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Referring back to https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/2781/magic-came-back-catastrophes

In the interest of narrowing questions down, I am splitting these out into particular elements and element combinations.

So, in summary, Ley Lines have just become active again on Modern Earth, and are wreaking natural and unnatural havoc on the world.

This question will focus on the Wood ley lines, and their interactions with the world around them, as well as interaction between Wood and the other 2 elements not yet covered: Air and Earth. Ley lines are not restricted to a particular area, but exist across the entire world. Some places have denser concentrations than others. (Interactions with Fire are covered here and Water is covered here).

What are catastrophes that could be caused by very high volumes of Wood magic going rampant, and clashing with other elemental magics also going rampant? Again, this can be of any scope, as long as it does not result in a mass extinction event. And I'm quite okay with every combo not always producing the same results.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does wood magic involve things like faerie wood spirits or forest guardians, or anything wrathful that might look for what wiped out the previous forests and jungles? Or is it mainly mechanistic or impersonal or indifferent to past loss of plant life? $\endgroup$
    – Dronz
    Oct 20 '14 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ There are elementals that exist alongside the Ley Lines, but won't really pop up until things start to settle down. The lines themselves are non-sentient, and while the elementals are capable of holding grudges, they functionally didn't exist while magic was sealed, they have no knowledge of what has happened prior to their re-awakening. $\endgroup$ Oct 20 '14 at 17:37
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Even if a surge in Wood magic leads to a relatively fast eruption of forest or jungle where before there was no dense vegetation, this could have some disastrous effects for the species and people who had adapted to its previous situation. When a large contiguous area of land changes its biome type, it will tend to be a different kind of habitat loss for whatever lived there before, even as expanding tree cover can deny needed light for underbrush, etc.

For example, if there are large migratory herd animals adapted to a certain path that gets overgrown with forest, the herd may not follow its old path, which might be a huge problem for them, or if not for them, for whatever was used to them appearing where they used to appear. Displaced predators and prey may roam to new areas, disrupting farms and other species, or grazing away plants needed to prevent erosion elsewhere.

Plants also have large effects on landscape erosion and possibly river water, possibly causing diversion of rivers away from cities which depended on them, and leading to flooding elsewhere, or subtler effects such as reduced erosion leading to less minerals in water leading to affected adapted plants downstream, and so possible mysterious crop failures as conditions change.

Bird migrations may also be greatly affected.

Those are all just relatively subtle effects of biome changes. If the Wood magic can cause mutations or even the appearance new or old species somehow, depending on what the nature of this magic is, you might have the appearance of great beasts or "monsters". There might also be great witherings of existing plants, or a great eruption of mold and fungus spores making practically all food impossible to preserve. There might also be high levels of effective toxins, hallucinogens, or magic in all the plants (or even all living matter) in the area, disrupting, changing, or wiping out pre-existing life in the area, as well as creating a lot of potential spell and potion ingredients.

Perhaps there could be a perverse interaction between berserk Wood and Fire ley lines, where fast eruptions of flammable plants were followed by sudden fires, leading to an awful series of large-scale landscape fires. Perhaps an Air ley line might do something awful with all the resulting smoke, as well. There could also be an awful mixture somewhere of crazy swamp life producing lots of methane, directed by Air magic to wash over and choke out air-breathers somewhere, and/or be suddenly ignited by fire, leading to huge methane explosions far away from the magic swamp that generated the methane.

Greatly increased fertility in any species can have awful effects - locusts, mosquitoes, giant wasps... even on Earth there are some terrifying giant wasps - if boosted to great numbers and aggression by magic - yikes! Water creatures might also suddenly be a great danger if hit by life magic - perhaps plagues of piranha, aggressive sharks, giant kraken, or super-fast-growing giant barnacles eating through ship hulls.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you include what happens when it interacts with the Earth ley line? $\endgroup$
    – DonyorM
    Oct 21 '14 at 13:05
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Effect of rampant wood magic

Since according to your linked question, wood magic is connected to life and growth, I would expect that rampant wood magic would cause things getting alive and/or grow larger than normal.

For example, wood (furniture, roof frameworks) could suddenly come alive again, growing fresh sprouts (and possibly destabilizing any wood construction). Als, dead animals/human corpses could come back to life, but without their mind coming back, making them a sort of zombie (but without the usual behaviour/infection traits of classic zombies).

The growth aspect would make all sorts of plants to grow faster and larger. This will especially be the case for weeds, which may cause problems not only for agriculture (where the weed overwhelms the crop), but also in construction (weeds growing through asphalt and destroying it, or plants growing in wall slits, ultimately destroying the walls with their roots.

Another thing whose growth may be amplified is moulds. Wood structures could be weakened and fail due to that.

Interaction with other magic

Earth

Since you wrote earth is for durability, this means that the plants that grow are very durable; for example, there would not be weeds, but trees growing in the walls of houses, and destroying them. Also, it would cause weeds that are extraordinarily resistant to herbicides, and zombies that are especially hard to kill.

Air

Since you associated air magic with rapid change, it would add to the rapid growth due to wood magic.

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With wood or growth or 'life' things could be very interesting. As it goes wild because it is not where it belongs and is 'searching' it will likely be trying at the same time to force it's location to at least partially meet it needs.

So lumber in buildings and structures might sprout and grow. Urban areas with sparser life might have huge changes. Since there is 'less' to absorb the power. Rats might grow to huge size or propagate at incredible levels overrunning sections of the city. Fungus would go wild, might even 'evolve' to 'eat' steel or glass, making it possible for a sky-scrapper to rot away. As people are going to be one of the largest groups of living organisms they could be affected as well maybe turned into trolls, elves etc... though I am assuming humans are mostly going to be ignored.

Wood would be very much be enhanced with water allowing for huge growth potential for plants, maybe even causing tropical jungles to spring up overnight, even in the middle of a desert.

Wood with Fire would be a volatile mix where fire would try and consume wood.

wood and air, this is a little harder, unless tornadoes gain a 'life of their own'

wood and earth, if they meet in a city, wood could be strengthened enough to do terrible damage to sidewalks, buildings and roads.

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