In any case, I've had a lot of time to give thought to whats going on. I had noticed last month that the Makers Fair would take place and I thought it might be interesting to incorporate such an event. Obviously it would probably take place under heavy encouragement of the Sons of Ether, and I threw the idea out there for my players to consider.
That said I wanted to take the chance to express some of the thoughts I had.
Disclaimer: I don't know a lot about the makers fair, mostly what I know of it comes from pictures shared and a few presentation video's that I've seen. This in no way is meant to represent the actual makers fair as much as to present something similar within a modern fantasy setting that happens to appear on the surface very similar to our own.
Obviously it occurs to me that the makers fair is likely a place where Sons of Ether can gather and show off their nifty inventions. But given the popularity of the event and the Technocracies attitude toward the Sons, this event cant be something implicitly Sons of Ether. I think it probably started out as such, when the Sons counted themselves among the Technocracy. But since then it has been inherited by the population at large by creative sleepers who the Technocracy largely ignores. This allows the Sons of Ether to continue to support the event for fun, for creative inspiration, to perhaps encourage the sleeper population, and in a manor that allows them to perhaps find sleepers who are latent or potentially awake.
I imagine that the Sons of Ether very much encourage the participation of the other traditions, but any other tradition inclusion would be an individual affair. I do imagine that Virtual Adepts make regular appearances, often helping to write the code for this gadget or that. I imagine that Cultists appreciate the Victorian atmosphere and add to it when they visit with garb, art, and music.
One of the things that got my gears turning this morning was a presentation offered at fair. This presentation would be put on by Tradition mages for tradition mages, encouraging the dissemination of information democratically. Such a presentation would be advertized by word of mouth between tradition mages who understand the need for secrecy. They would pass word only at the Fair to those who they recognize as tradition mages at the fair. So I don't expect such a presentation to have a large crowd.
Raine has a Virtual Adept contact, and Serenity is herself a Virtual Adept. Of my little party it is these two who I would expect to be most aware of the Makers Fair, though it'd be up to the players as to how much interest their characters take in the fair. I do know that I would encourage Raine and by proxy the party through her Virtual Adept contact but if the group don't want to go, the group don't want to go. At the fair Raine's contact, who I suddenly wonder if he's ever been given a name... Chelle?
In any case, Raine would be approached at the fair by her contact, who on her assurance he would be speaking in front on a number of tradition mages, would invite her to this talk by (and here I find myself needing another name). This person would have to be something of an authority among the Sons of Ether, though generally he's not the highest chair among them. His talk? The Importance of Foci.
"Among the grand traditions it is generally held that perfection of the art includes the release of use of Foci. Foci are regarded as crutches and hindrances, marring the perfect art of will working. It is an accomplishment for us to set them aside, to be able to free ourselves of such crutches."
"But we all start with these crutches, and we recognize that the younger generations must train their minds with these crutches just as we did, that such crutches are often formed even as we struggle to understand what it is we are capable of."
"Recognizing the need of Foci for the developing will worker we tolerate those Foci even as we shun them. I would like to ask you all to take a step back for a moment to appreciate these Foci, not only for our need of them, but for the creativity of them. These are not just crutches, but expressions of our views of the world."
"What we have here at the Makers Fair is not just fancy robots that do outlandish things. What we have here at the Makers Fair is a collection of Foci. Some of these foci are individual made for public use, some of these are made by small groups for individual use. Many of these foci achieve the same purpose, but they all do so in a different way. But here's the thing, many of these foci are built by sleepers."
"I will not hide the reality that the Sons of Ether were once a part of the Technocracy, and even today this fact serves to inhibit the relations between the Sons and the rest of the Traditions. Among the Technocracy what you would call foci, they would call tools. I want each of you, as you explore the Makers Fair, to remember these things. Technology is generally regarded as simply foci that sleepers can use, but I think the traditions overestimate the influence of the technocracy to think that all tools were developed by them. This is not true, many of the tools we have today were developed or even improved by sleepers."
"I wish to impress upon you just how prevalent these tools, these foci, are. It might seem an effort in obviousness, but bear with me. Television, the internet, phones, these all serve as foci that allow us to connect with each other across vast distances, manipulation of correspondence. Vehicles allow us to travel across vast distances, more of the same, this includes cars, airplanes, trains, even bicycles. Study in genetics and medicine is starting to allow us to manipulate our very bodies, manipulation of life. But we already dabble in that sphere with crutches that give us new legs, or other forms of artificial limbs, even hearing aids and eye glasses that date back to the 1800's. But these are all modern inventions you might say, there's nothing amazingly prevalent about these."
"To that I say consider this: Language. This is a tool, a focus, that allows us to convey ideas and emotions, a simple mind effect. It is not just communication, other animals communicate with gestures and various vocalizations, things that are not true language. Language is what allows us to pass on our knowledge, our understanding, what we have learned from one generation to the next such that each successive generation can build upon already existing knowledge and understanding. Other animals can't do that, they can't pass those ideas, and so each generation must learn anew everything their preceding generations already know. This is such a prevalent foci that we use its effect as a focus for other magics; song, prayer, ancient and arcane words of power."
"Now recognize the power of language, and its effect on the way we think. Certain languages don't contain ideas for words that other languages have. To each culture that has those different languages, they value different things, and one culture values one thing that the other culture simply does not recognize. The word Bored did not exist before 1850 or there about. That is, the condition of not having anything to do, or want to do, yet wanting something to do. This word and its concept did not exist before 1850, it is not found in any writing before then. No one was bored before that decade, yet now we have this word and its meaning, and today kids often find themselves bored."
"Tools allow us, even unaware of them, to be able to manipulate the spheres of reality. The value of a foci is not just its ability to aid us in working our will upon the very fabric of reality, but in their ability to affect how we work our will upon the very fabric of reality. It is in studying these tools that we become aware of the tools and their purpose, and I submit to you that this is the purpose of the Makers Fair: To encourage the populace to take a look at what they can achieve. To encourage them to take part, to design new tools, new foci."
"Please keep this in mind as you explore the Makers Fair."