The Essence of every rock and stone, of flowing water and any old tree, is alive and can assume a self-aware form under some circumstances. Nature spirits are living manifestations of this Essence. There are animal spirits, tree spirits, mountain and river and lake spirits; there are also spirits of the city and the sewers, of garbage and rats. This is not to say that every grain of sand or bush has a living consciousness trapped within it, though. Rather, nature spirits seem to represent the collective consciousness of such beings. One would not find a spirit for every drop of water in a river, but one spirit that dwells in the river as a whole, for example. A family of rats would share one spirit among them. Some creatures, like trees and large animals, do have personal spirits with their own personalities and goals.
Spirits of rocks, rivers and storms spend most of their time dormant, existing in a state of “slumber” while the beings they inhabit or symbolize lead their normal existence. They also are somewhat more aloof and removed and share more things in common with the “classical” elementals. Animal spirits also tend to be more self-aware and active than plant spirits, who are either too flighty or slow and ponderous. They to can go dormant for long periods of time on a human scale.
Magicians and other Gifted have the ability to “awaken” these spirits and converse with them. The personalities of nature spirits are usually representative of the characteristics of the being or thing they symbolize. A rock spirit, for example, will be slow and ponderous, while that of a swarm of cockroaches will be skittish and always hungry.
When aroused to anger, nature spirits can be extremely dangerous. By using Essence, they can transform the things they inhabit, allowing them to perform amazing feats. An enraged rock spirit could trigger an avalanche or earthquake, while tree spirits could animate their “bodies”and become wooden giants. Such acts are rare, however, because such manifestations often use up the spirit’s Vital Essence.