The elementalism used by the elemental races (Zaedyn, Mariel, Brech’mar, Asath, Nafod, Idayn, and Danaij) is a form of spiritual energy. The elemental spirits are manifestations of the elements (air, water, earth, fire, life, light, and darkness in Aserran tradition) themselves, and for them, using their element comes as naturally as using an arm or a leg for a human. As the elemental races are spirits given flesh, using their element comes naturally to them as well, and works much in the same way as it does for the spirits. The ability slowly matures from early childhood alongside cognitive and fine motor skills. By the teenage years, most youth of the elemental races begin to receive training in their abilities to hone them toward a specific career goal that is beneficial to the community.
Elementalism can be applied toward everyday life and the simplest tasks require very little expenditure of spirit energy. In combat, elementalism can be applied to do more damage than a mere weapon or physical feat alone; air elementalists can employ gusts of wind and change air pressure in concert with their weapon; water elementalists can manipulate currents and pressure in the water; earth elementalists can turn the very ground against their opponent; and so on. Even the common people of an elementalist community put their magic to practical use, often using elementalism in construction, artistry, and craftsmanship. The most talented elementalists often become priests in their communities; serving as both a spiritual leader, communing with fellow elemental spirits, and honing their talent to its greatest potential.
Unlike other forms of magic, Elementalism is not readily learned by individuals of other races. As the source of the ability lies in the elemental spirit bound to the soul of the elementalist, it cannot be taught to one who possesses a normal soul. The ability for elementalism is carried on a direct female line of inheritance (mitochondrial). If a child is born to a union of an elementalist mother and father of a different race, the offspring will inherit the mother’s ability, but each successive generation will typically be weaker as the non-elemental heritage makes it harder to connect with one’s inner elemental spirit.
Elementalism is not cast like other spells, though priests may use chants to focus greater and more complicated spells. Typically, it is translated from thought by hand and body gestures, or along combat movements, such as the strike of a sword or spear, or firing of an arrow.