Type: Elemental (Earth, Extraplanar)
Environment: Where Summoned
Special Qualities: Damage reduction, earth grab, elemental traits
From the personal journal of Azalai Korias, Elven Wizard.
26 Eyre, 998:
The ogre shaman we defeated yesterday was carrying a small gemstone radiating moderate conjuration magic. I have had time to study the bauble, and believe it to be a summoning device known as an Elemental Gem. When crushed, it should open a portal to one of the planes and bind a large elemental to fight for us. Elemental Gems can be attuned to any of the four elements, but the dull brown color of this one indicates that it is most likely to summon an earth elemental.
Earth elementals typically dwell deep within the mountains of Lamannia, the Twilight Forest. These living embodiments of the strength and resilience of stone rarely leave their homes unless summoned, and make excellent melee combatants when subtlety is not required. They are capable of following only the simplest orders - crush this, pound that to rubble - but one summons earth elementals for the immense strength contained within their hulking forms, not for witty conversation.
27 Eyre, 998:
I almost feel sorry for the minotaurs that ambushed us today.
We were returning from the outpost after delivering a shipment of supplies, and found ourselves surrounded. A shaman and two warriors blocked our advance while a berserker rushed out of the foliage from behind. Caught off-guard, I decided to test the gem we found.
The ground shook as a sixteen foot tall mass of stone burst forth from the surface. The elemental raised a clublike arm and knocked one of the minotaur warriors to one side like a child’s toy, then advanced on the shaman. Glowing bands of force immobilized the berserker as Khovis channeled Onatar's holy power, and the other warrior struck futilely at the elemental’s stony form.
It's amazing how quickly an ambush can turn sour. I interrupted the shaman's attempts to cast with a quick Magic Missile spell, and clearly their resolve was breaking. The minotaurs turned to flee.
Earth elementals are not particularly swift, but our pet did not want its quarry to escape. It thrust its hands deep within the earth, and to my surprise its hands erupted out beneath the minotaur shaman. The elemental’s stony hands grabbed onto the shaman’s legs, immobilizing it and dealing significant damage.
The shaman fell, and the elemental lumbered off into the jungle after the other minotaurs. I attempted to exert my will upon the creature but it ignored my commands, eager to continue the carnage. I suspect that there is something about Xen’drik that interferes with the mental control a summoner normally can impose on minions, something that I’d like to study more if given the chance.
I will certainly be more careful in the future.
The earth elemental falls into a unique classification of creatures about whom human understanding is at once complete and yet utterly lacking. For powerful wizards and sorcerers, the art of summoning up these powerful manifestations of the primeval earth is well-established. While violent and primordial by nature, control over these creatures - sentient creatures, though not especially bright - is relatively easy to establish, with centuries of documented experience. And yet still, very little is known about the ultimate nature of these creatures. Why do they exist? Was the spark of life and a dim torch of intelligence placed inside these creatures by some nature deity, by extraplanar beings, or by the act of creation itself?
To the adventurers or Xen'drik, these questions must finally be left aside for sages and arcane researchers. There's enough information to master in the defeating of these strong and tough opponents. And they are strong indeed, possessed of a strength that no mortal man or woman could match. And with their attunement to the ground, the earth elemental can reach forth a fist of stone out of the ground beneath their opponent, preventing movement while the elemental brings its slamming fists of stone. More impressive, though, is their sheer implacability. The earth elemental is immune to critical hits and sneak attacks, resistant to many spells and spell energies, and possessed of a magical toughness that reduces strong blows to mere nicks against their rocky surface. Unlike many other forms of such damage resistance, no enchanted property or energy has been known to penetrate the toughness of the earth elemental. Magic that repels extraplanar beings - most commonly dismissal - is the best tool against these foes. Meanwhile, rogues are at a significant disadvantage when dealing with earth elementals, and more talented members of that class frequently turn to wands, scrolls, and other accoutrements that are powered by their uncanny knack for magical apparati.
Even after mastering the defeat of the typical human-sized earth elemental specimen, talented adventurers sometimes continue to prove their valor against the summonings of more powerful wizards and sorcerers - great hulking masses of earth that have all of their smaller kin's toughness and yet still greater strength to bludgeon even the toughest dwarf into star-filled oblivion.