Elementals and Elemental Magic (a Yarthian overview)

Elemental magic is a fascinating subject, worthy of a talented wizard’s attention. Of course elemental magic has almost nothing to do with the entities we call elementals. Elementals are simply spirits or entities not native to our reality, which manifest in certain ways, often linked to natural forces or objects. They are more properly a subject for Druidic or Shamanic study, though Conjurers and Evokers engage with them too, and Abjurers must learn their natures in order to protect against them. Elementalists call on them no more or less than any other wizard, but we do, perhaps, understand them a little better. Elemental magic draws on the fundamental forces of the universe to power spells: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

  • Earth, known to the Elementalists as Ground, is at the same time the most and the least powerful of these forces. It is easily overpowered in the short term by any of the other forces, but on the longer term it can have the greatest effect. It is difficult to shield against, and affects all moving or still objects, living and inanimate.
  • Air is the most obviously powerful force, affecting both the unseen fields and forces of the planet and the devastating power of lightning and storm-wind. The force of Air is also related to the power of the void, where no air exists and only darkness reigns, as well as governing friction and affecting the action of light.
  • Fire is, for the most part, only locally significant. Explosions and chemical reactions are governed by this force, as well as the power to dampen and put out such conflagrations. Fire is relatively easy to shield from, and while good for making an impression or doing damage to a specific target, it does not have the power to shape actions or decisions the way Ground and Air do.
  • Water, known in Elementalist circles as Tide, is in some ways the weakest of the forces. It is most commonly used to control bodies of water, or to affect water in its different phases – as ice, or steam. However, the Tide force also controls decay and affects all life; as such, it is the most closely linked element with the Necromancy school of magic.

 

Elementals of different types may manifest using each of these forces, or combinations of them, but they do not represent personifications of the elemental forces. A Fire elemental is not a being created from the Fire force; rather, it is an entity whose nature is more closely aligned with the fire force than our own, or a being originating from a variation of reality in which the Fire force is more powerful or more dominant.

 

Each type of elemental is aligned to one or two basic forces, and is thus susceptible to being summoned and controlled by Elementalists specialising in those forces. As well as the traditional elemental creatures known to traditional magical scholars throughout Yarthe, many of the so-called ‘outsiders’ not traditionally viewed as elementals are in fact elemental in nature. The various realities from which these entities derive are viewed as paradisical or hellish by Yarthian natives, but they are simply other worlds or realities akin to our own, but different in some basic way. It must be remembered, though, that not all spirit beings and so-called ‘outsiders’ are elemental in nature; an elementalist has no more influence over non-elemental entities than we do over other wizards, which is to say, very little in most cases.

 

The types of elemental that we have catalogued thus far include:

  • Water or Tide: other than the Marids, Water Mephits, and Void elementals (also known as Daemons), beings aligned to the Tide element seldom take humanoid shape. Many are shape-shifters, formless and changeable, such as the Water elementals, while others have strange or beastlike forms, belying their intelligence – for example, the Andrenjinyi, Elohim, and the Tojanida; the only truly beastlike Tide elemental is the serpentine Water Weird. Forming a subgroup of the Tide elementals are the Shadow elementals, including Fetchlings, Shae, Owb, and Shadow Mastiffs.

 

Many elemental beings are aligned to more than one of the base elements.

  • Snow (Air and Water/Tide): Ice elementals and Ice Mephits, Mihstu, Niln, and Wendigo (it is recommended that students do not at any stage attempt to summon or control a Wendigo, as they are dangerouslt unpredictable). Some Snow elementalists have also had a certain degree of success in influencing the undead, indicating that perhaps the Air and Tide forces are at work in the magic which animates them.

 

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