Legend and myth say that when Xanth created Elysia?, She used six basic elements called Air, Earth, Fire, Light, Shadow and Water.

It is thought that these six elements are the staples in all creation and the building blocks for all life (be it created by Xanth or natural forces), and that even now they are inextricably woven throughout every living thing.

Fascination with the elements began with the Anyeli shortly after their creation over nine thousand years ago, but their focus at that time was solely on Light and, later, Shadow.

Centuries later, the Zanaryans (focusing on the other four elements just to be different) discovered that, with time and patience, they could learn to manipulate a single element, though it was not until they moved to their own realm? and cut off all contact with Elysia that their powers? truly developed.

The Nymphs' discovery of elemental manipulation grew organically out of their affinity with nature, leading to their focus on the same four elements (Air, Earth, Fire and Water) though, perhaps because of the evolution of their elemental powers, there are relatively few Nereids compared to Ifriit).

The elements are not only to be manipulated, however. They are intrinsic to the natural balance and to life itself throughout the universe, no matter how that life came about. They are much more noticeable on planets that were created by a god, however, and it is places like these where they can not only be seen at work within creatures like the shadowkin or firefox but also take on a quasi-sentience all their own.

In short, the six elements are key to the survival of all living things and are the driving force behind much of Elysia's "magic" and religions.