Apr 5, 2012

E is for...


Okay, so I'm not really talking about those elements... but that song would have been pretty short if it was about my Elements. In my series, The Will of the Elements, I like to think that there 5 prime elements: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, and Lightning. I know what you're thinking. Lightning? No, Sky, you misspelled "Heart" (or possibly Aether or Metal or Void, depending on your school of thought). So let me break this down.

To paraphrase the Greeks, an Element may be defined as the most basic unit of any material thing. Of particular interest to me is the human body. Let's say that the human body is composed of the four classical elements - earth, wind, water, and fire. Earth for the body, wind for the breath, water for the blood, and fire for the warmth. Well, the ancient Greeks (in addition to many other other cultures) said there was a fifth element, something heavenly and unchangeable. The Egyptians called it the soul, in Hinduism it is Akasha (Ether), to the Japanese it is Spirit. In the world I created, I considered the human body, the nervous system and the brain, and the electrical impulses therein. And I decided that the fifth Element should be Lightning.

A brief fantasy history lesson: A thousand years before the events of Wind-Scarred, the world ended. Or at least, the world as we know it ended. Without spoiling anything, I can tell you that mankind was driven from their cities, technology became taboo, and a new religion that involved the worship of the Mother and her five children, the Elements, swept the globe. Well, with one exception, but that's kind of the point of the series.

Some time after The Fall of Man, normal people began to develop powers, specifically control over the five elements. Strangely, these people all shared personality traits, but more on that in a moment. Each group of elementalists took up a name and a function in the world, becoming institutions in and of themselves. They are as follows:

Fire-kissed possessed the power to maniplulate heat, and displayed unnaturally high body temperatures with no apparent side effects. Each and every one of them exhibited exceptional drive, ambition, and passion, even before their powers developed. They naturally fell into the role of leadership, banding together to form a global governmental body known as the Beloved. Political power quickly became synonymous with being a member of their ranks.

Water-seers, those with supernatural control over water, were marked with all-blue eyes. They came exclusively from the ranks of healers, those who tended life, who saved it where they could and took it when they must. Together, they formed the Temples of Life and dedicated themselves to becoming the keepers of life. For the right price, they could save anyone. For the right price, no-one would be safe from them.

Wind-scarred could move the air as they saw fit, recognizable by the practically unbreakable pattern of fine, silver scars that covered their bodies. Universally, they were criminals. But they were spectacular criminals. Con men who ripped off whole towns, bandits who gave back to the poor, pirates who only stole from heavily armed Beloved vessels. These were the wind-scarred. Always colorful, always criminal, and above all, always entertaining.

Earth-crowned commanded the earth, and the earth jumped to obey. Each of them bore a spike of stone that jutted up from their forehead, often accompanied by a ring of floating rocks and gems. Prior to their powers, they were all pillars of their communities, the kind of people who would tenaciously defend friends and neighbors, and would always uphold what they believed to be right. Earth-crowned became wandering judges, dispensing justice to the common folk and holding no-one above their word. Only a fool would dispute the ruling of one of the earthen.

Finally, thunder-struck exhibited mastery over electricity. Oh, but don't call them that, at least not to their face. The Children of Lightning arose from the most devout followers of the new religion, the true believers. And after their powers manifested, the true zealots. Woe to the city that wasn't pious enough when a Son or Daughter appeared... their conversion campaigns tended to be heavy on the smiting of nonbelievers.

I've had a lot of fun writing my series in this world. Book 1, Wind-Scarred, is currently available on Amazon and will soon be out in other major ebook marketplaces. Book 2, Water-Seer, will be out later this month, with the conclusion, Child of Lightning, scheduled to release toward the end of the year.

It's Elemental, my dear readers.

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