I think it is supposed to be hard, but the spell of shadow may be too strong in that case. Ahwaric want to change the spell system, so the problem normaly will be fixed. About the ordo machinarum... Yes, you can see it is just a local cult, linked with only one civ. But the "local" or "global" cult is just a problem of spreading. For the link with a civ, what do you think about the OO, which is linked with the Lanuns, or the Leaves, linked with elves ? Well, I think the ordo machinarum should be a religion, like the OO or the Leaves. Maybe the cult of the Emperor too ? We can imagine a religion based on the Gift ? Mostly religion talks about an after-life, but that religion talks about an immortal life, it is convincing, isn't it ? Their temple may be respectively the Clock Tower and the Temple of the Gift, and they may have a priority with their original civ like for the White Hand. Or, the tech may be just on the tech path of these civs, and we may erase the illan priority for the White Hand, like the other religions (for example the Leaves or OO may be searched by everyone). For the Ordo, I think they can have a religious bonus like the Veil (culture, and science bonus in the holy city), and the clock maybe have a reduction of maintenance costs (because of the organization). The Ordo may have a high Temple : the observatory (from the inductrial revolution flavor) with give a science bonus (and allow to have 2 scientists, like in BtS ?). The religious heroes may be Boris and Goliath, and Feris be just the national heroe for mechanos. The clockwork soldier may be the religious unit.