Known simply as Devices, these artifacts were made by a long forgotten race thought to be related to dwarves. They are usually small, most can fit easily in a backpack. Some can be as large as a man. The Devices are heavy for their size. They are always indestructible and unstoppable. No known Device has any controls of any sort.
The most common Device is the Cube. It is really two half cubes that are exactly the same size. The sides rotate slowly and constantly, at a constant speed. No two cubes are alike – all vary in size and speed from each other.
The second most common Device is the Piston. The consist of two perfectly fitted cylinders, one inside the other. The cylinders slide in and out, extending and retracting in a smooth reciprocation. Again, no two are the same in rate or size.
There are other shapes of Devices. Most of these perform the same function as cubes, but have different cross sections. They are referred to as Geometrics. Pentagonal and hexagonal prisms are the more common shapes.
Cubes can be use for anything the requires a rotational power source. Mills, lathes, gears, pumps, presses, drills; all can be made to enormous size using a Device. No known force can stop their motion – the sharp edges of a Cube will chew through the hardest steel gears if they jam, and a Piston will punch holes in anything that does not yield.
Distribution and Value
Most Devices are found and used in the northern hemisphere of Altus. Dwarves are native here, lending credence to the theory that ancient dwarves invented them. The Floating Cities that are not sustained by raw magic and enchantments are powered by Devices. The exact mechanisms of power sources and Device locations are kept secret, for fear of sabotage or theft.
Devices are usually recovered buried deep in the bedrock of mines, embedded in the remains of machinery rusted beyond recognition. Some are found on the sea floor by intrepid adventurers.
Devices are indestructible, unstoppable, and incredibly valuable. They can fetch incredible prices at auction, if they are not stolen first. A single device can power an entire economy, and they are closely guarded and protected.