Sacrifice God Feature: Part Four

In the fourth installment of our Sacrifice god feature, we profile Stratos, the god of air.

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Stratos

Stratos, god of air

A few weeks ago we kicked off the first segment in our five-part coverage of Shiny and Interplay's upcoming 3D real-time strategy game, Sacrifice. With each update, we've been profiling one of the five gods in Sacrifice, taking a look at the spells and minions the gods afford players who choose to stand by their side. We've also been updating the Sacrifice gamespace with screenshots that are specific to that week's god. Lastly, each feature has premiered the voice of its respective god. This week, the spotlight falls on the god of air, Stratos, who rules over the land of Empyrea. Stratos truly believes he is the greatest of all the gods in the world of Sacrifice, and he claims to be master of all things elemental and celestial. Wizards who choose to follow Stratos won't have the luxury of strength and will instead have to rely on grace and skill to vanquish their enemies.

Stratos affirms his supremacy.
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Spells
Although referred to by Stratos as "elementalism," this school of magic only focuses on mastery of air and frost and not on the traditional elements. Most of his spells are designed to dole out damage and are not for protection, although you will find a defensive spell or two below.

Speed up: Every god in the game will bestow this spell upon his followers. Speed up provides any targeted creature with a quick boost of energy that is perfect for retreats and surprise attacks.

Lightning: This spell sends a bolt of searing energy at the nearest enemy creature. It will instantly kill lesser minions and seriously maim more-powerful ones. It travels in a straight line and will hurt any of your own creatures that happen to be in its path.

Heal: A spell that's universal throughout all five worlds in Sacrifice, heal rejuvenates the health of any of your injured creatures.

Air Shield: Casting this spell will cause a small but powerful series of tornadoes to enclose you and your creatures, and it will absorb most of the damage inflicted by the enemies. The air shield also has a repelling force to push enemy creatures outward, away from your wizard.

Freeze: Freeze encases enemy creatures in a giant block of ice, rendering them completely immobile and helpless against your attacks. Its effects wear off relatively quickly, however, and the block will immediately thaw when its victim is attacked.

Chain Lightning: A more powerful version of lightning, chain lightning will arc out and strike numerous enemy targets at once. However, with increased power comes a higher risk: Chain lightning has the potential to accidentally strike your own forces.

Soul Wind: Soul wind creates a tornado that ventures out onto the battlefield and retrieves souls of any of your fallen minions. Souls are an important resource in Sacrifice, but still-active battlefields can prove to be fatal for your wizard, so casting this spell is the perfect way to collect souls without putting yourself in danger.

Frozen Ground: Frozen ground is a more powerful version of the freeze spell, and when cast, it sends forth a giant ball of ice that freezes a large area of ground. Any enemy creature caught within its area of influence will be unable to move for a short period of time.

Fence: Casting this spell will summon a wall of small silver orbs to rise up in front of you. Any enemy unit that comes too close will be struck down by forks of crackling electricity emitted by this protective fence.

Cloud kill: Cloud kill is one of the most devastating spells in the game. It will cause the skies overhead to darken, and the resulting angry storm will spit out lightning bolts at a large area of ground, killing any enemy caught unaware.

Tornado: Easily the most visually impressive spell in all of Sacrifice, tornado summons a massive twister that sends any units in its path hurtling through the air.

Bestiary

By pledging allegiance to gods, you will not only have access to their lists of powerful magic spells, but you'll also be able to call upon their unique creatures to aid you in your conquests. All of the creatures available to your wizard in Sacrifice fall into one of 11 categories. They are pursuers, scouts, flyers, snipers, bruisers, support, bombers, siege, crowd control, juggernauts, and ultimate. Like all the gods, however, Stratos only has ten of these creatures and lacks a crowd control minion. What his creatures lack in brute force, they more than make up for with stealth and cunning. The beasts in Stratos' menagerie are also the fastest you'll find in Sacrifice.

Frostwolf (pursuer): These swift creatures were originally inhabitants of Persephone's realm, but Stratos adopted them and endowed them with intelligence. They've since learned to fashion their own tools and weapons and to wield a knife during battle. As part of their special ability, the frostwolves can run at incredibly fast speeds.

Sylph (scout): These beautiful nymphs possess the unique ability of stealth. Sylphs can make themselves nearly invisible when not moving or attacking, and even though watchful enemy wizards might be able to spot them, the sylphs can't be targeted by physical or magical attacks while in their semi-invisible state.

Braniac (flyer): Essentially nothing more than a brain with wings, the brainiacs use psychic energy to attack the minds of enemy creatures. The trauma suffered by the brainiacs' victims seems so real that their bodies actually react as if physically injured.

Vortick (support): Modified versions of Persephone's ticks, the vorticks create small vortices of wind that lift enemy creatures into the air. The vorticks' victims suffer damage from the initial blow of the vortex and then from the subsequent fall back to the ground.

Squall (sniper): Squalls were originally winged creatures that resided in the mountainous regions of Stratos' world. Now wingless, the squalls produce powerful gale force winds through the use of a back-mounted jet. These winds knock back enemy creatures, causing them to take damage.

Storm giant (bruiser): These massive creatures have inhabited the lands of Sacrifice since before the arrival of the gods. The storm giants call forth a bolt of lightning to strike themselves. This "activates" their ability to emit forks of electricity in all directions and enhances their defensive and offensive statistics.

Seraphim (bomber): Descendants of Persephone's gremlins, the seraphim spin a web of powerful energy to ensnare and slow down enemy creatures, giving your wizard time to attack the trapped victims.

Flurry (siege): The flurries are actually two different species working as one: an apprentice wizard riding atop a lummox, one of the creatures found in Pyro's realm. Flurries launch magical ice shards that implode upon impact, causing any creature within their blast radius to be sucked toward the point of impact.

If your wizard continues to worship Stratos, he'll grant you two additional creatures, which, for the sake of not ruining any potential surprises, we won't profile. Be sure to return next week, when we'll be taking a look at the last of the deities in Sacrifice: Pyro, the god of fire. In the meantime, take the time to surf through our extensive Sacrifice gamespace, and don't forget to check out the latest batch of screenshots.

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