Traits are the fundamental abilities that come with being an Elemental.
An active trait is the most common state of Elementals, when they’ve accessed their powers, and are generally associated with flashy magic powers, such as pyrokinesis for Fire elementals and wingless flight for Air elementals. These can be used at will.
A passive trait is an autonomic trait, and generally manifests as nearly superhuman capabilities, such as high natural strength for Earth elementals and fast healing for Water elementals. These traits cannot be controlled.
Unstable states happen during times of high stress and are often characterized as spirals downwards. In addition to the fracturing mental state of the Elemental in question, their powers spiral out of control as well. Examples of unstable states are a Sulfur elemental accidentally invading another’s mind or a Mercury elemental affecting the perception of reality.