Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: The Machine

The Machine
Titles: The Gears-God, Great Maker, The Turning Wheel
Areas of Concern: Technology, Magic, Progress, Logic
Favored Animals: Bees, Ants, Spiders
Holy Symbol: A Golden Gear
Worshippers: Artificers, Arcane Spellcasters, Members of the Esoterium Machina
Domains: Artifice, Magic, Knowledge, Machine
Favored Weapon: Rifle

Once, long ago, there was a man and woman who spent all their lives crafting and forging.  They experimented with arcane forces, and both were in love with the very concepts of progress and magic.  Together they forged a construct the world had never seen, a intelligent golem made of gold, silver and platinum.

No one knows exactly what happened to that couple, over five hundred years ago.  Did they die, victims of the Machine's ascension into the divine?  Or did the Machine take them with it, creating a stasis for the beings that had birthed it?  All that remains is that the machine they'd created, one that cannot be seen by mortal eyes any longer.  The Machine found divinity, ascending into godhood soon after it was born.

After its birth, the Machine looked upon the world in horror and disgust.  It saw very little logic, a world in need of mechanical guidance.  Progress was being stymied.  The Machine began to turn the wheel of progress, setting out to fix irrationality and anarchy around it.  The Machine created a temple upon the world to follow the path it sought to fix the world through.  The Machine teaches those few who come into its Temple how to step away from the anarchy of the world, toward a more perfect world.  It teaches progress to those who lesson.

The Church of the Machine has always had few in number.  But their saints and favored few support the best and brightest inventors of the world.  It openly provides funds toward the Esoterium Machina and other organizations that advance progress and knowledge in the world.  Insular and careful to remove itself from the politics of nations and other churches, the Machine's Church sells technology, scheme and artifice of their own manufacture to those who ask for it- often prototype inventions that others bring to mass market.  As technology moves forward, the Church of the Machine supports the idea of factories and industrial private investors, who allow them to work out more and more complicated machinery.

Priests of the Machine choose progress over all other things.  They forsake sexual identities, becoming androgynous persons who focus solely on the advance of ideas and technology.  They consider themselves extensions of the Machine, a perfect being who can show them the best way to progress onto the next step of enlightenment.  In addition to supporting technical research, Machine Priests are also well-regarded as teachers and educators.  Most schools for children are taught through a Priest of the Machine, who teaches the ideals of mathematics and philosophy.

Sidebar: Firearms of the Gears-God
One of the first and greatest inventions of the Machine's Church was that of gunpowder.  Prior to it, the Church had little to no means to prevent accusations or witch hunts from other faiths.  Very tiny, the Church of the Machine was desperate.  Through revealing alchemy, they devised gunpowder.  With a new array of weapons crafted through it, the Church had found a way to defend itself.

The Church of the Machine, however, never used a single gun or bomb to fend off its enemies.  Instead, it used the appeal of the new invention to generate influence.  Kingdoms from all over the world paid attention to the Church, while rival churches invested their own funds and power toward firearms as well.  In a short time, the Church of the Machine maintained some form of neutrality, whilst many others had grown interested in protecting them.  The idea of future discoveries being stopped, or worse, being held only by rival powers, led to the spread and proliferation of the Church.