The IMAWAL glyph petrifies enemies, turning them into statues. It is a quite specialised glyph with a wide variety of effects that can be used in many unique situations.
In the right circumstances is can be extremely useful, especially for knockback characters and maps which have a particularly unfavorable mix of monsters.
IMAWAL cannot be cast on bosses or mini-bosses (for example the monsters in the towers of Gaan-Telet).
It can be cast on an empty space, spawning a regular wall on that tile. This use only costs 3 Mana Points to cast (unless under the effects of Mystera's Mystic Balance, in which case it costs 5). Note that the spell can only be triggered when the player has 5 or more mana, even if the intention is to cast it on an empty tile. Casting it on empty space won't grant you the XP-bonus, however, and will anger Binlor.
If cast on any monster (including plants and other monsters with No Experience), it will turn that monster into a statue, and provide the Experience Boost player buff (the next XP-valuable monster the player kills will receive an +50% XP bonus to the monster's base XP value, and the regular Bonus XP from killing a higher-level monster). Petrifying enemies does not count as a kill and rewards you 0 XP. Statues are similar to normal walls; the player cannot pass through them and they can be destroyed by anything that destroys normal walls, such as ENDISWAL, PISORF, or knockback.
If cast on an XP-valuable monster, it will have the following extra effects:
- The Stone Statue will have a pile of 1 gold under it, that can only be retrieved upon destruction of the statue. If "Black Market" preparation was used, the gold pile value is increased by 1 as normal.
- Petrifying a slowed enemy will still grant the bonus 1 XP you would have gained from a regular kill.
- Petrifying an enemy will remove one stack of Cursed.
The XP bonus applies to the next XP-valuable enemy you kill, however is used up even if the bonus is zero (i.e. killing a Level 1 monster). This bonus comes after the Bonus XP received due to killing a higher-level monster, however does not multiply the flat XP bonus from Learning or Slow.
ie. Total XP = (Standard XP + level-difference bonus XP) * 1.5 + other bonus XP (learning, slow)
Example: Assume that a Level 2 hero kills a slowed Level 5 monster, just after having cast IMAWAL on a monster. He would gain a total of 20 experience points: 5 regular experience thanks to the monster's level; 8 bonus experience for the level difference; 6 bonus experience thanks to the petrification, calculated as 50% of (5+8); and another 1 bonus experience because of the slow.
Unlocking the glyph
The IMAWAL glyph starts unlocked.
A free IMAWAL glyph is provided when you worship the The Earthmother. It will not spawn if you convert to Earthmother from another god.
IMAWAL is a bit of a two-edged sword. While petrifying a monster can provide the player with a large XP bonus, the petrified monster itself won't give any experience to the player, Because of this, it is generally better to use the glyph on foes which you ideally would never want to fight, such as Illusions, Revenants, or high-lvl Animated Armors. This allows you to effectively level even on maps with an unfavorable mix of monsters for your class.
Otherwise players should only petrify monsters with a very low level, since the loss of potential XP from petrifying high level monsters rarely outweighs the bonus XP you receive.
Generally, the glyph should be used sparingly if there are no non-XP-valuable monsters , as removing too much popcorn can leave players at a disadvantage later on. It is also very easy to block off sections of the map by petrifying enemies in hallways and tight spaces.
One advanced strategy of gaining XP is a level-up catapult with IMAWAL. Casting IMAWAL on a slowed enemy is one of the only few ways to gain XP for non-goblins without killing monsters. Normally it requires to kill an enemy to level up which means getting IMAWAL XP bonus is difficult for a level catapult assisted big hunt. But if you can make your XP bar just 1 short of level-up, you can use IMAWAL to level up and fully gain the juicy +50% bonus.
IMAWAL is also one of the few ways to gain piety with The_Earthmother. Since all of her boons spawn plants, you can petrify them for piety. While petrifying plants only gives you half the piety, it allows you to save your popcorn.
Half-dragons and casters relying on PISORF have an alternative usage for this glyph. Since it allows the player to spawn walls, they can use it to set up knockback-chains if there are no walls around a monster.