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Air elementals

I have spoken of the sturdy nature of earth elementals and the hot-tempered fire elementals… now it is time to talk about air elementals.

Violent storms or a calm breeze… such is the nature of air. Much like all elementals, they can be helpful to the point of necessity, yet they pose an incredible danger if not handled correctly.

Air elementals, like all others, come in endless varieties. From roiling, dark, flickering clouds like a storm given life to almost childlike ones no taller than my shin that delight in play.

Whatever their variety, they are usually capable of flight and are typically the fastest elementals around. Their incredible speed makes them astoundingly good messengers, provided you don’t mind if they go off course on a whim.

They’re perhaps the least dependable of the elementals, prone to have an… ugh, I hate having to say it…

An almost airheaded nature.

The irony is not lost me I assure you.

When speaking of the nature of an air elemental, I can’t help recalling a woman I once knew.

She had an incredible figure, and no man alive could keep their eyes from being inexplicably drawn to her curves.

But, as beautiful as she was, she couldn’t keep a thought in her head for more than a few seconds. Unless, of course, she was angry.

That is perhaps one of the best ways of understanding air elementals.

Their flighty nature makes them perhaps the worst to use as guards with a few rare exceptions. After all, what good is a guard if they aren’t there?

As to the plane of air, it is said to be a place of endless sky with great cities that move through the air. Imagine that! Flying cities! What a sight that must be to behold. If it’s true of course.

Like all elemental planes, it is said to be ruled over by an elemental lord. Although a few texts refer to the leader of the plane of air as a ‘lady’. I’m not sure such a distinction matters much as elementals have no genders. Sure, some may possess traits that we might identify as either masculine or feminine, but that’s a distortion brought about by our own perspectives. They are still genderless.

With everything I’ve said about them so far, it probably doesn’t come as much surprise that air elementals are probably the least used of all elementals. Although I balk at using the word ‘used’ to describe beings that will likely be here long after we are gone. I trust you to know what I mean. They’re just not dependable enough to justify summoning them.

They move swiftly, yes, but just as a guard who is never at his post is useless so too is a messenger that gets distracted and doesn’t deliver their message. And, this lack of dependability applies to any task assigned to them.

Fire elementals may be dangerous and quick to anger, but at least you can count on them.

The same cannot be said for air elementals. Generally, only eccentric wizards bother to deal with them. It’s a bit of a shame really, but what can you do? Trying to change an elemental’s nature is an exercise in futility.

However, all that being said, they are invaluable in aerial battles. But, most cities only keep a handful around, preferring to summon them as the need arises.

Perhaps you’re wondering why they wouldn’t keep more around? Well, aside from the costs of maintaining the summoning contract, they tend to just… drift off.

So, you could summon a whole bunch of them, but it wouldn’t be long before they wandered off one by one. Then you’re right back to the beginning again. So, unless an aerial assault is expected, only a few are kept around.

Yes, it would likely be safer to keep summoning fresh ones, but then summonings don’t take very long, and there are other aerial defenses to help buy time should an attack happen.

Overall, they’re just too frustrating to work with. As with anything, there are exceptions, but it would take far too long to get into that.

There are also, of course, forced summonings, but not only is such a thing highly unethical it is also incredibly dangerous, illegal, and in my personal opinion at least… very stupid.

Anyone who thinks they can bend such ancient and powerful beings to their will by force and use them as little more than slaves can only be suffering from an extreme case of arrogance. Something the elementals will be sure to rectify.

In fact, perhaps it’s best I include a warning to NOT try to do forced summonings in this text on air elementals. They are the most frustrating to deal with, and so probably the most likely elemental that a student of the magical arts might try to use a forced summoning on.

To this, I refer to my earlier writings on demons.

Now, it may seem strange to compare elementals to demons given how many times I’ve said they’re generally pretty easy to get along with (as far as them not killing you for no reason goes). But, that’s only if you don’t go out of your way to piss them off.

In the case of air elementals… imagine summoning a storm given life and having all of its ire directed at you. It would shatter your feeble attempts to control it and then it might fry you with bolts of lightning. Or, perhaps, take you high into the air and see how long it takes for you to hit the ground.

All elementals are to be treated with the utmost respect. Yes, even the small, seemingly harmless ones. After all, do keep in mind that they have friends. And, other elementals don’t take kindly to the enslavement of their kin.

So, perhaps you managed to bind a single air elemental to your will. Congratulations. But, I don’t expect it’ll be much help when ten more descend on you with a fury as primal as nature herself.

I believe something similar happened in a town to the east. A place called Lingham if I recall correctly. Not that its name matters much now as the ‘town’ is little more than a crater.

- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University

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