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Spring Update Preview - Aetheria

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.

How It Works:

All over Dereth, bits of Coalesced Aetheria have been revealed. All manner of creatures have a chance to drop this Coalesced Aetheria if you defeat them. Characters who prove themselves to the Arcanum can learn the secrets of this Aetheria and themselves empower an Aetheric Mana Stone. By bathing Coalesced Aetheria in the pure mana of their own Aetheric Mana Stone, characters can cause the Aetheria to manifest sigils of power. Characters can wield those sigils to increase their own power levels. 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. 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.

By completing quest lines for the Arcanum, characters will empower an Aetheric Mana Stone with which to bath any Coalesced Aetheria they might find. Players will also learn to wield Aetheria. Blue Aetheria can be used at level 75, Yellow Aetheria can be used at level 150, and Red Aetheria requires the character to be level 225 before they can wield it. As the players complete the quests new item slots that hold colored Aetheria sigils will appear for them.

Players will learn to manipulate and equip Aetheric sigils by doing these quests. Creating and using Aetheria requires no skill points or special skills; the power to wield Aetheria will be granted to the character upon completion of certain quests.

Rather than requiring the character to spend experience to use these items, the items themselves gain levels as you adventure. As long as you have Aetheria equipped in your Aetheria sigil slots these items will gain experience and advance in levels. When you first bath Coalesced Aetheria with your Aetheric Mana Stone, a sigil will appear and that Aetheria will start at level 0. As you fight creatures and turn in quests all experience you earn is also earned by all Aetheria you wield. The experience earned by your Aetheria does not diminish your own experience; instead each Aetheria equipped gains your experience while you wield it.

Each piece of Aetheria has a maximum level associated with it. Most Aetheria found on creatures is only pure and powerful enough to reach level 1 or 2. Some Aetheria can reach level 3, but this is rare. There are rumors of Aetheria that is so pure or powerful that it can surpass even the rare level 3 Aetheria, but those rumors are unsubstantiated.

The experience gained by Aetheria is not affected by any experience boosts or bonuses that might affect your adventuring career. Trinkets that boost XP do not boost Aetheria, nor do pass up or fellowship bonuses. Not even bonus experience events affect Aetheria. Only experience from completing quests and quest turn ins and killing creatures will affect the Aetheria you have equipped.

Many powerful creatures all over Dereth will have a chance to drop pure Coalesced Aetheria. When you view Coalesced Aetheria you will be able to tell its color and its maximum level. When you bath this Coalesced Aetheria with your Aetheric Mana Stone a sigil of power will appear upon it to reflect the true power of the Aetheria. Each sigil has a different power which it granted to those who wield it, provided the Aetheria has gained enough experience to increase in levels.

  • Sigil of Destruction: Your damage rating is increased.
  • Sigil of Defense: Your damage reduction rating is increased.
  • Sigil of Vigor: Your mana, stamina, and to a lesser degree your health are all increased.
  • Sigil of Fury: Your critical damage rating is increased. (to a greater degree than damage rating)
  • Sigil of Growth: Your healing rating is increased, which increases the effect of healing upon you.

The Sigil of Growth increases the effect of healing upon you, both from your own effects and also magics used upon you by others. Healing effects from spells, potions, food, and kits are all increased.

As your Aetheria gain levels the power of these Aetheric sigils will also grow. Be warned, however, that if you try to stack too much power from your Blue, Yellow, and Red Aetheria into a single type of sigil you will have diminishing returns as you reach the highest total. You will have to decide if you wish to stack the power of the same sigil in all three slots even with a slightly reduced return or whether you will diversify to make sure you gain a maximum benefit from your Aetheria.

In addition, by having Aetheria equipped as you fight, you have a chance to evoke an Aetheric surge which will grant you power for a short time. Each Aetheria, in addition its sigil, gains a different type of Aetheric surge. Every time you attack a creature with melee or missile weapon or cast a deadly spell at an opponent there is a chance for this surge to flood you with power for a short time. The chance for this surge to activate is determined by the level of the Aetheria. Although you can have more than one surge active, surges of the same type do not stack. If you activate a surge while another of the same type is active the duration may be prolonged but the effect will not be increased.

  • Surge of Destruction: Your Damage Rating is increased by 20 for 10 seconds.
  • Surge of Protection: Your Damage Reduction Rating is increased by 20 for 10 seconds.
  • Surge of Regeneration: You begin to regenerate at an increased rate. For the next 50 seconds you will gain 16 health every 5 seconds.
  • Surge of Affliction: Your opponent will begin to wither. For the next 50 seconds, they will take 16 points of damage every 5 seconds.
  • 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, or kit is reduced.
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