There are six aspects of creation. It is known. These aspects mingle and suffuse all things living and unliving- all peoples, all buildings, all places. The shifting influences of the elements affects all things, and to those versed in its secrets, the power can be manipulated and redirected. But only if it is properly understood!
Light, truth, will, vitality, logic. The light of the Sun is present in torches and lanterns, but also in academic tomes, in the eyes of believers, in the ring of truth in an orator’s words.
Shadows, secrets, reflection, instincts, emotion. The Moon is present in the hushed words of conspirators, in the sing-song of a parent soothing their crying child, in the in-jokes of friends, in lies and in a bard’s song.
Burning, passion, warmth, clearing, regrowth, unpredictability. Fire lives inside a lover’s embrace, in a thunderstorm, in spring cleaning, in the roll of the dice and in sharp-tongued insults.
Movement, dryness, wandering, speed, information, seeking. Air is where merchants discuss far-off events, in the breath of a ranger, inside the lungs of a man truly free.
Cool, wet, concealing, smothering, nurturing, returning, relentless. You can find water in a mother’s kiss, in the peaceful afterglow of a spring rain, in the endless siege of your hometown, and in the inevitable destruction of your plans.
Solid, stubborn, heavy, patient, grounded, sensual. You will find Earth in the promises of your best friend, in the relaxed guard of a veteran soldier, and in the bones of a farmer.
It is not enough, for the purposes of a mage-to-be to merely be in the presence of this element. It must have unharnessed energy- the potential for more! In practical terms, this means it is not enough to simply stand on the coast and hope to channel its power. The water energy there is already in use, powering endless chains of predator and prey, crashing against stones, or overturning ships. Instead, there must be a potentiality and a focus.
Veteran mages often, therefore, will create purpose-built ritual areas that harness natural energies into a useful focus point. Imagine the vast geomancies possible in the now-ruined Standing Stones in Northmarch! Or the power one would command were they to wrest the Sacred Fires from the oligarchs in Mumodia, with its colossal burn pits and a bonfire that reaches the skies itself and scorches the clouds!
Proper magic, therefore, takes time and study. Many young sorcerers find delight in eking out a miniscule bit of power here and there and then flinging motes of, say, fire at those who bedevil them. Who could blame them? The instant gratification after years of study; the rush is intense! But there is so very much more to the study than such trivial efforts.
Lastly, there is another ‘element’ worth discussing: Void.
Emptiness, despair, hopelessness, fear, cessation, forgetting. You will find void in the eyes of living dead folk, behind hateful words that were never meant to be true, in forgetting the name of your first love, behind the stars. It is the bleak coldness of a dungeon, the breakdown of society, in the refusal to live and love.
Void cannot be harnessed or made to be useful. Void exists as a sucking annihilation of all other elements, and can be conceptualized only as that which all else lacks. Nevertheless, it does exist, and the conscientious mage does their best to avoid it when possible. It is the force that ends all force, the energy that destroys energy. It is entropy made manifest, and renders the will-working of a skilled mage inert.