Orbments are mechanical devices that use Orbal Energy during the Orbal Revolution. Though this technology was only created 50 years ago, its uses have reached all facets of life from heaters and lights to powerful weapons, armor and magic.
There are 7 types of elements, or Sepith, that can be used to create an Orbment: Earth, Fire, Water, Fire, Mirage, Space, and Time. The Sepith can be fused together to create Septium Crystals, which are used to make devices, or Quartz, which focus the power of the elements into powers and abilities.
Earth Sepith (brown) allows earth magic, and is useful when altering strength or defense.
Water Sepith (blue) allows the use of water or cold magic, plus has healing abilities.
Fire Sepith (red) allows the use of fire magic, or the alteration of offensive abilities.
Wind Sepith (green) allows the use of wind attacks, with the added advantage or speed.
Time Sepith (black) warps the speed of time.
Space Sepith (gold) affects the physical world (travel time and distance).
Mirage Sepith (silver) alters perception and cognition.
Quartz are purchased with sufficient Sepith at an Orbal Factory. To equip Quartz, go to the Orbment Window for the character. Each character has 7 slots which need to be unlocked to use, and only slots connected to active slots can be unlocked. In addition, some slots can only use a specific type of Quartz, limiting each character to a specific skill set.
By equipping most Quartz, Orbal Arts (aka Magic) are also unlocked. Some Arts are easily obtained by equipping just one Quartz, others require the calculation of elemental values from multiple Quartz. For example, Hell Gate requires 4 Time, 2 Space and 1 Mirage. If you combine Blind (3x Time) and EP Cut 1 (2x Space, 1x Time, 1x Mirage) you will have enough to use the ability. This is only 1 example and many combinations will provide the necessary elements.
One part that is easy to miss is that the position of the equipped Quartz is important. You will notice on the Orbment device (Estelle's shown here) that there are 2 paths emitting from the center. Each path has its own value used to calculate your elemental value for Arts. Take note of the totals showing above the diagram to know what your current totals are. It's always best to equip a powerful multi-element Quartz in the middle so its value spreads across both lines. Each character uses a different Orbment device, so each character's orbal lines will differ.
All Arts also use EP, which can be reduced with any of the EP Cut Quartz. This is very helpful when using the very powerful Arts at a low character level.
The list below is from the PC release, which has been patched substantially compared to the PSP, Vita and PS3 verions. Some elements have been changed for some Arts compared to other versions. Also, some versions of the game only show Line 1 and Line 2, and some show a color for each line on Orbments.