Major covenant (the Esteemed Order of Techmancers)
Keyholders are a covenant, a semi-clandestine political network/party within the Order of Techmancers. Members from different Ordos join covenants to pursue mutual interests. In the case of the Keyholders, the agenda is simple: Techmancers should rule the world.
The goal is not as megalomaniac as it sounds. Simply put, the Keyholders see the status quo, with Techmancers as guns for hire, as a degrading state of affairs. Techmancers have been initiated in the darkest of secrets; they alone control infrastructure vital to the entire world. Why then should they be mere servants to the worldly powers? All Techmancery should belong under control of the Order. Techdabblers – a necessary evil – should answer to the Order. Techmancers hold keys to the God-Machine and it is not a thing that should be shared lightly.
There are varied motivations to join the Keyholders. Some join out of patronizing benevolence; surely ordinary people must be protected from Techmancery for their own good, they need guidance. Others hunger for raw power over the princes and masses alike. Some speak of a divine plan, or have no ideology greater than opportunistic self-interest. As covenants go, the Keyholders are quite powerful and numerous. It is rumored that even the Master of some Ordo belongs to their ranks.
During the Eserhaus Heresy there was some pressure on the Keyholders to join the rebellion. In the end, the conservative voices won. Eserhaus was seen as too radical a presence, his plans too volatile and unknown. The fact that some of the heretics have been selling secrets to outsiders has since proven the conservative voices right. Of course, some Keyholders didn’t agree with the faction policies, and joined the heresy. Others might still harbor hidden sympathies or connections. As a general policy, the Keyholders are strictly hostile towards the outcasts. Their main grief lies with breaking the veil of secrecy: Techmancers should have a closer control of their tools and sorceries, not spread them around like cheap toys.