Throughout exploring the various areas of the game’s world, you will come across giant colored rocks. These are known as Elementum Pillars in the game’s world and block the way to not only more areas, but also to some loot.
How to Unlock the Elemental Runes
Elementum Pillars are gigantic pillars formed and fortified by the solidified remnants of elements within the dungeons. They come in four varities, all corresponding element, which are Earth (orange), Ice (blue), Lightning (green), and Fire (red). Unfortunately, you won’t be able to break these when you first find them, as you have to wait until you unlock the Rune Quarter in New Nevaeh. This will happen naturally during Main Quest 12: Bandit Busting. During that portion, you will receive some sidequests that will eventually allow you to craft an Earth Rune.
Once you have unlocked the corresponding Rune, you will need to equip it via the Equipment menu (similar to Accessories). Equip the Rune and strike the Elementum Pillar of the same element as your Rune to break it. So, to break the Earth Pillar, you need to have an Earth Rune equipped in the attack slot. This holds true for the other Pillars, but those aren’t available right away, meaning you will have to wait until they unlock via main story progression.