Sons Of Ether

Overview and Paradigm

As the Electrodyne Engineers, the Sons of Ether were often seen as strange and quirky by the other Conventions of the Technocracy. Despite this, they were instrumental in developing the field of Dimensional Science, and worked closely with Iteration X on their mechanical soldiers. Unfortunately, their ideology clashed with that espoused by the inner echelons of the Technocracy, and they were not able to abandon their ideal of the 'ether', a mysterious fifth element which filled the spaces between the stars.

In 1904, when the Technocracy voted to write Ether out of the Consensus, the Electrodyne Engineers rebelled. Taking a great number of Technocratic secrets with them, they defected to the Council of Nine Mystick Traditions.

Meanwhile, the newly-renamed Sons of Ether filled the then-vacant Seat of Matter on the Council, going into hiding within the scientific community and old boys' clubs, and finally letting their theories run rampant.

The Sons of Ether draw on the spark of genius within themselves to create devices which function beyond the normal laws of physics, aerodynamics, chemistry, and neuropsychology. Confined only to what she can justify within his own paradigm, the Etherite creates rayguns, robotic servants, and fantastic flying machines. Central to many Etheric theories is the idea of ether, the fifth element. As time has progressed, however, the Etherites have expanded their paradigm to involve anomalous phenomenon, such as psionics, Ufology, parapsychology, cryptozoology, the use of cryptotechnology, and other fringe science or pseudoscience. In addition, certain Etherites have left much of the comical pulp imagination behind, and moved on to progressive, cutting-edge technology.

As the focus of the Tradition is on Science, not magic, an Etherite cannot use his mystick powers without some sort of device. To the Etherite, he is merely drawing on the power of the laws of science, unaware that the true effects of his devices originate from his focused will.

Although the Council of Nine distrusted the Sons of Ether from the beginning, their defection was very welcome at the time. The Council, meant to consist of nine members, was down to only seven. The seats of Matter and Correspondence had been empty for many years when the Sons of Ether stepped forward. They were obviously well-suited to the Seat of Matter, as their work dealt with creating impossible devices, machines which functioned beyond the normal rules of science, strange materials and inventions.

It is interesting to note that the previous holders of the Seat of Matter were the Solificati, a Tradition of alchemists. Unfortunately, the Tradition dissolved after a terrible betrayal by one of its leading members, Heylel Teomim.

Despite the initial distrust, the Sons of Ether proved to be in earnest. Their largest stronghold was Victoria Station, a massive train station which became the main lifting-off point for voyages into the Umbra.

Previously, the Tradition as a whole suffered from the fact that each Etherite has a solid Theory about how the natural world works, and each theory was radically different. This made it hard for the Sons of Ether to present a united face to their allies, and a united front against their enemies.

There is also a matter of the name. There have been many female Sons of Ether since the Tradition's acceptance into the Council of Nine, and the gender-biased name draws a great deal of heat from their ranks. The dispute over the name of the Tradition is fierce, and often will be seen raging across the pages of Paradigma and through the back rooms of scientific conventions. The term "Etherite" is a common substitution, but some older members of the Tradition insist on the old term.

Fall and Reconciliation

Etherite involvement in the Reconciliation War is more easily summed up if you look at the various branches of the Tradition rather than as the Tradition as a whole.

Ethernauts - Fought on the front lines at Horizon, Doisstep and Victoria Station. They also fought skirmishes against the Union forces but also fought along side former Union rivals against the Nephandi.

Utopians - Worked to protect Sleepers from the Chaos of the Fall. Afterward, they worked with the Progressivists in rolling out Arcology.

Cybernauts - Suffered a similar fate as the Virtual Adepts.

Progressivists - Worked with the Utopians in rolling out Arcologies. Further more, they lay claim to the invention of the Neruolink as well as several major contributions into Cybernetics and Bioware. They have a fierce rivalry with the Union in this area.

Traditionalists - This segment of the Tradition was all but extinct at the end of the 20th century. It saw a resurgence during the Fall and remains a strong in the Dark areas where high technology is distrusted and unavailable. The Traditionalist are the kings of making something out of nothing. Further more, they have an extremely unified paradigm with vast Inter-Continental communication system made entirely of telephony from the mid to late 20th century. They are famous for being able to make almost anything out of duct tape, silly putty and a toaster.

Current Status

The Etherites have much to celebrate. The breaking up of the Union's paradigm coupled with the extreme advances in technology have lead to a second golden age of Science! No longer are Sleepers shackled to the strict conventions of the Technocracy. Science produces awe, wonder and fear again in the hearts of Sleepers. Much to the Union's chagrin, the Etherites have put forth and gotten mass acceptance a number of theories and technologies. Further more, they are actively involved in both Bright and Dark media as Scientific experts regarding supernaturals, refuting and disproving Union claims left and right.

The culling of the ranks during the Reconciliation have reformed the once rag tag Tradition into something the disturbingly resembles a mini (yet democratic) Technocratic Union. The entire Tradition was restructured to have a ruling body simply called The Five. These five are the heads of the five major 'departments' with in the Tradition:

  • The Ethernauts
  • The Utopians
  • The Cybernauts
  • The Progressivists
  • Traditionalists

New theories and technologies are voted on based on a strict criteria. Inventors must justify the existance of said technology with the virtues of foresight, compassion, nessisity and innovation. Technologies and theories meeting this criteria are given the support of the Tradition as a whole and are adopted into the Traditions paradigm, where after being tested and debugged are (hopefully) accepted by the masses. Technologies not deemed worthy by The 5 are not quashed out right, rather they are sent back to the drawing board, left to fend for themselves or to be championed by their creators. The Five believe that no mage can truly know the extent of their actions.

Ethernauts - Provide Council oversight beyond the Horizon and in the Umbra and maintain Deep Umbra Space Stations (in particular the flagship Victoria Station) where they continue their explorations into the Unknown. In the previous century they were considered eccentric if not down right kookie. In the 21st Century the Ethernatus hold a great hope. While remote, the Ethernauts have a particular political advantage over their other departments: Victoria Station. Being the keepers of the Traditions flagship and one of the Council's most valued assets, their word often carries more weight in matters of politics.

Rumors among Council circles claim that with the help of the Utopian Arcologists, they have established a colony on Mars and have plans to Terraform the planet before the Union can. They are a seceretive lot and the truth or the progress of this project is still unknown.

Utopians - Claim that they were the minds behind today's Arcologies. Through these great Domed Cities they will build the societies of Tomorrow. Portland and Seattle are two shinning examples of their hard work and dedication. They consider the happenings in San Diego their grandchild. They have a fierce rivalry with the Union Arcologists based out of Silicon Valley who have created a rival project around San Fransico.

Cybernauts - Have seen a resurgence in numbers since the Fall and work closely with the Virtual Adepts and Thigs to over see Council interests with in the Matrix.

Progressivists - If it's hip, cutting edge and wild, the Progressivists are on it. With the media and the general Bright population craving newer, faster, sexier technology the Progressivists are only too happy to provide. They are the Golden Children of the Etherites. Nearly everything they touch turns to gold or rather, Chrome. Cybernetics and Bioware are their bread and butter. They maintain a fierce rivalry with the Union in these areas and have gained quite a reputation for arrogance and hubris. Were it not for their accomplishments they would be greatly distrusted by their Council fellows.

Traditionalists - Continue to toil with very little public renown in the Dark sectors. While revered by the local population for providing basic nessisties (food, running water, power) they lack the glamor and prestige of the other departments. They are the salt of the earth Etherites, stalwart and individualistic. They make the old useful again. A growing number of these mages have primordial essences.

Though some Traditionalts still refer to the Tradition as the Sons of Ether, the official and polite term for the Tradition is The Etherites.