Biology · Races

Elemental

Overview

Elementals are roughly defined as spirits that manifest in the physical plane by inhabiting non-living matter. They are much more complex than that though, and a water elemental isn’t just moving water with a mind of its own. They are the living embodiment of their element, being able to control it in the natural or man-made environment.

Quick Species Profile
(Elementum morphe) “element in form”
Life Expectancy
Average: 2000 years
Max: Ageless
Average Height: Variable
Average Weight: Variable
Creature Type: Nature Spirit (shapeshifter)

Biology

Appearance

Many elementals shape their body like a human’s, but most have a very amorphous appearance. While an elemental’s form could be virtually limitless, there are definitely some recurring shapes that can almost be considered as species. The reason for it is unknown but some speculate that elementals are somehow memorizing certain forms and passing them on to other spirits through some mysterious means like a shared morphic field. Those species can vary widely in size though, as does the danger they represent.

Physiological Traits

Incorporeal: Elementals are incorporeal when not possessing something or manifesting a physical body. They are composed of ectoplasm, a type of intangible matter that normally passes through physical objects.

Possession: Technically an incorporeal elemental can possess a living being’s body to exist in the physical plane. However most are uncomfortable in this state and prefer to manifest a physical form instead.

Psychic: As a spirit, the very life force of the elemental is a property known as psychokinetic energy, referred to as “psi“. This allows them to perform common psychic powers from birth and learn more complex ones as they age. An extension of their psi is elemental manipulation. The amount and size of material they can push or pull depends on how well or how much life they have within them. Another extension of their psi, elementals can communicate with other beings mentally aka telepathy. Elementals can also understand and communicate in any written or spoken language, including sign language, Braille and Morse code. However, this doesn’t grant the ability to decipher encrypted messages or to understand programming languages, nor does it mean that an elemental can speak any language at will. If a djinni sees a deaf person using sign language, it can understand what’s being signed and respond in kind, but an elemental can’t confound eavesdroppers by signing to another one, unless both of them have learned the language in the normal way.

Elemental Mimicry: As their bodies are formed from their specific element, they can easily take on the physical properties of said composed substances.

Elemental Regeneration: Elementals can use preexisting sources of their element to regenerate their bodies, with the amount of said element used defining the speed of healing.

Elemental Intangibility: Elementals can use the inherent properties of their element to achieve a form of intangibility, allowing attacks to either pass right through them or be harmlessly absorbed into their bodies, depending on the user’s element. This also can allow them to pass around solid objects that do not obstruct the element the user is made of. However obstructions or materials that affect their composed element will still affect them. It seems that elementals can also induce their forms to take on the standard intangibility of spirits though it seems to require more effort.

Elemental Absorption: Elementals can absorb elemental forces into their body and use it in various ways, gaining some form of advantage, either by enhancing themselves, gaining the drained power, or using it as a power source.

Biomagical Attributes

Manifestation: Elementals are spirits that inhabit various inorganic substances and reactions to exist in the physical plane. Once the matter is possessed by the elemental, the combination creates a semi-ectoplasmic mixture with properties of both substances to create a construct that can usually mimic the soft tissue of organic beings. This process usually takes days or weeks when the elemental creates its body for the first time, but becomes much faster afterwards, should the spirit inhabit another body.  However, once an elemental spirit has chosen a type of matter to inhabit, it will never be able to use another type. A fire elemental will never become an water elemental, for example. Moreover, for an elemental, leaving its body for another is an unpleasant and sometimes traumatic experience, especially if they got used to it over a long period of time.

Shapeshifting: Elementals can morph their semi-ectoplasmic material bodies into nearly any object or life form. They can also replicate internal organ systems to perform those functions carried out by them.

Elemental Manipulation: Elementals can shape, mold, and often create the element of their make up that exists within their environment. As beings with psi, they have a specific form of telekinesis that only affects the element they are made of, or their components if they are a merged entity.

Elemental Detection: The ability to sense the presence of the matter/energy they are composed of in one’s vicinity.

Elemental Transportation: Elementals can teleport via elemental energy, merging into a preexisting source of their element and appearing anywhere else from the same element.

Recomposition: Elementals can fuse their minds and bodies together to form an entirely separate entity composed of a composite element. Combined elementals can use the individual powers of their constituents as well as manipulation of their combined element. While most are temporary, the components can choose to stay fused indefinitely. Combined elementals are made by pure elementals, so one can only give birth to its pure elemental constituents.

Miniature Duplication: Elementals can generate little replicates. These cloned bodies can think and act in the same way as the main body, and can also make use of the elemental’s power. They’re more like independent intermediaries, with the will and ability to take action when exercising the elemental’s power, rather than doppelgangers. In the case that they use power, an equivalent amount of elements is expended by the main body. They’re mainly used in the case when using the elemental’s power in a distant location, or when they want to use it in many locations in a wide area at the same time.
Furthermore, the main elemental can also change into a miniature form. Since they can curtail element expenditure when in this tiny form, it’s efficient for conserving energy when not doing anything or when moving.

Subspecies

Pure Elementals

Ignans

Habitat
Arid deserts, active volcanoes, hot springs, prairie, savanna, chaparral

Food
Wildfires, bonfires, live flames, flammable grasses, flowing lava, coal, hydrocarbon fuels

Distinctive Features & Behavior
Fire elementals are, as the name suggests, elemental spirits inhabiting a body made of flames. While they appear to burn red-hot, but they are only slightly warm to the touch. As long as they don’t will themselves to attack, the flames that cover their bodies will not burn those who touch them. Humanoid Ignans tend to appear as glowing orange skinned folks with various parts alight with flames.

Ignans in general tend to be passionate and impulsive, easily roused to anger, love, or other emotions. They also tend to give themselves without hesitation to their desires, enjoying causing chaos and mischief. They are among the most dangerous type of elementals, simply because of the element constituting their bodies. They can use it to easily set their enemies alight and ignite the environment. Their great control over fire means they can use it to block escape routes and coral threats as well.

Undines

Habitat
Lakes, streams, springs beaches, tundra, mountain peaks

Food
Freshwater, Saltwater, Ice, Snow, Fog, clouds

Distinctive Features & Behavior
Water elementals are, as their name suggests, elementals inhabiting water under different forms. The water that makes up their body also takes on a pale blue hue and are typically translucent or even transparent. To give themselves the ability to manipulate physical objects, they use tactile telekinesis to strengthen the surface tension of the bodies, mimicking a solid when they need to. For some reason, humanoid undines appear as a feminine figure (even before they develop a sex) until those that are male reflect that in their form.

Undines stay mostly in their liquid state, hidden in a spring, and are usually shy and secretive beings. They like to keep to themselves as much as possible and rarely venture outside of their home. They are not defenseless though, and can occasionally grow to great size, even though their solid bodies are fragile and can be broken down by a large enough impact.

Terrans

Habitat
Mountains, caves, deserts, quarries, canyons

Food
Rocks, soil, sand, gemstones, crystal

Distinctive Features & Behavior
Terrans are spirits who build their bodies out of the soil or minerals of Kaf. Humanoid Terrans can vary in looks due to their constituents but most appear as solid brown beings that typically have rock plates or mosses growing on portions of them. They are usually the strongest of elementals, possessing a tremendous strength, and the resistance to damage like stone. They tend to be slow and heavy though, relying on ambush tactics and staying utterly still in order to defend themselves.

Patience is one of the most prominent traits of earth elementals and time seems to be a very abstract concept to them, hard to grasp even for the sentient ones. Their appearances vary widely, from that of grotesque hulking animals made out of rock and earth, to that of graceful humanoids with crystalline bodies and glowing gemstones for eyes. Because earth elementals are made from the very soil of Kaf, they literally take into themselves it’s healing properties, granting them amazing regenerative abilities, and very powerful healing magic. Many earth elemental also possess the ability to move through stone or dirt as easily as a fish swims through water. Earth elementals represent a huge hazard for miners across Kaf as many of them tend to see miners as intruders, and mining in general as a gross invasion of privacy.

Slyphs

Habitat
High places such as mountains, the sky, places where the wind blows, open plains

Food
Breezes, gales, trade winds, monsoons, typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes

Distinctive Features & Behavior
Slyphs have chosen to inhabit and shape the ambient air and wind of Kaf. The way they manifest takes the mixture of gases in the air and via tactile telekinesis forms of surface tension that constructs a body that can interact with the physical world like a solid at times. Also more slyphs take on a feminine form than a masculine one and typically are the smallest and petite of elemental humanoids. Nonhumanoid slyphs are content with simply being large windstorms or twisters.

They are typically the fastest and most agile of elementals and can fly or float. They tend to be rather weak physically though and rely a lot on magic, creating whirlwinds of air to suck up objects and deflecting attacks with armor made of wind. Ordinarily they hide themselves and fly around the sky with the wind, so they can be quite difficult to find; however, often times they descend and reveal themselves on a whim.

Composite Elementals

Fire + Earth= Magma

Fire + Air= Lightning

Fire + Water= Alcohol

Earth + Water= Mud

Earth + Air= Smoke

Water + Air= Ice

Air + Earth + Water= Flora

Earth + Air + Fire= Metal

Air + Fire + Water= Weather Storm

Water + Fire + Earth= Glass

Air + Earth + Fire + Water= Mother Nature

 

General Diet

Elementals in any form have a high affinity for mana as energy, especially in natural environments made for their particular element. Those manifested in physical form consume their constituent element as a source of material for their bodies. They also eat any element they don’t produce themselves in various forms such undines partaking of ice or snow, and terrans on crystals or coal. As such elementals can also feed off of others of the same type, usually sapient ones consuming the feral ones but the reverse can sometimes happen.

Elementals who shape-shift an internal digestive system can also consume material that other creatures feed on such as organic compounds. While they can still provide chemical energy by being digested, anything that can’t be integrated into the elemental will be eliminated as solid or liquid waste.

Reproduction

Elementals reproduce two ways:

Elementals are made ex terra when an area of land is rich in the natural mana of their corresponding element. An undine would be born in lakes or rivers rich with pretty water, an ignan would be born in a searing desert or volcanic region, a sylph would be born in windy mountains, a terran would be born in places such as forests with rich soil and plant life or caves rich with ore. These elementals form fully adult physical bodies when they find enough of their element to manifest.

In their physical bodies, they can reproduce sexually and can mate with not only each other but also corporeal beings that match their current body type, ex. humanoids with humanoids/demihumanoids, etc. Elementals born this way have a physical form birth and have their body age from baby to childhood, adolescence then adulthood.

Lifespan and Growth

Ex terra elementals have a curious way of aging. Past a certain point, the elemental becomes so accustomed to its body that destroying the body will either banish or destroy the spirit as well, effectively rendering the elemental as mortal as any other corporeal creature.

Elementals that are born instead of made, go through a gradual aging period like other mortal races until adulthood where they become ageless.

History

Elementals were among the various wayward spirits created in the unique conditions of the Early Arcane Realm. Most of them started out with feral and purely instinctive minds but over time more acquired higher functioning and sapience. They don’t see themselves as a race at all, just individual and unique entities, meaning they haven’t formed their own grand civilization throughout history and would rather live in the wilderness. Some have been minorities in other nation states mostly through enslavement or defending territory from Shaytan.

During the wars it became common to awaken wayward spirits and summon them as elementals. After the conflict and with the collapse of most civilizations, elementals escaped and propagated in the wilderness for centuries. When new socities sprung up again, some mages would come to lands where elemental spirits dwelled in order to make pacts with sapient elementals, serving as summons in battle or familial guardians. In certain areas some are released by their their summoner after a time to become free agents, either in civilization or return to various wilderness areas.

Culture

Elementals are deeply individualistic creatures, and the mass majority have not formed anything like a culture or a civilization. They don’t see themselves as a race at all, just individual and unique entities

 

Architecture

Living on their own or in small groups most sentient elements don’t build their own shelters. For the most part they may stay in abandoned places like ruins, temples or make their own makeshift shelters from surrounding material. Of course the rare elementals that live in developed nations typically live in houses or buildings made by others or the state. When this occurs, at the most they may decorate it with an aesthetic style that is usually based on the element they are attuned with.

Spirituality

Without a shared culture, they don’t have their own belief system either. For the most part they don’t worship deities throughout their lives except for a few followers of popular ones or those of their their summoners if they have. As spirits themselves, some have been worshiped as guardian deities or minor spirits in animistic belief systems and the Elemental Faith.

Gender/Family

When a genius loci or first corporeal, a elemental lacks a biological sex or gender. The more time in a body, the stronger the traits of its predetermined sex will become. This is faster for elementals born from corporeal parents. The few times elementals are in a group are usually when they raise children, typically in a nuclear set up. Once the children are adults, they leave and the family dissolves though in rare cases they may keep in touch or even stay together.

Dress/Modesty

The majority some elementals lack clothing, either due to not having reproductive organs, not being part of a culture or not having the concept of modesty, all of which stem from the fact the majority have no use for clothing. Some may manifest a set of customized clothing from their bodies for purely aesthetic reasons.

Socialization

Being individualistic and loners when not part of a family, most learn on their own  through experience. A small number do undergo formal education in developed nations.

Magic Use

As expected, Elementals innately can manipulate their attuned element from their creation.  If you fight one in its own element, the task can become all but impossible because the elemental will use the surroundings to sustain itself. Even if you manage to severely damage its body, the elemental will just leave it and search for another chunk of matter to animate in a quieter place. There is no existing spell-caster strong enough to harm an elemental using its own element (aside from the mystical versions used by some very rare beings).

It is rare to see an elemental using magic besides that of their element, let alone be adept beyond it.

Science and Technology

Transportation

Elementals can simply turn into their element for quick movement or float via telekinesis.

Weaponry

Elementals prefer manipulation or spells of their attuned element although humanoid ones can use external weapons if they want to.

Communications

To communicate, Elementals can simply use telepathy. Some elementals are familiar enough with other species to know how to use spoken/sign language or use a device for long distances. The sapient ones are very cunning and intelligent, it’s possible for them to converse with humans and monsters, as they have emotions.

Medical Treatment

Most are solitary and lack much medical knowledge for any ailments they may come down with. Those near places with populated by those of the elemental faith or have a summoner/shaman are likely to be taken care of by them and likely to learn how to treat their own ailments.

Manufacturing

Elementals normally don’t produce anything simply using elemental manipulation for their needs. A few maybe be tasked or employed to use their abilities to construct materials, for example Ignans are commonly used to forge metallic objects via extreme heat.

 

Author’s Notes

When it came time for races of spirits, elementals made sense. The best part was think up elemental abilities, especially the combining aspect to see the new elements made.

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