The Progenitors are doctors and medicians within the technocracy, dedicating themselves to biological sciences. Masters of the Sphere of Life, they employ the tools of genetic manipulation, hyper-advanced surgical techniques and sophisticated drugs to constantly push the envelope of medicine. They sometimes work closely with Iteration X, especially in the fields of cybertechnology and artificial body parts.
The most fit must survive. Evolution has taught us that a better-adapted organism will always displace a less fit one. The difference between Neanderthals and humans were minuscule. The Neanderthals made tools, had a complex social structure and even language. But our ancestors' cerebral cortex was just a bit more efficient. How many Neanderthals have you seen on Earth lately? Now we possess the power to make humans better adapted, more fit and hence more likely to survive. It falls to us to use this power wisely, in order to gift humanity with the immortality, perfection and Unity it requires. Life itself is our purview. All that grows changes and look at the universe in wonder.
Among the Technocracy, the Progenitors are maybe the most vehement in their dislike of Reality Deviants. Citing New Age Healing, homeopathy, holistics and other superstitions, the Progenitors see them as dangers not only for the whole of humanity, teaching the Masses to rely on the powers of elitistic magicians and charlatans instead of relying on comprehendable forces that should be -and will be- amenable for everyone.
The modern Progenitors' lineage begins with Hippocrates. The famous designer of the Hippocratic Oath was also, according to Progenitor histories, an Enlightened physician. Hippocrates founded a small guild of apprentices, the Cosian Circle. The Roman Empire widened the Cosians' sphere of influence, until they could be found throughout Europe, Africa and Asia Minor. Under their influence Galenic medicinal theory (based on astrology and the four humours) came to dominate the Roman world; although it could not drive out the many folk remedies of the Empire, it could at least discredit them. Simian messengers travelled through the Sassanid Empire and along the trade road to China, contacting like-minded individuals wherever they could.
Dark Ages Edit
Cosian influence started to wane by the fourth century CE, failing as ancient learning vanished in an increasingly barbaric world. Christian saints and stories featured miraculous healing, and the Christian distrust of magic and astrology threw increasing doubt on the validity of the physician's craft. When the western half of the Empire collapsed, the Cosian Circle broke. The Western Roman Cosians were forced into hiding, while the Eastern Roman Cosians splintered into many smaller guilds. By the time of Justinian, the mighty Byzantine Cosians had dwindled to a single circle. Scattered throughout the Mediterranean, the Hippocratic physicians nursed their bile for the next seven centuries, preserving the shreds of Galenic thought in the Arabic and Latin Universities.
During the Convention of the White Tower, the Cosian Circle joined forces with the Order of Reason, believing that the dependency on magick and faith was the main reason for human suffering, turning into the Hippocratic Circle. By 1350, the Hippocratic Circle was combating the plague in public hospitals. Members warred with the Church and the folk-healers (backed by the Choristers and the Verbena respectively) but the Classical pedigree of their teachings won them the intellectuals of Europe and hence the support of increasingly secular governments.
The Circle was divided into Houses that would later provide the modern Metholodogies. The House of Mandrake studied herbalism and agriculture. The House of Fire were some of the original field scientists, tracing and eradicating plagues. The House of Knives pioneered surgery. The Phylaxoi were the warriors, protecting the Circle during travel from bandits, warring nobles and armed Superstitionists.
Victorian Age Edit
The 19th century saw a shift in Hippocratic philosophy. Galenic theory possessed too many defects and was too closely allied to Hermetic thought to be safe. The Circle's leaders embraced germ-theory and genetics, and turned the Convention to a new goal: the modification, not merely the preservation, of life. In 1851, the Hippocratic Circle, and the larger Order, underwent reorganization and emerged as the Technocratic Union. The Circle were re-christened as the Æsculpian Order. This lasted until the later years of the 19th century, when the Union overhauled itself yet again. The Æsculpians became the Progenitors.
During the Victorian era, the Progenitors had to fight with various dissidents in their own ranks. Eugenics, sexism and the infamous Promethean Atrocities (the creation of monsters and the animation of dead flesh) crept into the Convention, fueled by the sheer possibilities of the new era. Many Progenitors experimented for some time in these branches, but few stayed there for long.
Modern Nights Edit
World War I was a shock for the Convention and a severe damp on its idealism. Seeing the atrocities that the Masses had unleashed and the new and horrible ways to kill each other, many Progenitors withdraw from the mundane world, searching desperately for cures to gas attacks and therelike. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was a cruel awakening for the agriculture experts within the Convention. In the rapid rush to introduce mechanized farming practices, there was not an equal encouragement of sustainable crop practices. Combined with the drought, the "blizzards" of soil-filled winds were the stuff of Progenitor nightmares. A diaspora was created of the farmers displaced from their barren land, and in the midst of ecological misery was the Great Depression. When World War II began and the Technocrats allied themselves with the Council of Nine to fight back against the Nephandic incursions, most of the Progenitors had fled from the horrors of the Consensus into their safe labs, content to watch the world from outside instead of suffering within.
In the Cold War, the Progenitors supported various equalist rights and profited greatly when the Consensus accepted their theory of the DNA, making many of their enhancements mundane and profitable for the Masses. In the 1990s, bioethics was starting to see pointed,widespread attention in the Masses. At the same time, the Technocracy demanded that the Progenitors would aid the Iterators in the construction of HIT-Marks. Although there were some objection, the Progenitors at last joined the project to create artificial soldiers for the Ascension War.
Before the Dimensional Anomaly cut them off, most of the elite Progenitors secluded themselves in their Horizon Realms, slowly losing touch with the needs of the Masses and controlling the Convention from Horizon. In the Final Nights, the Progenitors are without the majority of their brightest scientists, but many have accepted this as necessary to begin anew. Seeing how the infighting and seclusion had only brought them wider apart from the needs of humanity, many Progenitors have chosen to embrace field work over secluded studies. This resulted in a massive shift of attention towards the Progenitor-run hospitals and healthcare and a back-to-the-roots sentiment among the younger generation of Progenitors. Many feel that their forebearers betrayed the Hippocratic principles and sought to reconnect the Convention with its traditions. Even now, the remaining Traditionalists are careful to subvert Progenitor activities, as many Sleepers profit greatly from their hospitals.
The Convention can be divided up into three bands: scientists (who often call themselves "the talent" or other self-inflating terms), management, and support staff.
- Students - the entry level of prospective Progenitor scientists. With rare exception, they are newly Enlightened, Extraordinary, on the cusp of achieving Genius. In order to be considered for inclusion in a Progenitor funded program of study, a potential Student must demonstrate uncommon comprehension of one of the root sciences of the Convention, usually biology or chemistry. After Students complete their studies and defend their theses, they graduate into the ranks of the Research Assistants.
- Research Assistants - the second level of the Progenitor ladder, their initial work in researching the investigatory paths is set by their superiors. Once they prove their ability a few times, they are rewarded with some determination over their own efforts. The brightest and most ambitious RAs graduate into more authority and responsibility, becoming Primary Investigators.
- Primary Investigators - these brilliant minds have repeatedly proven themselves worth the increased responsibilities. PIs decide the course of research taken by the labs and RAs under their control, though they are still constrained by their field of study and the occasional meddling Research Director.
- Research Directors - a slightly different breed of scientist. To be sure, they possess astounding knowledge regarding their chosen fields of study, but either their desire to research has cooled over the many decades of their long lives, or they have both the ability and desire to run the facilities under their command. They guide the research efforts of the facilities and personnel at their command. They do not generally get involved in planning individual lines of research, but rather focus on the strategic level of scientific inquiry. Councilors are the masters of the Convention, and part of the Shared Government Council that guides the Convention.
- Recruiters - the talent scouts for the Convention. Their job demands the mastery of science to the same level as at least a PI. Without that knowledge they could not
pick the wheat from the chaff.
Along with the Iterators, the Progenitors also provide the Union with a great many foot soldiers – genetically engineered clones designed to replace civilians are a stalwart, as are bioengineered horrors that guarded the most secret Technocratic labs.
- Applied Sciences
- Deviancy Scene investigators
- Médecins Sans Superstition
- Biosphere Explorers
- Damage Control
- Ethical Compliance
- FACADE Engineers
- Shalihotran Society