Triangle of 10 Elements (magic system)

In my fantasy world, Takeover Creania, I have three gods that control the elements and thus its lush magical power:

  1. Seraphina - elder sister, goddess of the Sun and Fire (heat and flames)
  2. Hassan - middle brother, god of the Stars and Lightning (seas and storms)
  3. Falon - younger sister, goddess of the Moon and Ice (water itself sometimes)

My overall plan for this magic system is this, each one of these gods divided the people of this world into thirds, but after many of war, you (the main character or avatar) begin this adventure in a new time of peace. Each one of the Three Main Elements combines to form the "Triangle of 10 Elements." Imagine a triangle of 10 dots with the elements of Fire (red), Lightning (yellow), and Ice (blue) each representing one point of this triangle.

Don't understand? Triangle base=4 > then 3 > then 2 > then 1 = 10 elements

My major problem is this, I can't for the life of me come up with the 6 (or 7) other elements that must go into this triangle.

There are three races of this fantasy world that were created when the 3 Gods divided the human race, each one represents that one main element of their god. Once there was a time when the three races couldn't interbreed, but since now peace has come to rein, these three elements have come into being (based off of the dominant and recessive genes of their parents of course).

FIRE (red) - ?(dark orange) - ?(light orange) - LIGHTNING (yellow) - ?(lime green) - ?(turquoise) - ICE (blue) - ?(indigo/violet) - ?(magenta/pink) - FIRE Cycled Again

Triangle Center (black, gray, or white?) - Nothingness/Air, the fourth god, the god that was destroyed before it was born, blinded by hatred and chaos, this magic can be used the humans regularly, but under strict authority guidance.

10 Elements: 1=Fire, 2=Fire-Lightning, 3=Lightning-Fire, 4=Lightning, 5=Lightning-Ice, 6=Ice-Lightning, 7=Ice, 8=Ice-Fire, 9=Fire-Ice, 10=Nothingness

Now do you see my problem? The three main elements based off types of energy, heat, motion, and coldness, so I don't really know how to mix properly. I need some serious help on this one, please.

Here's what I have so far: Dark Orange=earth/rock, Light Orange=light/holy, Lime=nature/wood, Turquoise=poison, Indigo=darkness, Magenta=celestial/gravity

I don't like these combinations at all, something doesn't seem right, I've based them off of the colors alone, that's why I need help, it needs to be more scientific or more energy-based, but I also need a complete range of elemental magic for this fantasy world of mine (like earth and poison maybe).

Please and Thank You!

  • $\begingroup$ Are you absolutely set on the three base elements? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ I wish I am, because my story kind of depends on it, these are the gods of the sun, stars, and moon for crying out loud, I'm not sure what other elemental triad could go along with them. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ Fire/Lightning/Ice, Fire/Lightning/Water, Fire/Earth/Water, Fire/Water/Grass, Fire/Water/Wind $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ Sun -> Fire, giant ball of fire in the sky; Moon -> Stone, giant ball of rock in the sky; Star -> Water, shining droplets of rain against the sky. And that's just off the top of my head. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ You really should wait a little longer before accepting an answer. It can discourage other answers, and you might get something that fits better or inspires other choices. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 16:07

5 Answers 5


From http://www.guildcompanion.com/scrolls/1999/oct/etherealvisions2.html which I think is Dungeons and Dragons inspired.

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I post this because of the interfaces and how they have considered them. A good inspiration.

Here is my own rendition of your pyramid. I kept the names of your divinities and their colors. The colors in between are 2/3 one and 1/3 the other except for the center Earth, which is equally all 3 and so is brown.

enter image description here

The bottom row is from the OP. We (my assistant Gwen and I!) used living things for the middle of the pyramid. For one there is a lack of celestial things to fill that in (rainbows? fog?) and for two living things give energy to the story. Considering plants as two categories was kind of neat I thought.

The center one Earth needs to play a role in your story. Traditional element systems have 4 or 6 elements. Earth being equal parts each should be represented by a divinity as well. This entity might show up partway through your story and would add energy. Maybe it is a child. How can you have a child of 3 entities? Read some Indian mythology and open your mind to different kinds of conceptions.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot, Will, this is perfect. I didn't know so many people on this website would be so handy so quickly, this is literally my question on this website! Usually I'm good at these sorts of things, but for this one elemental chart, I didn't know what to do, thank you. And your speculation on the fourth god is absolutely correct, great job! In my story the center god represents earth, darkness, and chaos, it is either he nor she, because it was killed before birth. This child god is the main villain of the story, but gets redeemed by the end. THANK YOU! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 18:23

To summarize, you have:

  • Sun/Fire
  • Stars/Lightning
  • Moon/Ice(water)

The pairings of celestial bodies to elements makes the most sense for the sun and the moon. The connection between stars and lightning is more tenuous - after all, the sun is just another star. You might consider adding other planetary bodies:

  • Planets
  • Asteroids
  • Comets
  • Meteor(ites)
  • Supernova
  • Northern lights

Your elements (fire, lightning, and ice) are a mix of:

  • Exothermic chemical oxidation
  • Nuclear fusion
  • Electrical discharge
  • Low temperature phase change (freezing) for h2o

Some other important physical and chemical phenomena you might incorporate are:

  • Gravity
  • Magnetism
  • Nuclear fission
  • High temperature phase change (boiling, melting)
  • Acid/base reactions
  • Erosion
  • Plant growth
  • Volcanism/plate tectonics/earthquakes
  • Animals

Hope this gives you some ideas.


There are tons of elemental possibilities. The standard physical elements (in opposed pairs): Fire <-> Ice; Lightning <-> Water; Air <-> Earth; Light <-> Dark (gravity/shadow); Plant <-> Metal. Though some times some of these are subordinate elements.

Then there are nonphysical elements, Life, Death, Space, Time, Thought, Spirit, Void. Life and Death are generally an opposed pair, but the rest are generally stand alone.

Then you have subordinate elements: Clay is a mixture of Earth and Water, Lava of Fire and Earth, Plasma of Fire and Lightning, Wood of Plant and Earth. Sometimes the physical elements above may be expressed as subordinate elements; Metal is an alternate combination of Earth and Fire, Plant is Earth plus Water Lightning is Air and Fire, etc.

By excluding Earth you limit your triangle, you limit yourself and run into problems. Personally, I would do Fire, Water and Earth as the points (Fire for the Sun, Earth for the Moon, and Water for the stars).

The sides would be:

Fire -> Lava -> Metal -> Earth

Earth -> Plant -> Clay -> Water

Water -> Ice -> Lightning -> Fire (Taking fire out of Water makes it Ice, and Lightning is Fire that falls in a storm)

Then in the middle have one of the others (Air, Life, Death, Spirit and Void could all work well).


Three Sacred Treasures

This is to better explain what the three gods are all about in this world.

Seraphina (life) - Color=red, Element=fire, Treasure=mirror, Virtue=wisdom, Power=knowledge (Reflector of Wisdom)

Hassan (motion/death) - Color=yellow, Element=lightning, Treasure=sword, Virtue=valor, Power=force (Gladius of Valor)

Falon (death/rebirth) - Color=blue, Element=ice, Treasure=jewel, Virtue=benevolence, Power=wealth (Bead of Benevolence)

Fire Magic=high energy (red), Lightning Magic=medium energy (yellow), Ice Magic=low energy (blue)


Consider instead the sun, moon, and space (spacing being drawn as stars since it is hard to draw nothing)

gody/pure elements

sun= heat/energy/(emotion?)

moon = mass/matter/gravity

Space = cold/entropy/(logic?)

impure/mortal elements

sun(heat) > space(cold) = lighting

sun(heat) < space(cold)= wind

Sun(heat) > moon(mass) = fire

Sun(heat) < moon(mass) = sound

moon(mass) > space(cold)= earth

moon(mass) < space(cold)= ice

The special one

sun(heat) = space(cold) =moon(mass)= water/life

This separates your big three while creating a more "pure" effect for the gods and it makes life special by balancing all the elements and thus requiring all the gods. You could even say the impure elements contain minute amounts of the third, or say they are not discrete separations but a triangular continuum, so they blur into each other at the edges. So for instance fire and sound are not completely distinct but points on a spectrum.

Reasoning for each impure element is thus:

sun(heat) > space(cold) = lighting, opposing forces with more energy = electricity

sun(heat) < space(cold)= wind, opposing forces with less energy = wind

Sun(heat) > moon(mass) = fire, heat from mass = burning = fire

Sun(heat) < moon(mass) = sound, sound travels better at higher temperatures and even better at higher densities, also connects to explosions (shockwaves) the ultimate expression of mass, force, and energy.

moon(mass) > space(cold)= earth, solid but still but more solid than cold = earth

moon(mass) < space(cold)= ice, cold made solid = ice


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