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LA C'tis, Desert Tombs


C’tis is a river valley surrounded by sandy deserts. Once the valley was fertile and great swamps surrounded the great river. Now the deserts spread and the swamps grow fewer and smaller each passing year. The valley is the home of an ancient sacral kingdom of lizard-like humanoids. In ancient times, the High Priests of C’tis mastered the craft of embalming to preserve the remains of their kings. Since the dawn of the kingdom, tombs have been constructed in the desert to contain the mummified kings and priests. With the Awakening of the God, the Sauromancers, great mages of death and rebirth, have re-emerged and taken the place of the Marshmasters. Through studies of ancient lore they have perfected dark rituals that awaken the kings of old to lead the stirring dead as the Lizard Kings lead the kingdom of the living. At the top of the C’tissian society is the Lizard King. The King is the highest priest of C’tis. Under the King are the High Priests and the enigmatic Sauromancers. After a great rebellion most of the carnivorous lizardmen were slain or fled to distant lands. There is a widespread fear that the predators and their Sobek masters will return as foreseen in their Seventh Book. The C’tissians are somewhat slow in movement, but have thick hides that protect them from cuts and bruises. Both lizardmen are cold-blooded and become exhausted very quickly when fighting in cold provinces. They have partial resistance to poison. The inhabitants of C’tis prefer to live in warm provinces. The Tomb Kings and Tomb Priests are able to reanimate the dead.

General Overview

LA C'tis is very unlike its predecessors. In addition to losing the majority of the unique features of MA — Disease-causing and income-increasing dominion, as well as the Sobeks, but keeping the empoisoners — the nation also parts ways with some of the common features of both earlier eras, losing access to all predator lizards, including Elite Warriors and Shamans, and giving up all their water access and the majority of their nature.

What remains is a nation with an extremely narrow focus: Though the nation has gained a slight proficiency with fire magic, and picked up a medium-heavy infantry unit, almost everything the nation can be said to excel at is death-related. Sauromancers remain recruitable death 33 mages with some randoms of death 44, and the nation gains a line of no-research reanimator-priest summons which, at the cost of a hefty sum of death gems for the late age, turns LA C'tis into something of a freespawn nation, providing them with an unending supply of size 4 tramplers in the form of the Tomb Chariot.

With Sauromancers as the only workhorse mage, however — supplemented by Empoisoners for assassins and minimal nature access — and the nation's recruitable units being extremely sub-par for the era, LA C'tis typically struggles; this is exacerbated by it being hard to find the gems in LA to finance its one main strength, and the nation's narrow focus leaves it very vulnerable to being hard-countered.

Not that anything stone-walls Bane Fire.

National Features


Race Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Prefers Heat scales+2
High MR (11-14)
Low Morale
swamp survival
poison resistance(5-10)
Medium infantry
Dual-wielding falchioneers
Poison slingers
Reanimated chariots
Reanimated Tomb Wyrms
death 44 (Rare 5)
fire 22 (Rare 3)
astral 11 (Rare 2)
earth 11 (Rare 2)
nature 11

Summable nature 33*, astral 33*
*Can't be summoned natively
Recruitable holy 33
Summonable Undead Reanimator-Priests
Standard forts (Citadel)

Capital Special Sites

FIXME add the site pics

The Temple Marsh Empoisoners Guild
Enables recruitment of:

Keeper of the Tombs,

Tomb Guard.

Generates 1firegem3deathgem per turn.
Enables recruitment of:

Poison Slinger



All national commanders and units have at least MR 12, cold-blooded, swimming, swamp survival and poison resistance(5-10).

Beware - Despite having some poison resistance, they are still susceptible and may die from too much accumulated poison. This is not usually a problem, as your enemies will typically die from it faster than you, but do not mistake your resistance for immunity.



Img Unit Name —-SpecialAttributes—- Comments
Gold 30
holy 11
Poison resistance(7)
Cheaper than indie priests, but with zero leadership the hierodules generally do not have a niche.
Commander of C'tis
Gold 40
Poison resistance(7) Not a meaningful improvement over independent commanders, between shoddy morale, no morale bonus to squads, no formation access and only 60 leadership.
Lizard Lord
Gold 70
Poison resistance(7) 80 leadership for only 1 commander point, and as such the most straightforward access to morale bonuses and formations available to LA C'tis.
High Priest of C'tis
Gold 80
holy 22
Poison resistance(7)
Temple trainer: Sacred Serpent
Prophet Shape: Lizard King
A holy 22 priest with 40 leadership and the ability to temple summon Sacred Serpents, these will sometimes merit recruitment, but are not by any means a core part of C'tis toolkit unless large quantities of banishment are called for.
Keeper of the Tombs
Gold 100
Capital Only
fire 11death 11holy 11 9
Poison resistance(6)
Serviceable researchers in the early game, these mages are held back both by the poor quality of the Fire/Death crosspath and by competing for capital recruitment turns with empoisoners. They can in a pinch be used, as any fire mage, for fire elementals, but lack combat utility aside from this.
Gold 125
death 11random1100% 9
Poison resistance(6)
Compared to their EA Reborn counterpart, these mages are a disappointment. The fire random results in a mostly-useless crosspath, and though the death random results in a cheap death 22 mage, the infrastructure requirement means it struggles to justify its recruitment over additional Sauromancers. The Reborn does have a greater research-per-recruitment-turn than the Sauromancer, but is in every other way an inferior mage.
Gold 90
Capital Only
death 11nature 11 9
Poison resistance(15)
The nation's only access to nature, as well as being phenomenal assassins both with and without gems, on account of the chassis' access to both Swarm and Animate Skeleton. The built-in weapon is also useful, as the poison sling will generally make easy work of any non-resistant victim distracted by swarm bugs or longdead. These will generally be recruited every turn in the capital, starting quite early in the game.
Lizard King
Gold 230
holy 33
Old Age(60/50)
Poison resistance(7)
Prophet Shape: Lizard King
With 120 Leadership, Lizard Kings are excellent, albeit expensive, army leaders. They also give the nation easy throne claiming, being priests which are recruitable outside of the cap. Unfortunately, while they may be desirable leaders, their cost of 4 Commander Points is hard to swallow, and though they can cast the national holy spells, they have no undead leadership.
Gold 285
fire 11death 33holy 11random1100%
Poison resistance(8)
wasteland survival
As a recruitable death 33, every Sauromancer is a potent battlemage. All can cast Horde of Skeletons for raiding or in-battle use, all can cast Bane Fire or Shadow Blast against evocation-susceptible foes, and all can wreak havoc among undead enemies with Wither Bones; even raiding with Invulnerability and Soul Vortex is an option.

Death randoms can cast Darkness or Rigor Mortis unaided, while Fire randoms become fire 33 with Phoenix Power and can summon elementals or put up Heat from Hell. Earth and Astral randoms are weaker, but provide the only access to these paths in the nation's roster.

Unfortunately, Sauromancers have severe limiting factors as well. Due to Old Age, they have encumbrance issues which are only exacerbated by their Cold-Blooded trait. Astral randoms are also exceedingly vulnerable to Magic Duel, being the only astral mage available to the nation in an era of mass astral from most other nations. Despite this, they remain a very strong mage, even more so for not being limited to the capital.

If desired, Twiceborn can greatly mitigate the weaknesses of a given Sauromancer, but this has anti-synergy with the nation's great need for death gems for other uses.


The recruitable units of LA C'tis have above-average protection for their resources cost due to natural protection, but still generally very low protection for the era, combined with all-around low stats. If possible, it is generally recommendable to purchase quality indies, such as crossbows, particularly if faced with an enemy with cold scales.

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Gold 7
Poison resistance(7) Indie militia with worse morale, somewhat resistant to your own poison, but with no armor other than their own scales.

Generally useful only if cheap, massed, non-mindless bodies are needed; if obtainable, indie militia with shields are generally superior.
Light Infantry
Gold 10
Poison resistance(7) As light infantry without armor but with javelins, these have a slight niche in some expansion parties, but are generally useless against player-recruited units in LA.
Heavy Infantry
Gold 10
Poison resistance(7) With only 10 strength and a 3-damage spear, these hit for an unimpressive 13 piercing, and are thus not capable of damaging most units in LA. At 16 body prot, they are the nation's sturdiest non-sacred, but still fail to survive for any length of time against most opposition.
City Guard
Gold 10
Poison resistance(7)
castle defence bonus(1)
With abysmal damage, no helmets and only 14 body prot, these units generally fail to find a niche, unless additional siege defense is desperately needed.
Gold 13
Poison resistance(7)
As a recruitable dual-wielding size 2 unit, these units have a small niche, but are held back by above-average gold cost, middling damage in an era of high-prot units, low protection (particularly because their natural protection ceases to be an advantage once protection spells are applied) and no shields. They may be the nation's strongest massable unit, but they are particularly susceptible to crossbows, which are omnipresent in the era.
Desert Ranger
Gold 13
Wasteland Rec Only
patrol bonus(2)
Poison resistance(6)
wasteland survival
With passable damage, a javelin, reasonable protection, a shield and not outlandish encumbrance, the Desert Ranger is one of the nation's most dependable rostered units. Unfortunately, as a wasteland-recruitable unit, the nation will often struggle to find the recruitment points to mass these.
Tomb Guard
Gold 23
Capital Only
Poison resistance(6)
wasteland survival
Genuinely heavy infantry with elite stats and a 20 damage weapon, Tomb Guard can be a backbone for national armies, especially during expansion when your freespawn and skellyspam are not yet online. Their high encumbrance and low combat speed are significant weaknesses.
Poison Slinger
Gold 25
Capital Only
Poison resistance(8) Expensive, immensely fragile and prone to killing your own troops, Poison Slingers are nevertheless a very potent tool against non-resistant foes when used in combination with summoned or reanimated longdead which — unlike C'tissian troops — are wholly immune to the poison and serve to tarpit the enemy while it kills them. Caution should be taken to minimize friendly fire and unnecessary exposure.
Tomb Chariot
Reanimated by undead priests
Poison resistance(25)
Cold resistance(15)
Never Heals
Hordes of trampling Tomb Chariots can destroy most things they outsize. Unlike most chariots, their two attacks can be effective against larger foes.

With just 7 hit points, tomb chariots are extremely fragile, protected primarily by their high speed, decent defense skill, and remarkably effective repel, with 2 length 2 weapons and good attack skill (easily boosted with Royal Power). Casualties are to be expected, but tramplers kill swiftly enough that attrition can be quite minimal when critical mass is achieved. While late game buffs like Fog Warriors make mundane attacks like trampling much less effective in major battles, freespawn chariots are an excellent source of raiding pressure in any phase of the game.
Tomb Wyrm
Reanimated by undead priests
Poison resistance(25)
Cold resistance(15)
Tomb Wyrms, like living serpents in Dominions, have extreme stats. Their modest protection and atrocious defense skill mean that they will take damage every time they are attacked, unless the attacker is blinded by Darkness; no defensive bless can keep them from taking damage quickly in melee.

At the same time, they have some impressive stats: 39 HP, 30 morale, 16 magic resistance, and 15 attack skill (readily boosted to 19 with Royal Power) with a respectable 18 damage bite. Because they have so many HP, Tomb Wyrms with a highly offensive bless (say, +8 strength) can trade well even with elites like heavy cavalry and giants, while tanking hits from even top evocations like Thunder Strike. Even without a bless, Tomb Wyrms are ideal evocation bait; at 78 hit points per square, Tomb Wyrms are magnets for banishment spells and other evocations that might decimate fragile tomb chariots.
Sacred Serpent
Trained in temples
Poison resistance(5)
Sacred serpents, like other snakes in Dominions, have notably high attack skill and good morale and MR, but low defense skill and protection. In practice, this means they will die quickly even to militia without major buffs. Their main role is as a Standard that is fortunately a bit slower than your heavier infantry. The high attack skill and strong poison on their fangs may give them niche uses even into the late game, if you can boost their 10 piercing damage fangs enough to pierce protection.


any breakout hits that might sway someone towards luck or away from it ?


Research Priorities

Enchant: +5 - Flaming Arrow, Hord of Skeletons

Construction:+3 -

Conjuration:+3 -

Evocation:+3 -

National Magic & Summons

Pride of Lions: nature 22 Conj 3 10naturegem (summon 10+ Great Lion). An unimpressive spell for turning N gems into chaff.

Sacred Crocodile: nature 22water 22 Conj 4 3naturegem (summon 1 Sacred Crocodile). LA-Ctis lacks water mages, so can't natively cast it. Big, slow and sacred attack animals. A lot of their attributes make them fantastic Soul Slay magnets to take the pressure off your mages. Not amazing in combat but still sacred slabs of HP so not too bad either.

Contact Couatl: nature 11astral 11 Conj 7 40naturegem (summon 1 Couatl). Cost a lot of gems but any pretender with a dip in two paths can summon this strong Flying Astral and Nature mage. Even at 40naturegem they are a good deal. With the loss of lizard Shamans, you need a pretender or an indy (probably empowered) to cast it. Bringing powerful nature magic to fights is extremely valuable as a nation without native access to nature.

Contact Scorpion Man:earth 11fire 11 Conj 8 12earthgem (summon 1 Scorpion Man). Comes too late to be useful. A really good unit, but is not cheap in the gem starved late age and neither are earth random sauromancer turns to do the casting.

Revive Grave Consort: Enchantment 0, death 11 10deathgem (1 Grave Consort). Like Tomb Priests and Tomb Kings, Grave Consorts are reanimator priests; able to produce skeletons for free with their turns. A Grave Consort can be summoned early and prophetized for an early infusion of Tomb Wyrms or Tomb Chariots

Revive Tomb Priest: Enchantment 0, death 22 16deathgem (1 Tomb Priest). Reanimator Priests. The more efficient way to mass Tomb Wyrms.

Revive Tomb King: Enchantment 0, death 33 23deathgem (1 Tomb King). The best way to convert death gems into permanent skeletons and are able to produce higher quality undead such as Tomb Wyrms and Tomb Chariots. Holy 3 to boot.

National Holy Spells

Protection of the Grave:holy 11 Grant additional MR to one Square of Undead. As an undead horde nation, the ability to shrug off the plentiful undead mulching spell is helpful.

Protection of the Grave:holy 22 Grant additional MR for 10 squares.

Royal Protection:holy 33 Grant additional MR to all undead currently on the battlefield. Must be cast again if you wish to protect skeletons summoned after the initial cast.

Power of the Grave:holy 11 Grant additional Speed and Atk Skill to one Square of Undead.

Royal Power:holy 33 Grant additional Speed and Atk Skill to Five Squares of Undead.

Power of the Reborn King:holy 44 Grant additional Speed and Atk Skill to all undead currently on the battlefield.

Magic Access

Can spam death 44 mages from any province with full infrastructure. Can Forging a Skull Staff and Skullface for death 66, or even a death 77 with a lucky 10%.

Late age Ctis has poor cross-path access overall, but the easiest is Fire. A Sauromancer can easily make the booster as a Fire/Death caster, Summoning Flame Spirit for the two boosters. Getting fire 55 (6 in combat) and Fire Kings. Fire is pure damage to unleash on armies not prepared for it.

You only have 1s in Earth, Nature, Astral. Needing a pretender or empowerment to forge and summon units to increase and diversify your access. For example, You can't natively summon Coutatl but they only need nature 11astral 11 and 40naturegem to get back that old C'tis Astral and Nature powerhouse.

An investment but Summon Spectre can break you into Water and forge Earth, Water, and Astral boosters if you get lucky on paths.

Combat Magic

C'tis's magic strategy had taken a major reworking from earlier eras. They are still a skeli-spam nation, but now with a focus on evocation instead of poison. C'tis has Fire so it can now spam Fire Elementals and put Flaming Arrows on its javelins. you also have cold resistance spells to counter enemies that try to sleep you out, in addition to the Fire Resistance/Heat From Hell combo.

It also has prolific access to bane fire, inflicting Decay during an age were the majority of units have human lifespans.

If you mass forge Earth Boots, you have good earth access for army buffs and destroying heavy armour of the late age(you have nat prot from scales while enemy becomes naked). (ex: Magma Eruption, Iron Bane, Marble Warriors) Also, cast the spell Fields of the Dead.

Sauromancer magic randoms:

  • Death randoms: Don't need communions for High death. With the two death boosters your now death 66. Can make the Immortal Death thugs.
  • Astral randoms: Can form communions to cast Higher level Death and Fire magic; However, unless you can find an indie, you're only going to have small communions. Can cast Nether Bolt and Nether Darts.
  • Earth Randoms: Is a Magma Caster. can be Earth earth 22 with a gme. If Going higher he needs to be given a booster, empowerment, and/or a Crystal Matrix can cast earth buffs and even Fields of the Dead
  • *Fire Randoms: Your pure DPS mage. Can summon Fire Elementals and cast Flaming Arrows on your javelins.

Troop Buffs: Wooden Warriors, Army of Giants, Mass Protection, Flaming Arrows, Strength of Giants, Iron Warriors

Chaff Summoning: Horde of Skeletons, Swarm, Creeping Doom, Summon Fire Elemental

AOE: Enfeeble, Vortex of Unlife, Astral Fires, Falling Fires, Fire Cloud, Cloud of Death, Magma Eruption, Gifts from Heaven

Battlefield Globals: Foul Vapors, Howl, Darkness, Rigor Mortis, Relief, Plague, Life after Death, Undead Mastery, Fields of the Dead, Curse of Stones.

Area Fatigue or Immobilization: Shadow Blast, Stellar Cascades, Maws of the Earth

Area Morale Reduction: Panic, Terror

Single Target Elimination: Curse of the Frog Prince, Charm, Disintegrate, Nether Bolt, Nether Darts, Astral Geyser, Bane Fire

Thug/SC Self Buffs: Soul Vortex, Invulnerability, Temper Flesh, Skeletal Body

Ritual Magic

C'tis are masters of High-level Death magic (C'tis will get Well of Misery, and surprise attack with Stygian Paths), Twiceborning their mages, and having immortal Wraith Lord and Lich thugs. LA Replaced Nature with limited Fire Rituals and has some things for earth and astral.

LA Can spend their Death gems on undead reanimator-priests that are more efficient at creating a skelli-stacks than spending gems on the Reanimation spell. Can also produce Longdead Archers, giving an army a range threat, especially with decay killing a portion of the enemy even if they win (especially if they are targetable like giants or calvary).

Fire-Earth Cosspaths grants a way to turn gems into gold (Transmute Fire), or mass-produce Terracotta Soldiers, alternative addition to you skeletons

Blight / Black Death - set back to your enemy money.

Summons Infantry- Revive Wights/Legion of Wights, Construct Manikin, Pale Riders, Reanimate Archers, Terracotta Army

Immortal Summons - Call Wraith Lord, Lichcraft, Curse of Blood(with Blood Empowerment)

Summons Other- Tartarian Gate, Summon Spectre, King of Banefires,

Magic Items

National Items

  • The Jade Mask: a Unique end game Helmet. need death 66nature 33 (need a pretend to make) and only a cold-blood can wear it (No Undead or most pretender chassis). Grants a lot of large array of good mage buffs. Is Notable being a better Skullface with Regeneration and Auto cast Rigor Mortis

Generic Items

Amulet of the Dead Makes your Reanimator Priest more efficient.

Mage items: Clam of Pearls, Black Bow of Botulf, Amulet of Resilience, Coral Blade, Ethereal Crossbow, Ring of Regeneration, Skull Mentor/Lightless Lantern, Slave Matrix/Crystal Matrix

Thug Items: Vine Shield, Coral Blade/Duskdagger, Axe of Hate, Doom Glaive, Boots of Quickness, Robe of Invulnerability, Shadow Brand, Evening Star, Carmine Cleaver

Fear Thug Items: Horror Helmet, Spirit Mask, Skull Standard, Implementor Axe,

Assassin Items: Handful of Acorns

Interesting Items: Effigy of War, Shademail Haubergeon, Helmet of Heroes


Power Curve

This is probably the most difficult section to get consensus for. Describe how strong the nation is during expansion, the early, mid and late game, and what makes it strong/weak at each of those points. This should give readers an idea of where the weaknesses of a nation lie (if they have not been shown already) and when to take advantage of a nation's strengths.

Expansion Strategies

List some example expansion strategies here. If a strong bless or pretender is required then leave the specifics for the pretender section.

Example Pretender Builds

List some example pretender builds. Try to use the following format to keep authorship and pretender design rationale clear.


See More

c-tis-la.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/02 00:38 by fenrir