The Technocratic Union, or the Technocracy were initially portrayed as the typical black-hatted moustached antagonist of the earlier editions of Mage: The Ascension, but grew into a distinct type of Mage in their own right with the introduction of the Guide to the Technocracy sourcebook.
They were initially founded as the Order of Reason in 1325, a group dedicated to the protection of humanity from the depredations of the supernatural — specifically Mages, and more specifically the Order of Hermes.
Like the other major Mage factions, the Technocracy represent one of the Avatar Essences, in their case Stasis. Among shapechangers, they are associated with the Weaver. They follow the Precepts of Damian.
- Increasing corruption, greed, lack of popular support.
- Following the Diggers' Rebellion, the Craftmasons are eliminated in 1670.
- The Cabal of Pure Thought is likewise eliminated in the 1830s after it's been decided that the belief that their power flows from God is incompatible with the secular direction in which the Order is headed.
Victorian Age Edit
Prince Albert, a strong proponent of science and progress, led the reorganization of the faltering Order of Reason at the Great Exposition in London, and the group finally became known as the Technocratic Union. (MTAs, Mage Storytellers Handbook, p. 158) From the ashes of the old Conventions were created the following:
- The Æsculpian Order, dedicated to the improvement of human life through medical science.
- The Analytical Reckoners, devote themselves to the collection, analysis and communication of information.
- The Electrodyne Engineers, focused on the transmission of energy in all its forms.
- The Explorators, who seek to map the unknown corners of the world.
- The International Brotherhood of Mechanicians, who believe the universe and everything in it is a machine
- The Invisible Exchequer, who know that money is what drives not only progress and invention but all of society.
- The Lightkeepers, who are the beacon of light in a world of ignorance.
Groups within a larger Convention are called Guilds at this point.
Immediately following the reorganization, the next several decades proceeded with the newfound Union acting with a renewed sense of purpose. However, there was strife developing within the Union. Two factions were forming; a more Utopian faction who simply wanted to use science to help better humanity, and a more oppressive faction who felt that what is considered "safe" for humanity would be dictated to it. This latter faction approved of such techniques as thought control, elimination of creativity among the masses, and the like.
Sadly, ten years after the creation of the Union, Prince Albert died. Queen Victoria's grief was overwhelming, and she continued to mourn him until she died. Perhaps spurred by a belief that she was continuing his work or doing as he would have wanted, she began to dabble with the nascent Union.
The first stirrings of change came in 1885 when Exchequer Reginald Proctor convinced her to set up a body called the Grand Council of World Government, with the goal of forming a single world government. Undoubtedly this body had an influence on the Union, but was not directly involved in its structure. The Inner Council expressed an interest in the ideals, but their enthusiasm is crushed with the death of the ancient Artisan Wolfgang von Reismann in the same year.
Around the same time (circa 1897), Basil Rathbone's Skeleton Keys came to the Queen's attention. The Keys were a secret society of law-enforcement officers who investigated supernatural events and eliminated the perpetrators when possible. By order of the Queen, the Skeleton Keys and the Lightkeepers were united into a single entity, with a name hearkening back to the foundations of the Order of Reason: The Ivory Tower.
It's unknown at this time if the change in membership resulted in a coup of the oppressive faction within the Union, or if the Queen continued influencing the Union personally. Regardless, a dramatic shift Union-wide toward the oppressive faction was seen, and the majority of the Conventions once again took appropriate new names.
The new names for the Conventions were:
- Iteration X, the former Mechanicians, named after their Artificially Intelligent Computer, which had achieved sentience at the χth iteration of a sentience-expanding algorithm.
- The Ivory Tower, the former Lightkeepers.
- The Progenitors, former Æsculpians.
- The Syndicate, the former Exchequers.
- The Virtual Adepts, former Analytical Reckoners.
- The Void Engineers, former Explorators.
The Electrodyne Engineers appear to have kept the same name, as they were the most staunchly Utopian Convention.
In 1904, the Technocracy voted to eliminate the concept of luminiferous ether from the Consensus, a message to the Electrodyne Engineers to stay in line. Although the ether wasn't central to their methods, it was an important part of the ideology of the Engineers. They rebelled, and defected to the Traditions, taking a number of Technocratic secrets with them. Most of the remaining Utopians throughout the Technocracy joined them.
Throughout the Great War, especially whilst combating the depredations of former Electrodyne Engineer Czar Vargo, the Ivory Tower realized the need for subterfuge and guile, and thus created a sister-Methodology called the Operatives (picking up the Lightkeepers' Lantern). By the end of the War, the two groups combined became known as the New World Order.
During World War II, the Union largely supported the Axis powers. The idea of a regimented society appealed to many. The free flow of information the Adepts relied on, however, was mostly within the UK and North America. Thus the Virtual Adepts wanted to support the Allies while the Union as a whole supported the Axis — until the evidence of Nephandic influence became clear.
The Adepts were responsible for much of the communication with the Sons of Ether which led to the alliance between the Traditions and the Technocracy during WWII. Afterwards, many of the Adepts planned on leaving. This was further encouraged as Iteration X tried to prevent Adept Alan Turing from creating Virtual Reality. They parted with the Union in 1956, went into hiding for several years, and then formally joined the Traditions in 1961.
The Union was understandably upset. The Ascension War had begun.
The modern union is comprised of:
- Iteration X, whose speciality are tools and the manipulation thereof.
- The New World Order, who are focused on psychology and the flow of information.
- The Progenitors, whose goal is medicine and the improvement of technology via genetic engineering.
- The Syndicate, who exploit commerce and the flow of money, or at least the concept of worth.
- The Void Engineers, who explore the last bastions of the unknown in deep space.
With the Reckoning, and disruption in communications between Control and the lower ranks, the Utopian contingent has quietly been gaining more ground. It must remain stealthy and unobtrusive if it is to have a chance of succeeding.