Six elemental forces make up the natural world. Metal, Earth, Fire, Air, Water and Wood. Today, they mainly exist in the background of the world. Only those with a deep connection to the natural world seem to understand that they exist and what effects they can have.
Most people see this elemental power represented physically in elementals. Minor elementals are mindless things with no more intelligence than a wild animal. While they can be found all over the world, they are usually only observed in areas that highly reflect their elemental nature. Volcanos are likely teeming with elementals, but a forest may only have wood elementals in the ancient and strongest trees.
Legends say that the elementals were the first beings created on the planet. They were ideas and power that manifested into physical beings. Though it is rumored that their power was so great and their battles with each other so damaging that they had to be bound. Now they have limited influence upon the world, with greater elementals being bound to places of power and lesser elementals having only their own fractions of power to draw upon.
The element of metal is one of resilience. It may not be the strongest element, but it outlasts the rest of them. With proper conditioning, metal seems to last forever. Bathed in fire, metal only grows harder. A blade left to rust can be resharpened to a killing edge. Those who take on the element usually are strong of will, obstinate in their choices and juggernauts in battle.
Earth is the element of strength. This can be shown in no greater measure than mountains forming from two great earth elementals pushing on each other. Earth does not move quickly, but it builds up power like an avalanche. It is also part of our base desires, as they slowly grow in us to be all consuming. Those with earth running in their blood will look to use their strength over others, will be driven by their most base desires and may start slow… before becoming an unstoppable force.
Air is everywhere. It never looks to stay still, but is constantly on the move from one place to another. It may travel unseen, but it can make itself known with the power of a hurricane. You will find that the element of Air speaks to those who wish to move with it. Rarely does it seek to knock down barriers, but instead bypasses them.
The spark of intelligence best describes fire. While Earth may imbue our primal desires, fire imbues our thinking desires. While it can be uncontrollable and unpredictable, it also creates the brightest lights that we look towards. Fire rarely chooses one without ambition, as they seek out ever greater knowledge to shape the world to their desires.
Water seeks the path of least resistance. It offers balance instead of domination. While that may seem weak to others, few caught in waters surging grasp would ever make that claim. As such, water must look inwards and inspect itself and others. It must learn their ebbs and flows in order to bring about its desired results. Those who hear the call of water value its shifting tides and manipulate them to their full advantage.
In many ways, the element of wood is life. Wood grows, adapts and eventually dies. Of the elements, wood is the most patient. It actions take time to bring to fruition and require great effort to suddenly pull forth. While its power may be slower than the other elements, it has ways of healing and rebuilding itself that others do not.