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The Elemental Arts are the collective term for the martial arts techniques that make use of the ability to telekinetically manipulate the elements: Fire, Air, Water, Earth and, to a rare extant, Energy. Each individual practice is given the suffix and the four main disciplines are prefixed with words meaning for Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, Energy. Sub-techniques are also given the same suffix and are prefixed accordingly.
People who can telekinetically manipulate the elements are collectively known as "Artists," regardless of whether or not they are actual practitioners. Artists who use a specific element are often also termed with the corresponding prefix. People who can use the sub-techniques are often termed similarly. Regardless, different cultures have different techniques and terminology.
The ability to telekinetically manipulate the elements is largely hereditary but the gift can pop up randomly in a member of a family every once in a while; that said, just having the abilities can imply potential, yet distant, Artist ancestry distantly. Either way, most lucky enough to have these gifts can usually only manipulate one or two elements; only a few handfuls of others are able to manipulate three or more, and those who can use all five are extremely rare.
Artists normally discover their abilities between the ages of five and eight, but they can potentially lie dormant for most of their lives, sometimes until as late as forty.
Artists are most common throughout Fuso and Marlakcor, but are is also seen in parts of Geminos (Eurodysia and Aquilonis), Nekcroz, Ingdjiva and Maritymir; but, actual practitioners are rare in west of Fuso or east of Marlakcor. Alfheim, where magic reigns across the continent, is the sole known place where Artists are nonexistent.
The Water Arts are the art of manipulating water.
The styles of Water Arts are mostly fluid and graceful, acting in concert with the environment. Water Artists deal with the flow of energy; they let their defense become their offense, turning their opponents' own forces against them. Even when Water Artists do take an attack stance, their moves always appear to flow from one to the other.
Water Artists draw power from the moons, and their power is at its zenith on nights when both moons are full.
Water Arts' strength is its great versatility. Rather than supporting a separate set of offensive methods, the Water Arts employ defensive techniques that can be transformed into attacks and counters - defense into offense. Instead of simply deflecting an attack, Water Arts' defensive maneuvers typically focus on control, achieved through turning an opponent's own strength against them, rather than directly harming the opponent.
Water Artists also possess the ability to alter the physical state of the water they manipulate, between liquid, solid and gas, at will. Changing the phase of water allows for multiple techniques in the course of a battle, from encasing an opponent in ice to hiding behind a wall of mist. Ice and steam/fog can also be molded in a diverse range of shapes. Ice provides a degree of hard lethal ty since it can be molded into spikes or blades to pin down or impale opponents. Steam or mist can obscure a battlefield and mask movement. Water Artists also possess the ability to breathe an icy mist that freezes water and other substances.
Almost all forms of Water Arts involve moving and shaping a body of water to the Water Artists' desire. By simply levitating a large mass of water, Water Artists can move water anywhere they wish, even parting it under the surface of a lake or sea, allowing them to walk along the bottom of a basin without the need to swim. These large bodies of water can also be used as weapons, either by shaping them into gigantic whips, swung repeatedly at a target as a snake-like body, formed momentarily into a razor-sharp edge that can cut through even metal, or simply dropped onto an opponent to smother them or put out a fire. On the sea or ocean, a Water Artist can create giant maelstroms.
Water Artists are also able to manipulate water pressure, allowing them to use water to grasp other objects or cut through without simply parting around them. Water can be used as a semi-solid while being able to move and flow like a liquid. Water can be pressurized to such a level where it can slice through metal. Water Artists can also use this to avoid sinking in water, effectively allowing them to walk on water.
The Blood Arts are a sub-skill within Water Arts, recognized as the darkest and deadliest of all specialized sub-techniques. The practice of Blood Arts essentially allows a user to manipulate the water inside another body, or their blood, allowing control over a victim's individual movements.
However, it is not entirely without a helpful use. Blood Arts can be used medically. Having a Blood Artist use it on a patient can be used to restrict blood-flow and make it easier for surgeons to operate without the mess of blood. Blood Arts can also be used to remove clots and restore blood-flow or even restart a heart, so long as it hasn't been too long since the heart stopped beating.
Due to being such a dark art, most Qirsyllvian societies outlaw the practice outside of medical use.
Healing Arts, the art of Healing, is a special ability possessed by many Water Artists that enables them to heal those who have been wounded, including themselves. This is accomplished by drawing upon the life-giving properties of water, which are used to heal numerous types of physical wounds and illnesses. Healing can also alleviate certain types of stress caused by mental strain. Though the technique is effective in many contexts, it is limited in scope. For example, healing is ineffective in treating birth defects, such as blindness or random complications associated with birth. In most instances, healing is also ineffectual when treating scars or fatal injuries.
The Earth Arts are the art of manipulating earth.
The Earth Arts differ from the other Elemental Arts arts in that it maintains a distinct balance between offensive and defensive capabilities (though Water Arts involves a more refined version by channeling defense into offense). The Earth Arts use a balance of strength and defense to overwhelm opponents. It is also worth noting that solid stances are preferred by Earth Artists.
The Earth Arts are not limited to rock or soil alone. An Earth Artist can also manipulate coal, gems, crystals, and other earth-based materials like meteorites or other things.
Earth Artists can use the earth to form protective barriers like walls or wear earthen armors, and can even smash through solid rock with single punches or kicks.
Seismic sense is the ability to for Earth Artists perceive an environment by feeling acute vibrations through the ground. Similar to sonar and echolocation, seismic sense enables the practitioner to detect earthen objects and objects in contact with earth when out of sight. The technique provides a specific mental-map of the user's surroundings, detailed enough so a blind person can navigate effortlessly. It can also be used to detect when someone is lying by feeling their heart and breathing rates through the earth.
Though it's possible to sense vibrations through shoes or gloves, the technique is best used barefoot or barehanded, as bare skin senses vibrations more directly.
The Metal Arts are the manipulation of metal, which is made of earth. The Metal Arts relies on manipulating the residue earth particles inside the metal. When the metal is highly purified, however, such as platinum, there are no, or not enough, particles left to use, rendering the material impervious to the technique. Zedylrian Steel is also impervious to the Metal Arts, but since it's not exactly the purest metal on Qirsyllviar, no one is sure why.
The Sand Arts are the manipulation of loose sand rather than large rocks. Since the sand is loose, it requires some form of Wind Arts techniques to perform properly.
The Lava Arts are rare ability allows an Earth Artist to phase-change earth into lava, or lava into earth, and otherwise manipulate existing lava with great dexterity. Since the earth is liquid instead of solid, it requires some form of Water Arts techniques to perform properly.
The Fire Arts are the art of manipulating fire.
Fire Artists use their chi/mana, combined with their breath, as a source for their efforts. This facet of the Fire Arts is a sharp contrast to the other Elemental Arts, which manipulate already present sources of their element, though Fire Artists can also control or enhance flames nearby. Fire Artists also draw power from the sun, and their strength is at its zenith on the summer solstice. Obversely, Fire Artists lose their abilities during a total solar eclipse.
The Fire Arts are known for its intense and aggressive attacking style and general lack of adequate defensive moves, although Fire Artists can modify offensive maneuvers to function as a defense, such as creating large walls of fire or shooting down incoming attacks with fire jabs.
The Fire Arts use concentrated barrages of fire to overwhelm opponents before striking a fatal blow. Swift, whirling kicks and punches generate diverse shapes for offensive attacks.
Circular motion is also a crucial element to the skill as it seems to "power up" and enhance the Fire Artists' flames. When creating lightning (see Lightning Generation below), the Fire Artist often move their arms in slow, circular motions, similar to Water Arts but with more tension. Fire Artists often use whirling kicks or punches to power their attacks.
Fire Artists can also control the size and intensity of any nearby flames and can draw them in to manipulate them at will.
Lightning Generation is a sub-skill of Fire Arts that allows a Fire Artist to produce and guide a bolt of lightning from their fingertips. Physically, generating lightning involves a circular motion with the arms. Mentally, it involves a complete absence of emotion as well as peace of mind, thus allowing an individual to separate the energies of yin and yang, also interpreted as positive and negative electrical potential, respectively. When the forces collide, the Fire Artist guides rather than controls the lightning's direction. This process is taxing on a Fire Artists' qi/mana reserves due to its complexity. Lightning attacks usually take much longer time to initiate than standard fire attacks, but a well trained Fire Artist can generate the lightning at a much quicker pace than a novice.
Lightning Redirection is a sub-skill of Lightning Generation that allows a Fire Artist to absorb lightning into their body as energy and release it in a more desirable direction. The technique was developed by Fire Artists after studying master Water Artists redirecting force rather than opposing it head-on. Lightning redirection works equally well for both natural and generated lightning.
The Wind Arts, are the art of manipulating air and wind.
The key to the Wind Arts is flexibility and finding and following the path of least resistance. The Wind Arts are notable for being almost purely defensive, as well as the most dynamic of the four main Elemental Arts. Wind Artists can overwhelm many opponents at once with large and powerful attacks that could prove fatal.
Air movements can also be used as a levitation aid. Wind Artists are able to jump high and far by riding on strong gusts of wind and can also slow or deflect falls by creating cushions of air. The constant movement required by this art makes Wind Artists naturally flexible and agile, making masters of the art difficult to hit. Even without the use of the art they can easily maneuver around an opponent by ducking, jumping, and side stepping, appearing to flow around their opponents without expending any energy at all, letting the opponent tire themselves out and thus creating exploitable openings.
Wind Artists can also enhance their movement in battle; they can run swiftly by decreasing air resistance around them and even sprint across or run up vertical surfaces by generating a wind current behind themselves to propel them forward. When used by a skilled Wind Artist, this technique can enable the Wind Artist using it to travel at a speed almost too swift for the naked eye to be able to see properly. A master Wind Artist can use this technique to briefly run across water as well
The art of Flight is a complex and extremely rare skill that has been demonstrated by very, very few Wind Artists. It was such a unique ability, that it was believed to only exist in legends. It is presumably achievable through a complete denouncement of all earthly desires, which results in true freedom. The principle behind flight is to become one with the wind, mimicking its freedom from limitations and inhibitions, in both the physical and mental sense. Once a Wind Artist has embraced these principles, they can fly and hover. However, the Wind Artist is still at the mercy of the surrounding environment.
The Energy Arts are the rare art of manipulating another person's life energy.
The capabilities of the Energy Arts are not well understood; what is known is that it is used to manipulate a person's life energy and can impart them with knowledge instantly, remove their elemental abilities completely, or restore it. This art can be perilous to the user, which is why so few have ever used it.
The Energy Arts are an extremely powerful and potentially dangerous technique. If the Artist's spirit is even slightly weak, or bendable, they will be infected by the spirit of the one they are using the technique on. As a result, the Artist can be corrupted and even destroyed.
The terms used for the disciplines vary widely by language and culture, yet they all have similar-yet-different meanings.
Fuso & Marlakcor
|Bản chất thuật|
|Sét đánh thuật|
|Gửi lại thuật|
|Chữa lành thuật|
|Kim loại thuật|
|Dung nham thuật|
|Past tense||hoʻohui ʻia|
- Nadeshiko Sugako
- Nintoku-Tenno (Tatsuhiko) of Yamatai
- Osaragi Shigekazu
- Many in the Yamato Imperial Army & Navy
Notes & Trivia
- The Elemental Arts are primarily inspired and based on the Bending Arts of the Avatar universe.
- Mastering the sub-techniques of an art presumably makes it more difficult, or near-impossible, to master sub-techniques of other arts. This presumption has been tested and challenged countless times throughout history, with mostly indiscernible results.