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There is some dispute as to exactly how the Progenitors arose. Some believe they were renegade Verbena, joining the early technocracy out of fear of the Inquisition. Others say they came from the rising medical class, in direct competition with herbal mid-wives and their Verbena kin. Regardless of their origins, the Progenitors have done much to reshape the way the world views life and disease. It is also true that they harbor a special hatred of the Verbena. History shapes the early days of the Convention as the Hippocratic Circle during the first inception of the Technocracy. In the second installation of Control, in 1851, and became the Æsculpian Order. Their final installation was as the Progenitors at the end of the 19th century. The progenitors initially worked to win sleepers to their side via improvements in agricultural techniques. Their greatest accomplishment, however, was the creation of the germ theory of disease. By attributing disease to a physical cause, rather than a spiritual one, disease could be treated via non-magickal means with predictable results. It was even possible to completely eliminate certain diseases, something unthinkable in any previous paradigm. Heartened by their success with disease, the Progenitors have pressed forward to pry into the very secrets of life itself. Evolution and genetics are the two corner-stones to modern Progenitor research. The Progenitors have learned much about the living process, and have created a number of new and successful species. Meanwhile, their technicians continue to develop new theories and chemicals to improve the lives of Sleepers. Unfortunately, modern Progenitor obsession with the creation of the "perfect" life-form, and the general improvement of man, have distanced them from humanity, and they can be quite ruthless in their experimentation. Upon first consideration, the Progenitors are mostly researchers, medical specialists and academics. Many of the Constructs are Laboratories and medical facilities and their organizational structure suggests an academic framework more than anything else. This is largely credited to their historical roots as the Hippocratic Circle and their role as doctors, herbalists and alchemists; fields which evolved into the modern sciences. Recently, the Convocation has become acutely aware, and involved, in the Ascension War. They have sought active and inactive external operations to contribute to the better world. This orientation can be attributed to the expectation that during the height of WWII, all Technocratic Conventions would contribute to the war efforts. It was because of their role in WWII that the exposed themselves to a degree which engendered active opposition against them. Those circumstances forced the Progenitors to defend themselves and venture further afield in an effort to control their environment, so they could identify and neutralize threats that evolved in unlikely places quickly and efficiently.
Philosophy: "We now hold the power to control our own evolution. The ultimate expression of Technology is the power to redefine oneself. We have the knowledge and power through drugs and genetics to remake man in a better, more powerful form. Through successive transformations, we can advance mankind far further than the course of nature would ever take us, and thereby ascend." The vision of the Progenitors is a world where life is cultivated and optimized. Crops and livestock are abundant, medical care is ubiquitous, and race and gender are meaningless in the face of genetic equality and flawlessness of all humanity. The progenitors seek to improve on life itself as much as possible, even creating new life to suit their purposes. There are many whose critical voices accuse them of suffering from a God Complex and conducting inhuman practices. Only Iteration X surpasses the Progenitors attitude that the end justifies the means. The detachment of Progenitor scientists often goes so far that they will consider the most outrageous experiments as justifiable in the name of science. Organization: The Progenitors organize themselves along academic lines, in various research and education centers. Each major scientific discipline has a Review Board that evaluate various Technomancer's work, and determining who will get funding and who will be "cut". The nucleus of the Convention's structure is the laboratory. Laboratories are rarely isolated facilities, except in low-profile street operations. Usually they are clustered into a lab-group under the supervision of one or more Primary Investigators. The labs themselves are mostly staffed by Research Associates who form the bulk of the Progenitor Convention, and Students who form the lowest Enlightened echelon of the Convention. One or more lab-groups together with an educational institution comprise Constructs which are headed by Research Directors. The Progenitors also have un-Enlightened personnel enlisted, but they rarely play any significant role within Progenitor Constructs themselves. Rather, they work as Lab Technicians, Recruiters and Street Operatives among the masses and in smaller facilities in the field. The Schism between field operatives and scientists working within Union facilities is most pronounced among the Progenitors. Field work means less time devoted on research and internal academic politics. That results in a clear disadvantage in an environment where promotion depends highly on how many research papers one has published and how many patrons are willing to provide support. The whole Convention is guided by Administration, a secretive inner circle of the highest-ranking Research Directors. Administration has no direct role in the actual Constructs, but rather communicates with all of them through directives and notifications. Meetings: Progenitors tend to be more concerned with research than regular interaction with their peers. Any meetings they have tend to be practical exchanges of information, as well as occasional demonstrations of new discoveries. Initiation: Progenitors, like Iteration-X, looks mostly to the academic world to find its recruits. In recent years, the Progenitors have realized that there are a number of talented individuals in the drug world, developing new chemicals and strains of plants. Their recruits there also give the Progenitors access to a wide range of willing test subjects in the drug consuming public. Chantry: It is rumored that the Progenitors have converted the monastery where Mendel once lived into a hitech research center and clearing house for Progenitor ideas. Acolytes: Pharmacists, Medical Personnel, Drug Dealers Sphere: The Progenitors concentrate on the sphere of life, and their mechanistic view has influenced the general Technocratic view of this sphere. They feel that life is governed by various small processes such as DNA, whose actions can be studied and understood. Foci: Force/Entropy: Electricity, Drugs: Life/Mind, Stopwatch: Time, Correspondence/Matter: Calculator,
Prime/Spirit: Vial Concepts: Drug Engineer, Genetic Researcher, Doctor Quote: "Our destiny is not doom. Our destiny is to make things better." Iteration-X: "They are at least solid scientists. Their obsession with machinery is taking them down a false path, however. Ascension is only available to the living." New World Order: "As our leader, they do a passable job, leaving us to do what we do best. Never trust them, though. Syndicate: "These businessmen can be extremely useful, but short- sighted. Our brief foray into the drug world makes it clear they are not exploiting the full potential of their markets." Void Engineers: "We do not claim to understand their obsession with space, but have no problem with it, either. At least they occasionally return with interesting new specimens."
~*~ The Paradigm ~*~
The Organism: The Organism is the fundamental unit of Society and Reality as we understand it. The Organism works in a predictable and controllable manner. The Organism controls Reality, we control the Organism in order to create a Better Reality.
~*~ Magick ~*~
Biology. By striving to understand the Organism in a mechanistic manner we can develop methods to control it. Biology is most strongly linked to the Sphere of Life, but can be used to influence many other aspects of Reality also. It is not straightforward to assign a "sphere" to each Research Field but approximations are presented below. Note that we follow the General Technomancy Paradigm on all Science and respect the other Conventions superior knowledge in other Spheres, though our use of those spheres are often very different to those other Conventions.
~*~ Spheres ~*~
Correspondence: Microspcopy, Communications. . This Sphere is not a fundamental part of the Progenitor Paradigm, but the Genegineers often use Correspondence to investigate Organisms at the microscopic and molecular level. (The electron microscope uses forces and correspondence). They also use the Technology and of other Conventions, in day to day communications. (Cellular phones, computer networks, private jets, surveillance vans etc.). Entropy: Senescence (Cell Biology). The organism breaks down. By striving to understand the cellular mechanisms involved we can prevent or manipulate the senescence of the organism or individual cells within the Organism as we see fit. Forces: Energy. Not an area that Progenitors spend much time studying, some collaborative work can happen with Iteration X e.g. neural interfaces, neural networks, etc. Iteration X can also help with the manufacture of equipment used in Biological Research.
Life: Biomedical Sciences.(Genetics, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Physiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry,). These sciences form the backbone of the Conventions tools. Genetics can be used as a method of analysing life patterns, to identify the Organism, as well as a method of altering the organism, (through one of newer Rotes we have allowed to become part of the Paradigm, Gene Therapy), The manipulation of the microorganism has proved useful in many ways, from the production of drugs to the ability to pass on drug resistance to commercial plants. By analysing physiological processes that we have identified many ways to improve the performance of the organism, from drugs, diet, and lifestyle. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry are the tools we use to analyse these processes. Matter: Chemistry. The study of Inorganic and non-living Organic Chemistry These are useful as tools in a few aspects of Progenitor research, e.g. Artificial Organs, and in the design of Research Equipment but the ultimate aim of the convention is to manipulate the Organism itself rather than rely on crude mechanical devices. Mind: Neurology and Psychology. We strive to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the Brain and thus find biochemical methods of manipulating it. Pharmacology is an ideal method of doing this.. Medicine and Health Matters have always been very powerful forces in society, by controlling Medical advances we are in a strong position to shape future minds to our ideals. The NWO has extensive knowledge of brainwashing and other techniques and the Pharmacopeists often collaborate and use their tools. Prime: Metabolism, (Biochemistry). The Organism requires biological energy to live. We have isolated the biochemical unit of Energy, (ATP and other compounds) in order to use it to manipulate the organism. Many of our tools require the use of this energy to work. Understanding the flow of Energy also gives us greater insight into the Organism. Time: Genetics (Eugenics, Molecular Archeobiology, DNA fingerprinting Developmental Genetics). Genes are biological Programs that create the Organism, every organism has copies of this program in every cell. By the mechanism of Inheritance we can pass our influence onto future generations by permanent changes to the Genome. We can also reconstruct organisms of the past, or past movements of living organisms by collecting and analysing their DNA, their genes. By altering the program itself we can alter the time course of the development of the organism from the single fertilised egg cell, to the complete organism.
~*~ Arete ~*~
Progress: The use of Research and Knowledge to gain a fuller understanding and greater control of the Organism.
~*~ Quintessence ~*~
Metabolic Energy. The Organism uses energy to live, Energy passes up the food chain from Organism to organism, by understanding the energy flow within and between organisms can give us useful information about the Organism. Manipulating the Energy gives us greater control.
~*~ Paradox ~*~
Insufficient Knowledge. Sometimes insufficient knowledge of the organism leads to mistakes. These mistakes must be explained and removed quickly to maintain the image that Biology is an essential and desirable tool for Society's good.
~*~ Awakening ~*~
Education. Before an initiate can further the knowledge of the Convention she must have a thorough understanding of accumulated knowledge of her predecessors. Mage-specific Backgrounds
Arcane: Low Profile. The ability to study fundamental aspects of the Organism without causing undue adverse publicity. This allows the Progenitor to present the discoveries to Society when the Convention determines it to be the correct time. Avatar: Insight. The ability to analyse the evidence and invent credible and useful models of aspects of the Organism. It are these models that define the Paradigm and further the cause of the Convention. Destiny: Success. The ability to investigate and prove her models coupled with the ability to convince others of the validity of that model will allow the Progenitor to succeed. ~~*~ The
The Progenitors conduct most of their work within laboratories and through scientific research and development. Whenever methods become tried and true, they are employed on a general scale and spread throughout the medical and pharmaceutical communities around the world to promote the Progenitors' paradigm and the Union as a whole. The majority of their work is directed at improving on life through genetic engineering, pharmacy, medicine and the mastery of all biological aspects of nature. Progenitor Procedures are therefore also placed in two categories: Laboratory Procedures, and Field Applications. These categories not only reflect the boundary between coincidental and vulgar magic in game terms, but are also a description of the complexity of the Procedure. Procedures which require laboratories are long-winded and complex, involving many steps of chemical and biological synthesis and recombination, and require a lot of equipment. Field Applications tend to be simpler, quicker and less refined, on the other hand they are usually based on sound principle and are known to work, even under adverse conditions. Internally, the scientists of the Progenitors are highly competitive and the Convention is rife with politics and intrigue among the rivaling scientists and lab-groups. This rivalry and competitiveness also provides them with a constant drive for innovation, though, where each lab-group tries to outdo the others. Scientists of this Convention regularly tend to be highly protective of their research and achievements, lest a competing researcher might get an advantage over them and threaten access to coveted lab-space and funding. This attitude also extends to their relation with the rest of the Union. They often loathe to submit all data about their research to the New World Order databases and generally try to avoid the meddling administrators of this Convention. Based on their indisposable position as suppliers of medical care and biological enhancements for other technocrats, they always manage to keep a trump up the sleeve when it comes to manipulating internal relations and dodging regulations. When faced with opposition, the Progenitors can be sinister and insidious antagonists. They abduct key enemy figures and replace them with specially conditioned Intrusion Clones which report back to them and can be triggered to commit sabotage and murder at the appropriate time. Through drugs, chemicals, food additives, diseases and influence on medical-care facilities they can also strike at their opponents in hidden ways when they least expect it or when they are weak. For this purpose, the Pharmacopeists maintain a cadre of Street Operatives who operate within the black market for drugs, medical facilities, the food additives- and pharmaceutical industry and even in administrative positions of the respective controlling organs on national levels. When faced with aggressive or particularly dangerous opponents, the FACADE Engineers and Genegineers supply the teams of Damage Control with specially bred and engineered attack organisms and bioweapons to strike quickly and decisively at their enemies. Damage Control is mostly used against
supernatural opponents like Tradition Mages, Vampires or werewolves. In serious cases the Progenitors will often employ a multi-pronged approach of Intrusion Clones, biological and chemical weapons and direct application of force. There are three Progenitor Methodologies that have slightly different methods and mindset. All use the Life sphere as described as above but also use other spheres. They are also influenced and collaborate with other conventions in different ways. ~*~ The
FACADE Engineers ~*~
The Forced Adaptation and Clone Alteration Developmental Eugenicists have existed in one form or other since the times of the Hippocratic Circle. Their main field of application is the improvement and modification of all life through judicious bioengineering. They are also infamous for their creation of various hybrid species and known as experts of cloning technology. FACADE Engineers mostly work in laboratories or internal education. Only a few of them are directly involved in normal universities and scientific institutes among the masses. They have extensive work to do within the Union, though. They provide intrusion clones, biotechnological applications for Iteration-X and the Progenitors themselves, and often assume the role of paramedics for Field Amalgams. The FACADE Engineers are the most tightly-knit and secretive of the Progenitor Methodologies, being lead by practically immortal scientists who keep on living by inhabiting successive clone bodies. ~*~ Genegineers ~*~ This Newest Methodology are responsible for most of the recent Biotechnological and Genetic breakthroughs. They are the most technical and esoteric of the Methodologies as they primarily conduct and control Scientific Research. They often require Cutting edge technical equipment to aid them and thus have links with Iteration X. They are most likely of the Methodologies to use Forces, Matter or Correspondence science in their equipment to investigate the organism more completely. Formerly called the Mutagenic Engineers they were a subgroup of the FACADE Engineers. With the emergence of genetic engineering and cellular biotechnology in the 20th century, the need for a distinct Methodology to cover this field was addressed by the creation of the Genegineers in the 1950s. Members of this Methodology can be found in many universities' biology departments, in commercial biotechnology enterprises and in hospitals around the world. They occupy the middle ground between the withdrawn laboratory research of the FACADE Engineers, and the distinct outward-orientation of the Pharmacopeists. As a modern-minded Methodology, they are less rigid than most of their colleagues, and more interdisciplinary in their approach. Their main area of expertise, however, is the design and creation of new lifeforms, and the modification of existing life on a genetic level. While they do appear modern and innovative, the Genegineers are also most likely to develop delusions of grandeur and lose themselves in detachment and hubris.
~*~ Pharmacopeists ~*~ With roots as old as those of the FACADE Engineers, if not older, the Pharmacopeists are also the most externally active Progenitor Methodology. They insinuate experts and operatives into the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, the market in both legal and illegal drugs, universities, state organs charged with food and drug control and of course the medical professions. While Pharmacopeists are regularly conducting laboratory experiments like all other Progenitors, they are equally likely to take their experiments into the
field. Most public exposure through disastrous mishaps by Progenitors therefore relates to Pharmacopeist activities. The work of the Pharmacopeists is at the same time very fundamental as it is practical. As experts in chemistry and pharmacy, they provide the foundation for many more complex Procedures of the Convention, but they also provide many disposable drugs and medicines of various degree of sophistication for the Union and the masses alike. Supplementary to FACADE Engineer replacement clones or Genegineer genetic therapy, the Pharmacopeists contribute their own share to the effort to extend life or even reach immortality. Geriatric drugs and optimized nourishment diets can stem the advance of ageing or even extend life indefinitely in combination with other treatments. ~*~ Damage
The Progenitors maintain a small cadre of specialized enforcers who answer directly to Administration. Those operatives are all highly biologically augmented in capabilities and are provided with sophisticated drugs and medicines by the Pharmacopeists, artificially created attack organisms by the Genegineers, and combatconditioned clone soldiers by the FACADE Engineers. While Damage Control can not rival the firepower of Iteration-X enforcers, or the subtle effectiveness of NWO agents, they are experts in commando raids and the use of targeted chemical and biological weaponry, which still makes them a force not to be trifled with. Particularly the bizarre creatures they send against opponents can instil a feeling of terror in the enemy that can hardly be surpassed. Other than neutralizing particularly dangerous opponents by force, Damage Control also conducts internal enforcement against personnel who have gone astray. The second task of Damage Control beside enforcement is to cover up incidents caused by mistakes or accidents of other Progenitors. This is done both to placate the masses, and to avoid the scrutiny of NWO investigators. Other than the rest of the Convention, Damage Control does not run any laboratories or engage in educational work, they are purely operatives. Hence the possibility to advance in rank is limited for Damage Control personnel, but they also have to answer to nobody except Administration itself.
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