The Elemental lords are the rulers of the Elemental Planes, and are part of the Ancient universe. They appear in Might and Magic II and Might and Magic VIII, and are mentioned in Might and Magic III and Masters of the Elements.
During the early days of CRON, an ethereal substance came into being. This was the beginning of the reckoning of time on CRON. A hundred years later, it mixed with water, creating the first water elementals. Acwalandar was their leader, and his fierceness and intelligence allowed him to rule anything he laid eyes on.
More than sixty years later, the air elementals entered CRON, planning to conquer the water elementals. Their leader was Shalwend, a creature of "tumultuous air". The battle lasted for more than a century, but neither side could defeat the other, and they were locked in equilibrium. Hoping to gain the momentum, Acwalandar told his servants to create an ultimate weapon, and they summoned powerful creatures of destruction - the fire elementals, whose only purpose in life was to destroy. They drove the air elementals back, but there were too few of them to end the war completely.
The fire elementals suffered under the harsh rule of the water elementals, but they hated the air elementals even more. After eighty years of servitude, Pyrannaste, leader of the fire elementals, launched his rebellion. He attempted to break peacefully away from the conflict with the air elementals, while engaging their former masters in battle. Acwalandar realized that he couldn't defeat both enemy forces at the same time, but his own elementals refused to listen to reason. The war between the three armies raged for fifty years, with bloody battles and no alliances.
Suddenly, a new power entered CRON, from places "vaguely rumored to exist" - the earth elementals, led by Gralkor the Cruel. They invaded CRON, causing the petty struggles of the other elemental lords to come to an utter halt. The three enemies united against this new, common threat. After eighty years of fighting, Gralkor and his elementals pooled together to form a giant mass of earthen matter which floated on water, was immune to fire, and could not be scattered by the air. The other elementals spent the next twenty years attempting to overcome the landmass, but they failed, and Gralkor assumed control of CRON.
Five hundred years after the ethereal substance came into being, Gralkor started using the other elementals as slaves to construct a fixed land area. They toiled for almost a hundred years, creating the physical land of CRON. Rumours of the land spread to other worlds, and in the seventh century, the mortal races began to arrive.
The humanoids started to build civilizations, and used the resources of the land. After seventy years, Gralkor noticed this intrusion, and began to take action. But the mortals had weapons and spells that could immobilize their foes. They laid a trap for Gralkor, creating an orb of power that could control the four elemental forces. In the latter part of the eighth century, a human named Kalohn took the orb to the tallest mountain in CRON, challenging the four Elemental Lords to battle. Kalohn emerged victorious, banishing each of the elemental tribes to a separate corner of CRON and forming a barrier to keep them there. Mortal civilization bloomed, and Kalohn became King Kalohn the Conjurer, ruler of the humans.
After his defeat at the hands of a human spellcaster, Acwalandar began to study magic. In the mid-ninth century, he created a large, powerful creature, filled with life from many of his followers and endowed with the power of fire - the first dragon. He sent it out to destroy Kalohn. Kalohn went to meet the dragon in battle, but was destroyed. His last attempt to create a shield of water was amplified by the orb, creating a flood that ravaged the land and drowned the dragon. Kalohn's daughter Lamanda took control of her father's lands.
"From the corners of the misty Void
Rang loud the battle cry
The Elemental lords of four
Had sworn to fight and die
Fire, Water, Air and Earth
Did meet their might and force
And in their battles bloody mire
Found our land its source"
At one point, the Elemental lords fought for supreme control of the Void. Each wanted to fill the Void with their presence, but none of them could defeat the others, nor could they stop fighting - if any of them backed away, they would instantly be overrun by the others. As they were locked in this eternal war, the fallout of their mighty storms gathered and settled, creating a rich land. Animals appeared and began to graze the fields, but the Elemental lords ignored them.
Then, new creatures mysteriously appeared - not mindless beasts, but intelligent beings: dwarves, elves, humans, gnomes, and half-orcs. As they began to develop the land, the Elemental lords realized that their prize was being taken away from them by weak mortal beings. They could not deal with the mortals without drawing their attention away from the war, so the Elemental lords agreed to a one-day truce to create a tempest of destructive power and eliminate the mortals.
The mortals cried out for aid, and the Forces of the Dome heard their call. They didn't want to fight the Elemental lords directly, as this could drag them into the eternal war, but they gave the mortals the power they needed to survive the attack. Each of the five forces made two classes, creating ten mortal champions to drive the Elemental lords back to the corners of the Void.
Once the battle was over, the Forces of the Dome picked up the land and transported it to Terra, where it was placed on the water and broken into isles.
End of the truce
When the world of Enroth was created, the gods forced the Elemental lords into a 10,000-year truce. When the truce ended, they planned to separate all the elements, destroying Enroth in the process. The Ancestors appeared before Tarnum, asking him to deal with this problem. Tarnum decided that he wouldn't wait for the elementals to come - instead, he would invade the Elemental Planes, taking them out in their own homes. Gavin Magnus, ruler of Bracada, agreed to let Tarnum use his troops for this plan, and his cousin Barsolar came along as Tarnum's advisor.
After taking control of the only Conflux on Enroth, Tarnum and his forces traveled to the Plane of Air. They battled the sprites and elementals defending the place, but the Air Lord was gone. Unable to return home the way they came, Tarnum's army then went to the Plane of Water, but the Lord of Water was nowhere to be found. Tarnum realized that the Elemental lords had likely already started their invasion. In addition, he wouldn't be able to return home without mastering all four forms of elemental magic.
They traveled on to the Plane of Earth, where they encounted Reamus, a mage that had disappeared two hundred years before. He claimed to only have been there sixteen years, and they realized that time moved faster on the Elemental Planes - when they got back home, decades would have passed. They soon moved on to the Plane of Fire, where they began to discuss how to defeat the Elemental lords. Reamus and Barsolar theorized that there was a fifth Elemental Plane, the Plane of Magic, with magic elementals that might be able to defeat the regular elementals. Through their experiments, the two managed to make contact with a psychic elemental on the Plane of Magic. It told them that it couldn't help them against the Elemental lords without permission from The First - the leaders of the magic and psychic elementals. Tarnum and his forces traveled to the Plane of Magic and met with The First, earning their support.
As they prepared to travel back home, Barsolar learned that the Elemental lords had joined forces to destroy the world quicker. When they returned to Enroth, Tarnum's forces found that there were enemies on all sides, but many of the elementals had been so badly treated by their masters, they chose to leave the Elemental lords and join Tarnum instead. Gavin Magnus hoped to gain control of the elements when the Elemental lords were defeated, but Tarnum told him that he would free the elementals, and then ask the psychic elementals to remove the information about how to reach the Elemental Planes from the minds of the mages - the power of the elements was just too great a temptation for mortals.
The Elemental lords were soon defeated and sent back to their own planes.
The Ancients had spent a long time fighting the kreegans, and believed that the best solution was to destroy any planet where the creatures could be found. When the kreegans arrived on Enroth, Escaton followed them. Traveling to the Elemental Planes, he captured Gralkor, Pyrannaste, Acwalander, and Shalwend. With their power, he would use the Convocation of Cataclysm to destroy the world.
A party of heroes, aided by Queen Catherine and King Roland, managed to reach Escaton and inform him that the kreegans had been eliminated from Enroth. Escaton realized that they were telling the truth, and that there was no longer any reason to destroy the world, but his programming wouldn't allow him to stop the Convocation. He gave them the keys to the prisons where the Elemental lords were contained, and the four lords ended the Convocation. Sadly, this caused Escaton's palace to collapse, killing him.