This is still an open project, i don't claim the data contained to be 100% exact and fitting the current Warcraft™ Lore, even if i tried to be as much accurate and plausible as i could. This is a work of fantasy on fantasy, so be aware that i do not mean to set any dogma on the above mentioned subject or details of it.
Well this took a long time, because of the complexity of both theoretic and practical aspects of the matter. I've always been fascinated about the connections between the various schools of magic and about the source, or the various sources from which they draw their power.
I've always thought that there was some kind of contradiction between the four common elements (earth, water, air and fire) and some form of arcane declination like fire magic or ice magic.
So i tried to build a system (fitting the World of Warcraft™ environment) where elemental rough power is some form of material
energy (just like electro-magnetism) that can be summoned (so by intercession of an elemental entity) via magic usage by, say, shamans or druids.
Contrariwise what we usually call fire magi or ice magi aren't drawing power by invocation or evocation of the elements, but they are contracting or expanding the matter using arcane magic obtaining – respectively – cold and condensed matter (ice) or hot and expanded matter (fire). So in this latter case, no elemental lord, energy, rites or prayers are involved.
A bit confusing at first but it clarifies the whole thing, in my opinion.
So i decided to put down a little scheme, and well, i got carried away
I hope you will like it, and hope you will enjoy exploring it, and please feel free to suggest me corrections or extensions. But please avoid pointless flames, in Wow fandom style.
The little latin text on the right says (with some errors, as my latin studies were more than 10 years ago) that the drawing was completed by Onesto Theophrastus of Gnomeregan, according to the science taught by the Bronze Dragons. Needless to say, that he's my lovely Gnome Priest. EDIT 06.09.11: fixed some orthographic errors in the english text and some minor graphic issues.