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I've been thinking of a fantasy setting with the four classical elements - fire, water, earth and wind - and secondary elements that are fusions of the classical elements.

  • Fire + water = decay/corrosion, combining the burning nature of fire with the dissolving nature of water
  • Fire + earth = metal/steel, since fire can smelt ore into metal
  • Fire + wind = lightning, since lightning is extremely hot and involves electricity being conducted through air
  • Water + earth = nature/life, since these are both important for living organisms, most obviously plants
  • Water + wind = ice, since ice is frozen water and wind can cool things down

However, I can't think of any good secondary element for earth + wind. When I imagine these two elements together, I imagine a dust storm or sand storm, but that's not really an element.

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  • $\begingroup$ We prefer questions which can be answered in an objectively measurable way. You are giving no evaluation metric and seem to be just fishing for ideas. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Nov 22 '20 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ When you have a user posting five wildly different answers in the space of 15 minutes, I'd say that's a clear sign that the question is too broad. Voting to close. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Nov 22 '20 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ in classic dnd water and earth gives you acid and earth and wind gives you sonic, why reinvent the wheel. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Nov 22 '20 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ You have a mix of abstract concepts (decay, nature) and physical properties (metal, ice), making it difficult to answer. $\endgroup$
    – rek
    Nov 22 '20 at 18:11
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Pollen, and thus reproduction

Change water-earth to be growth of an existing plant (and thus growth of an individual), and earth-wind to be one plant fertilising another via pollen travelling on the wind. This can link in with sexual reproduction in animals.

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Let's make a cross-reference table!

Now, we need to use some other help to guide us: Fire is hot and very destructive, Earth is warm and very creative, Water is cool and somewhat creative, Wind is cold and somewhat destructive.

Metal is the epitome of heat and can be used for war (destruction) and peace (creation).

Clouds are warm (Hot+cool=warm) and can bring life as well as destruction, the latter aspect often amplified in the tertiary element of Storm (Fire+Water+Wind)

Wood is the pinnacle of creation and temperative neutral - you can fuel the fire with it, or you can build a cooling box with it. It's tertiary with Fire is coal.

Lightning is the ultimate destruction, and often comes with clouds (just add Water, and we are at the tertiary Storm again)

So, now, what is missing? A creative, but cooling element. How about Clay? Clay can be used to create a lot of things, but pottery is inherently fragile, their destruction always lurks under the surface.

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This is what the Moon is made of.

Astronomers have made carefull observations, and the moon looks like it's made of rock. But it clearly floats in the sky, which ordinary rock doesn't. Ergo, it consists of a mixture of Wind and Earth.

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Levitation

Earth is usually static and bound to the ground. But when manipulated, and when paired with Wind, the element of freedom, your characters gain the power to levitate basic objects.

Barrier / Shield

By applying the rigid properties of the Earth to the winds channeled in front of a mage, your characters manage to summon a barrier / shield before themselves to protect against basic projectiles or weak spells.

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Thunder and Lightning

A typical element that falls from the sky (Air) towards the ground (Earth).

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  • $\begingroup$ Lightning already is Fire+Earth $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Nov 22 '20 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish You're right. Just me being a silly sausage (as usual). $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Nov 22 '20 at 18:16

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