A shaper's potency and skill is often referred to as their 'Savantry'. The term Savant is applied to Shapers of the utmost power. These terms are used in the same manner that Mastery and Master are used in crafts and trades. Shapers with little talent or poor control are known as Pushers, which refers to the habit of those who have failed to form a smooth connection to their element to shove at it, relying on whatever force of will they have to dominate it instead of engaging the element and deftly manipulating it into doing the work of moving.

Most shapers have only rudimentary skills, very frequently untrained and completely unrefined. Some, usually those with greater natural affinity, stand out enough that training and suitable trades are found for them. The potential savantry of a shaper can be inferred by the breadth of their affinities. This is often expressed by scholars of shaping dynamics as 'the broader the base, the taller the tower'. For instance: dense crystals and refined metals require greater affinity, and are considered pinnacles of savantry. Those capable of shaping such things typically have broad basic affinities for stone, earth, and even some borderline affinity for molten stone or damp clays.

The elements arrayed.
In some cases, a person is identified early as a shaper of a particular material, and then, after poor advancement, is deemed a pusher and no further effort is made to train their talent. Some languish in the roles assigned to them because of the label, but some persist, later to be discovered that the affinity they originally demonstrated was a borderline affinity, and their natural savantry is in another element entirely. These erroneous assessments are common with air and fire shapers, who's natural affinities are unexpected or difficult to test for. This often happens when a community, school, or family is predisposed to a particular element with which the young shaper has only borderline affinity.

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