I would go on a variant of a Spell Jamming Helm. If you are not familiar with SpellJammer, it is a AD&D 2nd Edition outer space setting. The SpellJammer helms worked on one of two principles the first sucking magic energy out of a mage or Cleric ( uses up all that characters magic for 24 hours ) to provide the ship with power. The Mage/Cleric would man the helm and become the pilot. The second type of Helm is a LifeJammer, and it sucks the life out of a human/humanoid ( elf, dwarf, ect ) to power the ship. What I would do in your cause is take that principle and modify it to fit into your setting. OR you can introduce tinker Gnomes!!!!