The Church has always had a firm stance against technological innovations. So much so that some more religious humans still to this day refuse to use recent technological advances such as airships. After the alliance of coastal free states declared its independence, King __ pressured the church for help in weakening the new power. Archbishop ___ responded by declaring an edict ordering all those of faith living in any of the free states to return back to The Empire or face banishment from the church. Many humans returned in a mass exodus which served to cause a great powershift as it weakened The Corporation who employed mostly humans. This population change fueled the power of the goblin trading cartels who in many free states became the undisputed leaders of the area in lack of any wealthy human counterpart to keep them in balance. Unintentionally this edict only hurt the empire as any loyalist or Empire sympathizes in a position of power in The Free States, left only to be replaced by a more qualified and often non-human replacement.
Though despite tens of thousands returning to the empire a far greater number of humans refused and stayed. Some of those more devout humans who stayed were desperate for a source of spiritual guidance having had crisis's of faith in their decision to stay.
That's when a mysterious new religious leader by the name of Barnabas Hastralt came forward to offer a solution. He proclaimed that by combining technological powers with the spiritualist mysteries of the universe he would be able to make his followers defy death itself and be forever eternal. His message rang far and wide, attracting those cast out from the church in the free states looking for a new salvation, along with many wealthy benefactors who had dreamed of cheating death.
This new religion was instantly labeled a cult by the church and any caught practicing it as a heretic. But despite that support still grew as many who were sick or amputees came to Hastralt only to be healed through the power of technology.
As their power grew so did their mystery. Many who became members soon secluded themselves in the religions mountain stronghold, distancing themselves from family and friends. Along with this started a strange string off disappearances among those critical of the religion. Some High ranking members of the Church along with scientists and political leaders who had originally criticized the group soon began to go missing. It is said that those living in areas with high Technocrat populations can expect worse as rumors have spread across the realm of forced conversions and horrible medical experiments being performed on those who refuse to convert.