The remarkable ability to bind flux to a mechanical creation is possibly the greatest discovery across the empires of Mechanika. Ever since the Dwarves emerged from their solitary island empire, the practice of Artifice has become essential to Earth’s societies. Over the last 150 years it has replaced magic in most empires due to its versatility and (relative) stability. Artifice can make the average man extraordinary, and has been used for both incredible innovation and terrible destruction.
So what is an Artifice device? How does it differ from a regular mechanical device? Simply put, the difference is Flux. Artifice devices utilize the same mysterious force that Magisters use to weave their incantations. Binding flux to a machine gives it incredible power, transforming an otherwise normal machine into a terrifying arcane device. Flux can create items that defy the laws of physics and sometimes even time and space, allowing for the creation of pistols that fire lightning, capes that reflect bullets, or backpacks that allow flight faster than any bird’s.
It takes incredible focus, study and dedication to bind flux to machine. The few that achieve the coveted titles of Artificer and Tinkerer are feared and respected throughout Mechanika. The houses of Artifice now draw practitioners just as often as the schools of Magic do. Over the decades, a cold war of epic proportions has slowly begun to unfold between these titans of flux, with both magic and Machina users doing anything they can to outperform the other on the world’s stage. Let us pray that this sustained conflict does not erupt into earth shaking destruction, as it has on so many other worlds.
When flux is bound to a machine the result is known as Machina. Machina will function the same in the hands of an Artificer, Tinkerer or even a person with no skill at all in its use. Anyone can pull a trigger, but only a select few can handle the recoil. The thing that makes an Artifice Engineer stand out is the ability to activate these unpredictable items with relatively little danger to themselves or others. This level of danger has not, however, prevented the common layman from utilizing Machina; in fact the danger makes it even more appealing to some. After all, something with that much risk must be powerful beyond imagining.
This is the true difference between those who wield magic and those who wield Artifice. Those who wield magic cannot share this ability, and only in rare cases create items that a layman can make use of. The magic user is the weapon, the channel. Whether they are born like this, achieve it through years of study, or are chosen by some dark power from beyond the stars, they are the force. Artificers and Tinkerers create Machina that any brave soul can use. A lucky tavern owner can throw a humming Machina grenade at a horde of zombies; people ride vast trains that are powered by pulsing batteries created by Tinkerers. Artificers take the power of gods and make it accessible to almost anyone.
The question is how? How can something that was once only the tool of Magisters and Warlocks be accessible to even the most humble goblin beggar? The secrets of Artifice did not come easily. Only by prying apart and cannibalizing black tech left behind by the Old Ones were we able to decipher their workings. Many lives have been claimed in this search for knowledge and many more will be sacrificed to the cause. Before you are the ancient secrets of Artifice, damned though they may be.