Tips & Tricks: Healing Amplification

What is Healing Amplification?

Also known as Healing Amp, Healing Amplification is a state applied to your character that increases the number of hit points gained by healing spells.

epicglovesoftheclawWhere can I get Healing Amp From?

You can get healing amp from the following ways. I’ve also listed some examples (I’m NOT going to list all of the healing amp sources. If you want a more comprehensive list of Healing Amp Items, visit Search for DDO Items Website and do a keyword search on “Healing Amplification”, also visit ddowiki.com for additional healing amp feats and enhancements.)

  • Items
    • Dragontouch Armor with healing amp percent boosts can be crafted with the right runes: 10% from Eldritch runes and 20% from Tempest runes
    • Greensteel weapons can give 10% at Tier 1, 20% at Tier 2, and 30% at Tier 3.
    • Levik’s Bracers has a 20% bonus increase to healing amp
    • Search for DDO Items Website for more healing amp items
  • Race Enhancements
    • Humans can get a 30% increase from Human Improved Recovery
    • Half-elves can get 20% increase if they take the Monk Dilettante Feat
    • Half-elves can get 20% increase from Human Improved Recovery
    • Search ddowiki.com for more healing amp enhancements
  • Class Enhancements
    • Monks can get up to 30% from Improved Recovery Line
    • Paladin Prestige Enhancement, Hunter of the Dead, I think can give as much as 30% Healing Amp. I believe It has a 10% increase per rank, but doesn’t list it in the description, so it’s not confirmed.
    • Search ddowiki.com for more healing amp enhancements, if any
  • Feats
    • Paladin Past life feat gives a +5% to healing amp and can be stacked up to three times itself.
    • Search ddowiki.com for more healing amp feats, if any
  • Other Sources
    • Jidz-Tet’ka Bracers give healing amp to monks when in fire stance. This bonus is a +25% Insight bonus to incoming positive energy healing.
    • Though the Finger Necklace is an item, it gives a 10% insight bonus to healing amplification

How is Healing Amp Calculated?

Before we create a formula for how healing amp is applied, let’s go over the rules:

  • Healing Amp from Items that are of the same percentage value do not stack with other healing amp bonuses from other items.  Put in another way, healing amp percentage increases from items that are of different percentages will stack.  Probably because this is typed as an item enchantment bonus.
    • For example you will get a stacking bonus from your 10% on your Dragontouch armor and your 20% Tier 2 Greensteel weapon
    • You will NOT get stacking bonus from your 20% from your Levik’s Bracers and 20% from your Tier 2 Greensteel weapon
  • Healing Amp from race and class enhancements and feats will always stack, even if they are the same percent value
    • For example, Your Monk Improved Recover III of 30% will stack with Human Improved Recovery III of 30%
  • All Healing Amp increases are multiplied when applied. You could say that each percentage is compounded per percent source (so long as it does not break rule number 1)
  • There are only three exceptions that I know of:
    • When wearing the Jidz-Tet’ka bracers in a monk fire stance you gain a spell-like buff called Riik-zik, which gives you a +25% Insight bonus to incoming positive energy healing.  Since this is an insight bonus it may stack differently. Because it’s the only 25% bonus in the game, it would be hard to confirm its true workings
    • Though Finger Necklace is an item, it gives a 10% insight bonus to healing amplification, but instead of compounding, it seems to tack on an additional 10% to ONLY THE BASE VALUE of hit points cured then added. My best guess is because it was one of the first healing amp items in the game and therefore has math that was written differently than other items.
    • I have never taken the Paladin past life feat, so I cannot say for sure on how this stacks. Does it stack like an enhancement (+15% by the third TR) or does it stack multiplicatively (1.05 to the third power)?

So What’s the Basic Formula for Finding Your Total Amount Healed with Healing Amp?

x = Base Value of the Amount Healed

nz = The Value of Each Percent

Healing Amp % Markup = (1 + nz )

Total Amount Healed = x(1+n1 )(1+n2 )  …  (1+nz )

In laymen’s term:

Total Amount Healed = Base Heal Amount* Healing Amp % Markup 1* Healing Amp % Markup 2* (and so on)

Huh? Wha? Can you do that again?

Sure, let’s walk through an example of how healing amp is applied.  Say you are a human monk/paladin. Say you’ve equipped the following Items:

  • Dragontouch Armor with the 10% healing amp
  • Greensteel T3 weapon with 30% healing amp
  • A Tower of Despair ring with 20% healing amp unlocked on its Incredible Potential attribute.
  • You have the Jidz-Tet’ka bracers and you are in fire stance for 25% bonus
  • Epic Gloves of the Claw for 30% healing amp

Then you also have that one funky item

  • You also have the Finger Necklace for an additional 10% oddity bonus to healing amp

You’ve also taken the following Enhancements:

  • Human Improved Recovery III - 30%
  • Monk Improved Recovery I - 10%
  • Paladin Prestige Hunter of the Dead II - 20%

Let’s say you get healed by an Unyielding Sovereignty from a cleric, which does 1000 hit point cure. But first, let’s first apply the percent markup per bonus value:

  • Dragontouch armor 10% -> 1 + 0.1 = 1.1 (or 110%)
  • Greensteel T3 weapon 30% -> 1 + 0.3 = 1.3 (130%)
  • Tower of Despair ring 20% -> 1 + 0.2 = 1.2 (120%)
  • Jidz-Tet’ka Bracer w/ Fire Stance 25% -> 1 + 0.25 = 1.25 (125%)
  • Epic Gloves of the Claw 30% -> you already have 30% from your Greensteel Weapon, this will be excluded
  • Finger Necklace, 10% -> 1 + 0.1 = 1.1 (110% — remember this is the odd one)
  • Human Improved Recovery III, 30% -> 1 + 0.3 = 1.3 (130%)
  • Monk Improved Recovery I, 10% -> 1 + 0.1 = 1.1 (110%)
  • Paladin Prestige Hunter of the Dead II, 20% -> 1 + 0.2 = 1.2 (120%)

Now, let’s multiply the percentages to find the total percent markup. We’ll leave out the Finger Necklace, because it’s weird:

(1.1) * (1.3) * (1.2) * (1.25) * (1.3) * (1.1) * (1.2) = 3.68082 = 368.082% Healing Amp

For the Finger Necklace, remember that its percent bonus is only applied to the base value, which is 1000, then added after the percent markup from all the other items and enhancements:

1000 * 0.1 = 100

Now we apply the total percent bonus to the base value, and round down:

1000(3.68082) + 100 = 3780

The total amount healed will be 3780 hit points.

What about Warforged?

Warforged are different than other races because their base healing number is always LESS THAN 100 percent and therefore reducing the product of their total healing amp.  As a Warforged you get healed half as much other races if you don’t have any enhancements to modify that value.

WF Base Healing Amount = Base Heal Amount *(0.5 + Warforged Healers Friend % Amount)

WF Total Healing Amount =WF Base Healing * Healing Amp % Markup 1 * Healing Amp % Markup 2 * (and so on)

In math speak:

z = WF Healer’s Friend Bonus

W =WF Healing Base = x(0.5+z)

Total Amount Healed =W(1+n1 )(1+n2 ) … (1+nz )

With Warforged Healer’s Friend III, you can get an additional 25% increase. So for example, if you were healed for 1000 hit points as a Warforged without any items or other enhancements towards healing amp, you would get:

1000[0.5 + 0.25] = 750

So if you were a Warforged monk/paladin with all the items, class enhancements, and the WF enhancements instead of the human like in the example above:

(1.1) * (1.3) * (1.2) * (1.25) * (1.1) * (1.2) = 2.8314 = 283.14% Healing Amp

The Finger Necklace:

750 * 0.1 = 75

With the total percent bonus to the WF base value, and round down:

750(2.8314) + 75 = 2198

The total amount healed on this Warforged will be 2198 hit points.

What’s the Highest Healing Amp Possible?

My best guess is a Half-Elf Monk Dilettante Defender of Siberys, because at Defender of Siberys III, you can get a +100% Healing Amp active power called Glorious Stand in addition to racial enhancements and items that’s a lot of healing amp

  • +100% Glorious Stand power
  • +20% Human Improved Recovery
  • +20% Half-Elf Improved Recovery

With the following gear:

  • +30% Triple Positive Greensteel Weapon or Epic Gloves of the Claw
  • +25% Jidz-tetka Bracers with in fire stance
  • +20% Dragontouch Tempest Rune
  • +10% Dragontouch Eldrich Rune
  • +10% Finger Necklace

(2.0) *(1.2) * (1.2) * (1.3) * (1.25) * (1.2) * (1.1) = 6.1776 = 617.76% Healing Amp for everything except the Finger Necklace

Say your healing value was 1000 again:

(1000 * 6.1776) + (1000 * 0.1) = 6277 Total Hit Points Healed

Summary on Healing Amp in DDO

Healing amp (spell amplification for that matter) is pretty specific to DDO, and I can’t think any D&D table top variant game that has it. Really, I think applying percentages to numbers isn’t a D&D tradition - usually you roll more dice, and occasionally double a number. Making players use a calculator is definitely not a D&D thing. The only reason why its fairly easy to figure out how it works, is that there is evidence through numbers displayed in the combat logs and through descriptions of items, feats, and enhancements. Even then, the descriptions in the DDO Compendium on exactly how this mechanic is sparse and often players mistakenly add their percent bonuses rather than multiply. So I hope you find this little tutorial helpful, and if you find any mistakes let me know!

Marut

Monster Minute: Marut (Inevitable)

It took me a while to select my next monster, but after running VON 3 (The Jungle of Khyber quest), I decided on writing about the Marut

MarutganaMarut in Real-world Religions & Mythology
I found two references to Marut: one in the Qur’an and the other in the Rigvada.

The second Surah (2:102) of the Qur’an tells of two angels, Harut and Marut. Muslim scholars say the angels were sent to test the people of Babylon. By performing magic, the angels could teach the people the difference between sorcery and miracles of God. In a sense, Harut and Marut were doing a public service by teaching the people about magic and how to avoid it. The story goes on to say how some people wanted to learn more and became sorcerers - damning their souls in the process. Heretical texts claim that both Harut and Marut were fallen angels, teaching man magic in order to defy God.

The one that fits the D&D version the most can be found In the Rigvada, an set of ancient Indian texts, and in Vedic mythology. These Maruts (or Marutgana) are described as storm gods. There are as many as sixty of these storm gods, all are violent and are depicted as armor wearing giants. Each Marut wields golden weapons representing lightning and thunder. They have teeth made of iron and roar like lions. When Maruts travel, they ride in golden chariots drawn by horses.

MarutMaruts (Inevitables) in D&D
Maruts first appeared in the Manual of the Planes, written by Jeff Grubb in 1987, and is most associated with Planescape setting by D&D grognards. In both these versions, Maruts represent the ineluctability (that which cannot be avoided or escaped) of death. They hunt for those who either extend their lifespan repeatedly and unnaturally (such as liches) or those who commit extreme acts to keep themselves from death (such as sacrificing hundreds of others to save themselves from a plague).

Maruts resemble muscular humanoids made of polished black metal and are considered constructs. When they attack they use their fists of thunder and lighting, in addition to using an array of spell-like abilities to assult their target or anything else in their way

There are different versions of Inevitables appeared in v3.0 and v3.5 D&D supplements and include:

  • Waste Crawler (Anhydrut) - Anhydruts oppose anyone who attempts to change deserts by irrigation, farming, etc.
  • Zelekhut - These represent the ineluctability of justice. They are extremely skilled trackers and usually hunt those who flee to avoid punishment. They resemble mechanical centaurs with golden wings and use built-in spiked chains charged with electricity as their primary weapons.
  • Varakhut - These protect the integrity of divinity by hunting down beings who are attempting to ascend to godhood. Should the attempt be successful, however, the varakhuts will defend the new god as part of the natural order, as they are also tasked with hunting down any being who attempts to kill a god. Varakhuts appear as a humanoid-shaped creature made out of metallic polygons, and fight using disintegration beams.
  • Kolyarut - These represent the ineluctability of agreements. They hunt oathbreakers, often assuming humanoid form. Their natural forms resemble humanoids made of black metal and dressed in robes. They are typically armed with swords.
  • Quarut - These protect the integrity of space and time, usually against wizards with the power to alter reality with wish spells or time travel. They resemble metallic humanoids made of golden clockwork with hourglasses for heads, and seal opponents in bubbles of slowed time.

Marut in Eberron
Maruts in come from Dolurrh, the Realm of the Dead, and only cross over to Eberron when seeking those who defy death in extraordinary measures.

Xen’drik is home to insect like creatures known as Formians. Formian hive queens have been known to make deals with the powers of Dolurrh. Since Maruts have a love of law equal to the Formians, they will frequent Xen’drik Formian lands in search of oathbreakers. A single Marut has been known to serve a Formian queen as her guard.

When Dolurrh is coterminous to the Material Plane slipping occurs between the planes. Ghosts are more common and spells to resurrect the dead often result in bringing back more spirits than originally intended. In the lands of Xen’drik, necromancy magics seem especially effected by this and Stormreach has seen its share of Maruts. House Jorasco once resurrected a Wayfinder (a member Wayfinder Foundation, an exclusive guild for adventurers) and a pack of Maruts appeared quickly after the ritual.

DDO Marut

A Perfect Cup of Tea – Especially One That’s Not Bitter

In my forays into many things tea related – books, classes, conventions, tea tastings – I’ve created a summary as to what makes a perfect basic cup of tea.

Water

If you use tap water, use cold water. As I was once told by our plumber, depending on the age of your pipes, hot water can pick up impurities from the pipes and dilute them into the water itself. Running the cold tap for a minute or two will remove the impurities, such as rust flakes.  You can also use a water filter system.

Water heaters can remove oxygen from water, which is another reason to use cold tap water instead. Water that is high in oxygen will brew a tea crisp taste. Oxygen plays an important role in brewing because it helps to release the best flavors of tea. Running your cold tap water will also aerate water and add more oxygen.  Over boiling water can also remove oxygen from the water. We use an electric kettle with an automatic shut-off. This prevents over boiling, which can happen with stove top kettles.

I couldn’t find a definitive source as to technically why oxygenated water is better, but I suspect its because oxygen dissolved in water readily reacts with molecules found in tea, allowing tea oils and flavors to be easily released into the water.

Temperature

What makes tea bitter are tannins; the higher the temperature the more tannins will be released. The release of tannins is exponential to temperature of the water. How much heat you use is dependent on the type of tea you are brewing.

Electric kettles are also perfect for regulating water heat. Once the water reaches boiling point a typical electric kettle will shut off automatically, preventing an unnecessary temperature increase. From there you can let your water cool down to the right temperature before pouring over your tea leaves. There are some high tech electric kettles that let you set temperature of the water before boiling.

Time

The longer tea is brewed, the more tannins will be realised into the water. The amount of tannins released is exponential as time increases.  Flavor tends to decrease logarithmically in relation to steeping time.

Quantity

Using too many tea leaves can cause your tea to become bitter. Not enough tea can cause your brew to be weak. The ideal proportion is one slightly heaped teaspoon of tea (about 5 ml) for each teacup of water (200 ml or 8 oz).

Infusions

Some types of tea brewed several times using the same tea leaves.  In China, tea is divided into a number of infusions. The first infusion is immediately poured out to wash the tea, and then the second and further infusions are drunk. The third through fifth are nearly always considered the best infusions of tea, although different teas open up differently and may require more infusions of hot water to produce the best flavor.

From here you can do all sorts of things to your tea. Sig loves to add milk and honey, I prefer mine strait. No matter how you take your tea, aways try to enjoy it. ^_^

Tea Water Temp. Steep Time # of Infusions
White Tea 65 to 70 °C (149 to 158 °F) 1–2 minutes 3
Yellow Tea 70 to 75 °C (158 to 167 °F) 1–2 minutes 3
Green Tea 75 to 80 °C (167 to 176 °F) 1–2 minutes 4-6
Oolong Tea 80 to 85 °C (176 to 185 °F) 2–3 minutes 4-6
Black Tea 99 °C (210 °F) 2–3 minutes 2-3
Pu’er Tea 95 to 100 °C (203 to 212 °F) Nearly Limitless Several

Olarune 20th: The Day of Mourning

mournlands

The Day of Mourning

Earth Day: February 20th
Location: Surviving Four of The Five Nations of Khorvaire, and anywhere there are displaced surviors of Cyre

The Last War was a time of horrors. With every passing decade, deeper scars were carved into the surface of Khorvaire. But through a century of war, nothing had prepared the people of the Five Nations for the events of 20 Olarune 994 YK — the day when the nation of Cyre was destroyed, leaving the Mournland in its wake. On 20 Olarune, those who survived the fall of Cyre gather to remember their lost kingdom. Some tell stories of the dead, while others teach the history of the nation to the young or perform traditional Cyran songs and dances. Others remember only the war, cursing the other nations for refusing to accept Mishann’s claim to the throne of Galifar.

Olarune 18th: Bright Souls’ Day

silverflame

Bright Souls’ Day

Earth Day: February 18th
Location: Silver Flame Churches across Eberron

As the dark days of winter draw to a close, the Purified celebrates the lives, and the sacrifice, of every follower of the Flame who died fighting evil and protecting the faithful. Those who have lost relatives in the past five years perform the funeral rite on the gravesite (or in a church, if the gravesite is not accessible), while everyone else sings paeans of gratitude to the fallen. On this day, the Purified are forbidden to use artificial or magical light sources, except in emergencies. They enjoy the day and accept the fall of night, as those who have died experienced life and did not fear death

Valentine's Day Chocolate Mousse

Valentine’s Day Inspired by the Japanese

Valentine's Day Chocolate MousseIn Japan, women give presents to men. In the past, giving chocolate to men as presents was an opportunity for shy women to express their love. Today, it’s a commercial enterprise and it is generally expected for women to give chocolate to male friends, bosses, or coworkers — even if there is no romantic interest. People often describe this form of gift giving as “obligation chocolate” or “giri-choko.” A gift to one you love is “honmei-choko” or “true feeling chocolate” – this chocolate is higher in quality and more expensive than “giri-choko.”  Though I was told that the latest trend is for women to give special gifts, such as neckties and clothes with the chocolates to those men whom they love.

A more modern girl thing to do is giving “tomo-choko” or “friend chocolate” to your closest friends. Women also buy themselves “jubun-choko” or “my chocolate” for a bit of self-love.

This Valentines tradition in Japan is fairly recent, and started in the 1930s with an advertisement aimed at foreigners. One chocolate company happened to run a typo in their ads which roughly translated into “office ladies give chocolate to their co-workers” — thus started the tradition of women giving Valentine’s chocolates to men in Japan!

Valentine’s Day in Japan was so popular with the confectioner companies that in the 1980s they launched another campaigned called White Day. On March 14th, men are expected to return the favor to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Men give their women of interest white chocolates or candies. Men are expected to return gifts that are at least two or three times more valuable than the gifts received in Valentine’s Day. Originally only white chocolate was given, but now gifts of jewelry, accessories, clothing and lingerie are typical. I was told once that if a man returns a present of equal value, he telling the woman that he was cutting off the relationship! Ouch!

Sig and I adopted this tradition, and on Valentine’s Day I take care of our romantic evening. I have a ton of fun planning Valentine’s Day and look forward to it each year. Yes, I do make honmei-choko, or at least some kind of home-made chocolate desert, like brownies or an éclair cake. This year I’m making a Chocolate Mousse.

Honmei-Choko Mousse

Now you can use white chocolate to smooth the harsh bitterness of the chocolate and cocoa, but if you’re a chocolate purist, then just use more chocolate. Or better yet use 62 to 70 percent cacao chocolate instead of white chocolate.

Software

  • 4 oz of semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips (or semisweet chocolate or 62% to 70% cacao chocolate )
  • 2 tablespoons of Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons water, plus an extra 1/2 cup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of sugar or Splenda
  • 3 large egg  whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Hardware

  • Medium glass or metal bowl
  • Medium pot, enough to set your medium bowl in – this is for double boiling
  • Electric mixer with whisk attachment
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Six 6-oz ramekins or one large serving bowl

1. Melt semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa powder, 6 tablespoons water, and vanilla in medium bowl set over pot of barely simmering water until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Bring 1/2 cup water and sugar to vigorous boil in small saucepan over high heat. Boil until slightly thickened and large bubbles rise to top, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat while beating egg whites.

3. With electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat egg whites in large bowl until frothy, about 1 minute. Add cream of tartar and beat, gradually increasing speed to medium-high, until whites hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly pour hot syrup into whites (avoid pouring syrup onto beaters, or it will splash). Increase speed to high and beat until meringue has cooled to just warm and becomes very thick and shiny, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Whisk 1/3 meringue into chocolate mixture until combined, then whisk in remaining meringue. Spoon mousse into six 6-ounce ramekins or pudding cups, or large serving bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill overnight. (Mousse can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)

Anne

Monster Minute: Hags

In honor of Turbine fixing MyDDO character updates (ahem, my True Reincarnated character is finally showing her updated stats - HOOORAY), I will continue writing my Monster Minutes.

What is Monster Minutes?
These are roughly 700 to 1000 words on monsters, not of stats and numbers, but of story, art, and history - all compressed down into a single (hopefully) readable and digestible blog post. My hope is that people will become interested in not just in DDO, but in other D&D campaign settings and the designers and writers who create them.

I was inspired by D&D monsters to do research in mythology, theology, and history. I also hope readers will be inspired to do the same, and to question where things come from and look things up every once in a while.

To date, I’ve written 20 of these articles (including this one). Each article is varying in quality, as I learn how to write and find my “voice”.  Here is a list of previous Monster Minutes:

  1. Liches
  2. Abishai
  3. Yugoloths
  4. Mephits & Imps
  5. Trolls
  6. Hobgobliins
  7. Orcs
  8. Marilith
  9. Rakshasas
  10. Sahuagin
  11. Golems (Proto-Warforged)
  12. Mind Flayers
  13. Genies
  14. Ogres
  15. Rust Monsters
  16. Minotaurs
  17. Beholders
  18. Gargoyles
  19. Kobolds

My RSS feed for Monster Minute is Here:
http://my.ddo.com/theris/category/monster-minute/feed/

Hags in Real-World MythologyBaba Yaga
We know hags as mythological creatures used to frighten children into behaving. In western fairy tales, a hag is an old woman, sometimes portraying a goodly fairy or a wicked witch. They are often perceived as the malicious kind, as in Hansel and Gretel, but in older folk lore of shape-shifting pagan gods and goddesses.

The term comes from hægtesse, an Old English word for “fury or witch”. There are similar words in German and Norwegian, but their meanings fall in the line of “diviner or soothsayer.” All definitions, regardless of language, seem to indicate that a hag is always female and is always some kind of supernatural being.

Commonly known hags in historic literature and common folk tales include Baba Yaga from Slavic folklore, who gave advice or gifts to questing heros.  Atropos, one of the Three Fates from greek mythology, is depicted as a hag and represents the inevitability of death. And in Irish and Scottish mythology, Cailleach is a hag goddess concerned with creation, harvest, the weather and sovereignty.

Of all the folklore of hags, Morrígan is one of my favorites. She is known in Irish mythology as the Phantom Queen; goddess off battle, strife, and fertility. She appears to heroes as a crow, wolf, or as a hag, foretelling of their death in battle.

Hags in D&DGreen Hag
Unlike in real-world mythology, hags in D&D are malicious and evil beings who use their magic to swell the world with devastation and chaos. The first hag to appear in D&D was a sea hag (aquatic hags, who’s looks could sap the life from any living creature) in Blackmoor, written by Dave Arneson, followed by an annis (a hag with unbelievable strength and uses magic to disguise herself as fair human or giant) in the module, Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun.  Monster manuals, additional modules, later D&D editions, and Dragon magazine articles followed up with:

  • Green hags - hags with a deadly weakening touch, found in swamps or dark forests
  • Dusk hags - the offspring of night hags, who have prophetic dreams and can manipulate the dreams of others
  • Night hags - magical evil hags originating from the outer hellish realms
  • Shrieking hags - hags who screaming into the night and haunt harsh environments such as barren planes and wastelands
  • Dune hags - desert cousins to the annis who delight in luring victims to their deaths with illusionary delights
  • Hagspawn - male children of hags, ill-tempered and bestial.

AnnisIn all editions of D&D, the general appearance of a hag remains consistent:  a miserable old woman, with long, tattered hair, and a wasted face. A hag’s face and ill-looking skin is usually covered in warts and moles and her teeth black and sickly, with a breath so foul! Though she appears weak, her strength is uncanny and can crush goblins with one hand. A hag can move swiftly and leap over unexpected distances. She also has iron-like claws to rake and rend her victims with.

A hag tends to live by herself, but groups of hags have been found in threes called covens.  They have various appetites and need to consume man-size creatures frequently. They prefer human flesh, but will settle for orcs. Hags give birth to females which become hags, but need a male of a different species to breed.

Hags in Eberron
The most famous hags in Eberron are the Daughters of Sora Kell, leaders of the kingdom of Droaam. The Sisters are three of the most powerful beings on Khorvaire. Both Sora Maenya and Sora Katra are known as monsters of legend in Eberron history. Sora Treaza is mysterious and the legends don’t say much of her, and only studious historians theorize that she was the driving force in the founding of Droaam.

Sora Tezra is a dusk hag and only the most knowledgeable and well traveled bards have stories of her. Their stories describe of a blind crone who wanders the Demon Wastes. She is probably one of the most powerful oracles, and though she is blind she is always aware of what is happing around her now and in the future.

Sora Maenya is an annis hag and has been the terror of the Eldeen Reaches for many centuries. Folk tales say, with supernatural strength, she wrestled dragons and devoured them raw. Another story talks of her hunting entire shifter tribes to satisfy her hunger. Today’s Droaamites still fear Sora Maenya ravenous appetite for flesh.

Sora Katra is a green hag, renown for her trickery. Tales of her can be found in Brelish bardic lore centuries old. These stories talk of adventures, seeking her treasures and secrets. Such would-be heroes are bested by Sora Katra’s uncanny charisma and skillful wit, along with her arsenal of arcane spells.

Sora Katra

Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance

Last Saturday, Sig and I meet up with our friends (John and Stan) and a new acquaintance (Monte) to watch Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance at the Grand Illusion. The Grand Illusion has a special place in our hearts, because it’s where Sig and I first met.  We sometimes go there for movies and of course to reminisce about our first meeting.  During the Evangelion showing, we didn’t take into account parking and cash-only tickets, so we ended up a little late to meet up and talk with friends.

First thing I noted about the Grand Illusion is that slope of seating arrangement is horrible for reading subtitles – the only seat that can really see the subtitles is the front row. Many seats in the theater had partial viewing.  John had commented that he and Monte only had partial viewing even up by the second and third rows.  I’ve seen other movies at the Grand and kind of expected it. Since I am familiar with the Evangelion anime series, I let Sig have the aisle seat where he could at least bend over slightly to see what was going on.

This is the second installment of a movie series officially, titled in English, “Rebuild of Evangelion.” There are officially four titles in the series:

  • Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone
  • Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance
  • Evangelion: 3.0: Q-Quickening
  • Evangelion: Final

All I can say without giving away too much is that Evangelion is both rewarding and difficult to watch at the same time.  2.0 is gratifying because Asuka is introduced, along with a new character, Mari. I personally enjoyed the expanded workings and origins of the Evangelion “suits”. I have to warn diehard fans of the original, that a lot of changes were introduced in this sequel.  While as Evangelion 1.0 felt faithful, 2.0 took its own liberties, in a less coherent way.  Its lack of reasoning is what made it so difficult to watch. Perhaps it was the jargon or the density of narration, but even though I was familiar with the Eva series I felt like I was being roller-coastered around way too fast to grasp all of it. The ending of was far more rewarding than I expected it to be, especially after having watched the original TV, OVA, and movie.  I walked away slightly confused, but satisfied – I think because I really love the new character Mari. She’s so refreshing because she obviously knows more than the other characters about the Evangelions and acts confidently and intelligently when driving them.  I like her far more than I did Asuka, both in the old series and in 2.0.  I wished Mari had more scenes and I hope she gets more in 3.0.

If you watch the new Eva movies, here’s a bit of terminology to help you through so you can focus on the story and imagery:

  • A.T. Field – This is short for “Absolute Terror Field,” which is a nearly impenetrable force barrier. This Generated field is used by Angels and Evangelions for both defense and offense. A.T. Fields of Evas are generated by the humans driving them. A.T. Fields of Angels are generated by the “Angel’s Soul” (Soul meaning an energy or thought pattern). There is a theory that A.T. Fields also help sustain life.
  • Anti A.T. Field – a type of energy that neutralizes existing A.T. Fields
  • LCL – A liquid which allows an Eva pilot to mentally link with their Evangelion Unit. The Entry Plug of an Eva Unit, containing its cockpit, is completely flooded with LCL. Because it is richly oxygenated, pilots can “breath” the liquid.  In the original series, the fluid is amber colored.  I remember that fans teasingly called it “Tang” and that the pilot was “Tanged” when they got into the entry plug.  In the movie remakes, the LCL color is red almost like blood.  I couldn’t find a definitive source telling me what LCL stands for. All I could find was that LCL comes from Lilith and so could stand for “Lilith Connection Liquid.”
  • First Impact – The collision of a giant spherical object designated the “Black Moon”, into Earth approximately 4 billion years ago. As a result of the impact, huge amounts of debris and the Black Moon’s rocky exterior were thrown into orbit, eventually forming into Earth’s satellite, the Moon. The core of the Black Moon is said to contain the Seed of Life Lilith
  • Second Impact – A global cataclysm which occurred on Sept.  13th, 2000. This global disaster was caused by the awakening of an injured Angel. The Angle created a strong “Anti-AT Field” and caused an explosion that melted the Antarctic ice cap and caused a shift of Earth’s axis; climate changes and gigantic floods followed.
  • Third Impact – Third Impact is the event, predicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls that will “usher man kind to a new evolutionary stage.”  In the various versions of Evangelion (TV, OVA, original movie, and the Rebuild), how the Third Impact happens is different.

There are a ton more terms but most are explained within the context of the movie.

Oh I should mention that the sound track of the movie felt odd and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but John solved the puzzle and explains it quite well.

So overall, the movie was fun. I would recommend seeing it on BlueRay or DVD at home rather than a theater; having the ability to re-view parts that move by way too fast for their own good will help ease the confusion of lengthy dialogs.

Anne