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Which of These is the Strongest Element

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Mari More, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. Mari More

    Mari More Minstrel

    Hi! I'm writing this story where everything revolves around magic users and there are ONLY five elements (but each has many sub elements) namely fire, water, earth, air, and light and shadow. The first four elements are what we're all familiar with while the fifth element is called light and shadow which basically is "existence". The idea behind it is that "it is made with the very existence of Kismet" (their heavenly being or creator of the whole world). I established the fifth element to be the most powerful element as it can erase the existence of mankind if the user wishes to. Now, I want to ask you for help regarding which element is the strongest among the five. Here are some backgrounds of the elements.
    1. Fire. full destructive.
    -can be used to influence someone or control someone using their desire
    -can seduce a person
    -> it goes stronger when the user is in rage or feels an overwhelming emotions.
    2. Water. calm but can be destructive.
    -can heal a person
    -can be used as a shield
    -can predict the future (but only powerful magic users can predict accurately)
    -can freeze a person to death (in some cases, if the magic user is powerful enough they can incase a person in a frozen ice but leave the person inside alive for eternity)
    3. Air. mostly calm.
    -can transport a person/object (teleportation)
    -can control gravity (if the magic user is powerful)
    -can suffocate a person
    -can levitate a person
    -astral projection (can project still image or video but cannot predict the future)
    -> most common element in the country
    4. Earth. compact.
    -can be used as a shield
    -can be used to build infrastructure
    -can detect/manipulate crystals, coals, minerals, salt
    5. Light and Shadow.
    -can blind or give sight to a person
    -can borrow light from objects e,g, stars
    -can enhance or block someone's magic
    -can kill people
    -> was established to be the most powerful element
    -> there are only few magic users noted in history but not all left records about the element so it gradually became a 'lost element'
    -> only one user (MC) after many generations so she was basically left to figure out how to maximize her powers
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  2. LAG

    LAG Troubadour

    In terms of physics, it would be light. Harnessing the power of stars can wipe out an entire planet in a wink. If shadows tie in with antimatter/gravitational density(ie. black holes) it can one-up the light aspect. I see 'air' ties in with gravity so one can play around there, creating black-hole like spells that can absorb light.

    All planetary elements are an outflow from stars forming planets in the first place(depends on cosmological composition of fictional world) so the inherent superiority of gravity, then light, is a given.
    Of course, if a water mage predicts the future of an air or shadow/light mage, they might triumph through precognition. Lighting itself is more air/light and even water based than it is fire based, fire being exothermic while lighting is either atmospheric or conductively electronic(electricity).
    But that's physics stuff, and the whole point of fantasy is to either warp physics, or do away with it altogether until the universe is formless chaos without sequential narrative possibility.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  3. Lynea

    Lynea Sage

    This isn't really what you asked, but the more I think about your magics, the more I agree that lightning should be a part of light and shadow.

    I also wanted to suggest: earth doesn't have to be just ground and rock. It can be plants, animals, seasons, etc. Especially if it comes from one of the five deities, an earth mage can do so much more with it than you currently have. For instance, an earth mage can use a wildshape or summon a spectral animal. They can cast powerful vines to topple large buildings.

    Your fire element sort of confuses me. What does literal fire have to do with emotion? While fire often symbolizes passion or anger, they physically have very little to do with each other. So....I have two ideas: one, you can let shadow govern emotion. Just as light governs existence, shadow can govern the inner being. Two, fire can be replaced with emotion and be visually represented by different colors and sizes of flame.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  4. Mari More

    Mari More Minstrel

    I forgot to add that earth can grown herbs/plants/trees or make it grow faster. they can also shapeshift if they are stronger magic user.
    fire in terms of emotions is not the literal fire. it mainly symbolizes the "fire" within us that drives us to do things when we are so determined to meet our goal, or the 'hotness' a person can have that makes other people make them want the person or do things for that person. i hope i cleared myself on that, i wasn't able to give a detailed background information about my magic system when i asked you guys yesterday and just straight asked for your opinions so maybe it caused a little confusion. but i took some of your answers to consideration and is actually going with it :)
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  5. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Istar

    I strongly advice against having one element being inherently 'better' than all of the others. The magic system should be balanced, otherwise who would want to use the 'weak' elements? If you absolutely have to, I guess Shadow and/or Light could be above the others in power respects, but harder to control so that it is balanced out.
  6. Mari More

    Mari More Minstrel

    it my world, it's the "spirits" who choose a person who they will grant their "magic/power" to. and shadow and light is considered lost element because it's super rare in history and in this timeline/setting, there's only one person who has that element. and that person was left to discover and learn things on her own because the L&S element is not recorded in history books :)
    Vel and S.T. Ockenner like this.
  7. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Istar

    That makes more sense now. Even though it could be considered more powerful, only one person can use it (kind of like Avatar State in Avatar: The Last Airbender or Thu'um in Elder Scrolls)
  8. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    I don't believe any one element is "stronger" than any other. Each has their usefulness depending the situation. It does depend on the limits you place on each of the elements of course. If shadow cannot be used for overt combat (i.e. a mallet of shadow that bludgeons a target) and can only be used for passive abilities, then obviously in a combat situation, fire or possibly air would be stronger. Against a fire dragon though? Not so much. If there aren't any limits on the sorts of spells that can be created, then it would depend on the situation which one is more useful.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.

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