Of all the curses, plagues, and catastrophes ever to beset Aranna, the Dark Wizards are the worst. Without their urging, Zaramoth would never have begun his campaign of oppression and conquest, and without their strength, he would not have been able to continue it.
The Archmage and his five Undermages are the most powerful magical beings ever to exist. The greatest of the Azunite sorcerers were, to them, as flies to be swatted; even the great Edhel Counsel could do no more than defend against a few of their lesser attacks.
If, before the great cataclysm, they had desired to end all life, it would have cost them little effort to do so. But that was not what they wanted. Their goal was to control all of the magic in Aranna -- Even their great power was not enough for them.
Little is known about the Dark Wizards -- they have lived to an incredible age. They consume the fungus voldane, known to most as a deadly poison, in staggering quantities. Some speculate that it has sustained them through their long lives, others that it is the source of their great power. Edhel experiments with voldane have been inconclusive, and often spectacularly fatal.
The Archmage is the most powerful, but any of the five lesser wizards is powerful enough to defeat Isteru himself. When Zaramoth first came to power, it was thought that there were only four Dark Wizards, but later there were known to be five, though the fifth rarely took part in battle.
The first Dark Wizard encountered has several powerful spells:
- Crystal Shield: To protect his frail form, the Dark Wizard conjures three floating crystals that surround him with a magical field impervious to all attack. Heroes must destroy these crystals first to nullify the field.
- Reanimate the Dead: From the surrounding catacombs, the Dark Wizard can reanimate ancient fallen soldiers (Undead Azunite Infantry). Their giant size suggests they were once giants, possibly even Agallans.
- Lightning Cage: Even from a great distance, the Dark Wizard can mark foes with a purplish halo. Over the period of several minutes, lightning builds from the ground beneath such marked targets and erupt in a spherical burst, shocking all within its radius.
- Lightning Conduit: The Dark Wizard conjures a coruscating orb and launches it at a foe. When it connects, it channels electricity from the Dark Wizard to electrocute his foe.
- Lightning Crystal: This conjuration brings forth a large crystal that is the focus of electrical energy. All foes are pursued by a sphere of static electricity which occasionally shocks them with lightning.
- System Shock: When foes get too close to its frail form, the Dark Wizard can repulse them with a powerful arc of magic, catapulting them away and cursing them with a black fog of blindness.
- Teleportation: In a blink, a Dark Wizard can escape a messy melee or close in on a foe to ensure a spell connects. If you watch closely, the Wizard seems to dissolve into a smoky form, project it to its destination, and reform there.