- 1 The Four Archetypical Elements
- 2 Sub-elementals
- 3 Levels of Elemental Control
- 4 The Fifth Element
- 5 Arcane vs Divine
The Four Archetypical Elements
There are four archetypical elements that represent everything within nature that is not alive. They make up most of what we see and feel on the physical plane.
- The cardinal nature of earth is cool and dry. The element of earth provides stability, grounding, foundation, and solidity. It is heavy, unyielding, and slow. Common earth magics can involve the shifting, splitting, cracking, opening, movement, and transmutation of rock, soil, metal, crystals, sand, clay and other solid inorganic materials, as well as inner magics such as balancing one’s own aggression, or combining its elemental energies with another to create a new and different sub-elemental force. Plants and animals are NOT formations of archetypical earth, as they are living and organic. The element of earth is generally associated with the color green and the direction north. Arcane masters of this element are often referred to as Terramancers
- The cardinal nature of air is warm and damp. The element of air provides lightness, formlessness, highly mutable. It is light, passive, and quick. Common Air magics can involve the manipulation of wind and air direction and speed as well as inner magics such as balancing one’s inner feeling of being weighed down, or combining its elemental energies with another to create a new and different sub-elemental force. The element of Air is generally associated with the color yellow and the direction east. Arcane masters of this element are often referred to as Aeromancers.
- The cardinal nature of fire is warm and dry. The element of fire provides purifying, cleansing, aggressive, and chaotic. It is light, passive, and quick. Common fire magics can involve the manipulation of size, intensity, and direction of manifested fire as well as inner magics such as balancing one’s feelings of complacency, or combining its energies with another to create a new and different sub-elemental force. This element is generally associated with the color red and the direction south. Arcane masters of this element are often referred to as Pyromancers.
- The cardinal nature of water is cool and moist. The element of water provides fluidity, flexibility. It is heavy, passive, and quick. Water magics can involve anything from manipulating physical water to balancing ones inner feelings of stagnation, or combining its energies with another element to create a new and different sub-element. This element is generally associated with the color blue and the direction west. Arcane masters of this element are often referred to as Hydromancers.
There are a number of naturally occurring sub-elements, which are formed through combinations of a base element and one or more other elements. It can be assumed that to create any of these sub-elements, one must already have mastery of both of the elements to be used. Some require only moderate control; others require very precise magical energies.
- Formulated with the base element of earth, manipulated to allow infiltration, along with the addition of a proper amount of water. If the earth is not properly prepared, it will be too dense, only resulting in a pond upon the firm terra. If too much or too little water is added it will result in just soft soil or merely dirty water. Overall, the necessary control needed to create this sub-element is rather low.
- Formulated with the base element of water, manipulated with the dry and stable energies of earth to formulate a solid. Very precise control over the earth energies is required or the result will instead be a type of permafrost soil rather than a smooth clear ice. Arcane masters of this sub-element are often referred to as Cryomancers.
- Formulated with the base element of earth, manipulated with the aggressive heat and chaotic energies of fire to create a flowing form that consumes all in its path. While significant fire and earth energies are required, the amount of control needed to create this sub-element is minimal.
- Formulated with the base element of air, manipulated with the slightest amount of water energy, only enough to leave a light vapor within the air. Fairly precise control is required to create elemental fog, too little water will only create a cool humid condition, with too much water and it will separate from the air creating a typical rain.
- Formulated with the base element of water, manipulated with the heat energies of fire to form a chaotic cloud of active steam. Only moderate control is required, too little fire energy will create warm/hot water, too much will dissipate the steam and create only a hot humid condition.
- A very complex force formulated with the base element of air, manipulated with the light, quick, and fierce energies of fire. The control required for this sub-element is intense, only the most skillful of elementalists with adept control over both fire and air can form and manipulate Lightning effectively. Too little fire energy creates only warm air, with too much creating incredibly arid, desiccating air. Arcane masters of this element are often referred to as Electromancers.
- Formulated with the base element of air, increased to great speed and then manipulated slightly with the formative energies of Earth to create a powerful concussive force without any true “form”. The control required for this sub-element is very high, the earth energies will rapidly deteriorate any appreciable wind speed if not controlled precisely. Too much earth will yield a typical sand storm, whereas not enough earth energy will only yield strong winds.
Levels of Elemental Control
There are various stages of elemental control one can achieve based on the level of devotion, natural skill and amount of time studying the elemental arts.
- Controlling an existing elemental energy by assuming a physical and/or emotional state congruent with the element's nature. This is a beginning stage of elemental development.
- Controlling an existing elemental energy by magical or mystic ritual, often by use of verbal, somatic or material aids. This is the second stage in elemental development.
- Creation and control of an element where it formerly did not exist by assuming a physical and/or emotional state congruent with the element's nature. This technique is advanced and indicates the first stage in becoming a "Mancer".
- Creation and control of an element where it formerly did not exist by magical or mystic ritual, often by use of verbal, somatic or material aids. This stage of elemental controtheiran indication that one has become a "Mancer" in thier elemental branch.
- Controlling an existing elemental energy by sheer force of will. This is an advanced stage of elemental development and requires precise control over one's own mind and body. The display of a true Master, even most specialists will never reach this level of elemental ability.
- Creation and control of an element where it formerly did not exist by sheer force of will. Very few beings of this plane ever attain this kind of power, a mage or druid of this ability would be sought after throughout the world, a teacher of Masters.
The Fifth Element
Druids also believe in a divine 5th element known as Akasha or Spirit. It is through a lifetime of dedication to self-discovery and understanding the balance of nature, that Druids become attuned to this energy that flows through all things natural. The very presence of this divine energy is what allows Druids to control the flora and fauna, imparting the Druids will into any normally instinctual creatures. This control allows Druids to manipulate many forms of plant life, from moss to trees, and animals from the smallest insect to the largest beasts. Generally, the larger the creature and greater its will, the harder it will be to control. This is also the same energy source which gives experienced Druids the understanding needed to assume animal forms with which they have great familiarity. Generally, druids can control only animals that are instinctual in nature; those with sentience and self-awareness are generally not swayed by the Akasha energy to any meaningful degree.
Arcane vs Divine
Mages and Druids use the same elements, often in very similar ways, but what differs between the two, is the nature of HOW they control these elements.
- Arcane - Mages use elemental magic through authoritarian command over the energies through years of training in the arcane arts, the elemental forces yielding to the magical direction like a broken slave. Forced to obey their master, the will-less element complies with its given command.
- Divine - Druids use elemental magic through manipulating the divine Akasha energy that flows through all things, essentially giving will to the element, which is normally free of intention. The energies ‘want’ to comply with the Druid’s wishes.
It is for this reason that Druids are naturally more adept in elemental control than mages in general. Given a mage and druid of relatively equal power, the druid will usually have the edge in elemental control because they give the Element the “will” to refuse the mage’s command. This is not to say that a highly adept arcane elementalist could never best a druid in that regard, only that druids tend to have more ease in the elemental arts.