Beings drawn together from the very elements themselves, Elementals are heavily associated with a given element, most commonly air, earth, fire or water. They have abilities which allow them to enact some control over their element, which grow in strength the older and larger they get. Elementals are highly sought after for their use in the construction of Elemental Cores, a technology that has seen widespread hunting of the creatures taking place for hundreds of years, bringing Elementals into conflict with their humanoid assailants.
As they are heavily linked to their chosen elements and draw sustenance from it, an Elemental’s physical appearance will reflect what they are tied to. Earth Elementals for example might look like a mass of earth and rocks that has been attracted together, whilst Fire Elementals might appear as a pillar of moving flame. All Elementals share the common features of eyes and a mouth, but beyond that their form is free and malleable. Some choose to appear as humanoid, whereas others will appear as vague shapes to help them better camouflage themselves within their environment. Many will shape arms or pseudopods for themselves to better enable them to interact with their environment and defend themselves.
Genetics and Reproduction
Elementals don’t breed as such, but instead they are able to divide themselves into two to create two individual creatures, both of which retain the memories of the original creature, but who are to all intents and purposes individuals in their own right. Elementals that separate in this way have to be living in a place with an abundant source of nourishment for them to draw upon as the process is very tiring and requires a lot of energy. It is not known what exactly prompts and Elemental to divide itself. Some seem to do it regularly every few years or so, whilst some apparently haven’t divided for hundreds if not thousands of years. Elementals can also be created through the residual effects of magic that has been cast in a given area. The residual magic of a spell cast near a bonfire or other such large and long burning blaze might cause the creation of a Fire Elemental, whilst residual magic in and around a rock formation might cause the creation of an Earth Elemental. As with natural division, it is unknown exactly what factors need to be in play to enable this to happen, and pursuing how to artificially create Elementals is a key area of research in the Imperial College of Arcanists.
Growth Rate & Stages
Given that most Elementals are created through division, the initial stage that they begin to grow from very much depends on the creature they divided from. The larger and more powerful the Elemental that divided, the larger and more powerful the new Elemental will start of being. Elementals that are created through residual magic start of incredibly small, and are generally barely perceptible to the naked eye at first. Regardless of their initial starting point, an Elemental’s growth rate is very dependent upon the availability of their associated element around them on which they can feed. In genera, Elementals tend to grow and develop slowly, with the largest and most powerful Elementals having taken may hundreds of years to reach their current form.
Ecology and Habitats
An Elemental’s preferred habitat depends greatly on the element that they are tied to. Fire Elementals for example prefer to live in very hot places, preferably with access to open flames, and therefore are often found living near volcanoes and the like, or near creatures such as Dragons that create fire. On the other hand, Water Elementals are most likely to be found living in open bodies of water; seas, rivers or lakes, or around heavily waterlogged areas such a marshes or swamps. It is possible for Elementals to survive away from their naturally preferred environment, but as they feed on the energies of their element type, the longer they are away from their preferred habitat, the weaker they will get. This knowledge has been used to great effect by those looking to capture Elementals for use in Elemental Cores, who might damn a river where an Elemental is known to live, causing the creature to move in search of more water, making them weaker and easier to capture.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Elementals feed on their associated element, drawing energy from it to sustain themselves. Therefore Fire Elementals need to be near fire or sources of extreme heat in order to survive, whilst Air Elementals need to be near sources of high, constant winds, so tend to be found on mountain tops or other elevated places.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Before the rise of the Empire of Turelion, Elementals were not used for any purpose by the sapient species of Kelbonnar, but since the invention of Elemental Cores, the creatures are now very much in demand. Teams are frequently dispatched to the wilder regions of the Empire to seek out all types of Elementals, so that they can be bound into cores and power the various processes that have been enabled since the discovery of the technology.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Elementals are not tied to one particular geographical area, but can live wherever they can find their chosen element. However, because of this tie to their associated elements, Elementals are often limited to where they can thrive. Water Elementals for instance are generally only found in areas of water, such as seas and lakes, or heavily waterlogged areas, such as marshes. Given the much more abundant states of there Elements, Earth Elementals and Air Elementals have the widest spread across Kelbonnar. However, whereas Earth Elementals will tend to prefer to live in areas away from civilisation, Air Elementals are the only type of Elementals known to exploit the construction activities of the sapient species of the Empire of Turelion. They have been found living atop the tallest buildings in towns and cities, taking advantage of the access it gives them to consistent air currents.
Though Elementals would not be classed as sapient, they are intelligent creatures and should not be approached without extreme caution. Their way of reproducing also means that they retain the memories of the individual that they separated from, meaning that an Elemental’s memories can span back through hundreds, if not thousands of years of collective memory. This means that as a species they have learned to be hostile to the humanoid sapient species that make up the subjects of the Empire of Turelion, who have systematically hunted them for use in Elemental Cores for so long. Elementals are likely to either hide or attack whenever they sense a humanoid nearby. Elementals that manage to escape from Elemental Cores have been known to seek revenge against any humanoids they can find within reach, and to continue to mercilessly attack and kill any humanoid they come across for the rest of their days in retaliation to their treatment.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Because they are tied so strongly to their associated element, Elementals are able to manipulate their element to an extent. This might manifest in them being able to conjure water or fire, or telekinetically lift rocks or move earth.
Though Elementals are not deemed to be rare or endangered, their numbers are definitely on the wane as they are constantly in demand for the production of Elemental Cores. Certain types of Elementals, principally Earth Elementals, are much more commonly found than others, principally because Earth Elemental Cores cannot be put to as many uses as other varieties, and therefore Earth Elementals are hunted less frequently.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
An Elemental’s markings and colouring, like their physical shape depend on their associated elements. Water Elementals will tend to have blue or turquoise colouring, often with markings reminiscent of scales, whilst Earth Elementals will tend to be brown or green in colouring with rock or vegetation like markings. Air Elementals tend to be the strangest when it comes to colouring, they can have white colouring and markings to blend in with clouds, but they are often practically translucent and barely distinguishable from the air around them.