When the magic a mage wields becomes more of a partner than a servant, a unique phenomenon occurs. The mage can beseech the realm of magic to grant her the friendship of an elemental that manifests in the guise of an animal. Some call it a familiar spirit or animal guide. Others call it a faithful steed. Regardless of the name she gives it, the mage gains the company of a creature that follows her along on her adventures.
A familiar is considered a legendary creature (see Nature in Chapter 4: Life and Death). As the mage gains ranks in this Special Power, the potential Size, Intellect, and abilities of the familiar all increase. The owner of a familiar need not be a wizened old wizard or fiery sorceress; an adept of the wilderness forms bonds with nature in mystical ways, also.
The mage must choose an elemental to bind to an animal. Mages must labor over the decision. An elemental will only be compatible with an animal similar to its qualities. For instance, an air elemental would prefer a bird to a snake, and a lightning elemental would prefer a cheetah to a turtle. A mage can only recruit an elemental from one of the elements in which she has skill ranks. A mage with an Aura of Decay cannot recruit a verdance elemental. A mage who has Regeneration cannot recruit a ruin elemental. A mage who is Called cannot summon a dark elemental. A mage who has Fallen cannot summon a light elemental.
Despite their supernatural origins, familiars are flesh and blood, and can die in battle or be captured by enemies. The mage has the ability to call another when a familiar dies. The mage can also dismiss an existing familiar and call a replacement when she gains a new rank in this Special Power.
So long as the familiar is within 10 feet per rank in the element, the mage gains +1 to all rolls involving that Elemental Skill. If the elemental is next to you, you can parry attacks aimed at it.
At least 1 rank in an Elemental Skill.
1. Least Elemental
Expoint Cost: 2 points
You call for aid, and a small friend answers. You can choose any animal Size −2 and below to be your familiar. It gains +1 to Intellect, Courage, and MDEF. It can communicate with any animal of its kind, and it can also understand any language you can.
2. Lesser Elemental
Expoint Cost: 3 points
A faithful companion takes your side. You can choose any animal Size 0 and below to be your familiar. It gains an additional point in the listed stats, to a total of +2 to Intellect, Courage, and MDEF. It can also speak any language you can.
3. Greater Elemental
Expoint Cost: 4 points
A sizeable ally is at your command and has your trust. You can choose any animal Size 2 and below to be your familiar. It gains an additional point in the listed stats, to a total of +3 to Intellect, Courage, and MDEF. You can now telepathically communicate with the familiar at any distance.
4. Major Elemental
Expoint Cost: 5 points
Your familiar weighs a metric ton or two. You can choose any animal Size 4 and below to be your familiar. It gains an additional point in the listed stats, to a total of +4 to Intellect, Courage, and MDEF. You can now, at any distance, share your familiar's senses: see through their eyes, hear through their ears, smell through their nostrils. As long as you concentrate, your perceive everything using your familiar's senses and not your own.
Expoint Cost: 6 points
The legends tell of your gigantic steed, cloaked in magic power, bearing its archmage proudly. You can now choose any animal Size 6 and below to be your familiar. It gains an additional point in the listed stats, to a total of +5 to Intellect, Courage, and MDEF. You can now use your familiar as a conduit to deliver magic. At any distance, you can target anything your familiar can see or touch with your spells.