Churches of Widget Ridge
The City of Widget Ridge was founded over a hundred years ago by a group of mining engineers and other very smart scientists of the day. After several arguments about the best governing philosophy, the founders wrote the Articles of Emergence.
Among other things, the Articles of Emergence decreed that there be three schools of engineering, which became the three Churches of Widget Ridge. Each church would have their own teachers and students, as well as a knight order, rules (including a code of justice), and their own responsibilities.
The Church of the Ember Sky, who have the principal philosophy of improving established technology rather than seeking answers that would replace it. They also control the volcano mines, and the thermal energy they provide gives Widget Ridge most of its power.
The Church of the Dream of Stars, who are inspired by the undiscovered. Today, they are viewed as somewhat fanciful and perhaps a little too theoretical for most, but they play an important part in the future of Widget Ridge.
The Church of the Flying Cog, who live, and sometimes die, in the moment. Their philosophy was based on the phrase "Rideat et Mutare Mundi" which translates to "Laugh and Change the World". While the phrase was later adopted by the Council of Three Churches, the Church of the Flying Cog still defines itself by this credo, often leading its flock towards dangerous experiments to "just see what happens".
But it doesn't end there. The Articles of Emergence also specify that anyone not a member of one of the three churches shall be designated "Excogitatoria Externa", otherwise referred to as Externals. Visitors to Widget Ridge are welcomed and honored, and are given a badge to wear denoting their status. Externals are also subject to their own justice code, as ratified by the Council of Three Churches.