The 8th World
The True elements are the magical essences of the five elemental planes—air, earth, fire, water and wood—concentrated into physical form on the material plane. These highly magical substances form the basis of many of the magical arts in the world. Magicians make extensive use of a rare form of True earth known as orichalcum in magical work. A single unit of a True element is known as a kernel, so called because it is similar in size to a kernel of corn. The exact size of an elemental kernel may vary, depending on the purity and strength of the sample. Very pure kernels of True elements are usually quite small but offer great magical power.
True elements occur in places where the barriers between the physical world and the elemental planes are thinnest. In such places, small portions of the magical essences of the elements collect in a material form that can be gathered using specific techniques. True air is found high in the sky and in high places of powerful winds, such as lofty mountaintops. It usually appears as small swirls of pure, cold air that almost scintillates.
True earth is found deep in the ground or sometimes on the sides of mountains where it has been exposed by natural geological activity. It usually appears as semi-translucent crystal of varying gemlike colors. True fire is found in places of great heat or burning, such as the Death’s Sea and volcanoes. On rare occasions it forms in large forest fires or other conflagrations. True fire appears as a flame or point of near blinding red-white light.
True water is found deep in the sea, at the surface of storm-tossed seas (lifted from the depths), at the bottom of rushing rivers (or in their rapids) or in waterfalls. It appears as pure, cold water that sparkles more brightly than natural water. True wood is found only in the deepest primeval forests. It is the rarest of the True elements because of the devastation wrought by the Horrors and the resulting corruption. The True elements combine with each other in various ways based on their natures. Each element can be neutralized by one of the other elements as described in The Litany of the Elements, an ancient oral tradition.
Wood destroys Earth, by covering it.
Fire destroys Wood, by burning it.
Water destroys Fire, by quenching it.
Air destroys Water, by drying it.
Earth destroys Air, by smothering it.
Any time a portion of a True element is combined with an equal part of its opposing element, the first True element is destroyed. When combined, some of the True elements, such as True fire and True air, can produce spectacular and explosive results. Because of this potential, kernels of True elements are always stored separately from one another.
Except for True wood, True elements must be stored in containers made of orichalcum. True water can be stored briefly in non-orichalcum containers, but after two or three days the True water will begin seeping through the container.
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