In fact after being out of the sewers (the first time) you could get to the market and to the old woman that would give you som equest to get some paper. Each quest had a meaning : you learned things like patience, or what you see isn't always what is real, etc (i don't remmeber exactly what it was about, just the fact that it was very well done). That's the only time in an RPG where you actually have to create your first parchment to learn how to use it.
And the fact you don't remember it shows that it was really integrated in the game
Oh yeah now I remember. I believe her name was Ol' Mebbeth in the trash heap. Those quests were pretty damn epic, where you had to construct your own magic paper, frame and such. Learning lessons about patience, persistence, control and sacrifice (the part where you have to plant a seed in your hand made me very nervous).
But realistically I don't expect Elemental to have anywhere near as good writing as PS:T. Expect a regular "go here, use that command" tutorial.