The Elemental Courts are reflections of the elemental systems within the High Umbra. The entrance to the Courts are the Five Gates, which can be found mid-way on a Spire. While there are numerous elementals and many more form with the rapid changes brought by human society, only five are stable enough to be considered Courts. They are close to the Court of Muses and are often passed on the ascent to Epiphanies.
The Courts are involved in a complex and intricate relationship with each other that reflects their involvement in the mundane world. Elementals compete with each other for power and influence, while intriguing against rivals of different Courts. Visitors who involve themselves in the affairs of the Elemental Courts often leave in a state of mental equilibrium, attaining balance through an understanding of the different positions of the Courts and how they influence each other.
The Elemental Courts are divided according to the paradigm of the mortal population. The Western world attend the Courts of the Occident, while inhabitants of the Middle Kingdom turn to the Courts of the Orient.
Courts of the OccidentEdit
- Air: Associated with the gaseous state of matter, Thought, the East and the Dynamic Essence, the lords of Air are among the more receptive elementals and often confront the intellect of a visitor with riddles and similar techniques.
- Fire: Associated with the plasmic state of matter, Intuition, the South and the Questing Essence, the inhabitants of this realm are brash and direct, expecting visitors to state their business and get on with it.
- Water: Associated with the liquid state of matter, Emotion, the West and the Primordial Essence, the inhabitants of the realm often concern themselves with the general situation of visitors, by involving themselves with his feelings and viewpoints.
- Earth: Associated with the solid state of matter, Sensation, the North and the Pattern Essence, the lords of Earth are often interested in the circumstances that bring visitors to their court.
Courts of the OrientEdit
- Water: Associated with the North and home to tortoises, the court is ruled by Emperor Chuan-hsu, who is allied with the Court of Wood and a sworn enemy of the Court of Fire
- Metal: Associated with the West and home to tigers, the court is ruled by Emperor Shao-hao, who is allied with the Court of Water and a sworn enemy of the Court of Wood
- Earth: Associated with the Centre and home to oxen, the court is ruled by Emperor Huang-ti, who is allied with the Court of Metal and a sworn enemy to the Court of Water
- Fire: Associated with the South and home to phoenixes, the court is ruled by Emperor Shen Nung, who is allied with the Court of Earth and a sworn enemy of the Court of Metal.
- Wood: Associated with the East and home to dragons, the court is ruled by Emperor Fu Hsi, who is allied with the Court of Fire and a sworn enemy of the Court of Earth.
- The Infinite Tapestry, p.67-70