While exploring deep within a cavern, known in the ancient past to be a hideout for a cult, we ran across an odd tower. Our party knew that within this tower was an object of great power. We also knew there could be traps.
Feeling confident in my abilities, I went to investigate. The door to the tower was locked but I had it open within minutes. I then took to climbing up the side of the tower to keep an eye out and view my surroundings. I saw a large mound of dirt and rubble on the floor. As I was looking down upon the expanse of the cavern from my perch, movement caught my eye.
I am not aware of what happened next but I found myself laying on my back on a hard stone floor inside a church. I had a bad hangover. The party explained to me that the mound of dirt was an Earth Elemental. It raised it’s fist up to where I was planted and squished me like a bug.
Thankfully they had enough gold to have me resurrected.
Not wanting to fall victim to this again I did some research on Earth Elementals. I will now describe for you how to defeat such a creature with minimal loss to yourself. Or at the very least on how to quickly get away.
A Brief Explanation of What Elementals Are
Elementals in particular are a tricky thing to deal with. They are easy to summon and even easier to control, that is if you are a person of the cloth. Less easy are they to control if they have been abandoned by their summoner and left to sit for decades in a deep, dark, and musky dungeon.
Earth Elementals are not the most dangerous elementals to deal with but they can be quite formidable. They are very tough and very strong. Larger ones can pound boulders to mere rubble. They very rarely leave their dwelling (which is the first thing to remember when trying to defeat one), unless they are summoned by a spell or provoked into attacking. An Earth Elemental looks like a very large stony humanoid. They are usually made of stones, rocks, dirt, and occasionally roots of trees or fallen limbs and leaves.
They have the ability to speak Terran but rarely do. When they do choose to speak it usually sounds like stone moving upon stone.
Earth Elementals move quite slowly but they are a very relentless opponent. It has been observed that they can move through solid ground or stone as easily as a human can walk on the ground or a bird can fly through the air. It cannot swim and must walk around a body a water or move through the ground under it (this is the second thing to remember when trying to defeat this creature). It can move along the bottom of the water but they generally prefer not to as water can actually diminish it’s size and can cause trace amounts of damage depending on the exact make-up of the construct (the third thing to keep in mind).
Different Methods of Eradication
There are several spells that can help in the dispatching of Earth Elementals. The most effective ones are:
Banishment: This spell is quite useful but the larger the elemental the harder it is to banish. While this spell will not destroy the elemental it will send the elemental back to it’s material plane. Rarely will said elemental have the knowledge of how to return.
Create Water: This spell can help loosen the dirt that rests between the larger stones and rocks. It will not destroy the Earth Elemental, but it can help to slow it’s movement down as well as causing damage depending on it’s exact composition.
Dominate Monster: As with the Charm Person spell, this works in a similar fashion except that it is not restricted to creature type or size. However, Dominate Monster does require an experienced Sorcerer or Wizard to be effective.
Elemental Swarm: This is perhaps the most effective spell known in dealing with Earth Elementals (or any elemental type for that matter). Fight fire with fire, or in this case, fight earth with earth.
There are other spells that could be quite effective as well, but again it greatly depends on the exact composition of the particular Earth Elemental you are face to face with. Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Flamestrike, and the like are wonderful if the elemental is composed of dead leaves, dried out roots, and fallen tree branches. Transmute Rock to Mud works very well and can slow an Earth Elemental down considerably.
Items of Destruction
As with spells there are also several items that can help in the destruction of Elementals. Note that most of these are not specific to just Earth Elementals but can be used against most other Elementals as well.
The most widely known item is the Ring of Elemental Control. While being the most effective method of dispatching or controlling an Elemental, it is also the most expensive. Most rings are very rare and coming across one for sale can easily set you back 200,000 gold or more. This within itself makes this ring quite difficult to come by.
Acid can be quite useful but depending upon the size of the Elemental determines exactly how much you would actually need. It can also be quite dangerous to the wielder if not handled properly.
A lesser-known item is the Stone of Controlling Earth Elementals. It acts almost the same as the Ring of Elemental Control, however is specific to Earth Elementals (which is to say you cannot use it against another elemental type) and is roughly half the cost.
A way of slowing one of these creatures, at least long enough to loot the area and make an escape, is to encase it within a cube of tempered glass. It cannot meld through the tempered glass, nor can it break out of it easily. Note that this method only works on Earth Elementals, Water Elementals, and Air Elementals. Fire Elementals can actually melt the glass quite quickly. This method has not been tried upon the hybrid elementals, so its effectiveness is not known.
There are many more items that can be very effective, but those listed above are the most common of items to be used against Earth Elementals.
Weapons of Deliverance
If all else fails, go face to face. This is not recommended in any way when dealing with the larger varieties of Elementals. I would however, recommend that one uses a weapon of magical enhancement to deliver a wounding blow to these creatures. It goes without say that the larger the Elemental, the more magical a weapon should be to defeat it.
A Personal and Up Close Encounter
I studied one such Earth Elemental for just at two months during my research. It does not appear that it had any vital location in which to strike a fatal blow. However, I do have a theory that one could remove bits of the elemental and spread them around the dungeon. This is just a theory at this point. I was not foolish enough to get that close to my research subject.
Most Elementals are known to be the subject of worship. I also theorize that it may be possible to show the elemental a symbol of their cult’s summoner and they may allow you to pass unharmed.
While the information presented here is not the end authority on how to battle an Earth Elemental, it should offer some in depth knowledge on how to prepare and survive an encounter with one.
All in all, the best tactic when facing an Earth Elemental is to have a escape route planned just in case. Or enough gold to get resurrected.
Stay tuned for more guides such as:
The Intricacies of Closed Chests Or When Chests Attack
How to Defeat Undead Dragons Or How to Flee in Terror to Live Another Day