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 two remaining types of ley lines: Earth and Air, and their interactions with the world around them, as well as interaction between them. 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, Water is covered here, and Wood is here).

What are catastrophes that could be caused by very high volumes of Earth and Air 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.


closed as too broad by JDługosz, Samuel, bowlturner, bilbo_pingouin, a CVn Feb 19 '16 at 20:27

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ What does "very high volumes of Earth and Air magic going rampant" actually mean? I have no experience with those magics, so I can't simply increase from a known volume to a very high one. You need to specify, else this is too broad. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Feb 19 '16 at 19:12

These are some excerpts from a game I play on my phone (Zed's Alchemy) You could also pull some inspiration from the other Alchemy game that's out there too.

Earth + Air = Dust Dust storms spanning across an entire ley line area.

Earth + Earth = Pressure Massive earthquakes resulting in reshaping a ley line area

Air + Stone = Sand Desert landscape created by the massive dust storm.

Sand + Pressure = Silicon? Magical rise of the machines maybe

I'm a big fan of magic acting in a "natural" manner. If you haven't read/heard about her, Mercedes Lackey has a series of books that portrays magic in this manner. Heralds of Valdemar if you'd like to check it out.


Pure Air Catastrophes

Two words: Weather Systems. You can argue that this would mix with water ley lines, but even just shakeups like El Niño or Nor'easters cause huge impacts on the world! I would expect new or unexpected weather that would make meteorologists cry. Don't forget that weather impacts everything we do, from growing crops to what clothes we wear.

Pure Earth Catastrophes

Obviously, earthquakes would be a major one here. Expedited movement of tectonic plates would easily decimate human populations, and leave (possibly) millions without food, shelter, or other basic needs. Earth Ley Lines could even make mountains form where mountains ought not to, or cause valleys to mush together, swallowing everyone inside.

Additionally, a changing landscape will alter watersheds (drainage basins). Switching up the landscape could possibly produce new floodplains, which people will have to deal with. Some people may not consider these changes tragic, but odds are most of them will be.

Mixed Catastrophes

This is a potentially infinite area, so I'm just going to recommend a method for developing them.

  1. Choose a "pure" element catastrophe
  2. Add another element, and determine how that would modify it.

So, earth + air could result in:

  • Floating Islands
  • Sandstorm
  • Mud Storm (as a result of water being added?)
  • Mountain with permanent winds (less obvious, but fun!)

The World is Shot

  • Sandstorms
  • Dust storms
  • Earth geysers
  • Jet stream rearrangement
  • Tornadoes
  • Firenadoes
  • If nature magic, sharknadoes
  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Gales
  • Pebble rain
  • Fissures
  • Random rock bullets
  • Mudslides
  • Landslide
  • Whirlwinds
  • Dust devils
  • Golems?
  • Random mass-murder of flying birds
  • Lava flows
  • Volcanoes
  • Mole-men
  • Mushrooms spreading everywhere
  • Leaf-based storms, not yet named
  • Invisibility by air-light refraction
  • Brown skies
  • Petroleum finds
  • New mining ops
  • Ground-hugging breezes
  • Malicious clouds
  • Rain
  • Hail
  • Big hail
  • Unseasonable snow
  • Lighting
  • Sprite lightning
  • Ball lightning
  • Sheet lightning
  • Chain Lightning
  • Burning mud geysers
  • God gives up and leaves
  • Choking self-contained death-clouds
  • Crystals everywhere
  • Skeletons re-animate and burst forth
  • Snowballs
  • Electrified air
  • Electrified ground
  • Earth tentacles

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