It's an image that I can theoretically pull off. That I theoretically have the skills to draw. It is also an image that strictly speaking is something that I'll probably need to actually draw for my comic eventually, anyway. (Albeit...like, twenty years from now even if I were updating regularly.) Basically, an image of a fully-realized elemental rider of Darkness, in this case Ruby, channeling her vampiric nature.
Which leads me to the second. I've talked about riders quite a bit. Basically, the abilities of a rider don't change over time. Anything they can do years later, they could theoretically have done on their first day. They just have to think about what's possible, and then when they figure out it is possible, they have to figure out the logistics so to speak of the ability they are inventing.
So in theory, an elemental rider from the first day is equal to an elemental avatar, who are the representations of the eight elements and basically literal gods given human form. Elemental riders have the theoretical control over their element equal to that, but there's two limitations. The first is the above one, where the rider first has to figure out how to actually make the power work, especially given that some riders have a much stronger connection to their element than others.
For instance, Sally's connection to Earth is much weaker than most riders' connection to their elements. She prefers her bazooka over elemental attacks, even though she has theoretical control over a lot. Most of her focus has gone into passive abilities and refining her Tree of Life bazooka/thread weapon rather than her elemental abilities. Which I've talked about before.
Now. The second limitation, I've also talked about. That being...while an elemental rider could theoretically do those things from day one, their bodies literally aren't built to handle it. It takes conditioning to grow their powers. Basically, the nasty concept of magical fatigue sets in, because they can only push themselves so far before they exhaust their abilities. And while, years down the line, an elemental rider might be a god-tiered superhero whose powers can do almost anything...they got that way by a combination of increasing their natural affinity with their element (it coming more naturally to them), them becoming more efficient with their techniques, and also their natural magical growth rate, that being, the longer they have a power the more capable they are of using more of it.
When combined with the limitation of riders needing to actually think of the power in the first place, this limits an elemental rider's initial power to 'lower superhuman', as could be expected. Only through training and intense thought can they unlock more of their potential. Which is why early-on, a lot of the growth you'll see in characters will be them just playing around with their base power set, and exploring the limits of what they normally do, and later in the comic you'll see them basically having new powers each plotline: this is deliberately so, because they are growing into their roles more and more.
However, I did get to thinking, and this is the actually new part: what if the magical fatigue safeguard limitation was put in there for protection? I mean, magical fatigue is, itself, already a safeguard when it shuts peoples' powers off. What if the riders were a particularly powerful example of this, where sure the rider CAN use that sort of magic on their first day...but it comes at a huge cost?
That got me thinking, and I realized that riders who didn't have their powers directly passed off to them (that being, manifested, or found randomly by chance) could have inherited them because of this process: rather than the rider having been utterly annihilated, or simply having died, it could be that they magically died. (That is, suffered a death of their magic.)
It's possible to ignore the boundaries of magical fatigue, with consequence. One consequence is death. That's not the only possible one, though. Another could be, saaaaaaaaaaaay, the spirit totem locking away the user's magical abilities permanently to allow them to heal, and in this way they lose their status as being an elemental rider.
And it occurred to me that this could happen to an elemental rider in a moment of desperation: they are either a newish rider, or have suffered from a long exhausting battle. Then, instead of using a weak attack, they use one of those elemental-god-tiered attacks, and while they win the fight, they instantly pay the price.
Just thought I'd raise that.
Now for some reason my head is spinning, so I'm going to lie down for a bit and rest.