A sneak peek at the 1879 Players Companion: an all-female School of Weird Scientists who delve into higher mathematics and build energy weapons.
The Sisterhood of the Third Unification seeks to bring Maxwell’s work to its ultimate conclusion and find the grand unifying theory that explains the underlying phenomenon behind light, electricity, heat, gravity, and magnetism. Following the opening of the Rabbit Hole, magic has been added to the list of universal forces that must be explained by the Third Unifying Theory. While they build astonishing devices, these are secondary to the Order’s purpose. The force or forces being applied, converted, controlled, or otherwise handled remain the primary concern.
In 1875, two years after James Clerk Maxwell published his Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, correspondence began among a small group of women mathematicians. They sought a higher truth in mathematics, and began delving into physics, the new name for what had so long been called “natural philosophy”, as a means of testing their theorems. They believed that nothing is gained or lost, only transmuted from one form to another, and that a unification beyond that of Newton and Maxwell is possible. As their work expanded, so did their numbers, but quietly, and in secret, partly to avoid exposing their work to the disdain of men. Far too many women have had their work disparaged, stolen, or dismissed by men, years of effort tossed into the bin or published under the name of someone else solely on the basis of gender. When the Sisters do publish, it is under their own names, and only after they have mercilessly peer reviewed their work. It is not enough for their efforts to excel. To survive in an academic world still dominated by men, their papers must be unassailable. Small wonder they become obsessive, paranoid, and occasionally vengeful. Small wonder they have built such frightening devices. Only a display of horrific violence will convince a man that one is serious. The Sisterhood tries to self police, but every so often there are incidents, and really, who could blame her for using induced magnetic resonance to cause the man who soiled her reputation to suffer a cranial implosion? It’s not like he was keeping anything worthwhile in his head, after all.
Discussion on the 1879 roleplaying game.
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