Wind, Fire, Water, or Earth—Which Elemental Would You Be?
I suppose there are a million games on the internet related to what your fantasy name is in such-and-such a world or what sort of witch/wizard/magical animal you’d be if you had a choice. My world of Metrenna is a little different. There’s lots of magic, oh yes, but it’s all related to controlling one of the four elementals: living fire, the stormy Hag, tricksy Water, and restless Earth Mother.
If you had a choice between dancing Fire under control, singing to Wind, hearing the voices of every drop of water everywhere, or stilling the quaking earth, which would you choose? Imagine dribbling sparks from your hand or facing down the angry fire trying to eat your home. What if you could smell the flowers of summer from hundreds of miles away in your winter-locked lands or sing notes of matchless beauty to control the storms? What if you heard Water planning to assault the shore, or discovered Fire plotting rebellion against Earth Mother? What would you do? Which of my talented folk would you rather be: Firedancer, Windrider, Seaborn or Delver?
For me, having been allowed the joy of discovering each of the clans’ abilities from the inside, so to speak, it’s a really tough choice. I like to swim, but it scares me a little, so I doubt I would pick water, though I love to listen to it and watch it rushing endlessly by in mountain streams.
Fire is hypnotic and fascinating, but I’m personally not much of a dancer. The very idea of wrapping myself in fire and controlling it with every movement of my fingers and body, though, is exceptionally cool to contemplate. I could definitely get behind that, as my Firedancers do.
Wind...now there’s a definite possibility. I used to sing reasonably well, and I love listening to the wind. When I was a kid I liked to cup my hand just outside the car window and feel it rushing around my fingers until my mother would yell at me to get my hand back inside. I love writing my Windriders, who can weave wind between their hands and roll it into balls and literally shift things that need shifting with it.
Earth...who hasn’t dug their bare toes into warm earth or cool mud and laughed, connecting themselves to the most basic thing that feeds and grounds us all? Without the earth to stand on where we would be?
Floating around as entirely different beings, thank you very much, and that would be a whole different story, wouldn’t it? And when the earth shakes, wouldn’t you love to be able to stop it? My Delvers can...if they can remember how.
Oh, dear, they’re just all too much fun. I guess I will just have to keep writing about them instead. But I would love to hear from you which you’re rather be, and why!
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S. A. Bolich
Masters of the Elements, Book 1
Publisher: Sky Warrior Books
Number of pages: 394
Word Count: 133,000
What do you suppose that fire thinks about as it cooks your dinner behind its cage of containment stone? Jetta ak'Kal knows—but no one listens to a Firedancer who has failed to protect her assigned village from an assault by living flame.
The Ancient, the strange, elemental fire imprisoned at the heart of the world, took her lifemate, her reputation as the most talented Dancer of her generation, and nearly her life. Now her clan demands she redeem herself, yet seem strangely indifferent to her insistence that the Dance itself that has always bound the Ancient seems to be failing. Assigned to Annam, a village with no previous experience of fire, Jetta and her new partner, Settak, find themselves battling the naive ignorance of the villagers, the hostility of arrogant Windriders whose mastery of air could kill them both with the flick of a finger, and occasionally each other as they struggle to find new and more powerful forms of the Dance.
Pursued by fire crawling up through every crack, by a new love she does not want, and a nagging suspicion that there is more to her assignment than her clan bothered to tell her, Jetta must forge unprecedented alliances in this high and beautiful place before the Ancient breaks free—for if it does, there will no longer be anything left to fight for.
S. A. Bolich is a full-time freelancer who writes on a wide range of topics ranging from travel to horses to web design—and of course, fantasy and science fiction. A native of Washington state, she resides there again after serving six years in Germany as an army military intelligence officer. She graduated summa cum laude from college with a degree in history, which she confesses was greatly aided by devouring historical fiction of every era and kind through her formative years. She is also a lifelong horsewoman and shares her knowledge in the popular "Horses in Fiction" blog series at blog.sabolichbooks.com, in which she helps writers keep their equines from falling into the trap of Hollywood clichés.
Her first novel, Firedancer, Book 1 of the Masters of the Elements series, was released in September 2011 by Sky Warrior Books, with Book 2, Windrider, appearing in May 2012. Her short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, On Spec, Damnation Books, and many other print magazines and ezines, as well as the steampunk anthology Gears and Levers 1, the military SF anthology Defending the Future IV: No Man’s Land, and the wolf-themed fantasy collection, Wolfsongs 2. Currently she is working on Seaborn, Book 3 of Masters of the Elements.