Abridged History of the 10th Age
Extract from a Fourth Age Bestiary
Elemental spirits all descend from one of the Elemental Planes located somewhere in the Deep Ethereal. Their ecosystems are just as varied (and ten times as strange) as those found in Arunë. The arts of magic (at least as practiced by men) have been intimately acquainted with various types of elemental since an early date.
Elemental spirits can be generally divided into three basic categories. These are subanimal, animal, and intelligent. Subanimal entities are simple spirits of the type that generally do not manifest in the material plane. These are the easiest type to bind and control, and frequently provide the motive force for constructs such as golems. However, it should be noted that for a golem to speak or comprehend complex instructions, it must be of at least animal intelligence.
Animal-type creatures occupy the lower rung of the elemental ecosystems. These include minor elemental spirits (of the type that often manifest as Elementals proper in the material plane) as well as creatures such as xorn and water-weirds.
Lastly, the intelligent type covers a huge range of creatures; from the semi-spiritual creatures that provide the motive force for highly intelligent elemental constructs to the powerful Elemental Genies, this covers everything that lives on the elemental plane that is capable of advanced thought.