Romance of the Four Elements
Setting Details, World
The wold is as one might imagine: a round ball spinning in space around a sun, along with other round balls spinning around the same sun, and three moons spinning about it. It has every conceivable type of terrain, and a few that are inconceivable. It is inhabited by many strange and wonderful creatures, including those who are allegedly intelligent. Other worlds with a similar plurality of sentient life forms are said to exist, and that the current denizens of this world are descended from them, but those stories are incredibly old, and no one knows if they are true or not.
Within this world, a powerful force exists, and is useful for many purposes, provided that one has the mind and willpower to use it. This force is known as magic. It is composed of four energy types, known as the elements: Air, Fire, Earth, and Water. The force of magic permeates and influences all things in and of the world, but composes none of them. Most places in the world have people who have at least a small degree of competence with magic.
Each of the four elements has a special location in the world where that element is pure and powerful. At these locations the element manifests itself from its purified essence, and seeps into the world, bestowing its energy and nature upon it. These locations are known as the four elemental lighthouses. Recent airship travel has proven that they are indeed, positioned at equal distances from each other along the world’s equator, such that opposite elements face opposite directions when viewed from a global perspective.
Along with the normal sentient species of this world, there are a number of entities called spirits, or spirit-beings. They vary widely in form, appearance, demeanor, ethics, and power. Some of the most powerful of them are worshiped, or feared, as deities. A few are beneficial, bestowing blessings upon the inhabitants of an area, while a few are malevolent, aggressive, and adversarial, and are either appeased, placated, or otherwise fought heavily against. Most, however, have their own agendas, could care less what people do, and stay out of their affairs.