Elementals are beings that walked the world in the time before the Sealing. What they looked like and what they got up to and is largely lost in myth; some don't believe they ever existed, though they were conclusively proven wrong on the day of the foundation of the new task force when an elemental known as "Grettid" escaped from the task force HQ and bulldozed a small trail out of the city. Stories are told of monstrous beings, walking corpses, capricious tricksters and savage demons.
Some ancient writings spoke of the (literally) legendary art of summoning and bargaining with elementals. None of this ever actually worked when tried, until the Sealing began to unravel. Since then summoning has been explored and experimented with, and some facts have been determined.
Summoning is best done at a warded summoning circle. The ward should be raised before summoning, preventing the summoned elemental from affecting the mortal realm. As long as the ward is raised, the summoned creature can only affect the warded area, and appears to be bound by some rules of conduct that aren't so well understood; in cases where the summoner wanted to affect the world outside the ward, the elemental would need to be released from the circle.
An elemental can be summoned without a circle, but to do so is much more dangerous. The creature would not be bound by any rules and could attack the summoner, or leave.
Summoning circles are magically active places, and spending extended periods of time inside one when not performing a summoning or other work of magic can have deleterious effects.
To summon an elemental, one usually needs the creature’s name. It could be possible for a summoner to specify what sort of elemental they want if they’re not too picky. In desperate cases the summoner might simply specify what service they want, but this is risky (any entity willing to perform the service could turn up, with any agenda).
All stories of a successful summoning agree on one element and that is sacrifice. Pacts made with elementals would always require the summoner to sacrifice something of themselves dear to themFAQ. Elementals appear to be largely uninterested in material goods, and instead seem to be more keen for more esoteric sacrifices that change the behaviour of the summoner in line with their aims. Only elementals of a certain power level can make lasting pacts with humans. Lesser elementals have been known to give small rewards in return for acts in keeping with their element, but seem unable to make a lasting bond.
If players want to summon an elemental, the refs need to be informed a short while in advance. The outcome of the endeavour will largely depend on the roleplay between the summoner and the elemental and the bargain the summoner attempts to make.
Curiously, summoning is one of the few skills you can perform while Terminal. The legends of elementals being able to bring people back from the brink of death have been proven true, though the sacrifice has indeed caused them to be changed.
A Creation elemental, and the first elemental to come to public attention - it was summoned by enthusiastic but poorly prepared Deirdrists and was accidentally released. It then bulldozed a trail out of the city and in to the foothills, where it was intercepted and defeated by a group of task force agents.
Grettid appears to appreciate strength and prowess and has little time for those it considers weak willed.
A Creation elemental interested in accomplishment and drive.
An Order elemental that's been known to consort a great deal with the task force and seems especially keen to make pacts.
Rumour has it Fantasia was defeated and potentially destroyed at the hands of the Clare task force.
An Order elemental who appears to be obsessed with games, rules and laws.
An Order elemental known to be the leader of a third "hierarchy". Nothing else is known about this elemental and so far as anyone knows it has yet to be summoned.
A Destruction elemental that also got a great deal of public attention. It was summoned and deliberately released by a local supremist sect in an attempt to discredit the practice of summoning. It radiated an aura of aversion to it that was so strong it was impossible to fight. It terrorised the city and caused several deaths before it was eventually defeated by task force agents who somehow found a way to overcome its power. Drenth appears to no longer be summonable.
While it wasn't clear at the time, it's been theorised that Drenth had an interest in fear and terror.
A Destruction elemental who appears to be interested in improvement through adversity, and survival by any means.
A Destruction elemental who appears interested in vengeance and the comprehensive annihilation of ones' enemies.
A Chaos elemental who appears to be interested in the pursuit of knowledge through risky practices.
A Chaos elemental who seems to revel in rampant senseless destruction.
It's been confirmed that Jittal existed and was a Chaos elemental, but has proven unsummonable.
Since the recent revelations of the life and works of Maddon, it seems that Jittal was not in fact Maddon's great adversary, but instead their ally. Further details are unclear.