Furies are elemental spirits (earth, water, fire, wind, metal, and wood) that inhabit all aspects of Alera. Some are small and cannot be seen, and others are powerful enough to manifest when called upon by their wielders. There also exist "Great Furies," the most powerful and ancient of these spirits, by which Alerans swear and curse. They manifest as geographic formations of great elemental power, such as volcanoes and oceans, and are far more often restrained or provoked than explicitly commanded, and then only by fury-crafters of exceptional strength. Many Alerans are unaware of the Great Furies' actual existence, imagining them to be more mythic than real, but this disbelief is incorrect.
While Proto-Aleran ruins show no sign of fury-crafting ability amongst humans of the past, the Aleran people at the present day manifest personal furies in their early childhood or adolescent years, and control them with their minds. They are used to aid them in whatever task undertaken from housework to combat. This fury-based magic is accomplished in one of two forms. First, an Aleran may draw from the strength of their fury to increase their own. For example, earth crafters often draw physical might from the ground, through their furies, to allow them to lift loads far too heavy for normal people, while wind crafters can increase their speed and metalcrafters their endurance. The second form of fury-crafting is to "manifest" a fury. This involves the fury taking a visible form, often the shape of an animal, though taking the shape of a human is not unheard of. Manifested furies are necessary for the most powerful forms of fury-crafting, including flight (windcrafting) and healing (watercrafting).
Most Alerans display some type of rudimentary ability in all areas of fury-crafting, but are highly skilled in only one or two types. High Lords and their offspring generally show considerable talent in all areas of fury-crafting well beyond the capabilities of a typical person, indicating that heredity plays some role in fury-crafting. Residents of large cities typically treat furies as generic entities while those in rural areas forge close personal bonds with specific furies usually tied closely to particular natural landmarks. All Alerans of sufficient talent and strength in fury-crafting to be named to the Citizenry are obligated by law to marry someone with similar strength, in the interest of producing children with strong fury-crafting ability.
During "Princeps' Fury", the First Lord is shown to have a fury named Alera that he can commune with as if the fury was a human. She is an amalgam of all the fury types. She came into being when the first Gaius Primus took stone from all over Alera and incorporated it into the mural in the First Lord's meditation chamber. The fury takes the form of a woman, and her eyes constantly change color, from the color of steel (Metal fury) to the colors of gemstones, such as emerald (Earth) and sapphires (Water). Her clothing has been described of being made of thick, shimmering fog (Air), and her face is youthful, while her hair is gray with streams of red (Fire). She appears to Tavi at the very end of "Princeps' Fury", and says that his grandfather called her Alera. She is the source of much of the power always held by the First Lord above his fellow High Lords. She can give a fury-crafter unmatched power but her help must always affect everyone equally.
Types of Furies[edit | edit source]
Earth[edit | edit source]
Used to gain strength, tracking and hunting, manipulate the earth, calm animals, and inspire lust. A manifest earth fury can attack directly and can carry a crafter across ground as if on a raft. Earthcraft is necessary to travel swiftly on fury-crafted roads throughout Alera. Earthcraft is disrupted when contact with the ground is lost.
Earthcrafting Knights are called Knights Terra.
Wind[edit | edit source]
Used to fly, control the wind, and to increase speed and agility. Also able to bend air into a lens to see farther or into an echo chamber to allow voice communication without the need for watercrafting, however the effective range is much shorter. Strong crafters may be able to bend the air to make objects or people seem invisible or to create lenses of air to focus light into a damaging beam. It can be used to manipulate the weather, including the creation of lightning. One blind windcrafter was said to be able to "see" by sense the currents of air in the room. Windcraft is disrupted by earth, particularly in the form of salt.
Windfuries are one of the few to manifest commonly, as windmanes during furystorms.
Windcrafting Knights called Knights Aeris
Water[edit | edit source]
Used in healing, communicating over large distances, reading emotions, shape shifting, keeping a youthful appearance, and manipulating water; disrupted by fire. Isana also learned how to extend her finger nails, making a sharp weapon.
Watercrafters are invaluable as healers to the legions, and so are generally not used as knights.
Fire[edit | edit source]
Used to control firelight to subliminally manipulate passionate feelings such as joy, anger, and fear; used to create and manipulate flames for either constructive or massively destructive purposes; can be used to create cold by extracting heat from an object; manifested fire furies may attack directly; the most powerful firecrafters can create white-hot spheres that vaporize anything within them and sear all objects within a large radius; disrupted by water.
Firecrafting Knights called Knights Ignus
Metal[edit | edit source]
Used in sword play heavily as crafters can change the hardness of metal, allowing them to strike with diamond-hard blades. Combat can be totally in the dark as metalcrafters do not need light to sense nearby metal. Shields can also be made more flexible to absorb a greater amount of impact force than normal. Also used in forging weapons and other precise metal objects, and metalcrafters also have dramatically increased pain tolerance and physical endurance. Although they gain speed, accuracy and deadly ability in combat, metalcrafters do not become physically stronger, nor does metalcraft give them skills they have not learned, and they still require metal weapons/armor to make the most of their abilities. The most deadly swordmasters are those who augment their abilities with earth and wind also. Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, and Araris Valerian are the only characters to display the ability to manifest a metal fury - the effect being that Sextus and Araris transformed into metal, in an effect reminiscent of Colossus from the X-Men. The process is only skin deep, as the skin inside the mouth remains flesh. It is quite painful, however the metalcraft necessary to accomplish it also provides protection from pain. Disrupted by wood.
Metalcrafting Knights called Knights Ferrous
Wood[edit | edit source]
Used in manipulating plants, tracking and for camouflage; used by archers to bend massive bows to allow arrows to fly farther and faster, and to increase the accuracy of arrows. Also used to instantly create wooden tools. Requires nearby wood or plant matter, living or dead, in order to use. Disrupted by surrounding the user with metal.
Woodcrafting Knights called Knights Flora