Every human is born affiliated with one of seven elements. This element determines very little for most people - it's a trick of the soul. However, when somebody undergoes intense trauma, sometimes, the powers affiliated with that element will unlock as a protective mechanism. Often this unlocking is violent; sometimes the Elemental in question won't remember getting their powers because of the associated trauma.
There are two ‘types’ of Elementals; core and celestial. The core elementals are fire, earth, air and water. They are considered core since they are tied to the physical world, and all help calm each other; fire calms earth, earth calms air, air calms water, and water calms fire. Celestial elementals on the other hand – sulfur, mercury and salt - have powers that are far more strongly tied to the spiritual and emotional world. Sulfur and mercury cannot be calmed by any other element than salt; salt can stabilize any other element, including itself, with enough time and support.
Each element type has a passive trait as well as an active power; they are usually the same for each elemental of that type, although there are mutated variants that have rare and sought-after superpowers. Active powers are things that people can do; passive traits are just what it says on the tin – traits or features common to all Elementals of that type.
Active Power: Pyrokinesis
Passive Trait: High body temperature
Unstable state: Uncontrolled fires
Mutations: Pyromancy, telepresence through flames
Fire is considered the most unstable of the core elements. Fire elementals can actively control and spontaneously generate fire, often in response to their own emotions. It varies from person to person whether or not they are affected by their own flames, how volatile their powers are in response to their emotions, and how hot their reactionary flames tend to be. Their passive trait is usually that their blood ‘runs hot’ – aka, that their body temperature runs on the extreme high end of normal, again fluctuating with their emotions. Recorded mutations include the ability to see and/or predict the future in flames (with varying consistency), and, more rarely, telepresence; the ability to perceive and interact with things near fires through one’s own fire, limited in strength by the size of the flame. When fire destabilizes they start lighting uncontrolled flames, but can be calmed by the presence and/or touch of a water elemental.
Active Power: Invisibility
Passive Trait: Fast healing (at the very high end of normal range - bruises and scrapes often barely register, scabs appear quickly, etc.)
Unstable State: Uncontrolled reactions in nearby water (a specific elemental will freeze or boil it depending on their personality).
Mutations: Healing others, remembrancy through water
Water elementals are considered to be very private as a general rule. They possess the ability to make themselves invisible, and while it is not usually as obvious as with fire elementals, like with any set of powers, this can also be in response to emotions, especially during high-stress situations – disappearing from sight while feeling humiliated, for example. Variance within their active ability is rare, but some water elementals can remain invisible for some than others – some people compare it to holding their breath, while others can actually forget that they are invisible to others. Water’s passive trait is a fast healing factor, usually on the high end of normal, but occasionally fast enough to garner notice. However, there is a startlingly high percentage of water elementals who – when pushed – discover that they can also heal others to some degree or another. The other recorded mutation for Water elementals is an ability to see the past in the water – their own past, and the pasts of others. When Water elementals destabilize, sources of water near them begin to either boil or freeze, depending on the elemental.
Active Power: Telekinesis (moving objects around mentally)
Passive Trait: High natural strength
Unstable State: Quaking/shaking of nearby objects, at extreme end localized earthquakes.
Mutations: Ability to mend broken things (kintsukuroi), touching and understanding makeup of objects
Known Elementals: Aeris Kurosawa, Zachary 'Silver' Finnegan, Guadalupe Martinez, Jareth Jones
Earth elementals are stereotyped as blunt and straightforward. Earth elementals have as their active power the power of telekinesis – moving things with their mind. The strength, range and details of this vary from person to person. Unlike many elementals, however, this power usually does not react to emotions on its own, although its power is often heightened by it. As a passive trait, Earth elementals are stronger than normal for their size. However, some earth elementals possess other abilities such as the ability to mend broken things (leaving obvious coloured seams behind) or to touch and understand the makeup of something – ie. knowing what’s in a meal or which wood was used to make a table. When Earth elementals destabilize, they can cause small, localized earthquakes – although the size and intensity can vary.
Active Power: Wingless flight
Passive Trait: High agility and speed (high end of normal range)
Unstable State: Air pressure instability - area close to them will fluctuate in pressure; stabilized instantly by an Earth or Salt elemental or more slowly through controlled breathing, etc.
Mutations: Clairaudience and superpowered scream.
Known Elementals: Cassandra Angevin, Liam
The Celestial Elements correspond to the three celestial elements as put forth by Paracelsus - in which all poisons came from the tria prima, and the three elements also represented the body (salt), the soul’s emotion and desires (sulfur), and the spirit’s imagination and moral judgment (mercury). These three elements are much rarer, more powerful - but also more dangerous.
Active Power: Telepathy (reading and communicating mentally)
Passive trait: Eidetic (photographic) memory
Unstable State: Uncontrolled suggestions and intrusive thoughts. Stabilized instantly by a Salt elemental, or more slowly through anti-anxiety medication, controlled breathing, isolation, etc.
Mutations: None recorded
Known Elementals: Esther Mandel [Little Homes], Willow Moray [Ghosts in Quicksilver], Avery Lavolier [Ghosts in Quicksilver]
Active Power: Shapeshifting
Passive Trait: Long lifespan, and resistance to most diseases. They can be killed, but natural causes tend to pass them over especially with how slowly they age. Also intensely charismatic.
Unstable State: Prone to psychosis, and can affect the perception of reality of those around them
Mutations: None recorded
Known Elementals: Kiera/Locke Malone [Ghosts in Quicksilver]