In the glory days of Ancient Greece and Rome, there was no real difference between science and philosophy on the one hand, and mysticism and magic on the other. The first astronomers were also astrologers, and prayer and horoscopes were a fundamental part of medicine. But the seeds were planted for a fundamental division of magick-users into two opposing camps. Following the fall of Rome, the rational-minded philosopher-mages fled into the monasteries and cathedral schools of the infant Catholic Church, and the mystical-minded wizard-mages held sway over the ignorant, superstitious barbarians who formed the new ruling class and royal families of the petty kingdoms of Europe. While Wizards and Druids like Merlin whispered into the ears of warlords, and witches haunted the moors and terrified the villagers, monks like Benedict and scholars like Bede bided their time, secretly drawing their plans for a new birth of reason and order. These plans came to fruition in the Renaissance, when the ancient rationalist philosophies were revived and wedded to the organizational might of the Catholic Church to present a new flowering of reason, science, and order. But the Order of Reason who had been organized to start this movement could not agree among themselves on what shape this new order would take, and the Wars of Religion were the result. Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Eastern Orthodox believers fought and persecuted each other in the name of stamping out heresy, for this was the secret core of the Order of Reason's plan: to enforce uniformity on the beliefs of the unawakened, and by controling their beliefs, control the very shape of reality itself and bend it to their will. Realizing too late that enforcing specifically religious beliefs not only encouraged heresies to multiply, but was too close to the mystical beliefs and practices of their rivals to effectively neutralize their magickal abilites, the Order of Reason retreated to regroup and reconisder their plans.
As the Wars of Religion petered out and the resulting disgust with what organized religion had led to spawned the Enlightenment era, the Order of Reason realized what they must do. Ditching their religious facade, they focused on the advancements of technology and science that they had developed to fight their wars, and adapted them to make the lives of the unawakened better through mass production. This birthed the Industrial Revolution, and signaled the death knell for the Traditions. The more technology intruded into the lives of the unawakened through industry, the more that rational and scientific beliefs percolated through their collective subconscious, and the weaker their faith in magic and mysticism became. The Order of Reason reorganized itself at a great meeting of mages under cover of the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851 in London to form the Technocracy. The more technology weakened belief in the supernatural, the more powerful the Technocracy became, and thus the more advacned their techology became, in a self-reinforcing cycle of ever-faster technological development. Even the increasing corruption of their efforts by the Wyrm could not slow down their progress. While power and control had always been part of their agenda, so had been improvements in the lives of the unawakened, and protection of humanity from the darker aspects of magick and the supernatural. But as agents of the Wyrm sowed darkness amongst their ranks, these noble sentiments fell by the wayside, until all that remained was the pursuit of ever-increasing wealth and power for their own sake. All this came to a head with Gehenna.
Gehenna and BeyondEdit
When the Bugs landed in Brazil and a massive paradox backlash was the only way to stop them, the boundary between reality and unreality was badly damaged. Suddenly, everyone knew that True Magick existed and worked, and the Traditions felt a surge of power the likes of which they had not felt since the Renaissance. Emboldened by their newfound strength, they attacked the Technocracy and tried to reshape reality back to a more mystical and metaphysical pattern...but the Technocracy was just too powerful. Founding the Tech Infantry and conscripting mages and werecreatures alike into its ranks, the Technocracy battled vampires, rogue werecreatures, and their rival mages with equal determination and brutality. With help from their new Werecreature troopers, they purged the Wyrm-ridden traitors from the ranks of the Syndicate. The experienced Men in Black footsoldiers of the New World Order faction became the core of the new Internal Security service. HITmark robots of Iteration X were used as cannon fodder to swamp their enemies under massive numbers of attackers. And in the end, the Technocracy was triumphant, and founded the Earth Federation to enforce their control and extend their power far into the stars, with the Umbral Dreadnoughts of the Void Engineers as the core of the new Earth Fleet.
Civil War and CollapseEdit
But the Technocracy's triumph was also its downfall. Men with the vaunting ambition to found an organization capable of winning Gehenna and leading humanity to the stars had a difficult time sharing power with anyone else, even each other...perhaps especially each other. Their myriad secret projects engendered disgust in the populace and their own foot soldiers, leading directly to the First Civil War and the downfall of the First Triumvirate. When the new leaders tried to break up the Harrington Industries megacorporation, the Syndicate fought back in a blind panic. The Second and then Third civil wars shattered the Technocracy, until they were driven even from their last foothold of power in the office of Internal Security. Non-Mage power brokers began to wield the levers of power. Arthur Clarke and his Werecreature buddies in the Raptors ensured that the vast numbers of Mages serving in the Tech Infantry lost their sense of allegiance to the old Conventions and Traditions of centuries past, and served no one but the Federation itself. The Void Engineers lost control of the Earth Fleet they had founded to the mere unawakened humans who served as its officers and crew. Clarke's control of the economy under the Five Acts broke the Syndicate's hold on the Megacorps, and the Technocracy was finished as a coherent organization.
Rebirth From The AshesEdit
But not for long. Driven underground and out of the corridors of power, the Technocracy regrouped in secret. When the Caal Invasion led to the Death of Clarke, they allied themselves with Admiral Joseph Smythe and his Rump Federation, through his personal spymaster Herbert Gergenstein. Rightly seeing Vin Dane and his Holy Terran Empire as a dire threat to their long-term plans for a return to power, they tried to put together a coalition to oppose him -- and to rebuild a Federation they could control from the shadows once more. They brokered the alliance between the Federation and the Sabbat, and helped ensure that the Ministry of Public Safety's nascent human-chauvanist power structure would not survive their merger into the Federation. They supported the operation to attempt to assassinate Vin Dane, but when that failed, they realized their plans were no longer feasible, and must be changed. So they arranged instead the assassination of Joseph Smythe and handed the Federation over to the Empire on a plate, in exchange for a formal place in the new Imperial power structure. The Technocracy's new leader, Herbert Gergenstein, became head of House Vendo, and began efforts to worm Technocracy agents into places of influence and control over the new levers of power.
Conventions of the TechnocracyEdit
There were originally seven conventions of the technocracy, as of the founding of the modern organization in 1851. But now there are only five, since the Sons of Aether and the Virtual Adepts fled to join the Traditions.
- Iteration XII: Masters of robotics and computer hardware, they seek to control reality by merging man and machine in a prefection of silicon and circuitry.
- The New World Order: The political and propaganda arrm of the Technocracy, including the Men in Black, forerunners of the office of Internal Security.
- The Progenitors: Masters of Life Magic, genetic engineering, and organic technology, they seek to reorgainize reality by reorganizing life itself.
- The Syndicate: Masters of money, finance, and economic engineering, they know that it truly is money that makes the world go round, and seek to control reality by controlling the economy.
- The Void Engineers: Masters of exploring new frontiers, whether it be the ocean floor or the Deep Umbra.