The Elements are pillars of fire that emit from the core of Atanoah and up into the sky. They burn away a radius of the Great Cloud, allowing sunlight to reach the surface in order to allow for normal life.
Light Regions Edit
There are 125 Elements around Atanoah, which is what gives the world its name (Atanoah means "World of Fires" in Ancient). Most are clustered in groups of 3 to 7, each Element separated from the other by a couple hundred kilometers. Grouped together like this, they work together to open very large segments of the sky. These areas are called Light Regions.
Each major nation state is located in a region that has at least five Elements.
The fire of the Elements is essentially wild duedamus . It behaves in almost exactly the same way, except with intense force driving it upward from the core.
What causes the fire to generate and rise out of the planet's core is a deep mystery. Many theorize that some sort of gravitational singularity exists at the core, either transporting exotic matter from somewhere else or generating it via an unexplanable phenomenon of quantum mechanics.
A significant majority of secular scientists theorize that the Great Cloud is actually a result of the burning of the Elements. They assume that the Cloud is simply de-engergized material from the Elements. The fact that the material of the Cloud and the material of the Elements are both very difficult to study is often cited as evidence of this.
There are four types of Elements, the differences between them only really being relevant to Lower Knights and alchemists.
These are simple pillars of fire helping clear out sections of the Cloud. Perfect platinum spheres do not form in the caverns under these, but living ores and imperfect spheres do.
These are superficially indistinquishable from neutral Elements, except that perfect platinum spheres do form in their caverns. They are always found in groups of five, and each one will always grow the same sphere set for each armor pieces. Lower Knights will then identify the Element, and even the city surrounding that Element, by the armor set it associates with. Consequently, the capital city of the Natoas Empire, Sami Ehno, is associated with its element being known as a Collar Element, and the element in Kena Doketa is known as a Belt Element, and so forth.
These Elements are at least twice as large as other Elements. They will also clear away at least twice as much radius of the Cloud. They are called Gold Elements because much larger quantities of living gold spheres grow in the caverns. These can be Guardian Elements as well, but this is rare (the only ones like this are in Kaséna).
The name of these Elements sometimes causes confusion, but the fact that they're invisible to all but more powerful Lower Knights makes this somewhat worse. These are off-shoots of Elements, redirected away from the main flow by dense deposites of living metal ores very, very deep underground. They pass up through the ground without disburbing the soil or, sometimes, without having much effect on the Cloud.
They are very hard to find but very valuable to locate. Lower Knights seek to find them because they often reveal the locations of second, third, and forth-level sphere caverns. Others seek them because the more unusual living metals can be found in large deposites where they emit.