Monday, July 7, 2014

Domains in Hero's Journey: Powers of the Earth

It's time to talk about Domains again! We talked about what kinds of powers you might see in the Celestial domain last time, but there's plenty more where that came from.

This time we're going to talk about the Elemental Domain, which is in some ways the simplest and easiest to conceptualize of the whole bunch. The Spheres within the Elemental Domain have to do with the powers of the world itself and all the natural forces within it; they are the things that affect the environment and makeup of the planet, from its core to its crust, and therefore affects the balance of all elements on and within it and the lives of all living things that are supported by it. These powers are not concerned with faraway cosmic doings or the insignificant lives of creatures or humans; they have to do with pure, raw natural phenomena.

The first of the Elemental Spheres is Fire, which is the Sphere most often used for pure, raw destruction. Its powers are over fire in all its forms; it is the power to direct, control or muster up flame and wildfire, heat and burning, smoke and the destruction that it leaves behind it. Heroes who control these powers are not only able to burn and smolder, however; just as in mythology around the world, fire is not only a destroyer, and they can also wield their powers to benefit humanity with warmth, light and cooking, to prevent the spread of fire so that its natural damages are kept safely away from those that they might hurt, or to provide spiritual purification and cleansing from the fierce heat of its flames. The Hero who masters these powers holds the power to support life or sear it into nothingness as easily as an uncontrolled wildfire does.

The Thunder Sphere is concerned with the mighty storms of furious nature; its powers include rain, crashing thunder and blazing lightning, and the storms that cause devastation around the world in their myriad forms. These powers are most flashy and memorable when concerned with loud booming thunder or strikes of electrocuting lightning, splitting trees, damaging buildings or smiting enemies, but they have their positive side, too, and Heroes and gods who use them may also be able to bring rain to areas choked by drought, bless their allies or worshipers with the sign of their favor streaking across the sky, or combine their powers with those of others among the elements to create storms that wash the world clean of what they dislike and mercifully spare what they find worthy. Heroes who use these powers have powers of intimidation and elemental power second to few.

Finally, the Water Sphere is about the life-giving element that makes up all living things and is omnipresent in the world, from the depths of the fathomless oceans to the water that all creatures must depend upon to keep them alive from day to day. Water is revered around the world for its ability to sustain life and its awesome power when riled into action, and this Sphere's powers reflect its importance in those myths, giving Heroes and gods the ability to call up water for those who need it, create and direct mighty floods, become one with their watery domain as if born to it or use water's symbolic powers over renewal and creation to affect living things aroudn them. Water is traditionally also associated with purification and the washing away of pollutants and evils, and Heroes can wield its powers to cleanse and heal as well as drown and flood.

In pursuit of giving all the Domains a fair distribution of Spheres, we had to leave out some of the Elemental ones just as we did for the others, but since these are some of the most essential mythological powers, especially among the gods, we know that you're hoping for more in the near future. We have plenty of room to expand when it comes to the elemental powers, so look for them once the core rulebook is out the door, and feel free to tell us about what you'd like to see on the forums!