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Elemental Emotions

Not long after mages had first developed the spells and bindings to call forth beings from the four elemental planes, a rival faction of wizards was hard at work. Those mages, called mad, for reasons not entirely unfair, were just as sure that there would be a way to call upon another fundamental element.

The Four Humors

The established medical fact was that the humors are not present in any creature outside of the intelligent species. No physical recording had ever measured them outside those bodies. Not until the mad wizard Arisotol modified an exotic elemental summoning scroll, finishing the spell with a hacking cough. First contact was made. As it turns out, emotions were not the product of minds and hearts, but are manifestations of their purest elemental forms leaking through to this plane.


The phlegmatic plane is the esoteric realm of calm, peaceful, solitude. But it also regards desensitivity and overthinking. It has been related to the brain and the lungs, often thought of as the water proximate. A point of curiosity is often raised that this Humor was the first discovered, given that it is tied to the things spellcasters are most closely associated with, their mind and lungs.

At the crossroads of cold and wet, watery or flavorless foods are considered phlegmatic. Cucumbers, watercress, leafy vegetables, fish, dairy, and other similar foods are often found in the diet of mages wishing to balance their own humors prior, or following, a summoning of the Humors.


The melancholic plane contains the aspects of philosophy, obsession, depression, moodiness, or even paranoia. In more positive cases, the plane is closely tied to thoughtfulness, independence, or deference. The black, wispy form of the Melancholic Humors were thought to be tied to death or disease until Hippocurates, a medical wizard, made the connection to the body’s black bile of the gall bladder.

Melancholia sits at the intersection of cold and dry. This is typically associated with the sour or tart foods, especially those acidic in nature. Food beneficial to the melancholic humors will be dry white wines, vinegar, lemons, vinegar pickled foodstuffs, tomatos, etc.


Choleric humors embody the constant turmoils, change, and innovation of the human spirit. This can sometimes devolve into anger or countered by a rise of passion or leadership. The choleric spirit is quick to rise but also easily excitable or distracted. The yellowish color of its apparation was first described as “a sort of jaundiced yellow, faint in the moonlight”, tying it quickly and correctly to the state of the spleen and liver.

Choleric humors synergize with warm and dry foods. These tend to be the bitter or salty foodstuffs: rice, rosemary, olives, rabbit, goat, garlic, onions, peppers, and salt. These foods are also eaten to help an individual suffering from too much phlegm, and were well known to be favorites of the mage Aristotol, whether it was coincidence or prescience that he stumbled into a way to balance his delve into phlegmatic summoning.


The last of the four Humors to be correctly summoned and bound, the Sanguine plane is free-flowing, rambling, energetic, and warm. The plane is full of wild-ideas, half-finished, or exotic but untenable thoughts. It is responsible for the kindness given to strangers and for new friendships, but also for gullibility and short attention spans. No one has of yet been able to explain why the airy-white sanguine elementals are linked to the heart and blood, which would seem more fitting with a red-purple elemental.

Sanguine humors are thought of as warm and wet, with a strong focus on savory and sweet foods. Sugary desserts, pies, basil, butter, lamb, red wines, beer, and the like.

The Lesser Humors

As Humorists started rigorous exploration, through astral projection, of these four platonic realms, they found that each of the four had distinct borders with two of the others. Sanguine bordered choleric and phlegmatic. Melancholic likewise bordered choleric and phlegmatic, but nowhere did sanguine border melancholic. Each border realm had an upper and lower space, each distinct in the purity of the emotion felt by the explorer’s upon entering. Lesser creatures wandered about what came to be known as the lesser platonic realms, almost fixed in their behavior and thoughts.

These lesser elementals have even less purchase in the material plane, and are only visible in the perception of intelligent creatures. Each has an effect on the creatures around it, an attack against those hostile to it, and a susceptibility.

Anger: The lower realm between sanguine and choleric. This realm stokes the righteous furies and mindless rages in those within it or around its elementals. It is partially countered by courage, and directly opposed by Calm and Fear.

Courage: The upper realm between sanguine and choleric. Those in its sway are emboldened to take risks and instigated towards overplaying their hand. It is partially countered by Anger, and opposed by Calm and Fear.

Disgust: The lower realm between choleric and melancholic. Its effects will play up natural aversions, rend apart social connections, or prevent new connections being made. Disgust is lessened by Joy, and diametrically opposed by Curiosity and Sadness.

Joy: The upper realm between choleric and melancholic. The lesser platonic realm of joy will cause overstimulation and an overwhelming of the normal senses that protect from harm. Joy is lessened by Disgust, and diametrically opposed by Curiosity and Sadness.

Fear: The lower realm between phlegmatic and melancholic, this realm inspires mindless avoidance, retreat, or paralysis. Fear is weakened by Calm, but is opposed by Courage and Anger.

Calm: The upper realm between phlegmatic and melancholic, this realm spreads non-violent calm and a slow-minded consideration towards threats. Calm is weakened by Fear, but is opposed by Courage and Anger.

Sadness: The lower realm between phlegmatic and sanguine. Sadness’ elemental humor causes lethargy and morose introspection, as well as weakening the mind to outside emotion. Sadness’ effects are lessened by Curiosity and are greatly weakened by Joy and Disgust.

Curiosity: The upper realm between phlegmatic and sanguine. Curiosity’s elemental humor causes hyperactivity and cautionless pursuit of novelty, as well as weakening the mind to outside temptation. Curiosity’s effects are lessened by Sadness and are greatly weakened by Joy and Disgust.

Not a perfect match, but imagine each silhouette is one fragment of a single astral traveller, whipping through all these emotions, roiling between the platonic Humors.

Lesser Humors lack a strong material form and can only influence intelligent creatures. Sometimes, they can weakly influence the direct emotional creations of intelligent creatures: the blood of a slashed throat, a passionate mural, the desolate field, or the recent discovery. A disastrous war between the two rival schools of summoners was dominated by the elementalists, quickly followed by tragic and poorly thought out summonings resulting in the madness, exile, or deaths of almost all Humorists. Remaining knowledge remained fragmentary, closely guarded, or trapped in forbidden tomes.

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