All magical items in the world are created by one of two means – either Mana Investiture or Artifacting. In game terms, all magic items are built on character points – the “base item” (i.e. the sword) is not included in this, but any abilities beyond a normal sword are.
A character who aquires a magic item increases his point total by the points of the item. Some items may not reveal all of their powers to a wielder at first. Hidden powers do not require point gains – the points are instead gained when the power is unlocked.
The art of Mana Investiture was lost during the Age of Winter by all but the Nejail (Sky People). They guard this secret closely, and absolutely refuse to share it with outsiders.
A mage must know the requisite enchanting spells before he begins a Mana Investiture enchantment. Then, he may spend 200 hours per character point enchanting the item. The mage need not SUPPLY character points for this process – the 200 hours of investiture supplies it inherently.
A mage may opt to spend his own unspent points instead. In this case, the time investiture is reduced by a factor of four to 50 hours per point.
One of the Seven Swords, an artifact item
The other method by which magic items are created is more meta-game than Mana Investiture. In this instance, items that are present during significant events throughout history begin to accumulate points. These Artifact Points, or AP may only be spent on items that were present when they were awarded. Artifacting requires no spells, or even knowledge that its happening. Likewise, Artifacts are not restricted to the usual enchantments of invested magic items.
There is nothing to prevent an item from becoming more powerful – an Artifact may be invested, and an invested item may become an artifact. The two systems are wholly compatible.