I am roleplaying in a lore where elemental justification is really poor. However, loving a good and strong background, I would like to explain why my character is / would be able to manipulate elements instead of using a gauntlet to do so (his class, by design, uses a gauntlet to simulate elements like fire balls or water drops. The 'how' is not explained. It is just as it is.)

Which body / physiologic / evolution could allow a human being to manipulate water ? We are looking here at both scientific (if possible) and/or plausible justifications (= something else that "You can just do it, it is a fantasy magic world").

Here are the perks, considering the result we are trying to achieve:

  • The "shape" of the body of the manipulator must stay the same. That means no new limb or body modification such as a third eye or gills.
  • Internal body evolution (new type of cells, ducts to bring particles to part of the bodies) are to consider if they do not change our basic body shape.
  • Water manipulation implies creating / gathering water in a sufficient quantity, using it as a weapon (drop / beam), increasing its pressure (to use it as an efficient weapon).
  • Water temperature modification is not to consider. To simplify, it's cold.
  • It will be manipulated / created in its liquid form.
  • Important Only the water created by the user can be handled by him.

Additional info:

  • In the world we are discussing here, elements went to the world through an event called the "quadramental wind". It came from the interactions between dragon eggs and its impact is the reason why elemental magic even exists in the first place. Before that, the world was just a plain world, without any elemental magic in it. Living creatures lived there in peace and harmony (... I think.)
  • Basic humanoid shape, human-like people.
  • The gauntlet is a piece of technology created by the group of people our character belongs to. We can thus safely assume they managed to create technology to simulate effects like thunder, fireballs, raindrops or ethereal weapons.
  • It is a "kind-of" medieval fantasy world. Dragons occur (very rarely), golems and fire elemental are a thing there.
  • Physics apply like in our real world (gravity is Earth-like, our planet orbits around a Sun ...)

I am really open-minded and would be glad to discuss / answer any additional info you need to let water flow through the answers.

Let the water splash !

I plan on writing the same kind of question / referencing questions related to others elements (Earth, Wind, Fire), so that they would be all linked together for a quick browsing.

  • $\begingroup$ Hello Yassine and welcome! You may want to take the tour in order to become acquainted with the purpose of this site. "Elements went to the world through a wind": what does this even mean? Isn't air / wind itself one of the elements? What was the world made of before the elements "went to it"? Otherwise, asking "how" can a character do whatever they do in a world where our physics doesn't apply is unanswearable. The real world is not made of fire, wind, water and earth. How things work in a world made of fire, wind, water and earth is the storyteller's job to tell. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    May 4, 2018 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ Hello AlexP, thanks ! I will edit my question taking in account those tips, thank you for your help ! $\endgroup$ May 4, 2018 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ Edit done, tell me if you need any other feedback ! $\endgroup$ May 4, 2018 at 15:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I have a meta post specifically concerning elemental magic because those types of questions almost always have the same issues, see worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5216/… Feel free to contribute there and get inspiration from the 2 examples you will find in there. Sadly there isn't much more $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    May 4, 2018 at 15:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is really opinion based. You might want to consider testing the next questions out on The Sandbox. Just an FYI. $\endgroup$ May 4, 2018 at 21:43

3 Answers 3


If I'm reading your question correctly, the gauntlet allows him to create water, and he can only manipulate the water he creates.

If so, then you can say that the created water contains some kind of amoeba type creatures that works like a utility fog.
Basically the amoeba have pseudopods that can reach out and connect to other amoeba and contain the water. By adjusting their pseudopods they can change their structure, and so in the process manipulate the water.

It would look a lot like the water tentacle scene in the movie The Abyss:



So the classical elements were elements because they were the building blocks of all matter to some degree... that is, ancient Greeks believed that all matter had some concentration of Water, Fire, Earth, and Air that made them that thing and changing the composition of one element you could change the nature of the thing. For example, lets say a branch from a tree is made of 2 parts earth, one part water, one part air, and have no fire. If we burn a branch, we add fire to this object, which creates smoke (one part fire, one part water, one part earth, and one part air) and ash (one part earth, one part fire).

In your element system, you could say that life only happens when you have some mixture of all elements. Your gauntlets are devices that allow the user to amplify an elemental characteristic of themselves without changing their own nature. If a human is an elemental mixture that is 7 parts water, 2 parts earth, 1/2 part air and 1/2 part fire, and is wearing the water gauntlet that person is now 20 parts water, 2 parts earth, 1/2 part fire, 1/2 part air). But, as the new additional element is not removed from the body, it is essential additional pure element that obeys the will of the gauntlet wielder. This person can now will the water into a variety of different configurations and forms in much the same way as they will their body to stand or sit.

How you explain the amplification effect the gauntlet creates will be related to your desire for a more magical explination (a wizard created it with a spell) or science (elemental amplification particles). I would recommend that a gauntlet amplify a single element, as the strength of the amplification would not be the same because the fire amplification for 20 fire will be stronger than the water amplification for 20 water.

  • $\begingroup$ The problem is this is only cosmology from classical antiquity. The Chinese believed in 5 basic elements ("wood" was in the centre of the traditional 4). There is no reason that cosmology need be limited to 4 elements, you could simply consider all elements manifestations of Aether, for example, or add "light" and "dark" to the traditional 4 to create a "3D" cosmology. There needs to be much more clarity to the question to truly consider this. $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    May 5, 2018 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Thucydides: The OP asked about the classical 4 of antiquity, or showed interest in extending it to those 4. Ultimately, the OP will use whatever system they please, but this is an idea of how that system could work with such a device. $\endgroup$
    – hszmv
    May 7, 2018 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ I found the OP to be rather unclear as to what cosmology was being referenced, so without some clarity, even good answers like this one are incomplete at best. $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    May 8, 2018 at 0:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Thucydides: "I plan on writing the same kind of question / referencing questions related to others elements (Earth, Wind, Fire), so that they would be all linked together for a quick browsing." From the OP, very last line of the question. $\endgroup$
    – hszmv
    May 8, 2018 at 16:08

Because we are proposing that the only the water summoned by the caster can be manipulated by them, a lot of science based ideas I had when initially reading your question went out of the window at that point. (I was actually thinking a mechanic similar to Frozone(TM) from the Incredibles)

However, In a mythical world, the mythos is king.

As it currently stands, here's my version of what you have told us: The elemental magics were deposited here brought through from another dimension, as were the dragon eggs. Summoned or expelled from their own reality, phase-shifted into this one, by the quadramental wind along with a dose of the energy that courses through these realms. Perhaps each of the realms sent the eggs to serve as emissaries, or perhaps they were sent to preserve them from some other-dimensional cataclysm, Superman style. Now, the gauntlet has been fashioned that performs the same inter-dimensional siphoning trick, except: The summoned element maintains a link to the realm from whence it came, through the gauntlet. By manipulating and controlling this link, the gauntlet controls the summoned matter/energy

Other open questions that you can explore with this: - Are there more life-forms in these realms? - do they object to the essence of their reality being taken/borrowed in this way? - Could there be reprisal or consequence for abuse of this power? - Does the Magic completely return to its realm of origin, or are traces left behind?


If you want to remove the Gauntlet from this equation, then the process or event that imbues a human with the ability to manipulate and summon these elemental magics would primarily be by interaction with a corresponding dragon. Drinking Dragon's blood/tears, Consuming one of it's eggs or inhaling it's breath or other... gasses could be likely ways to introduce the relevant link with the dragons ancestral dimension in order to allow the person to start summoning and controlling that energy. Alternatively maybe it is only by being favoured or rescued by one of the dragons and subsequently having the link bestowed upon you that grants these powers.


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