About Alkimia

Alkimia is a verse very much like our own, yet in its own ways very different; the disenfranchised have powers of their own, faeries flicker between the worlds at their own whim, and the old gods use human squabbles as a spectator sport, placing bets here and there on the next development. The central premise of Alkimia is that all humans are born associated with a single element, much like we are born under star signs or on days of the week. These elements don’t matter beyond points of interest or to fortunetellers – until the person in question undergoes some form of trauma.  The trauma has a chance to unlock associated abilities as a form of defense, and the human becomes known as an Elemental.

Elementals, for the most part, aren’t physically distinguishable from other humans – and for the most part, they don’t distinguish themselves from other humans, any more than most trauma survivors do. Not every trauma survivor unlocks these powers, but there is a certain kind of kinship that comes with survival. There is the odd inflated ego – the ‘we’re better than the Weak and Ordinary’ – but it largely boils down to blending in, keeping your head down, and using the abilities you have to keep life as simple as it can possibly be.

Of course, it often doesn’t work out that way. The fey seem to love poking at Elementals, and the normal problems of misfits, loners and losers – late bills, asshole exes, bad traffic, quitting smoking – get that much harder to deal with when a growl of rage can send off literal sparks or you’ve got ghosts lecturing you on your relationship problems. As a result, Elementals tend to gravitate towards each other.

As part of the trauma-based nature of Elementals, elemental powers have a tendency to spiral out of control in response to emotional stress or triggers. The exact nature of this varies from element to element, but all of them have severe consequences. Different elements balance each other and help to bring the magical half of the equation under control – which makes it easier to smooth out the emotional end of things as well. Usually, simply the presence of the correct Elemental helps, although physical contact can speed things up.

The Elements

There are two ‘types’ of Elementals; core and celestial. The core elementals are fire, earth, air and water. They are considered core since they are tied to the physical world, and all help calm each other; fire calms earth, earth calms air, air calms water, and water calms fire. Celestial elementals on the other hand – sulfur, mercury and salt – have powers that are far more strongly tied to the spiritual and emotional world. Sulfur and mercury cannot be calmed by any other element than salt; salt can stabilize any other element, including itself, with enough time and support.

Each element type has a passive trait as well as an active power; they are usually the same for each elemental of that type, although there are mutated variants that have rare and sought-after superpowers. Active powers are things that people can do; passive traits are just what it says on the tin – traits or features common to all Elementals of that type.


Fire is considered the most unstable of the core elements. Fire elementals can actively control and spontaneously generate fire, often in response to their own emotions. It varies from person to person whether or not they are affected by their own flames, how volatile their powers are in response to their emotions, and how hot their reactionary flames tend to be. Their passive trait is usually that their blood ‘runs hot’ – aka, that their body temperature runs on the extreme high end of normal, again fluctuating with their emotions. Recorded mutations include the ability to see and/or predict the future in flames (with varying consistency), and, more rarely, telepresence; the ability to perceive and interact with things near fires through one’s own fire, limited in strength by the size of the flame. When fire destabilizes they start lighting uncontrolled flames, but can be calmed by the presence and/or touch of a water elemental.


Water elementals are considered to be very private as a general rule. They possess the ability to make themselves invisible, and while it is not usually as obvious as with fire elementals, like with any set of powers, this can also be in response to emotions, especially during high-stress situations – disappearing from sight while feeling humiliated, for example. Variance within their active ability is rare, but some water elementals can remain invisible for some than others – some people compare it to holding their breath, while others can actually forget that they are invisible to others. Water’s passive trait is a fast healing factor, usually on the high end of normal, but occasionally fast enough to garner notice. However, there is a startlingly high percentage of water elementals who – when pushed – discover that they can also heal others to some degree or another. The other recorded mutation for Water elementals is an ability to see the past in the water – their own past, and the pasts of others. When Water elementals destabilize, sources of water near them begin to either boil or freeze, depending on the elemental


Earth elementals are stereotyped as blunt and straightforward. Earth elementals have as their active power the power of telekinesis – moving things with their mind. The strength, range and details of this vary from person to person. Unlike many elementals, however, this power usually does not react to emotions on its own, although its power is often heightened by it. As a passive trait, Earth elementals are stronger than normal for their size. However, some earth elementals possess other abilities such as the ability to mend broken things (leaving obvious coloured seams behind) or to touch and understand the makeup of something – ie. knowing what’s in a meal or which wood was used to make a table. When Earth elementals destabilize, they can cause small, localized earthquakes – although the size and intensity can vary.


Air is often seen as the social element. Air elementals can fly through unknown means, although how fast and how far depends on the elemental. Some air elementals are able to outstrip hawks and helicopters, while others mostly hover and use their abilities for other, smaller uses. Their main passive trait is a dexterity and flexibility that sometimes expresses itself as double-jointedness or hypermobility. Some air elementals possess clairaudience (extrasensitive hearing) or the ability to produce a superpowered scream that produces varying effects on those who hear it. When Air elementals destabilize, the air pressure in the nearby area may fluctuate at intense degrees, causing symptoms of decompression sickness and other effects.


Sulfur elementals are commonly stereotyped as manipulative, although often the opposite is true. Their main power is twofold; as telepaths, they can both read and send thoughts, and when ‘sending’, they can plant suggestions in the subconscious that may or may not be picked up. Most sulfurs shy away from the term mind control, since their powers aren’t nearly reliable enough to be called that, but it’s often simplified to that. Their passive trait is a photographic or near-photographic memory. As a celestial element, sulfur does not have known mutations – however, given how powerful their base abilities are, this is commonly seen as a Very Good Thing. When sulfur elements destabilize, they project their intrusive thoughts or spirals into the thoughts of those around them.


Mercury elementals are also victims of negative stereotyping, largely considered to be heartless or cold. Mercuries are the shapeshifters of elementals, able to take any living form or combinations thereof. Some mercuries are faster, more versatile or more creative than others; the weakest mercuries can only copy existing forms and only very slowly, whereas the strongest can take just about any shape they choose. Their passive trait is incredibly long life; while Mercuries can be felled by accident or injury, they rarely fall ill, and age very slowly if at all. Mercury’s unstable effect is to warp or unshape the perception of the world around them; that is, people close to them may see, feel, smell or hear reality differently, while the Mercury in question may have no idea what is happening. These changes tend to be small but affecting; a melting banister, for example, or it being night instead of day.


Salt elementals serve an odd role for Elementals; stereotyped as antisocial/asocial or loners, they nevertheless play a crucial role in the balancing act. Salts possess the ability to see and speak to ghosts, and often sense their presence as well; the weakest Salts may only be able to detect lingering presence or aura, where the strongest will regularly hold conversations with ghosts, or not be able to block them out at all. However, the most important Salt power is their passive trait; the ability to stabilize any elemental with a touch, presence or conversation. (This only works on the powers end of things; a distraught person won’t necessarily be less distraught if the Salt in question is an ass.) It takes a lot to destabilize Salts – however, when it happens, they slip into the Medium, the space between worlds where time works differently. [For more information on the Medium, feel free to email! We love talking about the Medium.]