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[SYSTEMS] Concepts - The Cold War of Ideas
The Lab vs. The Facility
Continuing our series of concepts from the upcoming [SYSTEMS] Graphic Novel Sourcebook- this one focusing on the Knowledge Race between Therra and Fayrii. But first, a reminder:
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As The Academy is to Magic, The Institute is to Science.
Based on Ordo, The Institute is the central governing body of Science. Its authority over Therra is absolute. It’s influence over the extending worlds and moons, is less so, but still considerable.
And while its rebirth in this cycle was driven by a thirst for discovery, the Institute has now predictably turned its focus to enforcement — insisting on an adherence to logic and core scientific principles in all facets of life and society, and primarily concerning itself with the suppression/eradication of heretical views such as the belief in- or worse, the practice of- magic.
This shift in priority has often been credited to the increasing power of Judges — originally founded as an oversight group to keep a watchful eye on Institute scientists, their internal solidarity has over time made them the strongest voting bloc in Institute decision-making.
As the Institute changed, a key faction within the body split off to form The Lab, a distinct entity dedicated to the original principles of experimentation, research, and innovation.
With unlimited funding and a clear mandate, The Lab ushered in a great era of innovation in its early days. But as more and more of its projects veered into the theoretical (often touching against unorthodox and even heretical thinking), its influence has waned.
A mirror-opposite to The Lab and its relationship to The Institute, The Facility is controlled by The Bank, and pursues scientific discovery in the name of profit and power.
The Facility's army of scientists are made up of two groups:
The first are primarily defectors from The Lab. Lab scientists are promised sequestered luxury in exchange for their work, but often more important to them is being freed from the regulatory constraints applied by the Institute.
Defector scientists are allowed by The Facility to push past any boundaries– ethical, legal, or orthodoxical in the interest of achievable results. This has led to many (unproven) accusations by The Institute that The Bank is funding dangerous experimentations in magic.
The second, newer, group is known as The Farm, where Fayrii children demonstrating high aptitudes in science are isolated and subjected to an intensive regiment of genetic modification and enhancement to increase their gifts.
The Farm has now surpassed all performance measurables of the defector group by a considerable margin.