Landian Alchemy is a book first published in LY 598 (by Luminous Publishing, a division of LustriCorp). It was written by former Grand Sorreter Tagg, who had resigned his position three years earlier and moved to First Village, after the existence of mythical creatures was revealed to The Land's villages outside of Sorret. It is assumed that prior to this time, most if not all Landians knew that Sorreters practiced magic, though very few specifics were known outside Sorret. This book collected several stories of magic on Earth and other worlds, including various uses of the term "alchemy." The book also told a fair amount about the history of "sorretry" on The Land. Without explaining more than the fundamentals of magic, in very simplistic terms, an idea was given of some of the things that had been accomplished since Sorret was first founded in 271. All this helped capture the imagination and excitement of many Landians, and even led to a rise in emigration to Sorret, for several years after the book's publication. It's not known how many people were inspired to take up a life of adventure because of it.
While the title might be misleading- alchemy, both Terran and Landian, accounted for only a fraction of the book's content- alchemy did comprise an important section of the book. And one portion of the section dedicated to alchemy talked about elements and elementals. The classical elements, as recognized by early cultures on many worlds, include fire, earth, air, and water. Tagg wrote of how one of the earliest spells learned by the first generation of Sorreters involved the manipulation of fire. He wrote of how Jess had devised a spell which she herself called "earth alchemy," though which the Council of Magicks dubbed "tactile telekinesis." He wrote of how Red had been a fan of stories involving the elements, and had therefore created an enchantment for flying, thus giving a certain mastery over air. Red had also had an interest in creating elementals, after Mor had conceived of mythical creatures. The fire elemental, in Terran alchemy, was the salamander, which existed naturally on the Land in a way that it only existed on Earth in mythology. The earth elemental was the gnome, which currently did not exist on the Land, and Tagg wrote that in his opinion, it never would. While he accepted both credit and blame (depending on the reader's attitude) for incorporating human intelligence into some mythical creatures, he felt that gnomes would be too close to humans in appearance, and even he could see that would be wrong. (This belief was of course later refuted by the creation of elves in 752, though of course Tagg could not have foreseen that.) The water elemental would be the Undine, and Tagg suggested that the closest thing the Land would ever have to such creatures were kelpies (though in later years, which he again could not have foreseen, some would say merfolk might come closer). Finally, air elementals would be sylphs, though Red had considered his own creation, lyrits, to be close enough. Tagg himself hoped that sylphs might one day be created, though he admitted he had no idea what they'd be like, and was concerned that anyone trying to design them might fall into the trap of creating faeries, instead, which he considered to be something separate from true sylphs, and which like gnomes, he felt would be too close to humans in appearance.
While there are currently no such creatures as sylphs, the mention of them in Landian Alchemy inspired the name of the Sylph Swarm, which is generally considered to have originated in its final form in LY 914.