Life in Elementis

The following information is related specifically to the Four Elemental Realms, rather than the populations of the greater Elementis Band.

Standard of Living

In general, the standard of living in the four Elemental Worlds is pretty decent. Literacy is at over 99%, given the bent of the Air Realm towards education, enquiry and research. Healthcare provision is good for both shifters and non-shifters, and for the long-term sick, excellent facilities are provided for their care.

With respect to the Four Elemental Realms, the main view is that if you can stand on your own two (zero, three, four, eight…) feet, make your way in life, and offer something to the community, it doesn’t matter what you look like. Given these attitudes, shapeshifting is pretty common across the Elementis worlds. Probably 50% of the population have active control of their form, and another 30% have at least some kind of ability in that respect. The remaining 20% present a sufficient percentage of the population that the worlds do make concessions and arrangements for the so-“afflicted”. Probably unsurprisingly, the highest percentage of non-shifters is found on the Earth Realm.


Given the nature of three of the four Elemental Worlds (with the exception of the Earth Realm), with individual cities – be they floating, flying or domed – the basic unit of government is the City State. The Earth Realm falls into line with this model, with the smaller outlying towns and villages considered to be part of their nearest City for governmental purposes.

Each City State has a City Council of some kind which sets the laws by which their individual City is run. Each individual City State sends one or two representatives to the Guardian’s Council, which represents the central government of each Elemental Realm and discusses issues of importance to the whole population. The Guardian Councils usually meet in the City of Residence of their respective Sister-Goddess.

There is oversight, however, to prevent abuses of power by individual City Councils. It is enshrined in the law of the Elemental Realms that citizens of all cities have freedom of movement. Moreover, should this be denied to them, the Guardian’s Council of the respect Realm is empowered to step in to act. In addition, all citizens are entitled to abuses of power to the Offices of the Guardians of their world.

Everyone over the age of sixteen (or the equivalent for their species) can have a say in the running of the individual communities of the Elementis worlds by voting and speaking in Council.

Technology and Magic

With floating and flying cities, and domes in volcanic craters, a visitor’s first impression of the Elemental Worlds may be that they seem like the stuff of fantasy, it’s probably more accurate to regard it using Clark’s Third Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

The Elemental Realms are some of the highest-tech worlds in the Inside. Unlike the Technocracy, with its massive skyscrapers, permanent data streams and portable high-tech, the technology of the Elemental Realms is understated. It underlies everything that keeps the cities habitable, and yet it exists in the background.

Transport Around and Between the Realms

Probably the most visible sign of the technological superiority is the travel tube network, which both travels around the “surface” of the wider Middle Realms, as well as through the centre of the Inside.

In addition, the Four Elemental Realms and the Shadows that depend on them are connected by a combination of gates of a Trump-like nature. For worlds with a less obvious solid surface, such gates are often used to access the travel tube stations from above.


For the most part, the people of the Elementis Worlds, and the Four Realms in particular, revere the Four Sisters primarily, and the Aurellian Gods secondarily. There are some places of worship dedicated to the monotheistic deity of Sable, but these are less common than the others and are usually closer in size to parish churches than major cathedrals.

Within the Aurellian pantheon, certain of the Gods are more highly revered. These include: the Pater Deorum, the Mater Deorum, the Goddess of the Land, the God of Protection, the God of Communications, the God of Enquiry, the Goddess of Healing, the God of Architects, the God of Travellers and Leyton the Smith. It is believed that these Gods may be the “Guardians”, who were there at the Creation of Elementis.