness of Athlan groves. The twisted powers of this realm subtly twisted and corrupted the enchantment, however, leaving the grove as dark mirror of Athla.
See description

Income to determine.

esvath Designed by lordoflinks
Beacon of Light (Epic)
Constructed by the united forces of Dark Elves and Archons, these beacons mark safe areas of the Shadow Realm free from much of the horrors that plague the plane, shining light over the shadows. Remnants of fallen armies have gathered here to survive in the middle of this blasted realm. They are not interested in your offer of alliance, however you can try to subjugate them and take whatever resources they have.
See description

Defenders: increase the mix of racial units maybe Humans, Dwarves, Elves… and decrease non racial
Reward: gold, units

lordoflinks Designed by lordoflinks
Archon Fort (Strong)
A group of Archon fighters have chosen this place as base. You are sure that there are a lot of supplies needed by your army. The question is how you can convince them in sharing the valuable goods with you.
See description
esvath and lordoflinks Designed by lordoflinks
Gemstone Mine
While normal metals are rare in Shadow Realm, valuable and magical gemstones are common.
See description
HousePet Charlatan did a model in Decodence; lordoflinks also designed a model
Forge of Dreams
In places where reality wears thin, artisans and researchers gather to make their dreams solid.
See description
HousePet lordoflinks designed it
Mithril Mine
Description to add.
See description
Underground only (not on the Shadow layer). Triumph already provided a model (see Gold Mine .clb)

The following treasure sites from the Surface layer are also present in the Shadow Realm (defenders in brackets):

  • All mana nodes (non-racial guardians)
  • Ancient Ruins [retexture done by lordoflinks]
  • Crystal Tree (different guardians)
  • Flowrock Quarry (different guardians)
  • Forbidden Sanctum (different guardians)
  • Sunken City [Charlatan has models already: colored ones, black and white]
  • Tomb (non-racial guardians) [retexture done by lordoflinks]
  • Vault of Knowledge (non-racial guardians)
  • Wizard Tower Ruins (non-racial guardians)
  • Raging Maelstrom
  • Castle of the Lich King

The following treasure sites from the Decodence mod are included:

Gold and Research structures also need to be added.

The following treasure sites from the Surface layer are NOT present in the Shadow Realm:

  • Gold Mine
  • Great Farm
  • Magma Forge
  • Spring of Life

The sites are affected as follow by RMG settings:

  • Resource structures ("treasure scaling" in the Mod Tools): Maelstrom (SR and Islands), Oyster Reef (Oyster Reef Islands), Gemstone Mine, Extra Treasure Sites in Player starting area
  • Treasure structures ("exploration scaling" in the Mod Tools): Monument of the Ashen Rose (SR and Islands), Sunken City (Islands), Ancient Ruins (Syron Ruins SR), Tomb (Syron Tomb SR), Hollow Grove, all Forgotten Thrones, Archon Fort, Wizard Tower Ruins (SR), Raven's Keep (Raven's Home SR), Forbidden Sanctum (SR), Castle of the Lich King (SR), Standard Exploration sites, Heart of the Shadow, Mithril Mine.

Visit structures

Structure name Effect Source Design by
Shadow Weed
A beneficial herb growing in the
Shadow Realm.
See description Gloweye Charlatan
Glass Furnace
Glass made in the Shadow Realm is much tougher than Athlan glass. It can be used for weapon or construction.
See description

Idea: battle enchantment = custom Weapon Kit firing up every turn to give Fire Blunderbuss, Sabotage and Throw Net until the end of turn to 1 unit every turn
Technical issue: should also give gold when cleared (like Magma Forge) but can't because it's a visit site

HousePet lordoflinks
Celestial Pool
A pool of powerful holy water. Bathing in it is said to cure all illness and restore youth.
See description

Initial idea: Visit to restore Ghouls to life
Other idea for the battle enchantment (to replace Mass Bless): Great Healing Shower (probably too strong for such a site)

HousePet lordoflinks

The following visit site from the Decodence mod are included:

The sites are affected as "Visit structures" ("Visit scaling") by RMG settings (the Traveling Circus - Traveling CircusShared - is also temporarily on the surface layer - should be remoed - and considered by RMG settings as a Visit structure).

The following visit sites from the Surface layer are NOT present in the Shadow Realm:

  • Flower of Solace
  • Haste Berries
  • Lucky Cloverfield
  • all Shrines
  • Well of Souls

Recruitment structures

Structure name Effect Source Status

2 recruitment sites, one with Archons and Dark Elves, in theory from the period when Meandor entered the Shadow Realm and sealed the Shadow Gates, and another with units from Athla, that have entered very recently following the latest opening of the Gates and are seeking adventure, gold and glory?


Only one Heart is present in the Shadow Realm:

Structure name Effect Source Design by
Heart of the Shadow
See description
HousePet lordoflinks


No new item are planned.
However, here is an idea to take advantage of 2 new abilities added to the mod but (almost) unused so far:

Changes to the base game

New content from the expansion which might cause incompatibility issues with other mods is also listed here, in italics.

Seal victory

Seals do not spawn on the Shadow layer.


All Elemental masteries


New skills:




  • Grand Palace definition: Added upgrades for Shadow Elf RG 5
  • Laboratory definition: Added upgrades for Shadow Elf RG 4


Technical considerations on how to give Shadow Walker to units

  • To give Independent Dragons, Draconians, Undead, Machines, Elementals etc. Shadow Walker, AoW Global Settings is modified to give a starting skill for independents.

Racial Governance

The following Racial Governance upgrades are modified:


  • Protector Economic: to be confirmed is added to the list ( Magma Forge not on the SR)



  • Protector Economic: to be confirmed is added to the list ( Great Farm not on the SR)


  • Champion Economic (living): Shadow Weed is added to the list (bonus to confirm).
  • Champion Economic (Undead): the new Tomb model is added to the list

Arch Druid

Technical considerations regarding Animistic Knowledge, Sanctified Sites and Magical Structures

Treasure sites include both Treasure structures and Resource structures.
Some of the sites on this list are actually added through Decodence or are part of Decodence but are not generated in RMG maps with the expansion:

  • Air Node - SR
  • Archon Fort
  • Beacon of Light
  • Creation Node - SR
  • Crystal Tree - SR
  • Decodence - Crystal Mine
  • Decodence - Empty Tomb
  • Decodence - Foundry
  • Decodence - Mithril Mine
  • Decodence - Sword of the Ashen Rose
  • Decodence - Sword of the Ashen Rose - SR
  • Decodence - The Raven's Home
  • Destruction Node - SR
  • Earth Node - SR
  • Fire Node - SR
  • Flowrock Quarry - SR
  • Forge of Dreams
  • Forgotten Throne of *Arachna/Artica/Mab/Nekron/Nimue/Wizard King/Yaka
  • Gemstone Mine
  • Hollow Grove
  • Lich King Tower - SR
  • Mana Node - SR
  • Mithril Mine
  • Syron Ruins
  • Syron Tomb
  • Vault - SR
  • Water Node - SR
  • Wizards Tower Ruins - SR



  • Class buildings are affected by Shadow Elf RG 3
  • Palace of the Perished definition: Added upgrades for Shadow Elf Necro RG 5
  • Raise Dead.png Raise Dead: Added Shadow Elves to affected corpses and description



  • Magical Structures.png Magical Structures: all the new treasure sites (see full list with the change to Animistic Knowledge.png Animistic Knowledge above) are added to the list of sites affected by the bonus.
  • Class buildings are affected by Shadow Elf RG 3


  • Sanctified Sites.png Sanctified Sites: all the new treasure sites (see full list with the change to Animistic Knowledge.png Animistic Knowledge above) are added to the list of sites affected by the bonus.
  • Class buildings are affected by Shadow Elf RG 3



The ‘canonical’ ending of Eternal Lords has Werlac having just opened the Shadow Gate while being stared down by the armies of the Frostlings, the Halflings, the Commonwealth, and the Elven Court. All of the factions involved are waiting for something to come through the gate.

Our assumption, though, is that the Shadow Elves and Archons, between them, have essentially formed a ‘ring’ around Athla. Whatever it is that Werlac is waiting for can’t come through (yet) because of those defenses.

Those four Wizard Kings for the finale for a reason. The six wizard-kings that threatened to destroy the world in AoW2 – and which were then captured by Shadow Demons in Shadow Magic – were Serena (Wood Elves), Tempest (Draconians), Nimue (Humans), Yaka (Tigrans), Mab (Goblins), and Nekron (Undead). Those are the ones that are probably bad news regardless of what has happened in the Shadow World between games, and it’s noteworthy that it’s that group that the Shadowborn seem to have been focusing on.

Some of the other Wizard-Kings could well be beneficial, were they to return. Karissa (Orcs), Anon (Archons), Fangir (Dwarfs) and Marinus (Halflings) were generally loyal to Merlin and his goals, although some of those may have remained on Athla and may no longer be Wizards. Artica (Frostlings) and Arachne (Dark Elves) less so, but still helped Merlin against the traitors in the end. And then there’s some of the surviving Shadow Magic wizards, particularly the syron ones. With that group, however, we can pretty confidently say that their return would be bad news.


Pre-scenario - Investigating the sources of evil (not planned for now)


The player starts underground. Reports of infestation of Shadow Demons deep underground are brought by worried Dark Elves, who re-appears after decades of isolation underground dwellers.

1st scenario - Through the Shadow Gate


Werlac crosses the Shadow Gate and the player follows him.


3 layers
Starting location in Sunbirth ruins in an autumn/blighted area with a portal leading to Melenins dungeon. All past entrances have been destroyed and portals have been rerouted to other destinations by the Shadowborns.

Bisançon is the location of the 5th scenario of the Commonwealth campaign, if you take the “champion” (non-Torchbearer – Edward rebels against Leonus whichever choices you make) route, and is labelled on the overview map. It’s actually not that far from Sunbirth Citadel.
Rockholme (name to be confirmed by Drax) is the location of the 5th Elven Court scenario on the Torchbearer route. It’s the splash of yellow on the north coast, between the Elven Court and the Commonwealth.


  • Grevara, Draconian Dreadnought: human player, Torchbearer of Commonwealth origin (surface)
  • Esnodil the Vile: Rogue High Elf - Torchbearer of Elven Court origin
  • Colm the Lucky: Commonwealth army commander, 1 town, 1 Dwelling, ally (he appears in the Bisancon scenario in the original campaign as a potential turncoat (the player can get him to abandon Leonus in favour of siding with Edward’s faction instead). There’s potential to set up a bit of a double-bluff there: put in story elements that make the player wary of him turning to the Shadowborn, but in this timeline he remains loyal)
  • Mestar Qua Va: Tigran Shadowborn guarding the surface, 3 towns, 1 Dwelling
  • Vervlukt the Foulmouthed - Goblin - Shadowborn: defends the UG portal to the SR, 4 towns (UG)
  • Astral Jestri, Draconian Arch Druid: Shadowborn, 3 towns (Shadow Realm layer)
  • Sydran of Shading Winds: Shadow Elf, 1 city and 2 Fortresses (Shadow Realm layer)


  • Bormac: joins the player or discusses with him when the Shadow Gate is reached
  • Sundren: discusses with the player when the Shadow Gate is reached


Under the influence of the Torchbearers, the various non-Shadowborn factions are now standing off against the Shadowborn. Werlac waits triumphantly for the Wizard Kings to return, and… nothing happens. After a while, Werlac grows impatient waiting and leads the majority of his army into the Shadow Realm, leaving Vervlukt the Foulmouthed to hold the line. The other factions issue an ultimatum to allow their representatives into the Shadow Realm as well. Vervlukt, naturally, refuses (in a foulmouthed manner), starting the scenario with an assault on the Shadowborn defences of the Shadow Gate.

Each of the allied factions is represented. The Commonwealth contingent is led by Colm the Lucky. The Court contingent, commanded by the player, mostly consists of draconians under a draconian leader, Grevara. The assault (presumably) succeeds, and the alliance gains access to the Shadow Gate. At which point, a bunch of messages fire off, to the effect that since it is known that draconians fare better than other Athlan natives in the Shadow World, the player should spearhead the assault into the unknown.

The second part of the scenario then has the player lead an army into the Shadow Realm, overcoming Werlac’s vanguard and other dangers of the Shadow Realm, but Werlac himself always seems to be just ahead of the player (and can never be seen in the scenario). As you push forward, you learn that Werlac has besieged a fortress in the Shadow Realm. Deciding that this is the best place to get some answers (and that an enemy of Werlac is a potential ally), the player hits the besieging forces from behind, lifting the siege, and meeting with the Shadow Elf character who will take center stage in the next scenario.

As the two characters (and any others that might get involved) are exchanging pleasantries, however, word breaks through that Werlac has made it through the line elsewhere… and, in fact, it looks suspiciously like the Shadow Elf garrison there let him through without a fight.


  • Old Melenis town will consist of a quest, it will spawn undead from her old town “Las Melen” that needs to be destroyed.
  • A dwarf outpost (replacing a Goblin Town cutrently on the map), formed of a scouting force of Bormac, is under the siege of goblins and needs to be rescued.
  • a dragon reward by doing something like slaying a monster on the surface/underground area

2nd scenario - Shadowborn Threat



3 layers:
Shadow Realm
Wizard Realm (beyond the Shadow Realm)


  • Sydran: human player
  • Meandor of House Inioch Shadow Elf (Enemy at start, then Ally when encountered, Shadow Realm and by being convinced that we are allies of Julia and Sundren)
  • Julia?
  • Unoras Tasklor – Shadowborn Shadow Elf (Enemy, Shadow Realm) - Corrupted Shadow Elf leader on the side of Werlac
  • Tren Enyrar – Shadowborn Draconian Warlord (Enemy, Shadow Realm)
  • Werlac of Insaldur – (Enemy, Shadow Realm)
  • Bowan Stargazer? Maybe featured in the realm of wizards) where they are establishing a route for the wizards be drawn to against the Nexus core.
  • Luna Stargazer? same


  • Grevara, Torchbearer, from previous scenario


On being dispatched to investigate how Werlac’s forces got through, the player’s expedition encounters an Archon dwelling close to the suspect location. The Archons inform the player that Werlac promised that the Shadow Elves there would be granted significant holdings back on Athla if they cooperated. In response, the rebellious Shadow Elves are subjugated, but in doing so, you learn that there are new portals that have been opened back to Athla.
The Archons confirm that Werlac’s ritual would likely grab the attention of the Wizard Kings, but fortunately, they have sensed the center of Werlac’s efforts. Far to the south of the Blessed Continent, in the heart of the Tigran empire, the head of the Cult of Yaka is working towards building a set of beacons – one to Yaka in his own domain, but is also coordinating populations of High Elves, Draconians, and Goblins to construct beacons to Serena, Tempest, and Mab respectively. Meandor and Merlin estimate that between them they can hold off two Wizard-Kings, but if a third is summoned into the fray, they would be overwhelmed.

Werlac has convinced the Shadow Elf Unoras to help him achieve summoning of the Wizards on Athla. The player has to enlist Meandor and then seek help from Archons to gain their trust by performing quests around the realm

When Werlarc empowers his nexus core, he disappears into the realm by opening minor Shadow Gates on Athla. The player has to choose which one to follow, which leads to different location in Athla and thus different scenarios for map #3.

3rd scenario - The Summoning Ceremony (3 potential sub-scenarios)


Scenario A: the portal leads to the Frostling lands, where Werlac has offered the clans there that he can bring Artica back – those that accepted joined Werlac’s traitorous Shadow Elves in attacking the others.

Scenario B': This, however, was only part of Werlac’s purpose here – an enclave of Dark Elves is found beneath the city, whom Werlac made a similar offer to bring back Arachne. (If we don’t include the Dark Elves, this could be an undead faction, substituting Nekron for Arachne.) In the aftermath, we learn the full extent of Werlac’s plan – he intends to build giant beacons to the Wizard Kings that focus the devotions of their former subjects into the Shadow Realm, creating an irresistible summons to bring those Wizard Kings to Athla.

Two possible routes to victory are discussed. While the Tigrans are the most powerful of the groups, it may be possible to overwhelm the cults of Serena, Tempest, and Mab. Destroying any two of these cults will prevent more than two of the Wizard Kings from entering the field, or at least force the Shadowborn to start from scratch, allowing time to achieve a conventional military victory. Alternatively, the Archons explain how similar beacons can be constructed to block the signal – if beacons are constructed that signify the desire of at least three races that the Wizard Kings never come back, then this will block the signal altogether, as long as the beacons are constructed nearby (or in the corresponding region of the Shadow World). Either way, the only way that an intervention force can arrive in time is through the Shadow Realm – placing the player in the position of attacking from the Shadow Realm.

Art and visuals

Forgotten Throne by lordoflinks (textured version) (initial version, reworked since)
Beacon of Light by lordoflinks
Dark Elf Dwelling by Charlatan (Dark Elves have been abandoned since)
Shadow Gate and Warband Campfire by lordoflinks
Larva Pool by lordoflinks
Gemstone Mine by lordoflinks
Archon Fort by lordoflinks
Heart of Shadow and Hollow Grove by lordoflinks
Glass Furnace by lordoflinks
Lost City retextured (work in progress) by lordoflinks
Raven's Home by Charlatan
Grauth Flames by Charlatan
Visual of the expansion by The Mentat
Campaign banner by RUIN
The Shadow Elves:
Race icon
Storm Priest
Rogue units
Full racial line-up
Umbral Weaver

The Elder creatures:
Elder Spider (by Refineus)
Elder Phoenix (by Refineus)


How to activate the Shadow layer?

I don't see a checkbox to activate the Shadow layer, how can I get it in RMG map?

First you need to activate the Shadow layer mod when you launch the game.
Then, if RMG maps do not generate the Shadow layer, just click on "Restore Default" on the first screen of settings for RMG maps.
20181124 SR restore-default-in-RMG.jpg Modding tools do not allow to modify the User Interface (UI) so it is unfortunately not possible to add a checkbox to add the Shadow layer, sorry.

How to play without the Shadow layer?

You want to play the expansion without the Shadow layer?
Just de-activate the Shadow layer mod at launch and you'll enjoy the expansion's content without the Shadow layer.

Is the expansion compatible with other mods?

This is open beta. We hope beta testers like you can help us test whether there are incompatibilities. Currently we are aware of no incompatibility.
In any case, what incompatibility means is:
If mod A changes, say, Mark of the Heretic and increases its cost to 50 CP, and mod B doesn't change Mark of the Heretic, then both mods are compatible. But if mod B changes Mark of the Heretic too to decrease cost to 10 CP, then they are "incompatible" (but that word is not really appropriate as it's confusing and let people think it will cause troubles) in the sense that the contradictory changes can't be applied simultaneously. What the game will do is that it will pick the change from the mod with the highest priority, or from one of them if they have the same priority level. So in the end, you'll end up with 10 or 50 CP depending on priority. But you won't get any error or any issue.

My game is crashing when I generate a new map, why?

As of 24 November 2018, two things can currently cause crash for RMG maps:
1/ you recently activated or de-activated the Shadow layer mod and then tried to generate a new map. The game will try to generate the Shadow layer without the mod and crash. This was supposed to be fixed in 1.802 but wasn't. It will be fixed in a future official update of AoW3. Meanwhile, please click on "Restore Default" on the first screen of settings for RMG maps to solve the issue.
2/ you are generating a large map with the Shadow layer. We currently have a bug which usually appears on large map and is quite rare. Sorry about that, please try again on a smaller map and it should work. We are working on it.

Why do Shadow Elves lack Forestry?

1) Shadow Elves mostly stem from Dark Elf stock, which did not have Forestry in previous games.
2) While it can be presumed that Shadow Elves still enjoy dense vegetation environments, their focus has probably been more on surviving the Shadow Realm in general (where forests are rarer than in Athla) than forests in particular.

How to start in the Shadow layer?

Of course, you need first to activate the Shadow layer mod.
Only Shadow Elves and Draconians can start in the Shadow layer. If you pick Default or Surface in the last screen of the Leader selection, you should start on the Shadow layer with Shadow Elves. For Draconians, you'll have to be lucky.
Other races can't start on the Shadow layer.

Can I play Dark Elves?

No, it was planned at some point but in the end, the community expansion does not include Dark Elves.
You can play them through this mod for instance. Other races can't start on the Shadow layer.

Do my units really get +1 on all damage channel after using Shadow Weed as displayed in game?

No, this is a display issue: it actually benefits from no additional damage. The display issue can unfortunately be fixed only by Triumphs studio (but wil disappear as soon as you enter tactical combat).

To do

3D Models

Various units' textures

Retexture this unit to indicate their "Elder" status, in the spirit of the Eldrith Horror and Elder Eldritch Horror:

Buggy textures


Archon (living) Dwelling

  • Strategic Map dwelling & city cluster structures - currently it's the models and textures from a Human city
  • Tactical Map structures - currently it's the models and textures from a Human city
  • Tactical Map ground (if possible)


Shadow Elf icons

Archon (living) icons

Shadow Demon icons

Other icons


  • New PFX for abilities and spells in general: see all the abilities noted with a "FX" in the list of abilities above
  • Shrine of Storms reskin of the Shrine of Smiting to a stormcloud grey colour + new PFX (see example)
  • Lightning Cannon effect based on the Cannon unit


  • finish the “Decodence RMG – Shadow Realm” mod for RMG integration, which means:
    • removing all Decodence’s content from the surface and underground layers


  • Review the names for Town/Dwelling names for Shadow Elves and Archons, and 30 names for forts for Shadow Elves (might overlap so might be 48 names in total) designed by Refineus
  • Choose 2 recruitment structures and design them in details (including models)
  • Check that the initial intention for the Elder Frost Dragon was to limit Pledge of Protection to Frostling female or all females or all units?
  • Decide whether Runes should be added to the Shadow layer or not (+ identify other missing things?)
  • Clean up the Wiki pages of Shadow Elf class units (e.g. Evangelist with the 2 options listed as "Additional ideas"), structures (several still have "Additional ideas" or technical issues listed)
  • Decide a replacement for the Magma Forge and Great Farm on the Shadow layer and update Draconian, Goblin accordingly

Archive of old discussions


Archons as a Race

(Living) Archons are implemented as Dwelling, not as a Race.

Racial units
Medals (Abil/Dam Only)
T HP MP Def Res Melee Active Abilities Passive Abilities I B S G
Novice 1 35 28 8 9 8 Physical Spirit Blast (11 Sp) Walking, Irregular, Evolve (any but saint) 1 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Melee 1 Ranged
Legionaire 1 45 28 10 10 10 Physical Throw Spear Infantry, Wall Climbing, Walking, Shield, Testudo (reinforced when defending), Armored 1 Melee 1 Melee 1 Melee 1 Melee, Defender
Guardian 1 45 28 9 10 8 Physical, 2 Spirit Aura Effect (+200 Mor, +1 Def adj S/A archon only?), Walking, Pikeman, Polearm, Pike Square, First Strike 1 Physical 1 Spirit 1 Physical 1 Spirit
Chariot Archer 2 45 36 8 9 7 Physical Shoot Bow (10 Ph) Archer, Mounted, Walking, Armored 1 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Melee 1 Ranged
Valkyrie 2 50 30 10 9 10 Physical Cavalry, Mounted, Walking, Armored, Flying, Charge, Devastating Charge 1 Melee 1 Melee 1 Melee 1 Melee
Saint 2 35 28 8 12 7 Physical Spirit Ray (8 Sp), Lesser Resurrect, Break Control, Turn Undead Support, True Sight, Floating 1 Melee 1 Ranged, Dispel 1 Melee 1 Ranged
Avenger 3 70 28 11 13 5 Physical, 5 Spirit Greater Spirit Blast (8 Sp AoE?) Support, True Sight, Walking, Inflict Spirit Breaking, Holy Champion, Free Movement 1 Physical 1 R Spirit 1 Physical 1 R Spirit

Class racial units

There are 21 class units that can change depending on the race.

Scout (Nothing special, like the other races.)
Monster Hunter
Mounted Archer

Martyr (spirit blast? Don’t resemble humans to much…)
Evangelist (Resurrect up to T3 instead of the T2 that the saint has perhaps ? Could replace convert with it…they’re not really diplomacy masters in previous games)



Arch Druid:



Dark Elves as a Race

Dark Elves are implemented through a Dwelling, not a race.

It is worth noting though that Shaythias developped a mod for [

Additional units for existing races

No new units are planned for existing races though it is worth noting existing mods bring interesting ideas: - Eomolch developped a mod that adds 2x2 units to each existing race: Racial Heritage Mod - Gloweye developed a mod for the Ballista

Shadow Elf - old discussions

Inherent traits

  • Shadow Native: have Shadow Walking (not affected by Shadow Sickness) and gets -1 def, -1 res, -1 damage, -200 morale when out of the Shadow Realm
  • Shadow Running (-1 MP for each movement in the Shadow Realm)
  • Heroes have +5 CP

Racial units

Tier Cost HP MP Def Res Melee Active Abilities Passive Abilities
Irregular 1 45 gold 33 28 8 8 4 , 1 shock, 1 phys

Shadow Bolt (5 shock, 5 phys, ranged)

(Strategic map) Disappear in Shadow

Infantry Blood Sacrifice


(Mage Slayer)

2 80 gold, 20 mana 60 28 9 11 3 phys, 3 shock, 3 spirit Absorb Mana, Devour Mana Support Slayer, Inflict Lesser Brain Rot (on medal)
Support (Conjurer) 2 40 28 9 11

Summon Lightning Sprite , Bestow Star Blades

True Sight
Cavalry True Shadow Step
T3 Blood Sacrifice

Disappear in Shadow: the unit loses 90% of its full HP and gain Invisibility.png Invisibility and File:No regeneration.png No regeneration for 2 turns.

Blood Sacrifice: the unit loses 15 HP and gets +3 phys damage, +4 def for 2 turns. Might not work well with the AI. Other possibility "Surrender to Shadows" to get +40% physical protection and open a new damage channel but loses HP. Same issue.

True Shadow Step (0 action point): the unit is teleported to a random location up to 5 hexes from its current position, then it can teleport itself up to 3 hexes from its new location.

Conjurer and Mage Slayer units: see Garesh's Variant Arsenal.

Racial Governance

Other RG options that were discussed:
- Protector Military: Shadow Elf Night Guard gain Ground Magic
- Protector Military: Arcane Archers and Night Guards Magical Projectile Resistance (+2 res against elemental ranged damage)
- Protector Military: Arcane Archers and Infused gain Armoured
- Protector Military: Arcane Archers and Infused gain Infused Armour: Armoured, 20% Frost Protection
- Protector Military: Night Guards and Exterminators gain +50% experience
- Necromancer Patron Economic: +3 population / hex of Arctic or Subterranean
- Necromancer Patron Economic: unlock a building you can build only if the city is on Artic or Subterranean and it gives +15% income
- Necromancer Patron Economic: 10% or +15% pop for all cities
- Patron Military: Shadow Elf Irregulars gain Disappear in Shadow
- Patron Military: +10 HP for Shadowtouched
- Champion Economic: Shrines and Temples in Shadow Elf cities produce an additional +5 mana
- Champion Economic: put the +5 mana on Store House and Public Baths? But I would prefer something else than +5 mana because that mainly makes it interesting for Sorcerer and Arch Druid. Maybe a mana cost reduction for class or racial building?
- Prophet Military: All Shadow Elf Support units get Free Movement, Artic and Forest Concealment
- Prophet Military: All ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf Support.png Support units ignore ranged penalties with their attacks AND Umbral Weavers gets a Short ranged 14 damage Frost (or Shock/Frost) Bolt.
- Deity Military: Shadow Elf Irregulars, Infantry and Cavalry gain Life Steal
- SE Deity Military RG: Shadow Elves get +1 Defense. Shadow Elf Cavalry, Pikeman, Infantry and Irregulars gain +2 Shock Melee Damage
- SE Deity Military RG gives Ground Magic and [+2 shock damage OR Exploit Shadows OR Inflict Shocking] to all Shadow Elf Archer, Infantry and Cavalry units
- SE Deity Military RG gives Ground Magic and +2 shock damage to all the units produced in Shadow Elf cities and unlock the Summoner Chamber (25 gold, 25 mana) in Shadow Elf cities: units summoned in the domain of cities with the Summoner Chamber gets Ground Magic, +2 shock damage and +2 resistance
- SE Deity Military RG: Units produced or summoned in your ShadowElfIcon.png Shadow Elf cities' domain gain Ground Magic.
- Deity Economic: Shadow Elf cities with a Great Temple give an additional +10 mana, +10 Gold, +10 Production, and +10 Research

Class units


Analysis (by Hiliadan):
Raise Militia brings Infused for 30 mana. Same as for Draconian Hatchlings or High Elf Initiates but it works quite well to get strong units for low costs and high strategic mobility with the evolve mechanics. Globalt Assault also works well with Evolve. Not sure about the effect of Charge and First Strike from Global Assault. But anyway it’s a end-game spell.
Martial Arts make the Infused even more devastating and that would not happen on Support. 😛 (kidding, I don’t want them to be Support)
Thoroughbred Mounts boosts Umbral Weaver if it’s Mounted and Exterminator.
Warlord’s leadership abilities boost the SE pretty well: +1 defence, Fast Healing, 100% Spirit Resistance, 20% Spirit protection, but also the damage bonus.
CONCLUSION: again, works well with the SE but nothing OP.


Analysis (by Hiliadan):
Storm Priests and Weavers get Healing, Devout, a medal.
Infuseds and Exterminators get Devout and 20% Spirit Protection.
The Resistance of SE is increased even more by spells and Touch of Faith.
Beacon of Faith can help compensate for the low population growth of SE.
Prayer for the Hurt and Healing is useful for SE who do not have any Healing through their units.
Exalted brings Flying to the race.
CONCLUSION: the class compensates lacks of SE (healing, population, flying) and boosts its high resistance. Good match but not OP.


Analysis (by Hiliadan): Shadow Elves also go well with the Rogue theme. Moving Target and Shadow Form provide units that can take both physical and elemental damage.
Touched get +1 medal thanks to Irregular Training and then Urban Concealment (Urban Cover; in the balance mod, this also applies to Infantry)
Rogue’s leadership abilities open up the Blight channel for SE
CONCLUSION: Shadow Elves do not make the most of Rogue’s Irregular boost and lack healing so may have difficult start as Rogue. They could get nice class units to make the choice interesting nonetheless.


Analysis (by Hiliadan):
Raise the Fire weakness of SE to 60%. Raise Frost resistance of Infused (after RG) to 60%.
Vampiric gives Life Steal to Infused, Night Guard, Touched
Healers of the Dead gives Healing Undead to Storm Priests and Weavers.
CONCLUSION: risky (high fire weakness, even lower population growth than other Necro with the class building, doubling down on Frost damage) but rewarding class for Shadow Elves who get Life Steal on Infused, Healers of the Dead to Weaver in addition to the T2 Support.

Arch Druid

Analysis (by Hiliadan): Twisting Roots do not work very well with SE as they have only 1 Floating unit (Infused), possibly only on RG.
Fertile Domain compensates the low growth rate of SE.
The boost to Archers and Supports are great but probably not game changing (Razor Projectiles for Arcane Archer,s +8 MP for Arcane Archers, Storm Sisters and Umbral Weavers). The +8 MP for Weavers might be quite strong though.
AD’s leadership abilities also works well with SE: +40% blight, +40% spirit, +40% Frost Fast Healing. It also gives them +1 resistance, so AD SE will be very resistant to Blight, Spirit and Frost. Infused will be almost immune to Blight and Frost.
CONCLUSION: Shadow Elf AD is not OP per say but may be a very tough match up for Frostlings (Infused with 80% Frost Protection), Goblin (same) and Theo (high resistance, 40% Spirit resistance).


Analysis (by Hiliadan):
Racial units bring some duplicates to the Sorcerer’s current line-up with Infused with Incorporeal, Night Guard with Ground Magic on Elite. But Storm Priest and above all Umbral Weaver gets Phase and Inflict Stun.
SE RG should have some bonus to mana and research or to their building chains.
The hero upgrades reinforce some strengths of SE but also provide Dragon Slayer which will be useful to fight their probable nemesis, the Draconians who can go in the Shadow Realm and master the fire channel.
Umbral Weaver's Invoke Darkness can become a fearful stunning AoE with a diameter of 5 hexes, making it a very very strong ability.
CONCLUSION: Shadow Elf is maybe THE Sorcerer race, most in line with its the playstyle of the class. It may not open many new strategic options but provide a good counter to other Sorcerer. Thanks to Invoke Darkness, it will probably be the best Sorcerer race.


Analysis (by Hiliadan):
CONCLUSION: complements very well the Shadow Elves, bringing them to 0% Fire Weakness with abilities, but limited benefits with only 2 Armored units and no gold bonus for SE’s RG. I think we will need to have some interesting class units if we want to make Dreadnought a truly interesting choice. Otherwise it makes more sense to hire a Dreadnought hero than to play the class.


Dark Elves -- Old discussions

The Dark Elves mod from Gloweye described on the Wiki were planned to be used in the expansion but were then dropped. It can already be played from the Steam Workshop.

List of units: Bladedancer
Spider Matriarch

Dark Elf unit models

  • Do 2 model for the Dark Elf Matriarch: a High Elf Storm Sister torso (if possible with texture from Dark Elves) and a vampire spider queen mount without head, to have the torso mounted on the spider, as if it was 1 model (check the model from Eomolch's Racial Heritage for inspiration and/or directly copy it)

Dark Elf icons


  • Dark Elf Race Icon (Large and small, for the race and for the ability)
  • Unit Icons (similar to their models)
  • A Dwelling Icon (larger size, 128 px, looks like the structure)

Archons as a Dwelling - old discussions

As described by Gloweye:Almost all Archons went through the Shadow Gates before they were closed by Merlin. They only left behind their dead, which rose as the Archon Revenants, possible fueled by Necromancy from an unknown faction that possibly originated from the Shadow World. However, in the Shadow Realm, there may yet be living Archons. Considering AoW’s grand theory of multiple planes of existence and the global presence of Archons among them, it’s even quite likely.

Hence a possible suggestion for a Race that originates there. An ancient brainstorm from me and BBB resulted in something very close to the following:

  • Irregular: Novice (Spirit Blast)

  • Barracks

  • Infantry: Legionaire (Throw Spear)

  • Pikeman: Guardian (Morale Bonus standing Adjacent to friendly(archon?) supports/archers)

  • T2

  • Archer: Chariot Archer (fast, very weak to melee)

  • Cavalry: Valkyrie (Flying, but slightly weaker to compensate)

  • Support: Saint (Lesser Resurrect(equivalent to Undead Reanimate), Floating, Turn Undead, Break Control. very weak melee)

  • T3:

  • Avenger: Free movement, Higher damage Spirit Blast, Holy Champion.

Racial properties of Archons

Suggestions by HousePet:

Spirit resistance. Blight/Cold weakness? Undead Slaying. Extra spirit damage on attacks. Dedicated to Good. No Shadow Walker (Instead give them a dwelling upgrade which projects a Blessed Domain, which negates Shadow Realm penalties in the dwellings domain).
Common abilities: Spirit bolts, Cure disease, Turn Undead, Bestow Iron Heart (or an Archon unique version), Holy Champion.


The Syrons are not planned in the expansion.

Old discussions

Units from AoW2:SM could return:

Lightning Catcher(AoE shock, Gold Medal 6-Shock stun chance, which is 2 weaker than normal inflict stun), Great Warrior(historical reasons), Astral Sprite (Undying…), Spellbinder Suggestions by HousePet:

Shadow Walker, Lightning resistance, Low health, High resistance.
Common abilities: Hurl Lightning, Shadow Slayer, Disrupt Shadows, Bestow Static Shield?

Non-race non-Dwelling units

Shadow Demons

Suggestions by HousePet:

Shadow Walker, Lightning Weakness, Blight resistance, Increased life and melee damage, Night vision, Dedicated to Evil.
Common abilities: Blight/Spirit damage, Devour Corpse, Cause Fear, Wall crushing.

Structures - old discussions

Spawn sites

Structure name Effect Source Status
Dark Portal Spawn Succubi and Lesser Shadow Stalkers esvath
Unstable Rift spawn elementals esvath

Treasure sites

Structure name Effect Original idea Status

Shadow Temple (Mythical)

A place where a sect of Shadow Elves turned to worshipping Shadow Demon Hive Mind. Nobody knows what their agenda is, but for sure, they have lots of secrets, and richness to plunder!
Defenders: mixture of Shadow Elves and Shadow Demons, or even unique Shadow Elves units.

Reward: artifacts, gold, mana

Unlocks: Enchanted Hall (units in city domain are immune to Shadow sickness and ignore Shadow terrain’s happiness penalty).


Abandoned or delayed?
Tomb of Hive Queen (Legendary)
A Shadow Demon Hive Queen was buried here, guarded by Syrion warriors. There is nothing valuable here, only the carcass of a fallen Hive Queen.
Defenders: Syrion units
Reward: high tier Shadow Demon unit(s)
Unlocks: Blood of the Queen (monster units produced/summoned in city gain immunity to Shadow sickness and Blood Thirsty).


Abandoned or delayed?
Derelict Shrine (Legendary)
Only the Archon knows why this shrine was built and why it was abandoned. However, they don’t share secrets to anyone.
Defender: (living) Archon
Reward: artifacts
Unlock: Chapel of Good Hope (produced units get +2 spirit strength) :


Abandoned or delayed?
Last Hold Sanctuary (Epic)
Remnants of fallen armies have gathered here, just to survive in the middle of this blasted realm. They are not interested in your offer of alliance, however you can try to subjugate them and take whatever resources they have.
Defenders: mixture of racial units (to represent remnant of Athlan army; maybe Humans, Dwarves, Elves…?)
Reward: gold, units
Unlocks: Armory of Old (armored units produced in city gets +2 DEF/+2 RES)
esvath Replaced by the Beacon of Light
Assassin Guild (Epic)
Disillusioned with the constant wars, these Shadow Elves left their cities and formed a robber band. They prey on the weak and cause constant trouble to neighbouring settlements.
Defender: Shadow Elves
Reward: gold, Shadow Elves/Syrion unit
Unlocks: Recruiting Office (city can recruit Shadow Elves Bard and Assassin)
— Shadow Elves Bard has aura which gives nearby enemy -1 ATT/-1 RES
— Shadow Elves Assassin has Shadow Realm concealment and Shadow Step
esvath Could be renamed “Court of Rogues”, “Court of Exiles” or “Court of Outcasts”
Spirit Fountain
Souls from other worlds enter the Shadow Realm here, seeking reincarnation.
+100 growth and undead growth per turn HousePet
Shadow Node
A nodal point in the flows of magic through the Shadows.
+10 mana and knowledge per turn HousePet
Silverneedle Glade
Silverneedle is a strange ‘tree’ native to the Shadow Realm. It consists entirely of long thin metallic spines.

+5 production (in cluster of several hexes) OR single structure, +5 production and gold

Unlocks Silverneedle Cutter: +1 physical damage for Archer and Polearm units

HousePet Dropped
Astral Garden
The flora of the Shadow Realm is weird and wonderful. Gardens can have a strong calming effect on visitors and contain many valuable herbs.

+100 happiness, +10 gold

Unlocks Astral Hive: Recruit Astral Sprites

HousePet Simple model designed by lordoflinks
Void Window
A gap in the Shadow Realm, covered by crystal. Allows safe gazing into the depths of the Shadow Void.

+20 knowledge. Possible reflecting pool structure?

Unlocks Void Gate: Recruit Shadow Spirits

HousePet Dropped
Crossroad of Worlds
A large gate that opens to a world other than Athla. While travel through this gate is of no interest to you (for now), the flow of travellers and traders through it make it economically valuable. +20 gold and knowledge.

+20 gold

Unlocks Void Gate: Recruit Shadow Spirits

HousePet Dropped

Visit structures

Structure name Effect Original idea Status
Arcane Nexus
A nexus point in magical flows. From here, multiple sources of power can be assessed with ease.
+10 casting points. Visit to heal magical origin, summoned and undead units. HousePet Dropped

Recruitment sites

Structure name Effect Source Status
Camp of Lost Souls Similar to Beacon of Light and work like an Inn with Athlan units for hire. HousePet
Demon Slaver When in small numbers, Shadow Demons can be controlled by someone with enough magic and willpower. Some are now sold as slaves and work animals. +20 production and sells T1/2 Demon units. HousePet
Transtemporal Pocket Time is fickle in the Shadow Realm, as this group of Archons and Dark Elves from the Shadow Demon war found out… Sells Archon and Dark Elf units. HousePet
Elemental Nexus Lines of Elemental energies cross here, creating a safe haven for Elemental creatures. Sells t2/3 elementals and maybe generates some mana too. HousePet


Charlatan has developped a new layer and the associated arts, the Shadow Realm. It has been released in the Decodence mod.

The Shadow Realm is being integrated in the Random Map Generator (RMG) by Gloweye. Another mod demonstrates the integration of Decodence's other additions in the RMG.

Shadow sickness technical details

Another possibility had been considered to reprensent Shadow Sickness: a morale malus through a "Shadow Realm" climate, hated by all non-native units.

In the end, this is how Shadow Sickness is implemented: On a technical side it could be implemented like that: make an Avatar Empire Upgrade which starts out automatically researched which gives all units (friend or foe, including independents) the [vulnerable to] shadow sickness property, which is a layer stats modifier giving penalties on the shadow layer. Then add Shadow [Walker] requisite as a forbidden requisite to the empire upgrade, and make the shadow weeds become a visit structure that gives a layer stats modifier with the same screen name of “Shadow [Walker]”, the boost being exactly opposite to that of the [vulnerable to] shadow sickness modifier, so it basically cancels out. Also add the Shadow Walking requisite to the forbidden requisites of the shadow weeds visit structure.

And then: Link the AoW Player Property: Unit that the Empire Upgrade points to (where you set Allow Independent Players to True, Forbidden Requisite to Shadow [Walker] Requisite, and the Friendly Fire Type to Everything), you can link that Player Property to the actual [vulnerable to] Shadow Sickness property, which is the AoW Unit Property: Layer Stats Modifier. This Unit Property gives a stat change depending on the layer that the unit is on, for instance Night Vision gives a +2 Vision bonus on the underground layer with it. The only annoyance is that the [vulnerable to] Shadow Sickness will always show up in the unit panel, regardless of layer, but will only modify the stats on the shadow layer (similar to how Night Vision also shows up in the unit panel on the surface layer)


No specialisation makes consensus and none is currently planned in the expansion. The Avatar spells will however receive a new addition to limit the effect of Shadow Sickness in tactical combat (see below in the "Changes to base game" section).

Shadow Walker

A "Shadow Walker" specialisation could be added, focused on the mastery of the Shadow Realm. It could include, according to Eomolch:

– shadow realm adept: defensive skills, e.g. a city spell that makes the city like shadow theme, an empire upgrade that gives all support units the banish shadow ability you proposed and the shadow walker enchantment (which affects complete stack for 2-3 turns)
– shadow realm mastery: offensive skills, e.g. an empire spell that spreads shadow theme in your empire (yes, on the surface!), a spell to summon shadow demon(s) or a spell that summons a shadow realm roaming site next to an enemy city

Shadow Magic

Gloweye proposed the following ideas:

Specialisation with damage type Spirit and Shock.

Domain of Shadows (generic city happiness spell, allows you to settle in the shadow world regardless of race)
Shadow Walkers (Like Mark of the Heretic, but used on your own units, negates Shadow Sickness for X turns)
Shadowfire (20 mana, 10+10 spirit/shock damage in 7 hex AoE, basic+ nuke)
Shadow Guild (shadow walking for produced units, allowing you to leave your domains of happiness)
Into the Void (usable only outside shadow world if we can force that, but brings the shadow realm’s influence in the combat, inflicting Shadow Sickness on all non-resistant targets)


Ideas and more ideas proposed by HousePet:

Something that gives all your Irregular/Support units Disrupt Shadow.
Something that gives your Infantry/Cavalry/Pikeman units Shadow Slayer.
A battlefield enchantment that negates Shadow Sickness and increases Spirit resistance.
A single target spell like Break Control.
A Domain of Shadow like spell that also protects your units in the cities domain from Shadow Sickness.

Soul Adept: Inherent: +5 mana from Soul nodes. Heroes get Shadow Walker. Lifebind: Tactical. When target friendly unit dies, nearby friendly units are healed. Radiant Light: Tactical. Radius 1 spirit damage burst and blinding. Recovery: Strategic. Target party heals faster for a few turns. Something else.

Soul Master: Inherent: +5 knowledge from Soul nodes. -5 mana from Void nodes. Can convert Shadow nodes to Soul nodes. Phase Blades: Battlefield Enchantment. All friendly units get -2 phys/+4 shock damage and armour piercing. Soul Flare: Tactical. Target creature gets buffs based on its category and increased resistance. New Dawn: Strategic. Regenerates Shadow terrain. Shadow Slayers: Empire Upgrade. Grants Shadow Slayer to your Infantry/Pikeman/Cavalry units.


Ideas and more ideas proposed by HousePet:

Void Embrace: A Domain of Shadow like spell that also makes units produced in that city Shadow Dwellers. Maybe also give them a bonus when in the Shadow Realm?
Battlefield enchantment for inflicting Shadow Sickness on all non protected units. Buffs Shadow Dweller units.
Shadow Magic: Your support units gain Inflict Shadow Sickness.
Phase Walls: Battlefield enchantment that gives all units Pass Wall and negates the bonus for archering from a wall.

Void Adept: Inherent: +5 mana from Void nodes. Heroes get Shadow Walker. Shadow Bolt: Tactical. Shock/Blight damage to a single target. Inflicts Shadow Sickness. Shadow Walkers resist. Antigravity: Battlefield Enchantment. All units on the battlefield gain flying. Time Warp: Tactical. Ages everything on the battlefield, dispelling all effects and inflicting blight damage and reduced damage. Vanish: Strategic. Target party is invisible for a few turns.

Void Master: Inherent: +5 knowledge from Void nodes. -5 mana from Soul nodes. Can convert Shadow nodes to Void nodes. Shadow Shift: Battlefield Enchantment. Your non-incorporeal units become partially incorporeal. Time Freeze: Tactical. Radius 1 cold ball that makes the victims immobile and invulnerable for a turn. Night Falls: Strategic. Degenerates Shadow terrain. Touch of the Void: Tactical. Target unit gains incorporeal, pass wall and void implosion until the end of battle, when it dies.

Shadow Dweller

Ideas proposed by HousePet: Inherent: Leader and Heroes get Shadow Walker. Shadow Domain: City Enchantment. Target city loses Shadow terrain penalty. Materialise: Battlefield Enchantment. Incorporeal creatures become vulnerable to physical damage. Shadow Walk: Strategic. Target party gets Shadow Walker for a few turns. Shadow Hunters: Empire Upgrade. Grants Disrupt Shadows to your Irregular (and Support?) units.


Wizard King

Dr_K developped in a mod the Wizard King class, which is very similar to how AoW2:SM was played (with spheres).

Shadow Trall

Ideas from Gloweye: Just had an Idea. We could make a trait that all produced T2+ units get, name it infected, and have that spawn a Larva when the unit dies – last minute “harvest”, so to speak. There could also be T2 and T3 Larva’s that evolve into a higher tier of shadow demon. Or another chance for the soul if you’re one of them good loving people. This could be at a minor cost, like perhaps -1 Def -1 Res. Larva could retain long Evolve trees, allowing you to make them actually useful if they get the experience. Alternatively of course, you could directly build/summon shadow demons.

Magic could be generalistic boosting of demons and infected alike. Giving them bloodlust. An empire upgrade halfway that gives all Demons Quick Learning.

Demons could steal life from still living racial units, or use sacrifice abilities from one of two halves to power up the other half.

Ideas from lordoflinks: their racial units would have a renamed ghoul trait (Infested) with the same texture, essentially being a normal unit with the necromancer skin, or just straight up making them ghouls if that was impossible due to limits, with the excuse any racial units they train have had the souls sucked out of them so they are ghouls. Class units would be very powerful, with the catch that to produce them you would have to use population (If it is possible) and their class units would vary by race through appearance, each different race would produce a different species of shadow demon (For example Frostlings may produce white, more ‘icy’ demons) modelling that the race’s soul affects the type of larva produced. Their gimmick would be every tier 1 class unit can evolve through the ranks to a choice of two tier 4 units, the Lord a melee focused t4, and the Lady, a range focused t4. They would not use any necromancer mechanic bar ghouls, with the excuse they have made the city itself into the hive and want living people to reproduce so they can have more souls. frac