Sons of Ether

‘The true wonder of science is not in its ability to explain the universe, but in its capacity to form new questions.’
Specialty Sphere: Matter Associated Abilities: Science, Crafts, and Dodge. Not all science needs to be the banal and regimented process trumpeted by the Technocracy. So say the Sons of Ether, and they practice what they preach. From the mad, inspirational science of Victorian wonder-workers to the fringes of cuttingedge alternative scientific theory, the Sons of Ether use it all. While other technomancers pioneer new worlds, the Sons of Ether take the discarded cast-offs of technology and turn them into creations of the imagination. No invention is too strange, no theory is too obscure, for them to tweak it and find a way to use it. Contradictions? Impossibilities? Nonsense – there are only doors that have not yet been opened by Science! Tradition Paradigm: Personal inspiration makes impossible ideas come into reach. Philosophy: While Technocrats codify the universe into a static mold explainable by convoluted science, the Sons of Ether reject such a notion as foolish. The universe is far too vast, too varied for any single equation to hold sway over it. The act of observation changes the outcome, as quantum science is discovering, and thus discovery and invention are personal processes, driven by the wonder and inspiration of the individual. Nothing is impossible – from the ‘disproven’ theories of yesterday, the Sons of Ether create the wonders of tomorrow. All magic comes down to Science! Perception defines the universe, so each Scientist builds their own model of reality. With intuitive insight, a Scientist can build inventions and make connections that no other person could understand. Their inventions have many forms – some based on ‘real’ science, and some outlandishly fanciful. Many Sons of Ether build things in the vein of mad science or bad sci-fi movies, creating gloriously low-tech devices with exposed gears and flashing lights. Of course, there’s nothing stopping them from working in the miniature, either, creating the micro-sized marvels of tomorrow. The Sons of Ether are also one of the few Traditions to formally share their common knowledge. Many Etherites awaken after reading the Kitab al Alacir, or Book of the Ether, which details how all reality comes down to the fundamental substance of Ether. Furthermore, many discoveries are published in Paradigma, the journal of the progressive sciences, and being published is a goal that nearly all Etherites strive for. Materials have a special place for the Sons of Ether, as the masters of Matter. Often their inventions will rely on obscure, rare, or even impossible elements to induce new scientific effects. Just as often, an Etherite will build an android out of a VW Bug, two toasters and a cell phone. It’s hard to say exactly what inspiration will strike them next.

Failings: Given their incredible diversity of personal theories, it’s a wonder the Sons of Ether manage to communicate at all. Every single Etherite has their own spin on, well, everything, especially when two Etherites use mutually contradictory theories (which both work). A discussion of magic may give rise to five or six different theories, before any of the other Traditions even get a say! This individuality makes it hard for the Etherites to communicate as a whole with the other Traditions. Likes Euthanatos: It’s good to have an external review board, someone who is watching to make sure other Traditions don’t step over the line. They put too much faith in capital punishment, but after seeing what the Technocracy has done, we have to agree that some people need to be removed. Let’s hope we never draw too much attention from them. Order of Hermes: They are nearly as academic as we are, with their emphasis on preserving knowledge. Every now and then, one of their number comes up with something new. They’ll learn to celebrate this innovation, rather than punishing the insubordination. For now, we’re simply grateful they trust us. Dislikes Akashic Brotherhood: The power of the mind is great, yes. But the purpose of an inspired mind is to create and build, not to attempt to shield yourself in your own little world. Their doctrine is inherently selfish – they spend so much time looking for enlightenment, they can’t see the humanity in front of them. Celestial Chorus: You leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone. There doesn’t need to be a gap between religion and science, but at the same time, not everyone has to be religious. Those god-fearing Sons among us will happily attend your services. Now leave the rest of us in peace. Cult of Ecstasy: Parties are great for celebrating the accomplishment of something great! But the Cult seems to be all about the parties, and less about the accomplishment. They are an interesting bunch of thinkers, philosophers, and dreamers. They’re just not very good doers. Hollow Ones: We create, while they preach destruction. You want to build a better world? Grab those boards and that hammer, and we’ll get building. Virtual Adepts: The Sons and the Adepts are both devoted to bringing magic back into the modern world, but the similarities stop there. They put too much emphasis on their toys, rather than the innovation that makes them possible. They could care less about the thrill of discovery; they’re happy to copy someone else’s success. Hates Dreamspeakers: Totally incomprehensible. They say that if I put these gears together and make a clock, suddenly there’s a ‘clock spirit,’ and it’s alive. Preposterous. You can pray to your spirits and effigies for rain, I’ll be over here making a rainmaking device. Let me know if you ever pull your mind out of the Dark Ages. Verbena: People still do this stuff? The inspiration of the Traditions is great, but they need to realize that there are some really backwards groups in the Council of Nine. The old ones whine about how we’re corrupting the Earth with science, the new ones whine about how we should play with New Age crystals

and dance naked. The worst ones are those who call their occult foolishness ‘science.’ Please. I do more science before 8 am than you’ll do in your entire life.

Factions
Royal Ethernautical Society The Ethernauts claim credit for the first voyage to the moon, and the creation of the first human habitat in orbit. They are the premier explorers of Etherspace and the unknown, building Etherships and training Ethernauts to go farther, faster, and more spectacularly. They are the brave explorers of the Traditions, going where no man has gone before – and no Sleeper will go for two hundred years! Faction Paradigm: Knowledge can be found by exploring what is truly unknown. Cybernetic Research Institute The Cybernauts are the home of the technology experts of the Tradition, building machines that work more efficiently, more intelligently, and more durably. They do experiments in robotics, smart machines, and the flow of information. They are among the most ‘modern’ of the Sons, preferring to work with the newest high-tech devices rather than the steam engines and gears of some of their fellows. Faction Paradigm: Machinery is power. The Technocracy knows this, and we must too. Utopian League The Utopians believe that Scientific research should benefit the Sleepers as much as possible, as soon as possible. They work their influence on Sleeper society through politics and history, learning not only how to make fantastic new inventions, but how to get the common man to accept and use them. They also keep track of other Sons of Ether, making sure their science stays ethical. Faction Paradigm: Science and technology should benefit everyone. Adventurers These go-getters seek to train their minds and bodies to their peak, utilizing portable devices and their own personal spin on Science to fight injustice wherever they find it. They are always traveling, looking for the next thrill to be had, whether it’s researching the true secrets of Alchemy or soaring through war-torn lands on a home-built jetpack. Faction Paradigm: We must do what’s right, and take the battle to our enemies! Dissidents The Mad Scientists reject much of the Scientific ethos. They believe they should be able to perform any experiment they wish, no matter what the consequences. Such is the nature of experimentation! Many have a singular obsession to which they devote their entire lives, such as a cure for cancer, the creation of an intelligent machine, or the birth of new life. Faction Paradigm: Progress cannot coexist with arbitrary limitations.

Progressivists These politically-charged scientists are revolutionaries within the Tradition. From within, they try to break down the ‘white, European male’ stereotype (and truth) of the Sons of Ether. They have recently begun a movement to change the name of the Tradition from the ‘Sons’ to something less sexist. They are the political forefront of the Sons of Ether, often the only advocates for changing what many scientists see as the old ways and the good ways. Faction Paradigm: Where there is bias, we cannot trust the science. Elite Cabal: Ether Labs Within the Sons of Ether, there are many groups founded to work on specific projects. These are not factions per se, more like research teams. To become a member of one of these teams is a great honor, as the chosen Etherite is on the front lines of innovation – whether building Etherships, researching new horizons, or learning to harness advanced technologies. With a Tradition as diverse in purposes as the Sons of Ether, having your efforts officially sponsored is a great honor. Cabal Paradigm: The best and the brightest, to accomplish the newest and strangest. Requirements: Science at 5, Crafts and Dodge at 4, two other Abilities at 4. Matter at 3, one other Sphere at 3.

“Real Science comes not from sterile laboratories, but from the spark of imagination!”

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