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Elemental Immortals - Path of the Dominantby Rodger Burns
Natives of the Elemental Planes, like natives of the Prime, can achieve Immortality. However, the methods used by Prime mortals don't appear to hold for elementals - the very nature of life is different enough that becoming a Paragon, Polymath, Epic Hero or Dynast fails to apply. Instead, elemental beings of all types embark on the Path of the Dominant.
The goal of the Path of the Dominant is to establish personal superiority and increase the power and influence of one's own element. Whether a sponsor is needed is unclear - many elementals embarking on this path seek out a sponsoring Immortal to provide guidance and assistance, but some have reported that no sponsor is necessary - the necessary power for ascension coming from the elemental planes directly, or other unknown sources.
Like the four Paths taken by natives of the Prime, the Path of the Dominant has four key elements:
- Testimony: The candidate must acquire subordinate companions from each of the four Elemental planes, to assist him in his efforts. These companions may serve the candidate voluntarily, or be coerced through mundane or magical means, but must accept the candidate's authority. Each companion must gain a minimum of twelve levels or Hit Dice while in the candidate's service.
- Quest: The candidate must acquire an artifact that can be used to reshape elemental matter in large quantities, transforming foreign elemental matter into that of the candidate's native plane. Such artifacts are rare, difficult to acquire, dangerous to use, and generally feared by common elementals who see them as tools to promote unwelcome change and strife.
- Task and Trial: The character must use the acquired artifact to extend the influence of his element, gaining a significant victory over each of the other three Elemental planes. Each of these three campaigns will include battles against four Elemental Rulers, seeking to prevent the character's efforts; at least one will feature a confrontation against another elemental on the Path of the Dominant, only one of whom will emerge victorious and able to continue on the Path.
An elemental who succeeds in all these challenges gains Immortality in the Sphere that corresponds to his native element - Matter to Earth, Fire to Energy, Water to Time, Air to Thought. These new Immortals have the same powers and potential as Immortals from the Prime, but a very different viewpoint on life - often seeing things as a struggle between elements rather than ideologies, and seeing Entropy as a useful tool in this effort rather than a separate force that must be jointly opposed. Some of their personal abilities and talents may be different as well.