Elemental magic is one of the more common forms of magic in the D-Verse.
At its core, elemental magic is a means to directly shape the surrounding physical world; it was originally crafted from the Divine Language with this specific purpose in mind.
Though environmental change is normally slow and takes place over many years, the limited lifespan of most humans usually makes them more inclined to find faster ways of altering the world around them. For this reason, elemental magic is usually the first discovered and/or most commonly used School on newly or recently developed worlds. At times this process is hastened by the subtle machinations of the Goddesses Rosewood and Eris.
The elements are classically organized into four areas: air, fire, earth, and water. Although a simplified and disproved view of reality, the elemental system is an excellent mental anchoring point for inexperienced casters. Advanced elemental control is thus usually grouped by these elements.
- Air: electricity
- Earth: gravity, magnetism
- Fire: radiation
- Water: ice, most liquids
The fifth element, when used, is the aether itself. Although very few institutions teach a five-element system, the aether may be used much like any other element; spells directly utilizing the aether are often termed 'arcane' spells, as opposed to the 'natural' elemental spells.
General constraints Edit
Elemental magic is at its strongest when used planetside. Nearly every planet in existence is surrounded by elemental planes from which casters can draw elemental energies indefinitely, or at least as much as they are able. In the absence of these planes, only material already in physical existence may be used; thus, elemental magic is at a severe disadvantage in the Void (compared to other types). Arcane magic is of course not subject to this vulnerability, as the aetheric 'plane' exists across all reality.
Schools of thought: balance vs. focus Edit
Within the field of elemental magic there are two primary schools of thought that are most often in direct opposition, generally termed Balance and Focus.
Balance refers to a style of elementalism primarily concerned with understanding the natural order or state of existence and providing a way to return to, or at least approach, that ideal state. Unlike most spell casters, a balancer or harmonizer seeks a particular set of circumstances rather than a specific event or spell; the means are less important, and necessarily more fluid, than in other magic because they are secondary to the end. There is a great deal of subtlety and adaptability involved in this style.
Focus, on the other hand, is a more familiar and far more obvious style which calls on the elements directly, as in the execution of a fireball spell. It is centered on the caster's requirements, rather than any ideal state, and as such is entirely dependent on the skills and raw power of the practitioner (or any allied elemental spirits, as below). Mage is the common term for a focus elementalist, most often preceded by the chosen element as in 'fire mage' or 'earth mage'; it is from this practice that all other '<type> mage' appellations originate.
Use of elemental spirits Edit
As the denizens of the elemental planes, elemental spirits serve as conduits to their respective planes, providing their allies with a source of elemental energy available at a much closer distance - metaphysically and thus functionally - than the specific plane itself. These spirits are also capable of shaping their element - essentially, spellcasting - if they are not restricted by contract or other means.
The purity and power of an elemental is normally diluted over time due to the intermingling of elements found on the physical plane, which necessitates occasional return to the elemental plane for cleansing. With an elemental of significant power, however, this corruption is a non-factor since the internal conduit has enough output to forcibly and continuously cleanse any impurities in the elemental's body.
There are no arcane elementals; though there are spirits that reside in the aether, they are not tied to it and do not possess conduits to its power as true elemental spirits do.
Focus elementalists are the only ones who literally use elementals in this fashion, and it must be noted that some elementals are far more open to being used than others. However, depending upon the scale and nature of a Balance elementalist's endeavors, elementals may decide to assist of their own free will.