As tempting as it is to try and tackle four different monsters in one article, I do have other things I have to do today. So we’re gonna break this into another multi-parter.
Elementals are the living incarnations of the forces that make up the universe, namely water, earth, fire, and air. On their own planes, they are little more than energy; a water elemental has no physical form within the Water Plane. However, they will take a body if summoned to the Material Plane by a powerful spellcaster. They have no society or culture, much less a sense of being.
There are multiple methods of summoning such a creature, such as an item or a spell. Not that they’ll appreciate it; they tend to resent those who bind them into service. The summoner must assert a strong will in order to avoid being punished.
Especially powerful magic can give these elementals a more solid form. Invisible stalkers, for example, are air elementals, and water weirds are water elementals. The strength of these forms depends on the magic and materials used to summon them. For example, an iron form would hold the creature better than clay would.
Not gonna lie: I don’t find this lore especially interesting. At best, you can add a bit of flavor to your campaign by giving the villain (or a party member) an elemental to control. But you can’t weave an entire story around this lore. Fuck, you can’t even write a sidequest.
But hey. It made for a short and easy article. So… I’ll take the win.
Maybe I should’ve done all four after all…