Sacrifice God Feature: Part One

We take a look at Charnel, Sacrifice's god of strife, in the first part of our weekly coverage.

Charnel

Charnel, god of strife

Every Friday for the next five weeks we'll be profiling each of the major gods in Shiny and Interplay's upcoming real-time strategy game, Sacrifice. In these weekly features, we'll be taking a look at the gods' backgrounds, their minions, and the spells they endow upon players who choose to follow them. And for the first time anywhere, we'll be unveiling the voices for each of the five gods within these features. We kick off our weekly coverage of Sacrifice with a look at Charnel, the god of strife. His world is scarred by blackness and littered with slaughter. He accompanies pain and flourishes in suffering. If you choose to have your wizards ally themselves with Charnel, you will be granted the black arts of necromancy and the ability to summon the vilest of demons to do your dark bidding.

Listen to Charnel declare his alignment.
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Spells
Players who choose to follow Charnel will gain knowledge in the blackest of arts. Most of the gruesome spells below are designed to hurt and maim and don't outright kill your enemies. You'll start with a few relatively weak incantations, but as you grow in power, so will you grow in favor with Charnel, who'll grant you the knowledge of more powerful spells. Below is a complete list of spells available to players who pledge allegiance to Charnel:

Speed up: This spell provides a quick burst of evil energy to any creature that you target, including your own wizard. Speed up is the perfect spell for a quick getaway.

Insect swarm: One of the first spells you'll master, the insect swarm will summon a venomous cloud of bugs that relentlessly attack any targeted enemies. The damage inflicted by these insects will in turn heal you.

Heal: Although Charnel finds traditional healing to be disgusting, it's an unavoidable necessity. The heal spell will rejuvenate the health of your wizard's minions, which will allow them to continue to spread pestilence and disease throughout the world.

Protective swarm: Similar to the insect swarm, this spell summons a cloud of insects to encircle and protect you and your minions. These bloodsucking bugs will attack any creature foolish enough to venture too close, and any damage inflicted by the insects will heal you in turn.

Slime: This spell covers nearby enemies with a dose of venomous slime that not only slows them down but also reduces their attack effectiveness and lets you inflict additional damage on them.

Animate dead: The animate dead spell is the fulcrum of Charnel's necromancy. It lets you raise your fallen minions so that they may fight once again.

Demonic rift: This spell rips the ground asunder and unleashes cursed souls from the bowels of hell. Your own minions will remain unharmed, but all other creatures on the map will be tormented by the unleashed demons.

Wailing wall: Casting this spell will awaken the spirits of the damned to rise up from the earth and form a barrier that saps the energy from any who pass through it. This barrier will slow enemy creatures to a crawl before killing them and will prevent archers and other projectile from passing through.

Plague: The plague spell will cause a black cloud to form over any area of the map. This cloud of death will rain poisonous globs of disease and pestilence down onto the enemies below.

Intestinal vaporization: Undoubtedly one of the most sickening spells in Charnel's array or sorcery, intestinal vaporization causes your intended victims to swell up before exploding in a shower of blood and gore.

Death: This spell conjures the image of death itself to walk the land and kill any enemy creature with a simple touch of its hand.

Bestiary

By pledging allegiance to gods, you will not only make their lists of powerful magic spells available to you, 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 within Sacrifice fall into one of 11 categories. They are pursuers, scouts, flyers, snipers, bruisers, support, bombers, siege, crowd control, juggernauts, and ultimate. Charnel's beasts, while some of the most revolting, all belong into one of these categories except for the bruiser class. That doesn't mean that other gods have an advantage over Charnel, as each of the four other deities has only ten creatures as well. Here are Charnel's:

Locust (flyer): The locust is a bloated and warped version of a flying creature that used to grace the ancient worlds of Sacrifice. It uses its snout to suck life energy and mana from other creatures, and it gains the most amount of health per attack of any of the minions in Charnel's menagerie.

Scythe (pursuer): These floating creatures are armed with bony horns atop their scowling heads. They decimate their enemies by spinning rapidly and ripping them to shreds. Even though they're one of the first creatures that will be available to your wizards, they're nonetheless very powerful. Additionally, every time a scythe attacks an enemy, it regains some of its health.

Fallen (scout): The fallen are actually resurrected bodies of the god James' earthfling creatures. All that's left of them, however, are rotting flesh and bones, and they walk around slowly, flinging swarms of insects at nearby enemies. Like all of Charnel's minions, the fallen regain life energy when they attack. Also, the fallen can play dead and regenerate health at an even faster rate.

Necryl (support): This large ticklike creature oozes pestilence and disease in liquid and gas forms. The necryl's noxious fumes and corrosive gas will poison any creatures that come close enough to it, causing them to be more susceptible to damage. The necryl's poisonous effect will also prevent afflicted creatures from healing. However, you must pay close heed when using this minion, as its effect knows no bias, so the necryl can just as easily poison your own creatures.

Blight (bomber): The blight is a large carrion beast of the air. In its belly lie thousands upon thousands of little blightmites - parasites that feed on the flesh of creatures - that it regurgitates onto any enemy it flies over. The blightmites slow down enemy units and slowly sap their strength. Again, like all of Charnel's minions, the blight regenerates health as it attacks.

Deadeye (sniper): Charnel created these creatures from some of the god Persephone's shy, yet ingenious, gnomes. Like the gnomes, the deadeyes prefer fighting from a distance and use a slow but effective ranged poison attack that slows down enemy creatures and prevents them from regenerating mana.

Abomination (siege): The abomination is a sickly looking creature that reaches deep within its abdomen for the bloody ammunition that it uses to hurl at its enemies. Any creature standing between the abomination and its intended victim will take damage from the trail of blood and intestines. Additionally, upon reaching its final target, each salvo of blood and guts will splatter upon impact and inflict damage on anything standing close by.

Styx (crowd control): Hundreds of souls torment the headless and sinewy body of the styx. These souls war with each other, which causes the styx great confusion and torment. In its rage, it can tear apart the flesh of its victims with a murderous fury. It can also cause any blue souls on the battlefield to explode with such force that nearby enemies will take severe damage. This ability should be used wisely, as blue souls are a precious resource in Sacrifice, and once destroyed they can never be brought back.

Netherfiend (juggernaut): This creature is one of the most powerful melee fighters in Charnel's menagerie. They not only regenerate life with every attack, but they also have the ability to consume blue souls for a boost in their power rating and resistance to damage.

Hell mouth (ultimate): One of the greatest gifts that Charnel will bestow upon you is the hell mouth, a winged demon with a vile breath attack that poisons and spreads disease to anything foolish enough to stand in its way. Like the netherfiend, the hell mouth can devour blue souls for a boost in power.

Be sure to visit the Sacrifice gamespace next week when we unveil the next god in the game. Until then, take a look at the new batch of screenshots in the screenshot gallery, linked at the upper right. For more on Sacrifice, check out our 2619885comprehensive preview .

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