IE Energy is what the "Rise of Hesperia" DLC for the Extended Tale of Diep revolves around, specifically the gathering and amassing of it.
"IE" stands for "irritation essence". Lord Sassafras, being the first Sassafras draws his overwhelming power from such essence, which is the inherent quality of a being's threshold of sanity, i.e. how much they are able to be irritated before completely losing their sanity or going crazy. By having his many clones of himself and his many powerful minions blabber their heads off against whoever they are fighting, Lord Sassafras can, over time, amass vast amounts of this irritation essence, which will be referred as IE Energy. This is because, as entailed in the story on the Sassa Club page, IE Energy was the essence of Hesperus, Lord Sassafras's former god form in which he fought Panzer for control of the universe that was created by the former. Hesperus lost, and Panzer sealed his consciousness away for all of eternity (at least, that was the intention, as Hexen accidentally uncovered it while building his fortress), imbuing his essence into the first inhabitants of The Realm as IE Energy.
Throughout the history of Hesperia, Hesperians have been augmented in many ways with IE Energy. While its results can be incredible, most recipients of IE Energy augmentation end up having a very obvious drawback, usually to their personality. There are exemptions to this where the Hesperian ends up just fine, but with a minor quirk here or there.
The Science of IE Energy
IMPORTANT: In-universe, IE Energy is used as a means of transportations for the Hesperian League to travel in between Hesperia (the Realm of Sassafras to non-Hesperians) and the overworld Realm. The bigger or stronger the Hesperian, the more power it takes for them to travel. Once they "die", Hesperians in the Realm are immediately transported back to Hesperia, so it is impossible for them to be killed in the Realm. In fact, since IE Energy can keep its form after a Hesperian falls, they have learned to compress their consciousness into IE Energy so that they can eventually reform if their body is destroyed, thus making them practically immortal. This art is shared among all Hesperians, from Minion to Lord.
Raw IE Energy is in fact not energy at all, nor are any of its refined forms. It is tennessine trifluoride (known as TsF3,) an extremely unstable compound that has a half-life of only a few milliseconds. Hesperians actually "gather" tennessine trifluoride by extracting only a few atoms at a time from sentient entities, usually carbon atoms. They then use a mysterious form of atomic fusion with advanced telekinesis that almost instantaneously fuses these (mostly) carbon atoms together into heavier and more short-lived elements until tennessine (element 117) is reached. The three atoms of fluoride that are required to complete the compound are formed through drawing in hydrogen atoms from the air and fusing them with oxygen atoms. Whatever laws of physics that you might want to throw at this explanation should be thrown out the window instead, as these are beings whose nature and abilities can't be explained by any form of logic nor science. To keep the extremely unstable compound from blowing its component parts to bits through violent radioactive decay, Hesperians encase IE Energy in a time containment field (again, this can't be explained with any sort of real-world science) that artificially extends the half-life of unrefined form of IE Energy to anywhere between 60 and 115 days (it just really slows time around the compound by a drastic amount.) The brown and tan sparkles that appear when Hesperians are gathering IE Energy is actually the atomic fusion process that occurs to assemble the unrefined form of IE Energy. The release particles and radioactivity that results from fusion is converted into thermal energy by the Hesperians, which releases itself into the environment as the flashy sparkles thought by many to be excess IE Energy.
The process of refining IE Energy (which by this point is time-compressed TsF3) is likewise also illogical to logical beings. When IE Energy is refined, the time containment fields are deactivated and replaced by radioactivity containment fields, which is constantly turned on and off as the compound decays (TsF3 was chosen as the substance with the highest possible decay energy release, as opposed to other highly unstable radioactive compounds.) Hesperians harvest this released decay energy and the ending decay products of the compound, which is then converted into the substance known as refined IE Energy using that released decay energy through fusion once more. Refined IE Energy has so many different elements in its compound form that it's virtually impossible to list out. Apparently, its inherent instability even when refined is a result of a constant chemical reaction occurring in itself (don't ask for details, it's Hesperia, remember,) in its liquid and gas forms. Trying to conduct precise and accurate experimentation with consistent results on its solid form is also impossible because no two samples of solid refined IE Energy have the same exact chemical composition - they vary very slightly between samples. Asking a Hesperian about any of these subjects is possibly the only way to get them to shut up, because to divulge the art of gathering IE Energy, even if it were possible to perform if one was a non-Hesperian, is both forbidden and taboo (despite the fact that no consequences at all come with either infraction, it being illogical Hesperia and all.)
Now that all the pseudo-sciency stuff is out of the way, it's time to discuss the uses of IE Energy. IE Energy forms the basis of most of the Hesperian economy, as it can be refined into many forms. IE Energy can be compressed and refined into an extremely volatile dark brown solid with qualities similar to sodium (explodes on contact with water, for one.) Solid IE Energy has no uses, other than being melted into the two forms of liquid IE Energy, and as firecrackers for Oculus's use (Lauraceae is trying to find a way to weaponize it, though.) IE Energy also has two refined liquid forms, one of which is a greenish tan and is safe for consumption when refined further with "Hesperus's Product," whatever that is. This form of IE Energy is sold as IE Energy Drinks to Hesperians and non-Hesperians alike (Hesperians can consume as much of it as they want, but it has adverse effects on non-Hesperians if they drink too much of it.) Hesperians eat food just like any other being in the world of the Tale of Diep, speaking of food and drink. The other form of liquid IE Energy is a murky brown liquid that looks not unlike a diluted mud and water mix. This is the form of IE Energy that is used to enhance Hesperians, and on occasion, non-Hesperians. There's no telling what will happen with enhancements, as evidenced by every being who underwent the enhancement process, ranging from personality issues to a true enhancement to corruption of a most unusual order. Finally, a gas form of IE Energy exists, but only when either form of liquid IE Energy is boiled at 187.293 degrees Celsius. This gas is lighter than air but doesn't have any other use than being a less dense alternative to helium that doesn't make voices high-pitched.
IE Energy is stored in (where else?) the IE Energy Reserves in Arethusa, the eastern region of the Realm of Sassafras (Hesperia). It is overseen by the Spicyfras (and Trinovia on occasion), but it's supposed to be Sassaprophet's job. Unfortunately for the Hesperian League, He Who Towers In The Laughs doesn't do anything right, and neither do the Guardians of the IE Energy Vault unless provoked into battle in the IE Energy Reserves gamemode.
The ultimate goal of Lord Sassafras is to gather 1 million units of IE Energy, to be able to open a direct portal to his palace in the Realm of Sassafras to all, without players having to navigate through the rest of the Hesperian metropolis to access the Lord Sassafras's Palace gamemode, which is usually locked due to it being, well, Lord Sassafras's palace. While the Realm of Sassafras is open, IE Energy can still be increased and decreased. Hesperians do not gather IE Energy while in the Realm of Sassafras, only in the overworld Realm. The progression bar can be seen at the top of the screen via a dropdown menu. Invasion Armies occur above 50,000 IE Energy units.
Despite all of this IE Energy progression, portals to the Realm of Sassafras located in the Hesperian Encroachment will always remain open. However, portals to the Realm of Sassafras located in the Tritellmennian Hills will only activate above 20,000 IE Energy units, making it harder for low-level players to enter Hesperia until higher-leveled players have allowed the Hesperians to gather enough IE Energy to open up these portals.
Gathering IE Energy
The chief method of gathering IE Energy is through the vast amount of Sassafras and other Hesperians Lord Sassafras has at his disposal, which can spawn everywhere in The Realm in the Extended Tale of Diep, including Desolate Plains, unlike the Tale of Diep where they can only spawn uncommonly in Melancholy Forest. For every three seconds that a Sassafras is not damaged, it gathers one IE Energy unit from each player or a sentient-designated entity (SDE) within a 25 tile radius. However, if a Sassafras is continually damaged, it will be unable to gather IE Energy unless it is not damaged for three seconds. Sassafras Minions do not count toward this total in any way, if and only if they are paired with a Sassafras. Destroying a Sassafras does not do anything to the progression bar. Players are not affected when IE Energy is gathered, but players can visibly see a number of tan sparkles representing IE Energy units fly from them into the entity gathering the energy any time it is gathered.
However, that only goes for Sassafras. What about the High Sassa Council, the Sassa Club, and others? Let's start with Sassafras Supreme. Just being around a Sassafras Supreme deducts 10 IE Energy from every player or SDE in a 150 tile radius every 10 seconds, regardless of whether the Sassafras Supreme is damaged often or not. For this reason, there is only one Sassafras Supreme at any time.
Being around the Sassa Club members depends on the member. Klonen gathers IE Energy every 10 seconds whether he is damaged or not, with the number of players and SDEs in the area times the number of clones he has replicated into. Happyfras works the same way with his Sassafras Minion followers, but the total is divided by six. Sassafras JR does not deduct anything by being around him, but being hit by one of his attacks automatically gathers 6 units of IE Energy from anything. Being around Oganesson, regardless of him being damaged or not, gathers IE Energy at a rate of 3 for every player and SDE every 10 seconds. Sentiquet gathers IE Energy at a rate of 2 for every player and SDE every 10 seconds. Zelena and Emiolis gather IE Energy at a rate of 2.5 for every player and SDE every 12 seconds. Heptone and Novementha do not gather IE Energy, due to their nature.
As for the High Sassa Council, it also varies by the member. Sassafrexen gathers 6 units every 10 seconds for every player fighting him (not SDEs, take note). Oculus gathers 7 units for every player fighting him every 10 seconds. Trinovia gathers 3.5 units for every player fighting him every 10 seconds, and Derpii gathers a staggering 12 units for every player fighting her every 10 seconds. The Spicyfras gathers 8 IE Energy units per player every 10 seconds. Hatappy doesn't gather IE Energy, and Lauraceae gathers only 4 IE Energy units per player every 10 seconds. Señor Sassaprophet gathers a mere 2 IE Energy per player every 20 seconds (mostly because he is quite a wasteful idiot), adding another reason to his inefficiency as a High Council member.
Lord Sassafras doesn't gather IE Energy himself because he's already in Hesperia, where he's practically surrounded by IE Energy, and Hesperians gather IE Energy for their race. Legion Commanders and their Legionnaires don't gather IE Energy, as their primary purpose is as warriors to protect those who do gather IE Energy. The same goes for any other Hesperians who are battled in Hesperia-based gamemodes - they have no need to gather IE Energy unless they are members of the High Sassa Council.
Other Hesperians who spawn in the Realm (not the Realm of Sassafras) gather 2 IE Energy units from all SDEs within a 50 tile radius. This includes Rdrg and Ellaha-ua, among others.
Being around any Sassafrized bosses, including Sassafrexen clones, gathers 2.5 units of energy every 10 seconds.
Deducting IE Energy
There are several indirect methods to reduce the amount of IE Energy that can be gathered, although the opening of the Realm of Sassafras is always inevitable. Firstly, spawning a Sassafras in the Realm of any type (including the starting Sassafras that spawn with almost all of the members of the Sassa Club) deducts 40 IE Energy from Lord Sassafras's reserves. This number can vary depending on the variant of Sassafras spawned. Spawning any of the seven Sassa Club members in the cycle deducts 3000 IE Energy. Any Sassafras Minions that are spawned as Nest Defenders deduct 5 IE Energy (this also goes for Happyfras's starting minions, but not for new ones created by him. The same thing applies to Klonen and his clones: IE Energy is only deducted upon Klonen's spawn and the Sassafras that spawns with him, not new clones created through his process of mitosass). Fighting any member of the High Sassa Council deducts 1,500 IE Energy within gamemodes. However, Sassafras and Sassafras Minions spawned by any other means, including being summoned by the High Sassa Council, do not deduct any IE Energy from the reserves. Sassafras Supreme does not deduct anything upon its spawn, as it is a mechanical creation of Dr. Lacus. An Invasion Army Event deducts 100,000 IE Energy units.
- Finally, something that gives the Extended Tale of Diep a purpose!