The world I'm creating has elemental magic - Earth, Air, Fire, Water, along with eight "lesser elements" (offshoots of the normal ones). Most of those who can use magic (Wielders) are trained at a school or academy and go on to use their magic to perform jobs - everything from sailing ships to smithing to various crafts; many use their talents for darker purposes as well - spying, thievery, assassination, mercenary work, etc. Now, I've pretty well figured out what wielders of all the elements can do, except for one: Lightning. Given that this is a fantasy world, sci-fi uses like powering generators is out of the question. I briefly considered something like mecha, but I didn't want to go steampunk. The tech level of the world is roughly 1000 AD - they have primitive clocks, moveable type, and a few other advanced things that don't rely on magic, so it wouldn't be unreasonable for someone to invent something that relied on an electrical charge. Any ideas? Are there uses for electricity that I'm missing? Edit: More information on the magic system: Spoiler Originally, magic was just four elements - Air, Earth, Fire, Water. Magic was later split into 12 elements (long story, and not really relevant); the original four became know as the "greater" elements, and the new eight (Storm, Ice, Blood, Wood, Metal, Shadow, Lightning, Light) are known as "lesser" elements. I view it as splitting light by passing it through a prism - instead of simple white light, you get a whole spectrum of colors: the primary colors (red, blue, yellow), and the secondary (orange, green, purple). It's the same with the elements; each of the lesser elements is a combination of the two elements to either side of it. For example, Metal is a combination of Fire and Earth; it sits closer to Earth because Earth has more influence on it. Likewise, Lightning is Fire and Air. Magical ability is inborn, and largely genetic (I say "largely" because there are rare cases of people with no history of ability being born with it). Which ability you have is determined by your race and where you're born: each node gives off emanations, which affect unborn children and affect their chances of coming up Talented - the closer you are, the greater the chance. The areas where two nodes' emanations overlap is where you get the lesser element wielders (yes, I mapped this all out... I had to be precise). Now, as for how magic works. As I mentioned, Wielders most commonly physically manipulate their element - an Earth Wielder can move and shape earth or stone, a Fire Wielder is like Pyro from the X-Men comics, etc. Unlike Avatar, they don't need fancy gestures and such - they're more like Aes Sedai, except that other Wielders can't see the power being used. More powerful Wielders can also draw upon related sources of energy. For example, a Fire Wielder can draw the heat from the air around him (or from living beings, if he's powerful enough) to create fire; a Water Wielder can do the same. Lightning Wielders are like electric eels - they can generate their own electricity (the amount varies according to their power), though doing this too much will kill them - and at higher levels, they can draw power from the planet's magnetic field and convert it to electricity (note: the amount of electrical energy in a normal living being is far too small to be useful). All Wielders (except in extremely rare cases known as hybrids) can only use one greater element, but some also have a lesser amount of ability with one related lesser element - an Air Wielder, for example, might be able to use Light or Storm magic - but only about half the power level of the greater element. Likewise, Wielders who are most powerful in lesser elements will always have some small ability with the closest greater element - Lightning Wielders will have some power in Fire. I also created "complementary materials" - metals, minerals, and woods that amplify a Wielder's magic depending on the amount, type, and purity (for example, copper will amplify a Lightning Wielder's power). These are often made into foci, items specially crafted to channel power. A shock baton, for example, is a wooden cudgel inlaid with copper wire; touching someone with it will channel the Wielder's charge, multiplying it by 2-3x. Skyships are made with atharite hulls and use a helm made of sapphire, both materials that amplify Air. Because the elements are split, it's impossible to make a "charged item" - that is, something that stores energy, like a battery (before they were split, you could do it, though they were still difficult to make and thus rare and valuable). As for power levels, I set up a ranking system from 1-8 (it was 10 before magic was broken, but the prism effect weakened them all); lesser elements can only go up to 6. This, of course, doesn't appear in the story - it's just meta-information for my purposes. The power distribution, as I said, is pyramid-shaped - the largest number at the bottom, decreasing as you go up, until there are only a handful (maybe 20-25) at the top. Note: All Lightning Wielders can channel electricity through a conductive medium (metal, water, etc.); the range of this increases by power level. Level 1: The Wielder can deliver a nasty shock, akin to static electricity; enough to cause pain, but not seriously debilitating without additional training. The assassin monks I mentioned before are mostly L1 and L2. Level 2: The shock is greater, akin to a taser (50-100K volts at 25 watts), and can be delivered at range. Level 3: They can create a small lightning bolt, or hit someone with a stun gun charge (1-4 million volts, enough to drop you). Wielders of this level can also sense the electrical auras of living beings (about 10 feet; range increases with power). They can store up energy, like from a natural lightning bolt, for a short period of time before having to discharge it. They can also ground a lightning strike, but only once (further strikes in a short period would overwhelm and kill them). Level 4: They can draw energy from magnetic fields, store energy longer, and ground multiple strikes. Level 5: The level of power is akin to a small power plant (KW of power on a steady flow), though most Wielders can't maintain that level for more than an hour or so. Level 6: If you're familiar with anime, a Level 6 would be around the level of Misaka Mikoto from To Aru Majutsu no Index - she's the most powerful electromaster in the world, nicknamed Railgun. She, however, can use her power almost endlessly, whereas Wielders will eventually wear out (or burn out, or die) from using their power too much. Some info on the continent of Uhabat, where most Lightning Wielders live (because it's relevant): Spoiler About five thousand years ago, there was a world-spanning war, during which a group of mages got together to cast a ritual to halt magic, but it was disrupted and caused a magical cataclysm instead. On the bright side, it stopped the war; on the dark side, it killed about 70% of the world's population. About twenty years after that, a man named Tanush (a native of one of the nations of Uhabat) stumbled across records that revealed details of the mages' involvement. He'd lost his entire family during the cataclysm; when he learned that mages and magic had been behind it all, he started to travel around the countryside, warning others of the evils of "witchcraft" and decrying the mages as evil. People were already wary of mages because, in the ten years or so after the cataclysm, magic was unstable and anyone using it was likely to lose control. He quickly became a cult leader of sorts, gathering a following of like-minded people, and roamed the countryside hunting down and killing mages. He established a new religion whereby magic was declared "unholy" and those using it were "demons". Mages either fled (if they were able) or were driven into hiding; thankfully, there was no way to test someone for magical ability, but this didn't stop many people from accusing neighbors or enemies of being witches simply to be rid of them. After Tanush's death thirty years later, the witch-hunting craze died down, though mages and magic remained prohibited - anyone caught using magic was put to death, often accompanied by their families to prevent the spread of the "disease" (magic in this world is genetic). Fast-forward to about five hundred years ago. A woman named Aruna Kothari, a Wielder, had been working with underground groups to save Wielders - hiding them from authorities and getting them off the continent, if possible, or at least to a safer place. She got tired of all the skulking in the shadows and gathered up a force to overthrow the government of one of the smaller nations. They then established a new government, one run by Wielders, and declared the country a haven to all who wished to live there. Naturally, this didn't go over well with the populace, but the rebels had prepared well - they had more than enough power and sympathizers to take control and keep it. Wielders and their families flocked to the new nation, which they renamed Shauria. Not long after, Aruna established a new magic Academy in the capital. This Academy became home to the Guild (working title), who are one of the antagonist groups in the story. Initially, the leaders of Shauria were interested only in defense - they guarded their borders and left everyone else alone - but as time passed and the country became more powerful, they started looking outward and making advances into neighboring territories. Thus, in the modern day, Shauria is now actively expansionist and seeks to conquer the whole continent and wipe out the old religion. And miscellaneous things I've come up with: Spoiler Every living thing gives off a a bioelectric aura (BEA), what the mages call an "energy veil". Then I thought: What if they can manipulate those fields? This led me to chi/ki/prana - basically, energy flowing through the body. Lightning wielders can alter the flow of energy to relieve (or cause) pain, disable parts of the body without knocking the person out, and a whole host of other things (think acupuncture, but it actually works). This led me to a group of assassin monks. As with many other things, I'd already established an assassins' guild somewhere on that continent, but I hadn't gotten much further than that. This guild/group/order/whatever is a bunch of folks who are highly skilled in armed and unarmed combat; they've been around for a thousand years, a bunch of Lightning wielders hiding in plain sight because their magic is only part of who they are (and not the most obvious part). No one's willing to go poking their nose into the affairs of an assassins' guild for obvious reasons, and everyone needs assassins, so they've operated unmolested for the better part of a millennium.