The Infernal World Spell allows the player to take control of 1 of the top 3 most powerful cities in the world that worships the Ashen Veil religion. Power is determined by a combination of population, wonders, and culture (exact formula yet to be determined).
Ethne tossed in her sleep. She was haunted with visions of wicked step-sisters, Sidney in her blue and yellow dress, Dain, and a dinner table that extended into darkness. Tomorrow she would have to decide if she was going to commit her people to a war against the Infernal that many would never return from. If she didn't the Infernals would crush the Amurites, who were already on the verge of collapse. But if she joined the war it would escalate further and even more would die.
In her dream Hyborem sat at the end of the dinner table.
"Your logic guides you to one decision, and your morality to another." Hyborem stated.
"Yes." Ethne found herself unable to lie to the Lord of the Balors.
"Morality is an illusion, a dream without reason. It is the shifting wind." There was no trace of magical persuasion in Hyborem's voice and Ethne was free to respond as she wanted.
"A queen must be more than an accountant emotionlessly weighing one option against each other. Morality sets our goals, logic tells us how to achieve them."
Hyborem smiled, though it was empty of emotion.
"Imagine that you stand on your palace wall..."
As Hyborem spoke Ethne could see the city surrounding her palace. It was a quiet autumn night and the city was lit by occasional lanterns and moonlight. Then guard bells rang out. Ethne could see men running along the street. Five ran along the palace walls seeking the security of the palace gate. Another man ran off into the city.
Guards along the palace walls starting shouting warnings and a werewolf lumbered out of the shadows, chasing after the group of five men. The five men rushed through the palace gate and the men called for Ethne's order, if they should drop the gate portcullis or not.
"If you close the portcullis" Hyborem's voice cut through the scene, "the five will live, but the werewolf will turn on the single man running into the city and kill him. You save five men, but you doom another. What is the moral thing to do?"
"I would drop the portcullis and save the five men" Ethne answered. As she did she saw the scene play out. The werewolf turned and cut down the single man before fleeing the city.
The scene changed, once again Ethne stood on the palace wall, and once again the guard bells started ringing. Five men ran along the palace wall, but there was no man running into the city. Instead a man stood beside her on the wall, watching the attack below.
This time the werewolf was closer, the five men wouldn't be able to reach the palace gate in time.
Hyborem's voice cut in again, "Again five men will die if you do nothing. Again you can save them by sacrificing one man. But this time you must push that man off the palace wall. If you push him he will fall in front of the werewolf, who will stop to kill him, giving the five men enough time to get into the palace. What is the moral thing to do?"
"I would not push the man off the castle wall." Ethne said confused.
"This is the illusion of morality" Hyborem said as the scene faded back to the room with the table between them, "In both cases you have the same options, but you make different decisions in the name of morality. If you want to stand against the Infernal do it because it will save the most lives, it will increase your power, you will gain the treasures of hell. But do not allow your throne to be ruled by the wind."
Ethne awoke, it was dawn and her meeting with the Amurite diplomats was a few hours away. She didn't feel like she had gotten any sleep at all, and the day was only going to get worse.
- This does not count as a declaration of war--you will still be at peace with the civilization you stole the city from (unless you were already at war with them).
- Note that no units will be present in the city once you take control of it. This means it is particularly susceptible to enemies immediately declaring war and recapturing their city.
- Consider using conventional methods to conquer enemy territory, and only using this spell to take a city when your armies can potentially reinforce it on the same turn.