<snip> But maybe Elemental could include a geis spell <snip>
I remember a "Geas" spell from D&D. I'm making a lot of assumptions about what can or can't be modded in to Elemental, but I have to believe we'd be able to create custom quests. And the first iteration of such a geas spell in Elemental might be cheesy, but over time it could probably be developed into something very interesting.
For example, a first pass on a custom geas might be to create a FedEx quest to deliver some quest object between point A and point B. Or a quest to kill x number of y monster. Both of these take time to complete, which I'm sure would put a damper on any time-sensitive tasks the player of that character had in mind for that unit/character. The geas might curse the target unit/character by weakening it over some number of turns, little by little. It could be that it removes some hit points each turn. Or reduces the attack power of that unit a bit each turn. Nothing huge - but enough to motivate the player to do something about the curse of the geas.
In a multiplayer game, it serves the (very powerful) dual-purpose of 'forcing' the other player to try to lift the curse - while simultaneously making that unit/character take the time away from whatever the player wanted to have that character doing for the duration of the geas. It has the potential of being a very powerful mechanic. And I would bet that given enough time, the modding community might be able to flesh the basic idea out to the point where it may even begin to feel like you're playing a mini-game within the larger overall game.
"Undead armies are a dying breed"
<snip> I think you are the first person to say it <snip>
I don't know why, but I'm really jazzed about that. It might be my first "world first". Yay me!