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Ecalsneerg

Classic Elementals [IC]

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Siobhan stamped through the forest in her thick hiking boots. It was a damp, drizzly morning and the muddy ground was squelching underneath her boots. Damn need to be close to nature... I could've flown in, but nooo, I had to be spiritual at 5AM... She again closed her eyes and tried to feel the stirring of elemental power in the woods.

It's nearby. She turned, and walked into the centre of a nearby clearing, snapping her fingers as she went. In a hiss of magical energy, she was in her costume of white shirt and pants under a black long coat. Of course, having not thought ahead enough, the mud squelched up and onto her clean clothes. "Urgh," she said, scrunching up her nose.

Then, she pulled the wand from her pocket, turning in a perfect circle and gesturing with the wand. As she did so earth and mud rose up and formed a rough pentagram shape around herself. Equinox made a gesture, spectral white wings of force raising her up off the ground in a meditative cross-legged position.

And then she began chanting with her eyes closed, offering a prayer to the Lord and Lady before she did so.

"O Spirit of fire, spirit of air,

Spirit of water and earth and ae-ther,

I search for your aid,

I search for your might,

By the spirit of moon,

And the lady of night."

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It wasn't long before Siobhan felt a presence approaching from her right. Tempest was an elemental creature unlike any other. He was of the elements, a part of them, and yet, somehow above them as well. He made his way through the trees, both he walking around them, and the trees seeming to move out of his way of their own volition. Regardless of what he did, his eyes never left Siobhan. He was drawn to her like a moth to a flame. She was different from anything else he had felt before. It felt like she was calling him, what could this mean?

He stopped a couple of feet away from Siobhan, taking a moment to really study her. "I offer you my greetings human." It was always best to start with formalities. "It is my assumption that you already know of me. Therefore it is my understanding that being the unknown party, you should be the one initiate the conversation once the greetings have been completed." Although he said this quite matter of factly, Siobhan could sense a touch of nervousness and hesitancy in his voice at the end.

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Equinox felt the distinct hum of elemental energy as the elemental approached. It's strong... wow, it's strong. She let her wings dissipate and dropped onto the floor again, standing up straight to face Tempest. Bowing low, she came back up again with a solemn look on her face.

"My name is Siobhan Drake, also known as Equinox. I'm a witch from the city. And I've come to investigate the tales of a powerful elemental being in the woods in order to further my studies into elemental magic." Her face softened slightly. "Can you help?"

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"Greetings Siobhan Drake Equinox human." replied Tempest with a nod. He paused for a moment to contemplate his words. "I am unfamiliar with the principals governing what you humans refer to as magic. The feats of "magic" that I utilize are as natural and intuitive as breathing from my own perspective. But perhaps that is what I can offer you Siobhan Drake Equinox human; perspective." Tempest continued explaining "I am more acutely attuned to the ebb and flow of energy and life than many humans are. If you so wish, I may be able to expand upon your own knowledge in these fields. Without knowledge of how magic works however, I will be unable to guide you to the proper application of this knowledge. Though as one of your philosopher humans has said "the pursuit of knowledge is its own reward."

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"Greetings Siobhan Drake Equinox human." replied Tempest with a nod. He paused for a moment to contemplate his words.

"Um... it's Siobhan, or Equinox, you don't really need to say both. But if you want to..." said Siobhan, suddenly uncertain of herself.

"I am unfamiliar with the principals governing what you humans refer to as magic. The feats of "magic" that I utilize are as natural and intuitive as breathing from my own perspective. But perhaps that is what I can offer you Siobhan Drake Equinox human; perspective." Tempest continued explaining "I am more acutely attuned to the ebb and flow of energy and life than many humans are. If you so wish, I may be able to expand upon your own knowledge in these fields. Without knowledge of how magic works however, I will be unable to guide you to the proper application of this knowledge. Though as one of your philosopher humans has said "the pursuit of knowledge is its own reward."

"Well, just because you can do it naturally, doesn't mean it's not magic, it just means that because you're not human, you don't perform it like we have to," she mused. "And, after all, you can learn how to properly control things you can do naturally. Like people who can control and manipulate their breathing consciously. All you need to do is figure out how you do what you do."

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"Ah yes, I do seem to have trouble grasping these, names? you humans seem to have such an affinity for. It is one of the many aspects of human culture that I am still attempting to grasp fully Equinox human. It is something I hope to refine with further human interaction." explained Tempest casually.

Tempest's eyes flare momentarily and a few moments later, a small dusting of snow descends from the sky as the temperature take a dip. "Would you classify this as magic Equinox human? And if so, what qualities about this drew you to this conclusion?" said Tempest, obviously listening intently to Equinox's answer. As far as Equinox could tell, the "storm" was incredibly small in area and as the moments passed, the area heated up back to its prior temperature.

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"Well," said Equinox slowly. He did it... so easily. When I do it, I need to be at full power or it just takes so much out of me! "Nothing says it isn't magic...." Now, if I can just remember the Latin... Pulling out her wand, she raised it to the sky and narrowed her eyes in concentration.

"CONGELO!"

In a flurry of arctic winds and chunks of hailstones, flakes of snow briefly fell from the sky before Equinox ended the spell with a gesture. "Difference being, like you say, you find it much easier."

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Tempest just cocked his head to the side at Equinox's little display of magic. He sat like that for what felt like ages, he didn't make a comment on anything or even ask any questions. He was just lost in thought. If you didn't know better, it would have been safe to assume that he had just fallen asleep. Finally he broke his silence "You found that task difficult did you not?" questioned Tempest seemingly already knowing the answer. "My analysis of the process you used to generate the desired effect is non existant, I am merely able to observe the change in the systems themselves. I can see the effects, not the cause as it were." said Tempest as a disclaimer before giving his insight. "From my perspective, it seems you are focusing too much of your energy on achieving the desired result. You are not paying enough attention to the journey as it were. You are fighting the natural order rather than simply guiding it to a desired end."

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Equinox raised an eyebrow at this last statement. "Well, it both is and isn't fighting the natural order. I mean, magic exists and is perfectly natural, but no matter how you look at it, most people can't just change the weather when they want."

"I'm not entirely sure what you mean by fighting the natural order, though. I'm not sure what would give you that impression."

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"You didn't use what you were given." answered Tempest simply. "While it is not windy here at the ground level due to the trees, the air is far more active at the higher elevations. Due to the fact that it is already as you humans would say, drizzling, all of the components necessary for snow are already there, just not in the appropriate mixture. As it is still very early in the morning, this area is relatively cold when compared to the areas east of here which are now only just getting the sun's rays." Tempest paused a moment to raise a highly detailed miniaturized version of the city out of the ground, which changed subtly to match Tempest's continued explanation. "This heating creates a difference a wind current, as well as evaporating the morning dew. By increasing the wind speed moderately and raising them temperature in this area, it will draw this front here more towards the east to replace the heated air that is rising. This will allow the colder air coming in off the bay and from the cold front to our north to move into this area. When these fronts meet, combined with the front that rose and moved west from the East after being heated and then cooled in the upper atmosphere, it creates a small localized snow storm, which lasts just a moment before the air masses are warmed by the masses off the city and return once again to drizzle."

"From what I saw, you declared that this area should snow, and forced the air masses in this area to change to meet your needs. I just nudged one of the processes that was already occurring, and everything else fell into place. That is what I meant by fighting the order."

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Siobhan stood with her jaw hanging down before realizing she was gawping. "Wow. You just... know all that? It took humans centuries of scientific experimentation to be able to accurately estimate that, and you just know how to do it." She rubbed her forehead.

"Thing is, how am I supposed to know all that accurately, when I need to know it? I can't memorise the weather at the start of the day, as it'll have changed by the afternoon, and changed again by evening."

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"I am far more proficient in this style of magic, if that is indeed what it is, than you are Equinox human, but that does not mean that it is impossible for you to do." comforted Tempest. "In truth, I don't know these details so much as I feel them, it is intuitive for me to use these means. If you decide to implement part of what I have demonstrated into your own magic, it will likely take a conscious effort on your part. The point is that even if you use just a piece of what I have showed you, it will make your magic stronger and easier. You may never come to rely on my method entirely, but you can use it to supplement and bolster your own magic."

I believe you humans have a saying that "practice makes perfect" yes? With each time you attempt a task you acquire more skill in its application. If asked how one becomes strong, the answer is that you perform tasks that require strength. What was once hard becomes easy, allowing you reach greater heights, and perform feats that were once outside your reach. Every journey begins with but a single step."

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"True," conceded Equinox. "I suppose that's the pain in the butt with elemental magic." Although Tempest couldn't know it, she rarely even swore that mildly, so must be somewhat frustrated. "The elementals, by their very definition, are better at it."

"But that's just one spell. Can you do other things? Such as..." She lifted her wand up to around head height, and spun it quickly in a tight circle. The tip ignited with a gout of flame, shooting off into a puff of smoke, before settling down into a small flame around the size of a lighter's.

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"Indeed." answered Tempest. He held his hands out in front of him, palms facing one another. Gouts of flame passed between his hands, before being focused in a concentrated ball of energy in his hands. While maintaining that ball, the flames became replaced by a frigid blast of ice, which joined the flames in the ball, without canceling one another out. "I am able to perform a similar action in a concentrated offensive action to a single adversary, blanket my surroundings in a similar flux of energy, without harming innocents or allies, or line the exterior of my body with such energy. I am also able to manipulate wind, lightning, earth, water and wood in a similar fashion to how I handle this combination of fire and ice." explained Tempest, eager to see Equinox human's reaction to this variation on his "magic".

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Equinox nodded. "See, that I can do easily, although still not to the same extent as you do. Although I know what the issue there is." She clicked her fingers, sending a splash of water slopping from her hand into the ground, then clicked them again to create a clod of stone and rock to splodge into the now muddier forest floor before fading into nothingness.

"I learned magic using the classical four element system of fire, air, water and earth. And while I know that's not quite how it works, I'm too used to it and I reeeeally need to focus to operate anything else. In theory, I should be able to make ice and lightning. In practice... well, I like fire." She said this last part rather defensively.

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"That is a trait many humans have." remarked Tempest. "Humans are able to achieve a great deal of knowledge and understanding, but are hesitant to broaden their perspectives, even if subconsciously. Accepting that you world view is flawed is an action that humans do not undertake as often as they should. You show maturity beyond your years by taking this first step Equinox human, take pride in that knowledge." said Tempest comfortingly. "I can understand your tendency towards fire; humans have often associated that aspect of nature with aggression and it was the first of the elements humans learned to weaponize in its raw form. It may be easier for you to believe in that element's offensive capability than it is for the other elements. So long as you realize that other elements have their applications as well, you show promise for the future."

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"Also, there's not much can withstand being set on fire. Except for that one golem..." Siobhan looked at the elemental. "The problem might be similar to the snow thing, though. For example, most of the year, it takes too much effort to conjure up a block of ice, because it's too warm. Whereas, fire... give it air, something to burn, that's your pretty much good to go. It's easy, and while that's not ideal for a mystic scholar, as a superhero, it's just too useful to ignore."

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"I will grant you that in your line of work, that fire does indeed have its uses." replies Tempest as he disperses the ice/fire ball. "But the same sort of qualities that make it practical also make it more dangerous. As you are well aware, once fire is released, it becomes more difficult to control and it can continue to do damage all on its own. The other elements simply revert to their non hostile default state. Though perhaps my perspective is lacking, I have never been wanting for a singular element, they have always been at my disposal. I believe you humans have a saying 'If God gives you lemons, make lemonade.' That is a way of saying use what you are given to its greatest benefit yes? While I do believe that is a good addage, it also points out a flaw in human rationalization. How often do you believe humans are truly aware of everything they have at their disposal?"

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"Rarely, if ever," conceded Equinox. "The problem is, though, humans are just born and thrown into things. We don't instinctively know and feel all the things we're capable of knowing and feeling. I very much doubt any human could ever know everything they could do. You can spend time trying to identify what you can do. Heck, it took me half my childhood to end up practicing magic for the reasons I do know." She paused to reflect on the times past, then took a deep breath and continued. "If I'd known all along what I had to do, would I be the same person? So, while I think knowing your capabilities is important, how you end up knowing them is miles more important."

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"Oh I did not mean to insinuate that humans were ignorant. Humans actually have a frighteningly powerful ability to learn and adapt. Take the example of Eunice Sanborn human for example. You do not know the name. Relatively, she has done no act to cement her place in the time line. Save one: she was born July 20, 1896 and is still alive to this very day. She was 7 years old when her parents read about an amusing prank story that somehow had made it to the front of their newspaper page "Wright Brothers fly like birds!" They had a good laugh about that incident that day. On Eunice Sanborn human's 73rd birthday Lance Armstrong human walked on the moon. It has been 41 years since that day. It is only upon reflection does Eunice Sanborn human realize how far humanity has come during her life time. Like every other human, she has never been truly overwhelmed by the changes that happen; she merely takes them on one at a time, as they come. Learning is a process that comes one step at a time, and it is a process humans rarely ever realize they excel at because it comes so intuitively to them.

I came to this world knowing nothing of humanity. I will never be able to learn all there is about humanity. But I try. I know there is more to it. I know I can better my understanding. So I try. I think that is what being human is. The desire and capacity to improve one's self."

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"You're right," nodded Siobhan. "But gone are the days when it was possible to know everything science had to offer. But one more thing I really wanted to ask: how can you be in such harmony with nature? I appreciate that you're probably like this all the time, but do you know why you're so in touch with it? I usually have to commune with nature for hours, even on solstices, and I don't feel that in touch with it most days."

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