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World of Origin Earth (Reckoners)

Every one of these boxes is stuffed with bits of dead Epic.


A motivator is a device that replicates abilities from an Epic's power set.


Dean Knighthawk was involved in the development of the motivator, and his Knighthawk Foundry was among the most well-known manufacturers of epic-based devices. Very few people knew how motivators actually worked, and even Knighthawk did not fully understand certain quirks of the technology.[2] Other manufacturers included Romerocorp and ITC.[3]

Because viable samples of Epic DNA were so rare, they were traded as high currency to the makers of epic-based technology through a black market run by dealers such as Diamond.[4][5]


Motivators are created by harvesting the cells of dead Epics.[5] These cells must be collected within minutes of the Epic's death, as Epic DNA, which is required to make motivators work, degrades rapidly.[4][6] The motivator itself actually functions as a miniature incubator, keeping the cells alive for many years by performing tasks like feeding them, regulating their temperature, and dealing with any produced waste; a well-made motivator can keep the cells alive for decades.[2] Without the motivator and these cells, any given piece of Epic-based technology is useless.[5]

Each motivator can only provide a single Epic ability, no matter how many powers the source Epic had and trying to get more than one or two motivators out of an Epic's cells often results in significantly inferior technology.[2][7] In order to actually duplicate an Epic power from the Epic's DNA, motivators simply run an electrical current through their cells; if an Epic had multiple powers, the voltage of the electricity used determines which power the motivator replicates.[2] The "biological frequency" of electric current required for each motivator is different, requiring some experimentation to get just right,[8] though experimentation is also dangerous and can result in large explosions or other severe accidents, if one is not careful.[2][1] Motivators tend to be expensive and volatile.[1]

Motivators can technically be made from the cells of a living Epic, but the Epic will be able to immediately sense their powers being used, causing them pain. The Epic will attempt to track down and destroy the device, often killing the user.[9] Knighthawk Foundry no longer makes motivators from living Epics for this reason.[2]


Coilers are pieces of technology that Jax invented with the help of Paige. Coilers reverse the electrical current in the motivators, and therefore reverses the effect of the motivator. Jax used them for several pieces of technology, such as boomerang and mitosis.[10]


Motivators can be used in a wide range of applications, including weapons, energy sources, construction, and communication. The technology is sometimes difficult and dangerous to use, and may require a great deal of practice to master.[11] Some people are intuitively proficient with certain devices.[12] Occasionally, a person is unable to use a certain piece of technology for no clear reason; this is more common when Epics try to use the devices.[2] Additionally, if one person attempts to use multiple devices from different Epics at the same time, they may interfere with each other.[2]

Motivators do not appear to be affected by the weakness of their source Epic. It is implied that some powers are harder to make into motivators; for example, cross dimensional powers are extremely hard to control.[13]

Most motivators are fabricated in a way that allows the user to wear or transport the device, with some sort of interface allowing access to the Epic power. This can include vests, backpacks, gloves, control panels, and other attachments.[11]

Known MotivatorsEdit


The boomerang allows its user to teleport in a chosen direction, then teleport back soon after. During his time at the Coop. Jax learned about the incomplete motivator, which was derived from an Epic named Slingshot, who had teleportation abilities. However, the last Reckoner to try to complete it had vaporized himself by accident.[1] About thirty seconds after teleporting, the teleported object's or person's molecules begin to disassemble, until there is nothing left. As far as Jax was able to figure out, the only way to keep the object from disintegrating was to smash the slingshot after teleporting it. The real breakthrough came when Jax invented coilers, which could reverse the power of a motivator. He applied the coiler technology to the slingshot, so that when he teleported something, he could then reverse the motivator and teleport the object back.[10] If he didn't teleport it back after thirty seconds, it began to disintegrate. Jax changed the name of the device to boomerang soon after.[citation needed]

Later on, Jax put the boomerang motivator into a more convenient model. He turned it into a watch, with a pressure sensor in the watch face. Pointing the watch in the desired direction and pressing the watch face teleports you up to thirty feet in that direction. Press the watch face again, and you teleport back to your original position. The distance can be adjusted using a small dial.[14]

Fathom RadarEdit

The fathom radar, or simply fathom, is a surveillance motivator made from the DNA of the Epic Fathom. The motivator is inside a drone, which can scan large areas and display them as wire-frame 3D models. Jax uses it to gain valuable schematics of Lux's layout, using fathom to scan the city from underneath.[15]


The fathom motivator is extremely useful when a reversing coiler is added. It can emit a ray, which when it hits an object, causes that object to be come two-dimensional. The two-dimensional object appears as an outline drawn in ash atop whatever surface the object was on, and the drawing cannot be removed. Firing again at the object restores it to its original state, causing the surface on which it rests to burst into flames and disintegrate. This allows the Reckoners to hide weapons, gear, and even vehicles on scraps of paper, smuggling them into Lux and then restoring them later. These are called scorchnotes, as they burn the notes with the motivator to restore the gear.[15][16]


The rtich is a motivator created by the Knighthawk foundry from the cells of the Epic of the same name.[17] Like most motivators, it requires much training and practicing to use.[18] The device is a glove that can manipulate mercury to form various shapes.[18][19] Since mercury isn't very common, the user usually must carry it around in order to use its power. A thin layer of mercury it creates is able to stop bullets.[20]

Sonic SnareEdit

Perfected by Jax, the sonic snare can be connected to a sound mixer and used to listen to conversations or other sounds going on anywhere in a large area. Adjusting the frequency to the right setting allows the user to listen in on specific people or rooms. Jax uses it to eavesdrop on a conversation between Zeff and Prof.[8][10]

When the Sonic Snare is reversed using coilers, it creates a bubble that keeps sound in, allowing anything done inside the bubble to be done with absolute silence.[21]


The spyril is a motivator created by the Knighthawk Foundry from the cells of the Epic Waterlog.[5] The spyril consists of a circular device worn on the user's back, along with some canisters strapped to the calves, two specialized gloves, and various connections between the pieces.[11]

The spyril works by teleporting water into itself using what Mizzy calls a "streambeam"; it then shoots the water out forcefully to function like a jet pack, propelling the user with great speed.[22] It is very sensitive and difficult to master; unless the user steers precisely and carefully, it can be quite dangerous.[11][22] The device cannot generate water and is best used near a large body of water, such as in Babilar.[22]

Sam was the first to use the spyril effectively.[5] After Sam is killed by Firefight, the motivator goes missing from the device.[5] Megan later gives the motivator to David,[23] though he lies about where he got it to the rest of the Reckoners.[11] David becomes very skilled with the spyril and uses it extensively when the Reckoners battle Regalia.[24] Regalia notes that David is naturally skilled at using the spyril[12] and suggests that he might have similar powers if he became an Epic.[25]


Crystallix is a motivator made from the Epic Crystallix. It can form blue crystalline structures in the air that don’t fall. The motivator is unstable, and the crystals dissolve very quickly. Jax integrates the crystalix motivator into a motorcycle. Because the crystal path dissolves quickly, the rider has to drive at high speeds to keep in the air as the crystals disintegrate behind them. The crystalix motorcycle can’t slow down or turn sharply when in the air because of the nature of the crystals.[26]

Other MotivatorsEdit

Animated mannequin

Created by the Knighthawk Foundry from the cells of The Wooden Soul, this motivator powers Dean Knighthawk's wooden mannequin, Manny.[3]


Created by Regalia from the cells of Obliteration, these motivators use Obliteration's heat manipulation power to store up thermal energy which can then be released in an explosion. If the motivator is sufficiently charged, this explosion can be powerful enough to level an entire city.[27][28] The detonators are small rods.[29]

Crystal grower

Created by the Knighthawk Foundry, this motivator can quickly grow new crystal formations if attached to a pure crystal latice.[17]

Forcefield jacket

Created by the Knighthawk Foundry from the cells of Prof,[30] this motivator replicates his ability to create forcefields. Prof often gifted Reckoners he worked with a limited version of this power that would protect them from some harm as well, though he disguised it as a motivator in the form of a jacket to hide his nature as an Epic.[31][32]

Gauss gun

Created from the cells of the Epic Rick O'Shea, this motivator fires bullets that explode with disintegrating energy,[4] though it requires an external power source.[33]


A generic term, originally coined by Jonathan Phaedrus, for any motivator that provides healing.[17] Some harmsways are more capable than others, depending on the strength of the healing power of the Epic they come from.[2]

Knighthawk mobile phones

Created by the Knighthawk Foundry, these phones provide secure communication over long distances, even underground.[34] Unusual in that, unlike most Epic-derived technologies, the individual phones don't need their own motivators, but instead all run on a hub of motivators in Dean Knighthawk's lab. As a result, they are one of the few motivators he has been able to mass-produce.[7]


Another motivator the Knighthawk Foundry has been able to mass produce, this device creates nearly three-dimensional images, even when projected on irregular surfaces, without any shadows from those in the way of its projection.[7]


Created by the Knighthawk Foundry from the cells of Prof,[30] this motivator replicates his ability to turn inorganic matter to dust. Prof often gifted Reckoners he worked with this power as well, though he would claim it was a motivator to hide his nature as an Epic.[34][32]


  1. a b c d Lux chapter 6#
  2. a b c d e f g h i Calamity chapter 10#
  3. a b Calamity chapter 8#
  4. a b c Steelheart chapter 16#
  5. a b c d e f Firefight chapter 18#
  6. Calamity chapter 2#
  7. a b c Calamity chapter 36#
  8. a b Lux chapter 8#
  9. Calamity chapter 41#
  10. a b c Lux chapter 9#
  11. a b c d e Firefight chapter 23#
  12. a b Firefight chapter 25#
  13. Calamity chapter 6#
  14. Lux chapter 12#
  15. a b Lux chapter 15#
  16. Lux chapter 18#
  17. a b c Calamity chapter 9#
  18. a b Calamity chapter 22#
  19. Calamity chapter 46#
  20. Calamity chapter 45#
  21. Lux chapter 21#
  22. a b c Firefight chapter 24#
  23. Firefight chapter 22#
  24. Firefight chapter 46#
  25. Firefight chapter 41#
  26. Lux chapter 2#
  27. Firefight chapter 11#
  28. Firefight chapter 49#
  29. Calamity chapter 47#
  30. a b Calamity chapter 39#
  31. Steelheart chapter 14#
  32. a b Steelheart chapter 41#
  33. Steelheart chapter 20#
  34. a b Steelheart chapter 11#
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