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Elemental refers to both a type of creature, and to the specific incarnations of the four classical elements: air, earth, fire, and water.

General characteristics[]

Elementals are manifestations of an element. The Monster Manual, 5th Edition, which may not be canon for Critical Role, notes that on their home planes, elementals are formless spirits unless focused by magic, and they are analogous to animals on the Material Plane in their motivations and sentience.[2] All are immune to poison, resistant to physical damage from nonmagical sources; and cannot be exhausted, paralyzed, petrified, or knocked unconscious.[1]

Types of elemental[]

The Primordials were elemental titans.[3] Eidolons are spirits that can take various forms depending on the associated element; fire, wind, and earth eidolons have been mentioned.[4]

Air[]

  • Wind cougar: A smaller type of eidolon, a guide spirit with pale, gold-glowing eyes.[5]
  • Djinni: The genies of elemental air.[6]
  • Invisible stalker[7][8]
  • Air elemental: Air elementals have a tornado or whirlwind-like appearance, with a barely-perceptible face.[9]
  • Lightning spirit[10]
  • Storm spirit[11]

Earth[]

  • Earth Guardian: An earth elemental augmented by eidolon spirits.[12]
  • Dao: The genies of elemental earth.[13]
  • Earth elemental:[14] Earth elementals have a vaguely humanoid shape, but are made of dirt and stone.[2]

Fire[]

Fire gilas - TLoVM

Screenshot of fire gilas, by Titmouse from "Pass Through Fire" (LVM2x05).[art 2]

Water[]

  • "Elemental leviathan"[24]
  • Marid: The genies of elemental water.[13]
  • Water elemental: Water elementals are shaped like tidal waves and can engulf their foes.[2]

Mixed elements[]

Related race[]

One of the origins of genasi is as descendants of the genies of various elements: air genasi descended from djinn, earth genasi from dao, fire genasi from the efreet, and water genasi from marids.[33]

History[]

Pre-stream[]

During the Founding, the Primordial Titans' slaughter of mortals set off the schism between the Betrayer Gods, who wanted to join with the Primordials and allow chaos to reclaim the world, and the Prime Deities, who wanted to subdue the Primordials to save their mortal creations. The slaughter also drew demons from the Abyss and celestials from a far-away realm. Eventually, the Primordials were defeated and locked away in their own elemental planes.[34][35] But the battles left lasting marks on the world. A Primordial earth titan, in its final battle, was slammed into the ground violently enough to create the Zenwick Mountains.[36] And at the end of the Founding, primeval elves felled the Molten Titan, giving birth to the Daggerbay Mountains.[37] It was during this period that the elemental eidolons spawned by the Primordial titans[38] hid from the judgement of the gods, surviving the conflict, and eventually becoming spirits of the land in different corners of Exandria, including the Demithore Valley in Issylra.[39] The regular elementals were born from the remaining power of the primordials after they were defeated.[40]

In the early Age of Arcanum,[41] the dwarven Thomara clan dug into the fallen earth titan in the Zenwick Mountains to exploit a precious metal vein cluster and built a vault city there.[42] The society eventually collapsed into madness and cannibalism.[43]

At the very beginning of the Calamity the destruction of the primordial titans Ka'Mort and Rau'shan transformed the continent of Domunas into the Shattered Teeth, an archipelago with abundant elemental energy. A small community of magma mephits was created in the Chynes Maw, where a fragment of the Emperor of Fire came to rest in a pool of molten rock.[44]

Ashari Firetamer by Biagio D'Allessandro

Official art of a firetamer with a fire elemental, by Biagio D'Alessandro from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting p. 127.[art 3]

Around a century or two before the Divergence, during a celestial solstice, elemental rifts burst open across Exandria, causing fires, earthquakes, and an outpouring of elemental monsters whom the people of the world struggled to combat.[45] The Ashari, up to then a nomadic people, divided into four tribes to seal and watch over the largest rifts to the Elemental Planes of Fire (Pyrah Tribe), Water (Vesrah Tribe), Air (Zephrah Tribe), and Earth (Terrah Tribe),[46] ensuring that nothing dangerous can pass through to the Material Plane.[47] The firetamers of Pyrah, specifically, ended up learning to work with the elementals, using their magic to tame them and use their powers to their own benefit.[48]

Several centuries later, only two years after the Scattered War, another celestial solstice paved the way for another elemental invasion. Errevon the Rimelord opened a rift from the Frostfell to what would later be called the Frostweald, beginning the Icelost Years. With an army of frost giants and sentient blizzards, Errevon conquered most of the continent of Tal'Dorei in a few years. In time, the Council of Tal'Dorei convinced Syngorn and Kraghammer to join in an alliance against Errevon, and together their forces battled Errevon back through the rift, which the Ashari druids sealed shut. The victory was later celebrated annually as the Winter's Crest festival.[49]

Campaign One: Vox Machina[]

As a Circle of the Moon druid, Keyleth could wildshape into elemental form, and often did so in combat.[50] Vox Machina encountered elemental foes several times, notably fire elementals at the portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire in Pyrah,[51] and water elementals as they approached Vesrah.[52] Keyleth's Spire of Conflux also had the capacity to conjure elementals.[53]

Thordak, who had been bound to the Elemental Plane of Fire with an elemental heart crystal, was transformed by the experience. Thordak asexually spawned several primordial dragons, found in his his crater in Emon.[54][55]

Campaign Two: The Mighty Nein[]

The Mighty Nein also faced elementals in the fight in which they freed Xundi,[56] and fought them several times in Eiselcross.[57][58][59] Beau had an elemental gem looted from the Sour Nest which permitted her to summon a fire elemental, which she did against Thelashas.[60]

Exandria Unlimited Prime[]

In 842 PD the remaining elemental power left where Thordak had established his territory became more intense. A group of adventurers visiting Emon went to Thordak's Crater, and one of them, Fearne Calloway, was able to bring a wildfire spirit that became her monkey companion, Little Mister. Since the elemental activity was still very dangerous near the city (worrying the Fire Ashari that had stayed to heal the Scar of the Cinder King), the same group, later known as the Crown Keepers, decided to start an adventure to help.

Campaign Three: Bells Hells[]

During the assault on the Temple of the Dawnfather in Hearthdell, Elder Abaddina summoned an earth elemental enhanced by the power of the Apogee Solstice to aid Team Issylra of Bells Hells.[61]

Weeks later, when Bells Hells visited the island of Igthuldus, they found the spark of the Emperor of Fire, and when they retrieved it, they unintentionally caused the death of the entire community of magma mephits that had formed around it.[62]

Notable elementals[]

Trivia[]

  • The superstitious people from Odessloe believe that some sort of unseen lake spirit lives in the Erdeloch, and they leave offerings at its shores so this entity keeps sending them blessings.[64] If the lake spirit is real, it might be some water related entitiy, like an elemental or a water nymph.
  • In a vision of Rau'shan's reign, Fearne saw fire elemental children that looked like small flames and played together, showing that even in such ancient times the elementals already had games as part of their culture.[65]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 See D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., pp. 124–125.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 See D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 123.
  3. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 13.
  4. See "Crisis of Faith" (3x61) at 4:48:20.
  5. See "Crisis of Faith" (3x61) at 4:48:20.
  6. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 171.
  7. See "The Path to Whitestone" (1x27) at 0:19:49.
  8. See "Beyond the Eyes of Angels" (2x67) at 1:47:35.
  9. See "Skyward" (1x15) at 2:49:28.
  10. See "Into the Eye" (2x131) at 15:07.
  11. See "Into the Eye" (2x131) at 15:37.
  12. See "Crisis of Faith" (3x61) at 0:25:40.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 172.
  14. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 62. See also p. 70.
  15. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 38.
  16. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 130.
  17. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 0:35:18.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 70.
  19. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 128.
  20. See "A Fog Lifted" (2x106) at 39:36.
  21. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 96.
  22. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 1:52:49.
  23. See "Pass Through Fire" (LVM2x05).
  24. See "Hell or High Water" (2x136) at 2:42:45.
  25. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 234.
  26. See "The Search For Bob" (Sx45) at 3:18:58.
  27. See "Aeor" (2x132) at 3:36:17.
  28. Local legend holds that the Flotket Alps are home to large lizards that embody elemental ice.  See "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 1:55:27.
  29. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 244.
  30. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 90. See also p. 128.
  31. 31.0 31.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 127.
  32. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 74.
  33. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 170–172.
  34. See "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 2:02.
  35. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, pp. 13–14.
  36. See "The Climb Within" (1x110) at 3:37:12.
  37. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 130.
  38. See "Crisis of Faith" (3x61) at 3:50:30.
  39. See "Faith or Famine" (3x60) at 2:55:38.
  40. See "For The Tempest" (3x68).
  41. Answering in 812 PD how long ago the Crypts were built, "Early Age of Arcanum, so best estimate from what you knew [...] well over 1,500 years, if not longer."  See "The Climb Within" (1x110) at 19:58.
  42. See "The Ominous March" (1x109) at 2:25:42.  See also at 3:09:52 for narration that it was a "Primordial earth titan."
  43. See "The Ominous March" (1x109) at 1:40:48.
  44. See "An Ancient Flame" (3x75) at 2:07:52.
  45. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 30.
  46. See "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22) at 1:17:27.
  47. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 10.
  48. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 228.
  49. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, pp. 20–21.
  50. https://www.critrolestats.com/transformations-vm
  51. See "Those Who Walk Away" (1x45) at 11:08.
  52. See "Onward to Vesrah" (1x87) at 51:05.
  53. See "The Mines of the Many" (1x98) at 3:07:05.
  54. See "Thordak" (1x79) at 4:11:55.
  55. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 1:52:49.
  56. See "Encroaching Waters" (2x34) at 2:10:32.
  57. See "Under Timeless Ice" (2x116) at 1:28:26.
  58. See "Ice and Fire" (2x121) at 2:09:04.
  59. See "Hell or High Water" (2x136) at 2:55:19.
  60. See "The Stowaway" (2x45) at 3:18:58.
  61. See "Crisis of Faith" (3x61) at 0:25:39.
  62. See "An Ancient Flame" (3x75) at 1:54:58.
  63. See "Axiom Shaken" (3x43) at 2:43:04.
  64. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 101.
  65. See "A Test of Trust" (3x80) at 3:20:06.

Art:

  1. Official art of four elemental titans, by Kent Davis from "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 1:42. Used with permission.
  2. Screenshot of fire gilas, by Titmouse from "Pass Through Fire" (LVM2x05). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  3. Official art of a firetamer with a fire elemental, by Biagio D'Alessandro from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting p. 127. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
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