Sons of Ether

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The Sons of Ether, rebranded as the Society of Ether in the 20th Anniversary edition, are one of the Nine Traditions in Mage: The Ascension. Their Reality Paradigm is one of Gaslamp Fantasy; viewing the world through a lens in which discredited historical scientific theories are objective truth, allowing them to produce Steampunk (or theoretically Dieselpunk or Clockpunk or Atompunk, but the Sons have pretty much solidified around a Victoriana motif) "super science" to do their will.

They were originally part of the Technocracy, but left it in an outrage after one of their most beloved pet theories, the Luminiferous Ether, was ousted from the Technocracy's Reality Paradigm, thus rendering them powerless and infuriating the former Electrodyne Engineers, who felt that this was making science "duller" (not to mention making wireless energy transmission impossible). Considering that the Technocracy wound up creating a world so banal that their own magic is now struggling to work any better than that of the Nine Traditions, the Etherites have a point.

The prevalence of preservative Pattern avatars among the Etherites accounts for the fact that they are somewhat stuck in the past, and it also makes them the iconic moderates of Stasis; their extremist analogues are the Threat Null Technocrats.

However, this characterization is more common among the old guard of the Tradition, who are notorious for circlejerking blatantly asinine junk science like the flat Earth or phrenology. Younger Etherites actually tend to be Dynamic if anything and have refocused the Tradition around more modern (if not strictly more credible) fields like UFOlogy, psionics, and cryptoarchaeology.

The factions of the Etherites are:

  • The Cybernauts, the iconic machine freaks who love robots, AI, and sundry other gadgets and gizmos. They were once a lot tighter than they are now with the Virtual Adepts, but the Cybernauts' obsession with reinventing the wheel made collaborations less and less frequent
  • The Ethernauts, who specialize in Etheric travel, making Etherships and conducting xenobiological research at the far corners of the Tellurian. They have an intense love-hate relationship with the Void Engineers and like their frenemies, were fucked sideways by the Avatar Storm.
  • The Utopians focus on large scale social policy and infrastructure, often with a decidedly Marxist bent (a number of its members are themselves former Bolshevik scientists). They are the administrators of the Tradition's large scale initiatives and run the ethics committees. Needless to say, given that the Tradition was formed so that people would stop telling them what to do, they are regarded with mild contempt by their fellows.
  • The Adventurers are an informal grouping of those Scientists who forgo life in the lab for a life of two-fisted action with improvised tech and more than a bit of grit and determination. They tend to be the first ones to accept and try to understand the other Traditions' "magick". ("Ah, this wand of fireball is forged from Atlantean Orichalcum and emits a constant stream of pyrotrons! That explains it!")
  • The Mad Scientists are a grab bag of the Tradition's black sheep: doomsday devices, irradiated monsters, killbots, you get the idea. The other factions try their best to reign them in, but expelling them altogether would mean leaving them unsupervised. Besides, no one can deny that their toys are damn effective at tearing up the enemy.
  • The Progressives actually tend to belong to other factions and are united by their opposition to the fact that, historically, the Tradition has been mostly controlled by old money French and British guys for the past century. They are slowly but surely bringing the Tradition into the (Atompunk version of) the 21st century, as evidenced by the name change in M20.
Members of the Council of Nine Mystic Traditions
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Akashic Brotherhood
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Celestial Chorus
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Cult of Ecstasy
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Dreamspeakers
Euthanatos.png
Euthanatos
Order of Hermes.png
Order of Hermes
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Sons of Ether
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Verbena
Virtual Adepts.png
Virtual Adepts