Introduced:  Shedding Skin

Related topics: Aetheria Teaser, Aetheria Quest

Lore & Background

By researching the ancient writings of Empyrean magic, the Archmages of the Arcanum have unlocked the secrets of a new kind of magic that the Empyreans called Aetheria. In ancient times, powerful Empyrean mages learned to infuse Aetheria in Dereth with pure mana to empower it. By infusing this Aetheria with pure mana stored in enchanted gemstones, they could coerce Aetheria to crystallize into patterns that the ancient mages called sigils. These sigils could be manipulated to increase personal power. The Empyreans found that it was the nature of Aetheria to grow in power as it was used. The more you used these Aetheria sigils, the more powerful they became.

Long ago the ability to recognize and manipulate Aetheria was lost. Although this magical energy wells freely from the menhir mana fields into Dereth, these potent magical energies have in recent times remained undetected as they flowed throughout the lands. That is about to change.

With the help of explorers, adventurers and mercenaries the Arcanum has drawn this Aetheric magic from the Menhir mana fields into specially prepared mana stones enchanted to hold Aetheric power. The Arcanum have traveled from the corners of Dereth to perform a complicated ritual. Calling forth ancient magics, the circle of mages were surrounded by hundreds of glowing gemstones infused with the Aetheric power of the menhir mana fields. The mages have enacted a ritual to reveal the Aetheria that flows out of the mana fields and rains down upon Dereth.

Once hidden from untrained eyes, the power of the Arcanum has caused this Aetheric magic to be revealed. The Aetheria appears as three distinct colors, as it once appeared to the mystic sight of ancient Empyreans. Now that the Aetheria that flows from the mana fields has color and has coalesced into form, it can be found on all manner of creatures that inhabit Dereth. More importantly, the Arcanum has agreed to teach those it deems worthy to empower this Coalesced Aetheria so it once again forms into the ancient sigils of power and can be wielded by those who have learned its secrets.

Tutorial Videos

Obtaining Aetheria

For complete details on how to first open your slots, see the Aetheria Quest.

The icons can be filled with Aetheria trinkets. They may be activated by the Aetheria Mana Stone and placed in the empty corresponding color slot. That is, you can only wield one blue, one yellow, and one red aetheria at the same time.

  1. Use Aetheria Mana Stone on Coalesced Aetheria (Yellow) to create Aetheria (Yellow).
    • Aetheria Mana Stone Icon.png + Coalesced Aetheria (Yellow) Icon.png = Aetheria (Yellow) Icon.png
A sigil rises to the surface as you bathe the aetheria in mana.

The aetheria require 1,000,000,000 points added to them to activate the Sigils and Surges. Once activated, they must then have 3,000,000,000 in xp to activate the next level (level 2). To reach level 3 requires 7 Million XP. The extremely rare level 4's require 15 million XP. Xp must come from killing monsters or from questing. Passup experience won't affect them. Blue are pre-loaded with xp of 750,000,000 to make it easier for lower levels to use them. They are dropped by monsters and also found in MFK chests.

Aetheria Powder

Characters can also empower an Aetheria Desiccant which can destroy any Aetheria they do not wish to keep and extract from those destroyed remains pure Aetheria Powder, you can obtain this from Janier al-Evv in Xara. Dessicant costs 1,250 pyreal per use, stacks to 1000, and is MMD thus buys 200, but doesn't add to burden, and takes merely one pack slot.

  1. Use Aetheria Desiccant on Aetheria (Yellow) to create Aetheria Powder.

You use the desiccant on the aetheria to create an aetheria powder.

The Arcanum can use this powder to further their research. The Arcanum is already preparing mages to accept this Aetheria Powder in trade for other rewards. Rewards include a Mana Forge Key per 10 Aetheria dust. Visit Cypher in Xarabydun for your reward (the same person you talk to to start the Aetheria Quest.)

Aetheria Sets

Note: set bonuses occur when any level 1 or above Sigil is equipped. It appears that to a certain degree the spells are cumulative. i.e. Two level 2 Sigil of Destruction will cast a level 4 spell on the wielder. Surges stack to exactly level 7, i.e. having 3 level 3 Sigils of Fury grants no additional benefit. Thus, the optimial combination of Sigils is a level 4 and a level 3 of your desired type, and a level 4 of your desired secondary type. Or, if you can only get 3's, two 3's of one kind, and a 3 of the second. This way, you waste no Sigil Ranks. ---

Aetheria Surges

Any Aetheria that is level 1 or greater grants your character a cast on strike property called a "surge". These surges activate based on your single offensive attack, meaning multi-target spells and the cleaving property of two-handed weapons does not equate to an increased chance of surging (nor will you surge on multiple targets), though high-speed attacks and fast casting spells will. An active surge shows by a symbol circling your character (green symbols) or your opponent (red symbols), see Images under the image section.

Surge of Destruction : Your Damage Rating is increased by 20 for 10 seconds, similar to a Blooddrinker bonus. Multiple Destruction Surges do not stack. This is a % increase in damage, NOT a +dmg effect like Blood Drinker.

Surge of Protection : Your Damage Reduction Rating is increased by 20 for 10 seconds. This has been hard to verify if it actually works. If a % number, the effect will only be 1-2 pts at best.

Surge of Regeneration : You begin to regenerate at an increased rate. You gain 30 points of health a tick for 3 ticks (90 health maximum total). It's noteworthy that if you get multiple Surges of healing, they surpass (extend duration), they do not stack (heal +30 per surge per tick). These Surges are not considered healing effects per the Sigil of Growth.

Surge of Affliction : The target loses 90 points of health over 19 seconds. This is considered a drain attack and attack spell debuff (for purposes of some monsters who then start vulning you in return).

Surge of Festering : Your opponent is cursed so all healing effects are reduced by a Healing Reduction Rating of 20. For the next 20 seconds any healing effect from spell, potion, food, regeneration, or kit is reduced. This is probably the weakest of the effects. It is also considered an attack debuff.

Surges are considered short-term low-power magical buffs, and can be dispelled by monsters (Killagurg got lucky and dispelled a Surge of Destruction on me, along with Blackmoor's Favor).

Gameplay and Advice


  • General Advice: Having all your Aetheria use the same Surge is generally better then having mixed Surges. This will allow you to factor the Surging into your combat plans more easily. Randomness can be entertaining, but generally it is better to be predictable.
  • Offense: The Offense mindset is kill the enemy as fast as possible. You don't need to heal until after the fight, because the enemy dies faster.

The combination of Surge of Destruction and Sigil of Destruction is ideal. This nets you up to +7% dmg constantly, and a further +20% damage when the Surge is active. As a secondary Sigil, you should probably use Fury, which increases dmg on crits. Note that Surges of Destruction do not stack.

Use of the Surge of Affliction is a possible alternative, but the fixed 90 dmg is not that impressive, and is actually done to the enemy, not cast on, for instance, if you switch targets, and/or the Afflicted dies, the Surge is wasted.

  • Defense: The Defense mindset is that by not needing to heal, you don't interrupt damage infliction and you stay in the fight. It's about action conservation.

There are two schools of thought here...damage prevention, and damage restoration/healing. Primary one, secondary the other. (Defense/Prot x2, Growth/Prot x 1, or Healing/Regeneration x2, Defense/Regeneration x1).

Damage prevention naturally entails the Sigil of Defense and Surges of Protection. +7% to your Damage Reduction, kicking with +20%, should prevent an additional 1-2 pts of damage per blow, and potentially a great deal with the Surge, which should reduce your healing needs, and let you stay in a fight longer. Protection is hard to tell if it actually works because the numbers are so small, but if it does, it certainly can prevent potentially hundreds of points of damage depending on how often you are being hit!

Healing is all about taking care of the damage that does get thru so you don't have to spend actions to heal. By boosting the Surge rate/fequency, multiple Surges wipe away your damage and allow you to keep fighting. This technique can be very effective if multiple Surges come out, because the healing effect continues longer. 90 points is about the average of a level 6 healing spell, so it's quite a nice boost.

A Defense set is more appropriate for war magic users, because they do extreme damage with spells already, and the additional damage is not as significant as it is for weapon users. Too, every action not spent healing, or delaying healing, helps the mage inflict more and more dmg, and every Surge of Regeneration is one less Heal Self 7 the mage has to cast, while damage soaked by improved DR delays self healing even longer.

  • Utility: Or, more accurately, general usage. The Sigil of Vigor is designed to fill this slot. It grants more hit points, stamina, and mana (+1/5/5 per Level). It's geared for mages mostly, who use all three stats actively. By having more mana and stamina, mages have more tools to stay in a fight longer without having to regain such (even 1 or 2 spells can be key for a mage).

Surges for the Utility/General mindset are going to be either Offense or Defense based, i.e. Destruction or Regen/Protection.

General Commentary

  • Sigil of Fury: Right now, this Sigil is less useful than Destruction. It adds damage like Destruction, but only to Critical Hits, and adds the same amount as Destruction. This Sigil is being fixed next month... current musing from Django is that it will provide an Endurance boost. This Sigil naturally works best if you like to use weapons with the critical hit effects (Biting Strike/Crippling Strike, Critical Strike, Crushing Blow). The damage is also % based, making it do more as you go up in level. The Sigil of Fury does NOT affect chance of critting (600 attacks w Sigil/Fury VI resulted in 59 Crits).
  • Surge Frequency: The trigger method involves more then launching a single attack. 600 attacks at a Target Druge yielded only 4 Surges. I posit that it checks to see if you are being attacked to increase the chance of a surge. Certainly mages don't seem to have that many fewer surges then fast attacking melees. It's also worth investigating if increases in crit chances (such as the Biting Strike/Critical Strike affect the frequency of Surges (doubtful).
  • Surge of Festering: The only use I can see for this is against creatures with a monstrous Regen rate, such as Mowen or the Olthoi Queen...but these creatures have regens that hit hundreds of points, 20 is not going to do anything to them. This is also considered an attack spell effect, which certain creatures will 'activate' and start casting hostile spells back at you (Crystal Lords, Plat Golem Mtn kings, etc)
  • Sigil of Healing: Tests don't seem to show any change to Natural Regeneration or the Surge of Regeneration. The healing boost is +1 per Level, to things like potions, spells, and probably the healing skill (i.e. a 50 pt healing potion heals 52 with a level II Sigil). This is not absolute, but seems pretty clear.
  • Surge of Regeneration: Confirmed that Surges of Regeneration do NOT stack if multiples are active. This means that Surges of Affliction will not stack, either. Duration is extended, that is all.

Leveling Aetheria

When first created, an aetheria is inert and will neither cast a sigil spell on you when wielded nor will it surge. You must first level the aetheria to at least level 1. You level an aetheria by wielding it and earning experience through questing or hunting (aetheria do not earn xp from passup and do not benefit from xp bonuses such as from trinkets). Each aetheria has an inherent level cap beyond which it cannot be leveled further, this is indicated by the small number in the corner of the icon image, and by second number in the "Item Level: x/x" line on the ID panel (the first number is the current level).

The xp earned isn't divided in any way amongst your various aetheria, therefore you gain the most benefit by making sure each aetheria in a slot has room to grow when completing quests with a large xp reward (if an aetheria is fully leveled, you earn nothing for that slot). Holding a Rare Weapon will also give xp to that weapon. In other words, if you earned a million xp and only had one aetheria wielded it would get 1 million. And if you had 3 aetheria wielded and are holding a weapon, all 4 items would get 1 million xp (4 million xp total).

Level Level XP Total XP
1 1,000,000,000 1,000,000,000
2 2,000,000,000 3,000,000,000
3 4,000,000,000 7,000,000,000
4 8,000,000,000 15,000,000,000
5 ?? ??
6 ?? ??

When an aetheria levels you see the rainbow burst of levelling up and receive a green text message :
Your Aetheria has increased in power to level 1!
Your Aetheria has increased in power to level 2!
Your Aetheria has increased in power to level 3!
Your Aetheria has increased in power to level 4!

Blue Aetheria requires you be level 75 to open the slot and equip.

Yellow Aetheria requires you to be level 150 to open the slot and equip.

Red Aetheria requires you to be level 225 to open the slot and equip.

Combinations and misc details

Please post individual findings and observations below. The information here will be structured and integrated into the main article as we become more confident in our findings and conclusions. So the information below may not be 100% accurate, but should be useful as we flesh out the details together.

  • Aetheria with a maximum level of 1 are most common; level 2 are less common, and level 3 are even more rare. Very, very rare are Aetheria which can grow up to level 4 or 5 (unverified 6). Level 4 have been confirmed to drop on non Tier 7 creatures (for example in Egg Orchard).
  • Blue Aetheria, regardless of maximum level, always drop with 750,000,000 "bonus" xp already invested towards their first level. Yellow and red Aetheria always drop with 0 xp to start, and must be leveled from scratch.
  • Aetheria may drop with any combination of Set + Surge, for a total of 25 possible combinations thus far. In addition to these variables, Aetheria's maximum possible level also ranges from 1 to 4 (unconfirmed yet that all three colors of Aetheria may drop as level 4s, but Red and Yellow definitely can), bringing the theoretical total number of unique Aetheria to 300 after factoring in color variations.
  • Initial observations suggest that all Sets have an approximately equal chance of occurring, while certain Surges--particularly Affliction and Regeneration--may be significantly less common than the rest.
  • Based on currently observed drop rates server-wide, it should only take at most a few days (of playing a few hours a day) to get any particular level 3 Aetheria you're trying for, so don't be fooled into spending lots of money buying up those that others have found. Thus far, level 4 Aetheria are looking to be only about as rare as, for just one example, a +15% melee D/+10% mana C no-wield/no-req caster. After a week or two, it is likely that only Affliction/Regeneration Surge Aetheria with level 4 maximums and desirable Sets will be worth paying anything for (if indeed these surges prove to be less common than others; more data is still needed).
  • At least on Leafcull, I can say that the above info on drop rates hasn't held true for me. I have well over 50 hrs hunting and have never received a single lvl 3 Aetheria. Let alone, the only one I am really interested in which is the Destruction Set with Surge of Destruction. Currently only one of my 3 slots is filled with a Destruct/Destruct Aetheria and that is only a level 1!]] RE: Interesting... where I hunt regularly, on FF, I come back from every 5-6 hour hunting trip with at least two-dozen assorted junk (level 1/2) Aetheria, and one or two level 3s - though only of Blue or Yellow color (my reds were all found in T7 loot mobs in a different location); I have noticed that hunting on DI for the same amount of time, however, yields only about four or five Aetheria of any type or quality. This seems to strongly suggests that Aetheria colors, levels, and drop chances for their item type, may vary significantly from loot profile to loot profile. Please don't forget to update the mobs that you've found Aetheria on, paying special attention to level and color!
  • With five sigils and five surges, there are 25 possible variations. This means that if you are looking for a specific combination, say Growth/Protection, there is only a 4% chance of getting it each time you create a new Aetheria.
  • 3:33:28 You cast Surge of Destruction on yourself 3:33:28 Critical hit! You impale Olthoi Ripper for 1102 points of piercing damage! 3:33:31 Critical hit! You impale Olthoi Ripper for 1320 points of piercing damage! The first hit is normal damage the second is after a surge. Using paradox touched atlatl with deadly barbed darts(23.1-33 base damage) and a level one surge.
  • It is not necessary for a spell to land in order for a surge to occur. It happens on the release of the war spell, not the impact. I would guess a similar thing would happen with melees.

Solo Sigil Effects

Level Blue (Level 75+) - Yellow (Level 150+) - Red (Level 225+)
Growth Defense Fury Destruction Vigor
1 Healing Rating +1 Damage Reduction +1 Critical Rating +1 Damage Rating +1 +1 Health
+5 Stamina
+5 Mana
2 Healing Rating +2 Damage Reduction +2 Critical Rating +2 Damage Rating +2 +2 Health
+10 Stamina
+10 Mana
3 Healing Rating +3 Damage Reduction +3 Critical Rating +3 Damage Rating +3 +3 Health
+15 Stamina
+15 Mana
4 Healing Rating +4 Damage Reduction +4 Critical Rating +4 Damage Rating +4 +4 Health
+20 Stamina
+20 Mana
5 Healing Rating +5 Damage Reduction +5 Critical Rating +5 Damage Rating +5 +5 Health
+25 Stamina
+25 Mana
6 Healing Rating +6 Damage Reduction +6 Critical Rating +6 Damage Rating +6 +6 Health
+30 Stamina
+?+30 Mana
7 Healing Rating +7 Damage Reduction +7 Critical Rating +7 Damage Rating +7 +7 Health
+35 Stamina
+35 Mana}

Critical damage rating increases your (chance to critically strike -or- damage done when critically striking; data needed - test with melee/missile crits at max damage with/without Fury Sigil equipped; if damage varies (be sure to ignore Destruction Surges if applicable), CdR = +damage, not +%crit).

Sigil effects stack only to level VII (7). Having 3 Sigils at Rank3 does NOT get you to 9. As Turbine said, there's a benefit for having some versatility in Sigils. The ideal combo is thus 7 of one Sigil and 4 of another.

Surge rates of occurrence: (please verify, before beginning your tests, that non-hits such as evades and resists either can or cannot cause a Surge)

Blue Aetheria

Level 1: X over (# of tests)
Level 2: X over (# of tests)
Level 3: X over (# of tests)
Level 4: X over (# of tests)

Yellow Aetheria

Level 1: X over (# of tests)
Level 2: X over (# of tests)
Level 3: X over (# of tests)
Level 4: X over (# of tests)

Red Aetheria

Level 1: X over (# of tests)
Level 2: X over (# of tests)
Level 3: X over (# of tests)
Level 4: X over (# of tests)

Confirmed Drops

  • Lists of creatures and chests that are confirmed to drop specific aetheria colors/levels. Currently it is believed all colors can drop on everything, with more data this may turn out to not be the case. Click icons for individual lists - in progress - if you find aetheria on nonlisted creatures, please add it to the trophy section for that creature/chest):
Level Blue Yellow Red
  • List of creatures that have been extensively hunted for hours and have not dropped a single Aetheria (if you find one on a listed creature, remove the creature from this list):


Surge Symbols

Gallery of Aetheria

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