Elemental Uses: Water the Tri-Form Element

Juvia from Fairy Tail (Still my favorite character)

Water users tend to fall into one of three categories with a third rarely showing up.  I’m going to divide it up that way instead of what I did before.  Mostly because water is an element that is infamous for the triad.  Since I already brought up the healing side in Monday’s post, I’ll leave that out.

Liquid

Much like the other categories, water users here tend to work with what is around them instead of creating the water themselves.  There are those like Juvia above who create water from magic and other characters that use the water in their own body.  This can even include the manipulation of blood, which is a dark path.  Since we know that the average human body is 50-65% water, it’s tough to have the power come from inside.  We’d have to explain how the character avoids dehydration and the sheer volume wouldn’t be much if it’s all internal.

Like fire and wind, the offensive capabilities typically take the form of blasts and waves with the additional of whirlpools if the opportunity arises.  Water users are at a bigger hindrance than the others because they won’t always be around a great amount of their element.  There is a lot of recycling here as well with a blast being redirected or drawn back to hover in a snake-like fashion.  Defense is a little tough since a shield of water can be easily pierced.  Another method is to create a bubble around an enemy instead of yourself to deplete their air.

The daily use is fairly issue to figure with cleaning at the top of the list, but it can also be used in trades similar to fire.  People with this ability would be walking water jet cutter or even a pressure washer.  Gardening and farming can benefit as well since drought is one of the bigger worries in these fields.  Since the human body has so much water in it, there could be more medical paths.  I don’t mean magical healing, but sensing problems in the patient’s systems.

Swimming is very important to this user as well and one can see how a caster with water powers could survive underwater.  Having control over the currents means they can reduce pressure on their body as well as get oxygen from the water.  If not an absorption then keep the water away to form a bubble of air with a line that goes to the surface and allows a constant flow.  Similar to the wind sense ability, they would be able to discern forms and movements in the ocean even in complete darkness.  Because of the second form, they can also survive in the cold too.

Gray from Fairy Tail

Solid Ice

Many characters with this power are put separately from the liquid version.  The techniques are obviously different with this being more solid.  Shields and walls can block attacks while attacks are more rigid.  Creating armor, weapons, and other objects are almost standard since ice blasts are always a little funny.  If the target isn’t frozen then what exactly are you hitting with?  This is a very dangerous power in this way because it can suck away all heat and lead to one-shot kill attacks.

Transportation is a common use with ice magic.  Freezing the ground and sliding along seems like it would fail, but the caster has enough control to guide themselves.  They can even plant their feet to one spot and move that along.  Creating boats of ice has been done before with various degrees of success.  Usually best for arctic adventures since this category does have the threat of melting.  The way around this is to say that all magic does that heat absorption, but that means it can’t melt without extremely powerful fire attacks.  Not to mention allies would be at risk.

Ice sculptures can be used as a trade and decoys, but there is another trade.  Arctic and mountain guide could be a good one since an ice wielder would have a natural resistance to the cold.  Unlike fire users who would need to use modest spells to stay warm, this type of character could be entirely immune or even feed off the temperature.  This would make them a perfect ally in regions that are riddled with snow, ice, and sudden freezes.  It does sound like this would be more wind than water, but elementalists tend to be immune to the negative sides of their specialties.

Forgotten Steam

This is the third category that doesn’t get much attention.  Water and ice are more visual and easier to figure out uses for.  Steam can’t be touched, so using it for attacks or shields doesn’t really help.  It can help with ironing and cooking vegetables, so there are a lot of home uses.  Nobody would complain about turning the bathroom into a sauna after a rough day.  So, what else can be done?

One thing that water users do more than others is take the form of their element.  This can be human size, giant, or part of the scenery.  Maybe this is because of the human body/water composition I keep mentioning, but it’s a thing.  By turning into steam, a caster can get into locked rooms or eavesdrop by spreading out somewhere while enemies talk.  People could easily mistake steam for fog if they aren’t close enough to feel the heat.  Even then, it might not cross their mind that it’s out of place.

You can also use steam to help escape or create a thick cloud that only you can move through without a problem.  This is perfect for assassins, thieves, and characters that aren’t interested in fighting.  It might not have to be a cloud too.  Throwing steam in an enemy’s face is enough to drive them away.  Have to remember that steam is more than water vapor, which I’ll get to in a second.  There’s the heat component here that can scald and burn similar to fire.

Water vapor is nothing more than the moisture, which can be manipulated to do anything from dehydrate an enemy to bathing.  I don’t know if I really have to go into this one because it can be seen as the basis for the other categories.  Once you control the tiny particles of water that are vapor, you can turn it into a liquid gusher, an ice shield, or a wave of steam.  Every use I come up with falls into one of these categories, but I figure it should be mentioned at least.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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14 Responses to Elemental Uses: Water the Tri-Form Element

  1. L. Marie says:

    Great post, Charles! Of course I think of Katara from Avatar (and or course Aang, since he could waterbend as well). And I think of Pokémon with water or ice power.

    I love how in Avatar the waterbenders lived in the North and the South but that weird water tribe lived in the swamp.

    When I think of steam, I think of fog, which is a useful defense. I also think of Scald, my favorite power in Pokémon. Hot steam shoots out and causes a burn in a competitor.

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    • I guess living among the glaciers makes sense, but weren’t there other waterbenders around the world at some point? It really felt like the waterbenders got shafted in terms of world-building. Fire and Earth had kingdoms while Air had the monk hideouts, but Water only had villages with not much of a central organization.

      Steam really doesn’t get used enough. Closest I can think of is Smoker from One Piece, but that’s smoke instead of steam.

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  2. Steam can be absolutely deadly, but would you need a fire guy to help that along? At least your victims would smell delicious. Some of this reminds me of Jason Fogg and his sneaking in and out of places.

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  3. Interesting use of this element. I have to believe steam or boiling water would be the most deadly. Of, course trying to breathe under a bunch wouldn’t be a life extender either. And how about a block of ice to the head. Man, I’m staying clear of the shower.

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  4. Very interesting ideas, I do have a few questions though:
    Under liquid you mention breathing underwater with an air bubble and line connected to the surface for fresh air, if there a second line for the used up air, or does it just dissipate into the surrounding water?
    Under solid ice, you mentioned that such a person could be useful as a guide on frozen mountains, can he or his powers to stop or cause avalanches? What about forming bridges to cross ravines?
    Under forgotten steam, I’m wondering if that kind of power could be used by an assassin to drown a mark?
    Also, what if two water wielders met in battle? Could a steam mage beat a ice mage?

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    • Both methods could work depending on what the person does, but the tether would act like a two-way street. A sealed bubble would definitely need a diffusion as well as a way to pull oxygen from the surrounding water.

      Avalanches composed entirely of snow and bridges made of ice with a layer of snow to stop slipping would fall under this category. Anything with stone wouldn’t work.

      Steam would scald and burn before it drowns a victim. At least if it’s at a very high temperature. We are able to walk through steam and breath to some extent, but it’s the heat that causes the real problem.

      The water wielders would probably negate each other or it’ll come down to whoever has the most power/experience.

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  5. Pingback: Writing Links 2/12/18 – Where Genres Collide

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