© 2011 Samuel Stubbs
As Valerie mentioned earlier, she and I have just started working on some ideas for a new story. So I thought that I’d just share some ideas that we’ve been toying around with.
Since magic-systems and world building are my forte, I will begin this series of blog posts by briefly talking about the “elemental” system we came up with for our story’s setting. This system governs the philosophies, religions, and type of magics of the world. It centers around six elements, Earth, Sky, Fire, Water, Metal, and Wood. There are two masculine forces (Fire and Metal,) two feminine forces (Water and Wood,) and two neutral forces (Earth and Sky.) Note that these are seen as abstract “forces” more than literal elements. Earth represents the body and earthly powers, where Sky represents the mind and spiritual powers.
The other four elements represent different interactive forces. Fire is influential and passionate, but can also become anger or lust. Water balances Fire. It is cool, serene, and wise, but also can be aloof and apathetic; it is balanced by Wood. Wood is empathetic and compassionate, but can also be needy and clingy. Metal balances Wood. It is resilient and independent, yet can be stubborn and prideful, it in turn is balanced by Fire, and we come full circle. These elements are symbolized through in the setting by seasonal cycles, festivals, music, and objects of importance.
The setting we’ve established is a primitive culture of warring tribes and nomads, set amidst the ruins of ancient forgotten civilizations. The system I’ve explained is the basis from which shamans, priests, wise-women, and even witches empower themselves, influence others, or interact with the spirits of the world. I’ve tried not to reveal too much too soon, but I’m curious about your thoughts and opinions about this new idea.