And now it’s time for me to speak on elementals. Much like with the skree, I’ll start with a brief overview before we get into a few different varieties and the specifics thereof.
Elementals, as their name suggests, embody an element. There is a lot of disagreement on how exactly these beings are born, so I’ll stick to my personal favorite of the many theories. Feel free to disagree with me. In fact, I encourage my students to think for themselves.
After all, we didn’t get as far as we have by blindly following those that came before.
The world is filled with all kinds of different elements. Earth, fire, water, air, a million variations thereof and even more variations on top of that. So, as you can imagine, I definitely won’t be covering every elemental in existence. Because, quite frankly, I’m not even sure I could.
But, I’m getting distracted again.
Of all these different elements that exist in our world, there are places where one is more prevalent. Mountains and caves may be more closely tied to earth. Volcanoes, deserts, and other hot environments may be more closely linked to fire although many of those are also closely related to earth.
Air is prevalent everywhere in our world and a good thing too or we’d all die. And, water isn’t much different. Vast oceans, lakes, and rivers mark locations where water is stronger.
Now, one of the most popular theories and the theory I like most is that spirits combine with these elements and thus an elemental is born.
How this process would happen, I have no idea. But, it does seem possible especially when considering the elemental planes.
For you see, our world is very balanced and as briefly mentioned above, even in places where one element is prevalent… the others are still there. Even our most unbalanced areas have more balance than the elemental planes.
Or, at least that’s what the almost non-existent records indicate, so I freely admit that what I’m saying may turn out to be total hogwash. Travel between planes isn’t exactly easy, and even for those few who’ve done it… getting back alive seems to be another story entirely.
So, we know extremely little, but it would seem that the elemental planes are places where the single element they represent is the most prevalent by far.
I’ll speak more on the different elemental planes when I speak of the elementals therein, but suffice it to say that the elemental planes are filled with elementals. Our world has a scant few by comparison.
And, each plane is filled with elementals of that particular type. So, it lends credence to the theory that in places of imbalance, spirits combine with the most prevalent naturally occurring element and thus that type of elemental is born.
But, enough of the theories of how they are born.
Unlike the many horrifying monsters I’ve discussed so far, elementals aren’t really evil. Nor are they paragons of virtue. It would seem that while a few might be good or evil, the majority just… are.
Or, rather, they think and act in ways we can’t understand. They don’t seem to mind being summoned by wizards and such and even do their bidding to a large extent. I believe, as long as they are given sustenance, they can even stay on indefinitely at times.
Can you imagine a human doing that? With the way Lestria cracks down on slavery, and the way it is so utterly abhorred, I think we can agree that elementals and humans don’t think the same way at all.
But, before you go out and try to summon one. I remind you that such practices are for experts only and are not without their own risks.
Elementals have been known to turn on their summoners. Fire elementals have set whole cities on fire. Either by accident or design. And the other elementals aren’t much different.
Truthfully, it’s hard to write on the motivations, desires, and thought patterns of elementals because they’re just so alien to us.
While the skree are horrid, their agenda resonates with that deep dark part of a man’s heart that yearns for conquest.
But, elementals just… don’t seem as bothered by such things.
All in all, elementals can often benefit people who know how to work with them. Earth elementals make excellent guardians for most any building, and they appear content to simply stand watch seemingly forever.
In fact, if you can create an environment that suits them, you could get an elemental to guard essentially whatever you want.
More than that, water elementals have been known to help settlements suffering from droughts by helping them find sources of water, building irrigation, and even teaching them spells to summon water.
All in all, elementals are much like nature. They are to be treated with respect and also the knowledge that on a whim they could destroy everything you hold dear.
Just as gentle rain can water your crops and fill your well, keeping your hunger and thirst at bay. So to can a flood wash your home away like nothing.
They serve their own purposes. Purposes we struggle to understand. Do not mistake their compliance for subservience.
They will be here long after you and I are food for the worms.
- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University