The Martyr and the Magician
Magitek was invented by the Terrans as a method for storing cosmic knowledge and the ability to cast spells as artifacts or machines. Each magitek item has three essential components:
(1) The power source: These magitek batteries come in two known forms.
Type 1 batteries are charged with energy from Type 1 generators which collect errant thought energy from sentient beings in proximity to the generator. While individuals have explicit control over their conscious thoughts and the ability to manipulate them into patterns, their unconscious thoughts usually meander through the plane of cosmic knowledge in shapes unbeknown to them. The Type 1 generators siphon off some of this errant thought energy much like wind mills collect the power of the winds.
This unconscious thought energy represents the raw power of thought but not the control. It is as if the Type 1 generators capture the momentum of the river of thoughts but not the ability to shape it at will due to its unconscious nature. Consequently, Type 1 batteries simply supply this unbridled thought energy through pre-set patterns to attain their desired effect. (think of this like the electricity needed to run a computer)
Type 2 batteries are generated by Type 2 Generators which capture their energy in a completely different way than Type 1. Type 2 technology was the Terrans ultimate achievement, a way to artificially mimic the natural creation of new conscious force. In a very roundabout way, sentient beings use the power of the sun to create more conscious thought energy… their offspring. Type 2 generators use the power of the sun to make copies of their core computational components. Basically, Type 2 batteries are constructed from a special materia lattice along with the energy to form and reform the shape of the lattice and the strength of the bonds between the molecules, essentially acting as a brain. The new thoughts created by the Type 2 battery are stored in the materia component which acts like memory (see below) and when the Type 2 battery is recharged, the generator restores the lattice to it’s original neutral configuration.
Hence, Type 2 batteries have the unique ability of powering sentient artifacts like Lilarcor (a.k.a Swordy) the talking sword. Unfortunately, Type 2 technology did not progress very far before The Terrans were wiped out by The Gods so, although the type 2 artifacts they created were indeed conscious, they were not very smart.
(2) The materia component: contains the spell pattern
The materia component contains all the information needed for the magitek to perform it’s specified task. In the case of type 1 magitek, the materia component contains one or more spell patterns (see Theory of Magick). Type 1 magitek basically runs the raw thought power of the type 1 battery through the spell pattern contained in the materia to create the desired effect. In type magitek, the materia component contains the memories and skills of the conscious artifact in addition to the necessary spell patterns (think of these like the computer’s software).
(3) The mechanistic focus: the physical artifact which guides the spell effect
When a wizard casts spell, she can create the spell effect in the desired context. For example, she can decide to shoot the fireball at an ogre at a 45 degree angle. Type 1 batteries, however, have no understanding of the context of a situation so they need a machine component to focus the effect. For example, a fireball arm-cannon, allows the caster to use the barrel of the cannon to aim the effect. Without the machine component, the effect would just shoot off randomly or fizzle into nothingness.