The Sons Of Ether are one of the nine groups that make up the Traditions, but
were once part of the Technocratic Union. Their roots reach back to the
earliest Greek philosophers, although they have only been organised as a
Tradition for nearly two hundred years.
Aretus - The Natural Philosopher
Aretus was the first Greek philosopher to question the nature of the world and
the first to attempt to formulate consistent answers. Little else is known
about his life, he was believed to have lived in Troy at the time of the
siege, but is thought to have died there. However an apprentice of his,
Parmenesthes, fled the city to Persia with the only copy of his master's work.
The scroll Parmenesthes carried was translated by Arabic scholars as the
"Kitab al Alacir", the "Book of Ether", unfortunately is was mistakenly
attributed to Parmenides. Later the original scroll was discovered by
Alexander the Great who had it translated by Aristotle, greatly influencing
him to the extent him formulating the fifth essence.
In the 12th century an Italian merchant prince named Lorenzo Golo, who was
also a Mage of House Verditius, received a copy of the Arabic translation of
Aretus' work from Moorish Spain. After studying the scroll, Golo gathered
together a number of other like minded Mages, but after disagreements with the
Order of Hermes they formed their own house, House Golo.
At the same time a Knight Templar called Simon de Laurent had discovered
Aristotle's translation. de Laurent was also secretly a Mage of the Cabal of
Pure Thought (the New World Order as we now know it.) Eventually Golo met de
Laurent while trading in France and they realised that their ideas shared a
common basis. They agreed to share their information, leading to the formation
of a loose association of groups under the title of the Natural Philosophers
Some of de Laurent's activities led to the Church excommunicating him, this in
turn lead to a dissolution of the Guild as individual groups endeavoured to
modify their activities in such a way as to deflect attention. There arose two
styles amongst the groups, one favouring Forces, an interest derived from
their Hermetic origins. The other focused on Matter, an interest that had
grown from de Laurent's interest in Science.
The Electrodyne Engineers
These smaller groups were instrumental in the development of science and the
birth of the Renaissance. Over the years the Forces tradition grew in
influence with the formation of the Electrodyne Engineers, and in 1865 they
were officially recognised as a Convention of the Order of Reason. However
those interested in ether and Matter were always headstrong and eager to drive
ever forwards, this lead to the nickname "Sons of Ether".
Over the next forty years the Order became more and more concerned about the
unsettling influence of the "etheric" faction within the Electrodyne
Engineers. The Union has a very regimented plan for humanity, certain
"discoveries" are to be released according to a strict timetable, but the Sons
wanted to explore the boundaries of Science with total freedom. The Engineers
were also keen to push forward as fast as possible, and this was seen as
inappropriate within the terms of the timetable.
Defection To The Traditions
The last straw came in 1904 after a note was circulated amongst members of the
Conventions, this note demanded that the activities of the Electrodyne
Engineers be curtailed as soon as possible. In particular it was suggested
that the existence of ether should be formally disproved within the Consensus.
The Conventions met and formally voted that ether did not exist, but within a
month the Order received a letter from all members of the Electrodyne
Engineers announcing their resignation from the Conventions. In addition the
letter's final snub to the Order of Reason was the intention to join the
Traditions as the Sons of Ether.
During the Grand Convocation of the Traditions in 1466 a hand picked cabal was
formed, including a member of the Tradition known as the Solificati. They were
a collection of Alchemists and Natural Philosophers, experts with the Matter
sphere. After the Solificati member of the cabal apparently turned
barrabbi and betrayed the cabal, the Tradition crumbled and eventually
disappeared. This left the Seat of Matter on the Council empty for over three
hundred years, leaving the Traditions incomplete, but the arrival of the Sons
of Ether brought back mastery of Matter to the Traditions.
The Tradition Today
The Tradition espouses three fundamental ideas, first of all is that True
Science is an Art, an expression of creation, imagination and freedom.
Secondly, Science can only be used for the betterment of humanity, for
peaceful means only. And finally ether is an all pervading aspect of all the
work of a Son of Ether. Perhaps the only reason for this is that all Sons of
Ether know that ether DOES exist, and that the Technocracy must be made
to see their mistake. In fact some of the most important recent advances in
mundane physics have been sponsored by the Tradition, these include Quantum
Physics as seen in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, Schrödinger's
Cat, and the discovery of Dark Matter (is this ether?)
Other than the three tenets described above, probably the one thing that
unites the Sons of Ether is their individuality. Each has their own personal
theory, their own inspiration to create, but there are some common patterns
that lead to natural groupings.
The Ethernauts - explorers of the far reaches of Etherspace
Utopians - dedicated Scientists working to the betterment of humanity
Cybernauts - sometimes known as "Webslingers" as they investigate the
Progressivists - reformers and devil's advocates in favour of change for
The Traditionalists - mostly elder Scientist, set in their ways
Mad Scientists - a term I dislike, but then I am one. Solitary
Pulp Heroes - adventurers in Science, Captain Nemo, Doc Eon and their
This information has been distilled from a special edition of Paradigma: The
Journal of Progressive Sciences, published by
White Wolf as the Son of Ether