Sunday, May 11, 2008

Magic: Which Magical Elements Govern What Materials

Channelers with ties to the physical elements, air, water, earth, metal, life, and death can only use their powers on or with materials of their particular element. There can be confusion over just what exactly each element can control, and this post will try to clear some of that up. This is especially important because when transmuting a material, a channeler can only change what he or she is manipulating into something else he or she can manipulate. Transmutations with channeling magic are partially illusory: the material remembers its original material composition, size, and shape, which causes it to revert to its original form if its magic is dispelled. This can be dangerous - a party of adventurers who subsist entirely on artificially created food or water can wind up starving to death or dehydrating instantly if they have a particularly powerful dispel magic cast on them. If given enough time, such transmuted materials will eventually become "real" but this usually takes weeks or months before they can no longer be dispelled to their original form, and their magical nature will still register on detection spells.

What Air governs: Gases, aerosols, clouds, steam, smoke from a pipe or a cigarette, and particulates in air such as dust or sand. Air channelers can produce poisonous gases, aerosols that are microscopic water droplets suspended in the air, or even create particulates of physical earth like dust and smoke. Air channelers have an easy time manipulating and controlling gases and things suspended in air, although if they attempt to make an aerosol too concentrated it can begin to precipitate out of their control. Particulates transmuted into air that become too heavy for the air to hold will vanish upon precipitation, their half-illusory existence becoming dispelled. What Air does not govern: supercooled gases that have condensed to liquid or solid form, superheated liquids or solids that have become a gas significantly hotter than water's boiling point. Fires or plasma.

What Water governs: Most fluids, such as liquid water, alcohols, acids, bases, solutions, oils, poisons, blood and bile, and even mercury. What water does not govern: Super-dense solutions such as syrups, gelatins or puddings. Water also does not govern ice or steam. Water does not govern super-hot fluids like magma, nor supercooled fluids such as liquid nitrogen. The "water" element can more accurately be described as a "fluid" element, and like air, it can produce illusory quantities of materials that do not normally fall under its influence, such as the living cells in blood or the minerals in many solutions or poisons. Like air, attempting to create excess amount of these particulates and solutions cause the excess particulates to precipitate and vanish.

What Earth governs: Mud, clay, minerals, stone, soil, feces, compost that has decayed past the point of identifying what it was in life, plastics, rubbers, crystals, gems, glass, and chemical combinations of metal and minerals that are no longer metallic nor conduct electricity. Ice and snow also fall under the category of earth, but only if the ambient temperature is cold enough for such materials to form naturally. What earth does not cover: Magma is far too hot for an earth channeler to shape or control, though a channeler with the right skill can "liquefy" earth into a magma-like substance that doesn't have the extreme heat, but can still smother and envelop and prove quite deadly.

What Metal governs: All metals, alloys and metallic substances, including mercury and precious metals such as gold, silver and copper. What metal does not govern: chemical combinations of metal and minerals which do not conduct electricity, such as bone or many biological substances.

What Life governs: All living things, such as animals, plants, fungus, bacteria, viral contagions, etc. Life channelers can also control and create blood, organs, sperm, and other such things. What life does not govern: Anything that has died, or anything that was never alive. What life partially governs: As an exception to the normal rule, a life channeler can create oils, mucuses, gelatins, puddings, resins, plastics, rubbers, excreted waste, poisons and other substances created from biological processes but are not themselves alive. Such things keep their illusory transmutation until dispelled, but until dispelled the channeler loses the ability to manipulate such things anymore.

What Death governs: Dead and dried leaves, objects made of wood, anything dead but not yet fully decayed such as bone, organs or meat. Many food products also fall under the element of death. What Death does not govern: bacterial or viral contageons, things that have recently died but whose cells are still alive, dead things that have decompsed enough that earth channelers can control such things, nor non-living things created from life processes such as oils, mucouses, resins, plastics, rubbers, excreted wastes or poisons.

What Kanna governs: Kanna governs all physical things which are not too hot, because excess heat has been known to destabilize a channeler's ability to control materials. It can govern many things that are supercooled that normal channelers cannot, though kanna channelers cannot supercool the substances themselves. As a rule, the only channelers that can significantly change the temperature of something are cold channelers and fire channelers .

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