One of the best parts of Obsidian Entertainment’s Pillars of Eternity series is assembling a squad of adventurers to learn about and interact with as you explore the world of Eora. Each companion is fully fleshed out with a backstory, a unique approach to combat, and interactions with both the player and your other companions.
One of the most divisive companions is the Aumaua barbarian Maneha. Still, I think she is an excellent addition to your party once you figure out how to use her.
Key Info Up Front
- Race: Coastal Aumaua
- Gender: Female
- Class: Barbarian
- Game Appearances: Pillars of Eternity (in The White March – Part II DLC), Pillars of Eternity 2
Maneha was born in Rauatai, an Aumaua nation in the world’s northern regions. Aumaua originally were settled in the Deadfire Archipelago until the God of the Sea, Ondra, crashed a moon into the world. She did this to hide the magical island of Ukaizo from the world to protect it from the greed of the world’s expanding empires.
However, this destroyed many of the towns and boats in the area surrounding the island, which primarily belonged to the Aumaua people.
This gave the Aumaua a tense relationship with Ondra and caused many of them to flee to Rauatai to escape Ondra’s influence.
Over the years, the empire of Rauatai flourished and maintained its influence far longer than the other ancient empires of the world. When Pillars of Eternity starts, the Aumaua are a well-respected people across the world of Eora.
On Maneha’s twentieth birthday, she ventured out of her home nation, searching for knowledge and adventure. She traveled all across the known world, working periodically as a mercenary, sailing the Deadfire Archipelago as a pirate, and even spent some time in the notoriously dangerous cold region named the Distant Lands.
Eventually, she found her way to the Giftbearers, a religious order that worships Ondra in the Ixamitl Plains. Thanks to her jovial nature and charming sense of humor, she quickly made friends.
A Haunted Soul
However, the world of Pillars of Eternity is defined by the immortality of one’s soul. They are not gone forever when one dies in Eora, as their soul is reincarnated into a new being.
Some people in the world can then access the memories trapped within the souls of others, but sometimes individuals will get glimpses of their souls as well.
Maneha is one of the unlucky people haunted by her soul’s past actions, which drives her for some form of relief or redemption. The ability to do so did come to her from birth. Still, it was instead forced upon her by a strange woman hiding in a basement that Maneha found while operating as a mercenary in the region of Old Vailia.
The woman forcibly grabbed Maneha’s arm when she approached, dragging her into a forceful reliving of one of the darkest moments of her’s soul’s history.
The memory itself was around 500 years old at the time but still impacted Maneha as if she herself was responsible for doing it. The memory depicted her leading a group of Aedyre soldiers during the war before the empire’s eventual unification. Her unit suffered a terrible loss from battle in a forest and traveled to a nearby village to rest.
The people there hated her and her soldiers. They spat at them as they walked and only offered their town hall for them to sleep in after coercion.
That morning, those same villagers tried burning down the town hall while they were inside it to get rid of them. Their attempt to burn the town hall down was far from successful as they could barely get even a small flame burning.
However, it tipped Maneha’s older self over the edge, causing her to slay everybody in the village and nail them to the forest trees to send a message to any other locals that would dare make a hard mission even harder for the forces of Aedyre.
The Search for Peace
She quickly fell out of her mercenary work after suffering the vision of her past and instead started trying to redeem her previous actions and find internal peace.
This journey lead her to the Giftbearers, where she hoped that helping others find peace would have a similar effect on her. It never did, but she instead set out to find the legendary Abbey of the Fallen Moon.
The Abbey is a hidden holy place where followers of Ondra can leave tokens of their regrets behind, effectively cleansing their souls of their tarnishing impact. She hopes that doing so will help her move past the regrets of her previous life.
The journey led to Maneha traveling to White March, where she believes the ruins of the Abbey of the Fallen Moon can be found. There, the player can find her, clad in layers of metal armor that do little to protect her from the chilling weather and recruit her to their party.
How to Get Maneha
Maneha is only available once the player tackles the DLC The White March – Part II. Once the player has progressed to that DLC, Maneha is found in the town of Stalwart, but only after the player has talked to Renengild and has moved through part of the quest titled Durgan’s Battery.
Once the player talks to Maneha, she is easily convinced to travel with you and your companions.
Once you have Maneha recruited, she will become a permanent companion at a level appropriate for yours, and you will be given her companion quest, The Burden of Memory.
You don’t have to go through her quest to complete the DLC, but if you plan on having her in your party, I highly recommend playing through it to understand her character better and give her the closure that she so desperately is looking for.
Maneha in Pillars of Eternity
Once Maneha is in your party, you’ll be given full control over her stats and abilities to tailor them better for your party. These aspects fully define Maneha and the roles she can play in your party, so you must pay close attention to them, especially if you plan to make your build for her.
Maneha has by far the highest Might attribute of any companion in the rest of Pillars of Eternity, making her an absolute blast to play with.
However, her high Might does have an impact on her other skills, with Constitution being solid, but the rest of them suffering drastically. With her bonuses of +2 Might from her Aumaua Race and +1 Constitution from her Rauatai culture, her stats are:
- Might: 19
- Constitution: 15
- Dexterity: 9
- Perception: 12
- Intelligence: 13
- Resolve: 11
Maneha also has the Raider background, which gives her +1 to both the Athletics and Stealth skills. Her Barbarian class also gives her an additional +2 to Athletics and a +1 to her Survival. Her spread of skills when she is recruited depends on the player’s level, with a minimum level of four and a maximum of sixteen.
Regardless of your level, when you recruit her, you are given control of distributing points for all of her future level-ups, and there are some noticeable patterns when looking at her Skills.
Firstly, no matter what level she is recruited at, she never starts with a single point in Mechanics. Her Lore skill is similarly neglected and only gets a single point invested in it if you pick her up at level 16.
Her highest skill is usually Athletics, with a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10, while Survival follows nearby with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 11 starting at level 15. Her Stealth is then moderately increased, starting at 2 and capping out at 4 when recruited at level 8.
These starting stats are very focused and help define how to take advantage of Maneha. She is physically capable and can lead your party is nearly any Athletics or Survival check while being completely useless when it comes to Lore and Mechanics, so you’ll want to account for that when considering your party composition.
I have found two main builds that I use for Barbarian characters in Pillars of Eternity, and both of them fit reasonably well with Maneha.
However, depending on what level you recruit her at, you may have to reset all of her leveling at an inn first to remove the Abilities and Talents she got before you gained control over her development.
I wouldn’t normally advise playing Barbarians as tanks, but there is one build that the game’s community has build that makes it viable. So, you’ll be able to make Maneha fit into your party as either a crowd control damage dealer or a bulky tank. Let’s start with a look at the former.
Maneha Damage Build
Barbarian builds tend to start on the weaker side of the spectrum at the early levels of Pillars of Eternity because they can be so item-dependent.
Luckily, since you get Maneha later in the game, you’ll likely have the resources to build her build quickly rather than waiting for five or six levels after starting to use her to see whether or not she is worth keeping around.
This build focuses almost entirely on raising Maneha’s base damage, but not her dps, as that works slightly differently. So, you’ll want to make sure that your increase her base damage per attack as much as you can to allow her to wipe out entire hordes of the weaker enemies on the battlefield. To do so, follow this guide as you level Maneha up.
- Level 1 Ability: Frenzy
- Level 2 Talent: Veteran’s Recovery
- Level 3 Ability: Savage Defiance
- Level 4 Talent: Weapon Focus Soldier
- Level 5 Ability: One Stands Alone
- Level 6 Talent: Accurate Carnage
- Level 7 Ability: Blood Thirst
- Level 8 Talent: Rhymer’s Summons
- Level 9 Ability: Bloodlust
- Level 10 Talent: Scion of Flame
- Level 11 Ability: Heart of Fury
- Level 12 Talent: Two-Handed Style
- Level 13 Ability: Dragon Leap
- Level 14 Talent: Apprentice’s Sneak attack
- Level 15 Ability: Blooded
- Level 16 Talent: Savage Attack
I love this build because of the sheer amount of damage it allows you to dish out through fire weapons. With moves like Dragon Leap, you can quickly get in position and flee if things start going poorly.
This is particularly important since, with this build, Maneha will not be able to stand up to bigger enemies for long, so you’ll have to run away if you start getting targeted too much.
This build also takes advantage of the Barbarian’s buff when facing multiple enemies and lets you chain damage buffs together to shred through minions.
As you play through the game, your equipment will change, so for this build, you’ll want to focus on two-handed weapons with fire abilities and any armor that helps boost your damage per hit to maximize how quickly Maneha can kill targets. The best perfect gear loadout for this build that I can’t play it without is:
- First Weapon: Firebrand
- Second Weapon: Arquebus
- Head: Executioner’s Hood
- Armor: Sanguine Plate
- Neck: Lost Periapt of the Winding Path
- Hands: Forgemaster’s Gloves
- Rings: Iron Circle and Band of Union
- Belt: Belt of the Royal Deadfire Cannoneer
- Boots: Shod in Faith
This equipment loadout will further boost your fire damage and allow you to chain your buffs and attacks together to dish out some serious hurt for any enemies that make the mistake of standing up to Maneha.
This build also pairs best with a party with a solid tank already and with members who are proficient at rebuffing enemies and lowering their resistances.
Some healing may also help in late-game encounters, but this build has enough healing options that Maneha should be able to stand on her own for the most part. If you have a hard time with Maneha’s low Concentration, you can also buff it with Holy Meditation to help out.
However, if you plan to use this build for Maneha, you should know that it very hands-on for a companion build. With her vital positioning and timing, you will have to switch over to her and directly control her actions frequently.
So, I don’t recommend using this build if you want to stay as your main character most of the time or look for an easy build to add to your party.
Maneha Tank Build
Playing a Barbarian Tank is a touch prospect in Pillars of Eternity, but the game’s community has found a way to do so through a build known as The Golden Dragon.
This build focuses on buffing the Barbarian’s defensive abilities while also debuffing enemies’ accuracy to keep them from hitting as much as possible. So, if you want Maneha to both to soak up and prevent damage for your entire party, you’ll want to use this build.
- Level 1 Ability: Barbaric Yell
- Level 2 Talent: Veteran’s Recovery
- Level 3 Ability: Heart of Fury
- Level 4 Talent: Weapon & Shield Style
- Level 5 Ability: Threatening Presence
- Level 6 Talent: Stalwart Defiance
- Level 7 Ability: One Stands Alone
- Level 8 Talent: Superior Deflection
- Level 9 Ability: Dragon leap
- Level 10 Talent: Spirit of Decay
- Level 11 Ability: Sava Defiance
- Level 12 Talent: Weapon Focus: Ruffian
- Level 13 Ability: Thick-Skinned
- Level 14 Talent: Accurate Carnage
- Level 15 Ability: Echoing Shout
- Level 16 Talent: Bear’s Fortitude
These Abilities and Talents lay a wonderful groundwork for the build’s equipment to work with, but the equipment itself is still critical to its performance, especially in the late game.
So, if you want to run this build, I recommend using a sword and shield and armor that boosts Maneha’s defenses or lowers enemy accuracy. The optimal set of gear that I’ve found to work great with this setup are:
- Weapons: Bittercut (with enchantments to match your preferences) and Dragon’s Maw
- Helmet: Liripipe of Thinking
- Armor: The Golden Scales (with enchantments to match your preferences)
- Neck: Cloak of Comfort
- Hands: Siegebreaker Gauntlets
- Rings: Ring of Deflection and Ring of Protection
- Belt: Binding Rope
- Boots: Fenwalkers
Once you have Maneha fully kitted out, you’ll have to approach combat in a very specific way with her. This means that this build is also pretty hands-on, so you’ll need to be okay either switching a lot or mostly playing as Maneha while your other characters act autonomously to use this one.
At the start of the encounter, have Maneha use her Echoing Shout, but have a Priest buff her accuracy first if you can. Follow that up with Stalwart Defiance to boost her defenses before she starts taking a ton of damage.
Then, use her Barbaric Yell, followed up with a Dragon Leap. These two combined will drastically lower the accuracy of all enemies around you.
Then, use Bittercut and Dragon’s Maw to shell out a ton of damage to everyone around you and go into regular tank mode to sustain the battle until your party mops up the rest of whatever health bars remain.
This build also looks extremely stylish, so if you care about keeping your party looking good like I do, setting up Maneha with this build should go a long way.
Relationships with other Party Members
Unfortunately, since Maneha is available so late into the game, she does not boast the same extensive number of party interactions as most companions. Regardless, she does have two particularly interesting interactions with Pallegina and Kana.
After combat encounters, there is a chance that Kana will compliment Maneha’s abilities flirtatiously. To this, Maneha will reply by calling out his flirting directly, and when he responds by saying that he has always been a quick study, she responds by saying that she has always preferred women.
This preference pops up again in her interactions with Pallegina, who Maneha evidently develops feelings for. She appreciates Pallegina’s earnestness, talks about loving her Vailian accent, and admits to appreciating women that know how to wear armor.
This infatuation will pop up multiple times if you have both characters in your party and helps make Maneha a lot of fun to have around.
Maneha in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
If you load your completed save file from the first game into Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, when starting a playthrough, it will alter its world and characters to reflect your decisions and experiences in the first game.
Maneha is directly impacted by doing so, as loading a save file where you met her will make her appear in the sequel, although she won’t be a recruitable companion.
Instead, she can be found in the town of Dunnage inside of the business called The King’s Coffin. There, you can talk to her and catch up on what she has been up to in the gap between the two games.
These interactions are one of my favorite parts of Deadfire as they allow the game to give you new companions to learn about while still letting you catch up with old friends. Maneha’s interaction, in particular, is a solid one as well that serves as a fun way to interact with the character more while helping it feel alive and evolving as you play.
Question: Can Maneha be Romanced in Pillars of Eternity?
Answer: No, Maneha is not a romanceable companion in either Pillars of Eternity game.
Question: How many Companions can You have in Pillars of Eternity?
Answer: Of the games many companion characters, you can bring up to five with you at once, making for a total party count of six characters.
Question: Is Pillars of Eternity Multiplayer?
Answer: No, there is no multiplayer functionality in Pillars of Eternity or Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
Maneha’s different options and late introduction to the game make her a unique companion in Pillars of Eternity.
This has made her a divisive one amongst the game’s community, as many players have found her to be underpowered by the time players meet her or to even be simply lackluster to interact with since they have so little time to learn about her.
However, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Maneha, thanks to her fun Barbarian class, sense of humor, and well-written personal quest. So, if you haven’t used her before, I recommend giving her the time to come into her own so that you can find a build that works right for her place in your party.
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