Earth, Air, Water, Fire
With the advance of technology, it’s easy to feel a disconnect from the natural world. In some ways, that can make the natural elements seem more mystical. Even without technology, the fact that these basic elements provide us with everything we need to live is pretty miraculous.
If you’re creating a society or world where you want to contrast technology vs. nature, or have people who are more connected with nature, you may want to work in elemental magic.
The elements are usually defined as earth, air, water, and fire. Depending on where you look, a fifth element may be included: metal. You may also consider using spirit as an element. How many of these you use for your magic system is up to you. You may also have elements that are completely fictional, if your fictional world is drastically different from ours.
Elemental magic can be as simple as having magic practitioners gifted with the ability to manipulate a single element, or as complex as someone needing to be able to work with multiple elements. You do not need to have elemental magic be the only type of magic in your world, though it is an option.
- What elements exist in your world, and what are their basic forms?
- How might different forms of elemental magic function in your world?
- Is a magic practitioner gifted with a specific ability, or can elements be manipulated by other means—perhaps someone gifted with magical ability being in contact with an element?
Rebekah Loper began creating epic worlds and stories as a child and never stopped. She is the author of The A-Zs of Worldbuilding series, and has a fantasy novella published in Beatitudes and Woes: A Speculative Fiction Anthology.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (…ok, ok, they’re chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she is not writing, she can be found battling the elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.