The name Lightbending is slightly misgiving. It’s less about bending beams of light and more about bending the light to one’s will. Lightbending is also referred to as the aspect of light.
The main work of a light bender revolves around the creation of independent sources of light. Creating a light source is relatively simple even for an unskilled magician, but it will generally involve a physical object of some sort that emits the light. Light created by conventional magical means is usually accompanied by the release of heat proportional to the intensity of the light. In other words: it’s easy to make something glow and shine, but it may be too hot to handle.
A lightbender is not shackled by these restrictions; they’re able to create non-physical light sources that don’t give off more heat than their creator wishes them to.
Lightbenders are less common than tree or rock shapers, but they rival the tree shapers as symbols of elven magic and power. It is not uncommon for lightbenders to work in close proximity with tree shapers. The tree shaper bends and molds the tree after the directions of the lightbender, who in turn will place light sources among the branches of the tree. In this way many spectacular, beautiful and otherworldly displays have been created. It is said that walking through an elvenhome when a lightbender is visiting is like walking through a garden where stars grow on trees.
Unlike the works of tree shapers and rock shapers the work of a lightbender isn’t permanent. The lights created will eventually burn out, usually within a couple of hours, as the sun rises; they can be made to last longer, but energy required to make the source last rises exponentially beyond a certain point. Even using soul magic too much is required of the wielder to create light sources that last longer than from sunset to sunrise.
This doesn’t mean lightbenders aren’t able to create lights during the day; they are and they do, especially for indoors usage. It just means that such lights won’t last more than a couple of hours. It’s easier for the lightbender to create a new light when one expires than to create a single one that lasts longer.
It should be pointed out here that master lightbenders are able to create lights that last until sunrise irrespective of when the sun actually rises. This applies even during the perma-night of the winters of the far north, where the sun won’t rise for months on end. This indicates the energy required isn’t solely reliant on the time the light burns, but also on the presence of sunlight.
Due to how rare the aspect of light is, even among elves, most elven settlements don’t have their own resident lightbender. Only the very largest elvenhomes are able to boast about a permanent lightbender presence. Lightbender services are still high in demand, among elves as well as among humans and anfylk and many lightbenders make a profitable living travelling the world and practicing their art. It’s a point of pride for cities to be able to provide the works of lightbenders for their major festivals and celebrations.
Since as long as bards and theatres have performed on stages the works of lightbenders have been in demand to enhance a stage performance. The existence of modern electronic lighting techniques has lessened this demand somewhat. While a skilled lightbender can create effects that no amount of spotlights and lasers can replicate most shows are sufficiently impressive with non-magical lighting – especially considering the cost of employing a lightbender to perform every night. Only the most famous of superstars, backed by massive funding, bring their own lightbenders with them when touring.