The Elements are a recurring theme in Aserra, and not in the way of the periodic table. In our world, we are familiar with a common set of four basic elements (sometimes more) that reoccur in many cultures, Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. Greek philosophers added a fifth element is added; aether or quintessence--the essence of life. In Chinese tradition, there are five as well, though these are denoted as Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. Cultures across our world have determined their own sets of elements, mostly revolving around the basic four of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. These elements are often applied in characterizing people in various forms of astrology. Aserra is no different in this fascination of basic elements, though they have a standard set of seven elements, which are recognized by all peoples of the world. The first element is Air, followed by Water, Earth, Fire, Life, Light, and Dark.
Perhaps it was Nydoini herself who started this tradition, aligning each of her seven children to elements, and these children then creating races based around these elements. Or it can be attributed to the elemental spirits, which came into existence all on their own. Regardless of the influence, this universal idea of seven elements that Aserrans have has an impact on their cultures, aside from just the elemental races. Magic, especially any magic that invokes elemental spirits, relies on it. It plays a role in astrology, and in the interpretation of people’s personalities, but no matter where you go, the seven elements are found all over Aserra.
Considered to be the first element, Air includes the concept of breath, wind and weather under its auspices. Zelan, the first born child of Orran’sulani and Nydoini is the Elemental God of Air. His realm is the Plane of Air, the Whispering Heavens of D’neiw, home to the spirit Sylph. Also under his domain are the Silver Dragons, fathered by his bonded dragon Vorkas. Zelan is responsible for the Zaedyn as well, which are winged beings with the souls of Sylph.
Those aligned with the element of Air are often attributed with intellect, open-mindedness, free-spiritedness, sociability, and changeability. They can be flaky and unreliable, following their own whims. They can seem aloof, detached, and cool, or curious and outgoing. Typically, they are mind above heart, following reason and logic before giving into emotion. Air elementals are also flexible, adaptable, and often have a love for finding new experiences and traveling to new places. Freedom is an important need for Air elementals, they do not like to be tied down or confined.
Water is the second element, one of the most important necessities of life. Maris, second born to Orran’sulani and Nydoini, is the Elemental Goddess of Water. Her plane is the Deep Ocean of Welis, home of the water elemental, Undine. Her race is the Mariel, aquatic beings that inhabit Aserra’s oceans. Sea serpents, water dwelling dragons descended from Asimeth are under her domain as well.
Those associated with the water element are emotionally intuitive and often show a talent for psychic abilities. They are often calm, introspective people who “go with the flow” of life. They are not quick to anger, but when angered, it hits hard and leaves devastation in its path, much like a flash flood. Water elementals can be nurturing and supportive, thanks to their intuitiveness, and are usually easy to get along with. Blue and blue-green shades are colors associated with water.
The third element of Earth relates to the ground, dirt, soil, rocks, and metals. It is ruled over by the Goddess Brecha, third born to Orran’sulani and Nydoini. Brecha has control over the Rock Kingdom of Enos and the Earth elemental spirit Gnome. Her race is the Brech’mar, a stout race that often lives underground and within mountains, or work the land outside of their underground cities. Subterranean dwelling dragons known as Wyrms also fall under the Earth element, descending from Brecha’s dragon Urobolus.
Those associated with the Earth element share common traits of steadfastness, stubbornness, practicality, honesty, cautiousness, pragmatism, reliability, and sensibility. Earth elementals are grounded and focus on what’s tangible and achievable. They make reliable friends and allies, but they can also be overly rigid, materialistic, and stubborn. Earthen brown and stone grey, as well as metallic colors, are often associated with the Earth element.
Fire is the fourth element, a rather delicate, but destructive element associated with flames, lava, and heat. It is ruled over by Alaezo, Elemental God of Fire. His realm is the Burning Mountains of Magnal, inhabited by the elemental spirit Salamander, and his people are the Asath, a race of half-snake, half-man people with the souls of Salamander. Red Dragons, descended of Kezho, are aligned with the Fire element.
Those who are associated with the Fire element are often people ruled by their emotions, heart above head. They can be passionate in their love, relationships, and ambitions, but they can also be easily angered and provoked. Fire elementals often have great faith in themselves, though this can manifest as a massive ego or simple self-confidence, often making them great leaders through their charisma and confidence in their own abilities, though they may not be good at delegating responsibilities for those who are seduced by their leadership. They are often energetic people, very honest and straightforward; sometimes to the extent of being naïve and gullible when they believe that everyone else is just as much of an open book as they are. Red, orange, and yellow are associated with the Fire element.
The fifth element, Life, is rather unique and a bit harder to quantify than the others. This element is the essence of life; quintessence, andmana itself. Entra, the fifth born child of Orran’sulani and Nydoini is the Goddess of Life. Her realm is the Maze of Dreams, which is also the home of the fae, whom she rules over. Her people are the Nafod, which were incarnated with the souls of three different kinds of Nymphs and exist in three forms; the Ochae’nafod, incarnated with the souls of Nymphs and bonded to animal species, which they can transform into; the Dra’nafod, incarnated with the souls of Dryads and are bonded to trees, which they can shape-shift into in order to hide; and the Marfod, incarnated with the souls of Nereid and inhabit the oceans of Aserra alongside the Mariel. Entra also adopted the Fayl’Idayn and incarnates them with the souls of Faeries, granting them to use of Fae magic, whereas the Nafod use Life Elementalism. Green Dragons are also associated with the element of life, and are descended of Entra’s dragon Sh’Laife.
Those associated with the Life element are often nurturers, rather timid, empathetic, affectionate, and pacifistic. They make very loving parents and are often family oriented when born into a sign of the life element. Conflict is something they tend to avoid, often trying to resolve conflicts or escape them without facing the true cause of the problem. They are aware of the emotions of other, and often show a great propensity toward telepathic abilities. Life elementals are easily disheartened by death and show a great affection for living things beyond humans; they appreciate plants and animals in a way that most people would think to be frivolous. Green is the color most often associated with the Life element.
Light is the sixth element in Aserra, which could be considered, at its most basic, sunlight. While it is represented by the sun or sunlight, in Aserra it is equally associated with purity and the color white. While Idraen, the Elemental God of Light represents this element, Orran’sulani was also considered to be “of the Light”, and his son Idraen is noted to be much like him in personality and appearance; basically, Orran’sulani’s “spitting image”. This is what made him the most worthy successor to Orran’sulani after his death.
The Elemental “plane” of light exists within Zephaer, the City of the Gods, on the second of seven levels. This second level is where the light spirits reside. These light spirits are also the souls of the Idayn race, which was created by Idraen. The Idayn are Light Elementalists, though they have broken off into a number of sub-races, none of which, except for certain tribes of Eain’Idayn still use Light Elementalism. White dragons are also associated with the element of Light and are descended of Idraen’s dragon Nyusha. Angels are also aligned with Light.
Those who are aligned with the Light element walk a line between positive and negative aspects of the element. At their worst, Light elementals can be extremely righteous and convinced of their own moral superiority, looking down on all those who do not share the same views. At best, they are ethical, peace-loving, and enlightened. Many light elementals fall between these two extremes. White is the main color associated with the Light element, but gold is acceptable as well.
The seventh and final element of Aserra is Dark. It exists in symbiosis with Light, though they are often at odds with each other. Dark includes darkness, shadows, sometimes “void,” and similar concepts. It is ruled over Ispa, the Goddess of Darkness and twin sister of Idraen. The plane of darkness exists within the sixth level Aserra’s “hell,” the Seven Infernal Chambers of Malbolge, just as the light plane is within Zephaer. Dark spirits known as Shades are the elemental spirits of Dark and the source of souls for Ispa’s race, the Danaij, a race of black-skinned Dark Elementalists. Demons are also aligned with Dark, as are Black Dragons, which are descended of Ispa’s dragon Alaas’th. The Forsaken Land is a place ruled by Dark on the Prime Material Plane.
Those aligned with the element of Dark can sometimes be considered evil, but darkness is not interchangeable with evil. A Dark individual may have virtuous goals, but their ways of attaining them will not likely be the same as someone aligned with Light. Yet, dark elementals are often drawn to “sin”, and can easily fall victim to wrath, lust, gluttony, greed, envy, vanity, or sloth. They are typically cunning, manipulative, and deceptive. Their ethics are often a personal set, defined by their needs. Black is the color associated with Dark, but dark violet is also acceptable and a covert signal.