Legends of the Three Pillars
“Seek not the counsel of the shaman. What trust can be placed in a man who calls a spirit ‘friend’? What faith can be held in the primitive wisdom of he who worships fire and dirt? Seek out the shaman only to cast him from your sight. Offer him not water or shade.”
– Hadisha Aguilar, addressing the Council of Khans, 1833 Sundering
pirits of Creation embody elemental forces – fire, earth, air, water – and they are able to create and manipulate the element they represent. These spirits, or elementals, are generally curious and sociable, albeit in a very atavistic manner. Attracted to physical strength and personal presence, elementals will often further enhance these primal qualities in adepts they trust. Creation magic draws upon two main forces – the strong energy of a pure element, and the subtle weaving of all four elements.
A shaman generally prefers to form bonds of friendship and camraderie with particular spirits, who will aid and travel with their chosen adept for long periods of time. The elementals will come and go as they please but will always return when called. For many human shamen, having lived on the fringes of society for most of their lives, these spirits may be the only companions they know. There is, in a fashion, a symbiotic relationship. The spirit, through the will of the adept, is able to experience the prime plane and exist in physical form for a short time (something most elementals crave but do not have the power to achieve) whilst the shaman is able to draw upon their magic.
There is a distinct rivalry between the various elementals. It will often be the case that a spirit of a particular element will refuse to help the shaman while a competing elemental is ‘active’. Because each elemental has their own distinct personality a shaman must work hard to master all of the techniques available to them, and only the most dedicated and charismatic can juggle all four elements.
Elemental magic has only become prominent in the last twenty years, since the rise of the Battlemaster. Those acolytes that survived the Battle of Northwatch have helped to spread shamansitic teachings to the Empire and are responsible for training nearly all Carathan adepts. Some hermetic shamen still survive on the fringes of society and a few will pass on their wisdom when sought out. The other primary source of Creation learning is the Dwarves – the duerfolk have clung to the elemental ways for thousands of years and will willingly pass their teachings on – if they can be found.
It is common for northern shamen to tatoo themselves with the names of their spirit companions, usually in intricate and colourful designs that show the spirit’s nature and personality rather than actual text. Adepts in the south are still outcast and do not mark themselves, instead creating songs and dances that portray their companions to other shamen the may meet.
The Sphere of Creation embodies five principles, four of which deal with a primary element:
- The Path of Fire
- The Path of Water
- The Path of Earth
- The Path of Air
- The Path of Nature, which combines aspects of all elements to encompass unity with the natural world and feats of healing.