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Elementals are summoned beings and generally summoned at by higher level mages. In this book, we learn from the mistakes of mage-in-training Amon Glibtongue.
"Summoning an Elemental," by Amon Glibtongue -- Being the results of research into elemental summoning by a young mage in his quest to become a summoner.
My name is Amon and I have been a mage now for about fifteen years. I am taking my tests to become a summoner. Again. Mind you, I don't think it's entirely my fault what happened the previous times I took the test. Elementals are pretty tricky to master, which is why a summoner starts with the basics every time.
One of the basic tests for any mage-to-summoner is the ability to summon elementals. They are drawn from the basic elements of the world: fire, water, earth and air. By combining various bits from each type of element, one can summon some pretty interesting creatures. For testing purposes, a summoner chooses an elemental type and calls it forth. Success is measured by keeping control of it and releasing it only at the tester's word.
The first time I took the test, the tester required that I summon a fire elemental. Now, ever since that little incident at the conservatory, I have avoided fire in any shape, much less as a summoned elemental. The whole time I prepared the spell, I kept seeing the expression on that poor woman's face...it took all my concentration to banish that image and continue with the spell.
In any case, the fire elemental I summoned certainly looked correct. Even the tester was surprised. Like any other fire elemental, my summoned creature rose from the fire pit and hovered there for a bit before floating over toward me. Now, remember that I had a previous bad experience with fire and you will understand why I ducked.
Elementals cannot be harmed by physical means; one must use magic as they are magical creatures. In the instant that I ducked, I lost what little concentration I had and that teeny, tiny waver caused my control over the elemental to snap like a twig. It engulfed the tester in an instant and it was all I could do to cast a counterspell to destroy my creation. Needless to say, I did not pass the test that year.
When I came to take the test the following year, I explained carefully to the (new) tester that I was more aligned with air elementals. What could go wrong with air, I reasoned, since it's only a bit of wind? Later on, as we rebuilt the Academy proving grounds, my instructor noted that she had never seen such a powerful elemental, but suggested I might be more suited to water elementals should I decide to take the test again the following year.
A water elemental requires quite a bit of liquid nearby. At the next test, I crafted the spell and cast it only to realize that we hadn't nearly enough water in the area as the spell left my lips. Did you know that humans are made up mostly of water? Neither did I. Neither did the poor tester that year. They asked me to come back again after the traditional year-long mourning period.
The last basic elemental for which I could test was the earth elemental. This type of elemental does not require open flame, nor gusts of wind or large bodies of water. One need only have something earthy in the area that can be called forth. Fortunately for the townspeople, earth elementals can be outrun.
My instructor suggested perhaps I might go to Freeport to take the tests there. In fact, she packed my belongings for me and paid someone to transport me through some pretty rough terrain. We were beset by bandits at one point, and even though I am but a mage, I was able to send those miscreants running! I am looking forward to taking the tests again.Summoning is not for everyone, but if you learn from my mistakes I am sure you will be able to recognize the correct circumstances under which elementals may flourish. Wish me luck with my tests and I wish you well with yours!