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21. Fractured Earth

Enemy Tribes: Dakini

Starting Spells: Swarm, Lightning, Convert, Landbridge, Invisibility, Swamp, Hypnotise, Tornado, Erode, Earthquake, Flatten, Firestorm, Magical Shield, Angel Of Death

Permanent spells you can get: Volcano

Temporary Spells you can get: Erode

Buildings you can get: None

Vehicles you can get: None

Once again your tribe slugs it out with the Dakini. This time, however, you also have to contend with random lightning strikes, occasional earthquakes, and volcanoes erupting under your settlement. I think you have your work cut out for you. You begin on the east end of the world's only continent. The Dakini are located on the other side of the continent, west across the land or east across the blood red water. There is a Totem Pole directly to the south of your Reincarnation site that requires three people to worship it. Worship this immediately to cause a Flatten spell to seal up the Volcano there. If it erupts it won't cause damage to your settlement, which you haven't built yet, but it will create a lot of damaged ground. Like in Aerial Bombardment, this world is very hilly, so you'll have to build wherever there's space, or make more space with Land Bridge and/or Flatten. Once you have the Volcano taken care of, you should start Converting Wildmen and building Huts. Build Training Huts quickly, as the Dakini won't give you much time before attacking.

Also start charging Land Bridge to seal up the next natural Volcano that erupts, located at a small pit to the northeast. Wherever there will be a Volcano there will also be smoke plumes rising from the ground. Cast Land Bridge or Flatten over these to seal the fault and prevent the eruption. Land Bridge is a good choice for this one because it doesn't require as much mana as Flatten. For defense you should at first have a group of Warriors and Preachers. The enemy will prefer to attack you from the southeast, where there is a gap in the hills running east west and leading to a ramp up to the high ground where your Reincarnation Site. They'll run through here and attack your settlement from behind, since most of the flat ground is to the north of your Reincarnation Site. Instead of building Guard Towers here, I found it was effective to take my Shaman to the top of the south hill overlooking the gap and cast Land Bridge north to create a wall across this gap. You may have to cast Land Bridge a few more times across to other hills to get rid of any steep, but navigable passes up.

This will force the enemy attackers to go around and start climbing up towards your settlement through an area east of your Reincarnation Site, not far from the Erode Stone Head. I put two Preacher Guard Towers in front of four Firewarrior Guard Towers in this area and that held off most attacks. You may need some extra help when the enemies have Magical Shield on, or if they are attacking your Towers with Firewarriors. Be very careful of the enemy Shaman, as she will cast Volcano on your settlement. Later on, once you get the above-mentioned defenses ready, you should put a few Firewarrior Guard Towers on the east edge of your settlement, as Dakini Firewarriors will cross the water in balloons to attack that end of your settlement. The Erode Stone Head isn't strictly necessary, but you should probably send 5 Converted Wildmen to worship it early on in the level. Getting the two Erode uses will keep you from having to charge Erode when you get the mana for other advanced spells, like Angel of Death. The other object of interest in this level is the Volcano Vault of Knowledge.

Finally, you won't have to rely on miserable Stone Heads for this awesome spell. The Vault is lightly guarded and has a few Dakini buildings nearby. With a few Swarm, Lighting, or Swamp spells you should be able to sneak your Shaman up there and worship at the Vault without a problem. Once you have Volcano, you should take a balloon, fly your Shaman over to the Dakini settlement and use it. The rest of the level follows the familiar pattern. Building up your air force will let you attack the Dakini before or after your Shaman softens them up (when they're not attacking they didn't seem to keep many Firewarriors on hand, so that's a plus). Also, since the terrain tends to constrict your settlement, the Firewarrior air force will also help you respond quickly to enemy attacks with more force that your Guard Towers alone can provide. When you're ready, take the Dakini out. A final word on this level should be said about the natural Volcanoes.

The first to erupt is south of your Reincarnation Site, and can be sealed by the Totem Pole. The second eruption comes from the small pit northeast of your Reincarnation Site. This, like the others, you will have to seal yourself. Make a point to cast Land Bridge over this as soon as possible because its in the middle of a nice flat area and its lava will cost you a lot of good land. The third Volcano goes off far to the southeast, nowhere near your settlement, so don't worry about it. The last Volcano (that I've seen) happens south of the fume that comes from the northeast coast. There's an eroded Volcano looking crater there, and you should look for the smoke plumes before it goes off. The Vault of Knowledge also triggers a Volcano nearby when you worship it, but that's not near your settlement so you again don't have to worry.

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