Elementary, My Dear Reader

This wasn’t what I intended to post next, but I’m still working on the “fleet carriers” post. In the meantime, have some more words.

So, among the basic words in a language, certainly for chemists, are those for various substances, and this is as true in Eldraeic as it is for any other language.

If we are to begin at the beginning, it would be with the classical elements, which in the Old Empires region were usually held to be six: air, fire (andra), water (alír), wood, metal, and stone (azik). But that is not quite enough to describe anything but what were, in the ancient days, considered the most fundamental substances, it being their combinations that gave rise to all the myriad components of the world.

And so, in the next step down, the first eldraeic alchemists divided substances into airs (gases), clays (“woody earths”, of which there seemed to be rather a lot), crystals (“metallic stones”, likewise), fires, metals, oils (“fiery waters”), salts (“stony waters”), waters, woods, and stones, thus:

  • aessoth: a (type of) crystal; any crystalline (to the eye) substance
    (from aesa “crystal” + oth “substance, stuff”)
  • alíroth: a (type of) water; any watery substance
    (from alír “water” + oth)
  • azikoth: a (type of) stone; any stony substance
    (from azik “rock, stone” + oth)
  • claithalíroth: a (type of) oil; any oily substance
    (“dark/shadowed water”, from claith “shadow” + alíroth)
  • ésaeroth: a (type of) salt; any salt or similar substance
    (“many little crystals”; from é [diminutive prefix] + aesa + oth)
  • múszikoth: a (type of) clay; any clay-like or earthy substance
    (from músel “soft” + azikoth)
  • nistraöth: a (type of) metal; any metallic substance
    (from nistra “forge” + oth)
  • teliroth: a (type of) air; any airy substance, or gas
    (from telír “sky” + oth)
  • lethroth: a (type of) wood; any woody or fleshy substance
    (from leth “life” + oth; note that lethroth includes both wood and meat, as the classical element does)

There is also:

  • andradoth: a (type of) fire; any fiery substance

Resulting from the common ancient confusion that fire is an element, rather than a process. Although while not substances, it is still possible to consider various different types of fire (i.e., different combustion reactions) and arguably plasmas as subcategories of andradoth.

To provide a comprehensive list of substances would of course be a virtually endless task, but let’s simply start with the metals, of which there were a pleasantly limited number known in ancient days:

  • andralis: uranium (“fire-metal”; it’s warm to the touch)
  • arídanis: gold (“sun-metal”; from the color)
  • ashínis: silver (“star-metal”)
  • brans: iron; also bransael, steel, and telbrans (“sky-iron”), meteoric iron.
  • glénis: tin (“key-metal”, so called because it unlocks the potential of other metals, such as copper and lead)
  • morins: copper (“red-metal”; from the color)
  • púlnónis: lead (“mass-metal”; obviously, it’s heavy)
  • traäshínis alír (“star-metal water”): mercury

And there you are. Go forth, and talk about stuff!

Vol. 6: Mechal Elementals

Among the first known of all nanorobotic machines were the so-called mechal elementals, the maintenance mechanisms of Eliéra. While the common conception of that artificial world is that its ecology is maintained and guided by the computation and matter editation layers buried in its core, this perception is false – these are merely the most prominent elements in a complex system.

These nanorobotics have existed for the entire history of the eldrae on Eliéra, and from long before, having been part of the world since its construction by the Precursors. This is reflected in their names and taxonomy, since long before robots, mechanicals, or even simple clockwork automata were dreamed of, the ancient eldrae knew them as elemental spirits, emanations of Sylithandríël, eikone of the natural world, and Her first six children/souls, the Six Elemental Dragons.

The traditional taxonomy of the mechal elementals reflect this origin, as they are classified under their presumed elemental aspects, including such elementals as the silt spawn and stone mothers, responsible for counteracting the long-term secular erosion of the mountains; the cloud shepherds and smoke sylphs in the air; wave undines and river carvers; soil churners of the fields and the dryads of the forests; the magma krakens that churn the fires below and the flame swallows that govern their release; and the gemlords and ore ants known to generations of miners and tunnel explorers.

In the modern era, of course, we know all of these to be nanomechanical systems, part of the planetary maintenance architecture answering to the central computation layer. That said, since these systems are now overseen by the archai Sylithandríël and Her subroutines, the ancient theological view is now arguably more true than it was at its inception; and, indeed, the archai maintains the validity of the old lore of elemental beckoning, bargaining, and abjuration that the ancient eldrae painstakingly discovered to deal with the alien animating intelligences of “wild” mechal elementals before the Transcend, despite the ability to communicate directly via gnostic link.

Many of the mechal elemental designs have been repurposed for use as ecopoesis tools elsewhere. This volume describes both these, and also those mechal elementals most commonly seen in the wild and in history, along with both the modern and ancient protocols for interacting with and commanding them.

First, we describe the elementals of the Air, the emanations of the Air Dragon…

– Concordance of Robotic Systems and Animating Intelligences, 221st ed.