When detect magic is cast on an elemental, or an area where an elemental resides (like a pool of water containing a hidden water elemental), which of the eight traditional schools of magic would the spell detect, if any at all?

I get that the act of summoning an elemental is conjuration, but once the elemental is present what type of magic does it constitute? I can only assume that some form of magic still exists; it is a magically animated elemental creature, after all. Does it still contain conjuration magic? Is it some other type? Since the creature is actually summoned from an elemental plane and not created out of thin air, would detect magic detect anything at all?


2 Answers 2


Here's what detect magic itself says:

Outsiders and elementals are not magical in themselves, but if they are summoned, the conjuration spell registers.

So as long as the summoning spell lasts, the elemental (or the pool in which it hides) will appear to have conjuration magic in it. If the elemental had originated here, or walked through the portal, however, there won't be any magic signatures.


An elemental on its own would not show any aura.

A summoned elemental would show the residue of its summoning, as a Conjuration aura, but if you went to the appropriate elemental plane (or otherwise encountered an elemental that had not been summoned), it has no aura because it is not a magical effect and it has no magical effects on it (or, if it does have magical effects running on it, you’d get the auras of those, but they’re not the aura of the elemental itself).


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