Generic, Endlessly Applicable Roleplay System (3rd Ed.)
Applied Geometry and Society
Obviously the discovery of Universal Geometry and its subsequent applications has had a vast effect on human society. Deeds and actions once thought to be the realm of myth and fiction became possible. Later, technology that would have been thought fit food for science fiction writers was created. Heavier than air flying machines, horseless carriages, mechanical people, huge armoured war machines and other technological wonders became common-place.
However, especially in the beginning, society did not look so kindly on Applied Geometry, or its practitioners. In the late 17th century, and even in the early part of the 18th, many of the common people thought them little better than witches or sorcerers. The Church in its various forms, both Catholic and Protestant, was deeply suspicious of anything that could so closely replicate divine miracles.
The governments of the world especially were distrusting. Any collection of individuals with such potentially devastating powers would be dangerous if allowed free reign. This being so, first England, then almost all other countries, introduced restrictive laws. In England, this took the form of the Practice of Applied Geometry Act of 1689. This states that only the Royal Geometrical Academy is permitted to teach the theory and practice of Applied Geometry. Furthermore, all Geometricians are required to purchase a licence from the Government. Practicing without a licence results in severe penalties, up to and including the death sentence. In addition, to warn the public about their abilities, all Geometricians were required to wear a twist of white ribbon on their coat breast.
Isaac Newton became increasingly concerned throughout his life of people misusing his discoveries. He worried endlessly that unscrupulous people might use the powers of Applied Geometry for personal gain or to commit crimes. At his request, ‘Geometrically Assisted Crimes’ were assigned especially severe and brutal punishments, usually execution. Newton’s fears seemed justified in 1726 when a small group of Geometricians attempted a coup in Austria and the southern German states. Newton appealed to King George to found an organisation devoted to combating evil practitioners of the science. He died before he saw this realised, but in the year following his death, a new Knightly Order was founded in England: a semi-secret society, called the Royal British Newtonian Order. Also, found amongst Newton’s notes after his death was a draft for an oath to be sworn by all students of Geometry on their graduation. A slightly amended version was adopted by the Royal Academy, and is as follows:
“I, ________ , Student of the Art and Science of Applied Universal Geometry, do hereby swear that I shall only ever use my knowledge and powers for the benefit of mankind, and that I shall never use them to do harm to another, except in defence of myself, my King and my Country. So help me God.”
This is known as the Newtonian Oath, and a version of it is used at the graduation ceremony of every school of Applied Universal Geometry in the world.
As time passed however, and people got used to the idea of the Geometricians and their seemingly magical powers, certain things changed. The white ribbon, which started as a warning, became a badge of office and symbol of prestige. By the mid-18th century, the small twist of ribbon had become a white rosette, worn proudly on the left breast, as much a mark of office as a clergyman’s collar or a judge’s wig. The practitioners of Geometry set up offices and workshops, and with the advent of technological Enhancement, became an invaluable part of society. The position of Geometrician Laureate was created, originally for Newton himself, but was continued after his death. With the position comes a life peerage and a large salary. Later on, the post of Minister of Geometry and Geometrical Affairs was created as part of the cabinet, ensuring Applied Geometry’s place in the governance of the nation.