Created By: SomeGuy on April 23, 2010

Elemental Nation

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This is the process of defining nations in fantasy settings is to have each group be under the domain of one kind of magic. The main appeal to this is, naturally, the easy convenience of being able to define who is from what nation, since they'll have the appropriate elemental affinity to go with it, and the trappings of the culture itself will be clearly delineated by that element as well. This is often paired with tropes like Single-Palette Town in order to get the full effect. On the downside, this can sometimes result in a Planet of Hats situation on a small scale, since all members of a specific nation must, by definition, fit into the general archetypes of their nation's element.

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender features this prominently- elemental "bending" is limited to characters from the appropriately named nation that engages in use of that element. Moreover, the nations themselves are easily defined by those elements. The Air Nomads, when they were still around, largely lived in high-up temples which only they could glide to. The Water Tribe lives at the poles (where they are naturally surrounded by water), except for one offshoot that lives at a swamp (which is mostly surrounded by water).
  • Skies of Arcadia uses this for all the defined nations. Though "magic" figures largely as a game mechanic, the cultures are all clearly influenced by the kinds of moonstones they have access to- Valua has a strong industrial sector powered by electricity, Ixataca has lots of trees, and Yafutoma has ships that can fly unusually high. Nasr mostly just has sand, but they manage.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • March 8, 2010
    The Death Gate Cycle, though it's more of an Elemental WORLDS thing there.
  • March 9, 2010
    Magic The Gathering does this fairly frequently. Aligning tribes with certain colours or colour combinations, which in different blocks can be associated with differnt elements.

    The Banned And The Banished series of books have a variety of different tribes/races associated with differnt elemental magic forms. Dryads and Earth, Elves and Air, Mountain tribes and Rock.
  • April 1, 2010
    Used by the Gormiti toys, and, I suppose, the TV show.
  • April 4, 2010
    Employed by the Xanth series.
  • April 4, 2010
  • April 15, 2010
    Naruto has the Land of Wind, The Land of Earth, The Land of Water, The Land of Lightning, and the primary setting, Tierra Del Fuego. Plus a bunch of rinky-dink countries like Grass, Waves, and Waterfall.
  • April 23, 2010
    Bionicle: Mata Nui and Metru Nui were divided into 7 regions, 6 of which corresponded to each element of Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Stone, and Ice. Bara Magna likewise with Jungle, Rock, and Sand instead of Air, Earth, and Stone.
  • April 23, 2010
    **snorts** Tierra Del Fuego... heh.
  • April 23, 2010
    @ Squealing Sandry, Dorian Mode: Tierra Del Fuego is actually a place in South America. No Google Translate next time, please.
  • April 29, 2010
    YKTTW Bump. Last call for examples before launch.