Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr
Elementals and Paraelementals
Some have heard the rambling tales of the desert madman who claims that each of the elemental planes was once ruled by individual, powerful entities.
Most elemental priests now believe that even if this was true, those sovereign beings are long since dead. There are still beings of enormous strength living in the inner planes that are home to the elementals.
Those who commune with them say they complain incessantly about the dryness of the earth, the scarcity of cool breezes, and roar louder than thunder when defiling magic begins to eat at their souls like leprosy. Other, smaller spirits flit around these giant beings like hungry rasclinn, begging for any morsel their masters might toss them. For the last few centuries, the scraps have been few and far between.
When elemental priests or druids tap their patron plane for assistance, or to recharge spells, they have no idea which entity will answer the call. Rarely do the spirits reveal their identities, but somehow the dwellers of the planes always seem to know whether an elemental priest or druid has fulfilled his Pact, and they grant or deny him access accordingly.
Although they are rare, there are a few seers who have looked beyond the elemental planes to the homes of the paraelementals.the realms of Silt, Sun, Magma, and Rain. These paraelementals are not as desperate their elemental cousins because they have not suffered from the defilers’ devastation of Athas.
Like elemental priests, the paraelemental priests do what they must to protect and nurture the raw material that feeds their patrons in the inner planes. The natures of these creatures and what pleases them is different than the natures of the more powerful elementals. They are not interested in the flavors of earth, the fiery feasts of destruction, the singing winds, or the babbling of streams.
As the relentless sun scorches earth into dust and magma spills out over its cracking surface, the power of the paraelements is growing. They are beginning to achieve levels of power heretofore unknown, and they are hungry for more. Where the elementals are concerned with quantity and quality, the paraelementals have not matured to that stage – they only want quantity.
This fact does not make them any more selfish or evil than the elementals, but it does make their motivations and their methods of choosing their mortal “harvesters” very different. The paraelement of rain is the one exception to the rule.
The Paraelemental Plane of Rain is as desperate as the Elemental Plane of Water, for the same reasons-it has nearly vanished from the Prime Material Plane, and the allegiance of its champions lies closer to the hearts of the elements. The paraelements of silt, sun, magma, and rain are hybrids of two other elements. Silt comes from earth and water, sun from fire and air, magma from fire and earth, and rain from air and water. The ethereal creatures that emerge from these unions are not simply hybrid versions of their parental elements; rather, the paraelementals are independent of them, having taken on the attributes of both. They have entirely different views about the nature of things, and what pleases or displeases them lies in their own natures, for their own-reasons.
It is curious, though, that while paraelemental priests cannot access the spheres that created their planar progenitors, elemental priests are able to join forces and access the planes of their masters. progeny.
The priests of the paraelementals have only emerged as a force since Athas went into decline, for it is the very descent of the planet that empowers their terrible masters.
Paraelemental priests make the same kinds of pacts as elemental priests. Unfortunately, however, these priests delight in the continuing ruination of Athas. The silt seas grow ever larger, cracked earth steadily oozes streams of magma, and cloudless skies offer the harsh, blazing sun an unobstructed assault on the creatures agonizing beneath its heat. Only the paraelement of rain sides with the elementals .it has been too many centuries since cool rains frequently caressed the surface of Athas.