Faction Paradox, once known as House Paradox, were a time-active faction devoted to the promulgation of temporal paradoxes and opposed to the Time Lords and their philosophy of rationality and stability. Founded by Grandfather Paradox, their base was located in the Eleven-Day Empire. They delighted in creating time paradoxes and played a neutral role in the War between the Time Lords and the Enemy.
Grandfather Paradox, a member of the House of Lungbarrow, seceded from Lungbarrow and created House Paradox about four hundred years before the First War in Heaven.) The House was quite unpopular due to the House's penchant for death fetishism (which mocked the Time Lords' pretension of immortality), and due to Grandfather Paradox's use of the title "Grandfather" (an offensive term to the Time Lords, since they had been made sterile by the curse of the last Pythia). Most offensive, though, was the House's open interest in perverting the Web of Time. Around two thousand years before the Second War in Heaven, House Paradox had a homeworld to itself, where they became a corrupted society, getting involved in several sordid criminal activities including peddling time travel technology to other races. They believed that their use of various blood rites would protect them from any retaliatory actions by the Time Lords. These protections were inadequate, though, and the Time Lords wiped out the inhabitants of the Paradox homeworld. However, a few members survived and continued their activity of sharing advanced technology with the natives on various colonies. During their recovery, they built up a number of cults and secret societies throughout the universe, including the Order of the Rectangle, the Cult of the Black Sun and Luminus. The Grandfather also founded the Eleven-Day Empire during this time, but was arrested and imprisoned on Shada before the House had Loomed its first generation. On escaping during the crisis surrounding the Carnival Queen, the Grandfather surrendered Paradox's status as a House, transforming it instead into a Faction. The Grandfather then departed Gallifrey and started to recruit members from other species, completing the Faction's transition from Gallifreyan chapterhouse into a cult. Faction Paradox travelled back in time to participate in the Millennium War. Near the start of the Second War in Heaven, the War King hired House Lolita to destroy the Eleven-Day Empire. In doing so, Lolita wiped out all members of Faction Paradox apart from Cousins Justine and Eliza. However, instead of directly finishing off the Faction, the two Cousins managed to escape the destroyed Empire, eventually forging an alliance with the Osirians to neutralise the threats of both the demented Sutekh and of House Lolita. Sutekh's and Lolita's fates were to be bound for eternity within an Osiran pyramid, never to be released. Fifty years into the War, the Faction had managed to gain enough new members and technology to again become a major force in the War. Members of the Faction led by Mother Francesca survived the Second War in Heaven and attempted to rebuild the Faction in London, 1774. Later events involving the Eighth Doctor and Grandfather Paradox allowed the central paradoxes of the War to be resolved, effectively eliminating the entire War from the Web of Time, and destroying Gallifrey. One (possibly apocryphal) account claims that some members of the Faction survived the destruction of Gallifrey and hid away in selected areas of the Web of Time.
Grandfather Paradox was the nominal leader of Faction Paradox. The speaker's chair in the Eleven-Day Empire was left vacant to be taken by the Grandfather upon his appearance to the Faction Paradox. The Faction Paradox held the Grandfather Paradox up as one of the ultimate forms of temporal paradox. According to Faction Paradox legend, the Grandfather Paradox had one arm. He had removed this arm to remove the Time Lord branding/tattoo of a prisoner, and he would have committed the ultimate paradox. Resulting from a corrupted timeline, from Faction Paradox corrupted biodata, a future version of the Eighth Doctor modelled himself as the Grandfather Paradox. Other accounts suggest that Grandfather Paradox appears as a twisted, morally bankrupt and broken version of whoever is looking at him or "the ghost of Christmas cancelled" as the Doctor snidely put it. However, if the Doctor was indeed the true Grandfather Paradox, then this version had indeed committed the ultimate paradox; he cut off his arm not to remove the Time Lord branding/tattoo, but because he knew it was the arm which the Doctor would use to destroy Gallifrey. According to one account, Grandfather Paradox was a renegade Time Lord who willfully defied the Great Houses, lost his rights as the Head of a House and remade the House into a Faction. Later he created beliefs and rituals for the Faction, including the symbolism of magic, paradoxes and "base physicality" (hence the blood masks and the "family members" ranking policy) to torment the Great Houses and to play on their disgusts and fears. Everything he did was to offend the staid and hide-bound Time Lords. He later wrote himself out of history as a final insult to the Time Lords, leaving Faction Paradox as his legacy and a constant thorn in the side of the Great Houses of Gallifrey. During the Second War in Heaven, Cousin Justine possessed the shadow of the Grandfather, which made her accountable for all the crimes of the Grandfather to the Time Lords.
The Faction used a brand of technology which openly mocked the laws of reality, being apparently powered by a form of voodoo rather than any actual form of physics. They used a variety of travel technology, from time-travelling shrines mocking the basic structure of a TARDIS to massive warships converted from the skeletal remains of Daemons.
Incapable of reproducing themselves, the Faction tried to use a form of Loom to create new members. While they did use the technology, it was eventually eschewed in favour of Remembrance tanks and new converts rather than outright creating new acolytes.
Godfather Morlock, one of the Faction's scientists/thaumaturges, created devices such as the Tracking Knife, used to read the future in the entrails of animals, and the Biodata Virus, a repugnant creation designed to alter the timeline of the infectee so their Biodata interpreted them as having been a Faction operative since before the infection.
The Faction also heavily invested in the Remote, a sterile faction of future humans, intending for them to become their shocktroopers in the War in Heaven, though the idea did not pan out exactly as they intended.
The Remote were the survivors of the High Council attack on the planet Ordifica. The Remote were a sterile race who reproduced using Remembrance Tanks. A lump of biomass was placed within the tank and all the people who knew the person fed in their memories; the person was reconstituted and 'remembered' into existence. All of the Remote wore receivers and were constantly bombarded with signals from the media.
Remembrance Tanks allowed the Remote on Anathema to reproduce. A quantity of biomass would be placed within the remembrance tank and a headset would be attached. Various citizens would come and literally 'remember' the person into existence. How a person would be 'remembered' depended on the impressions that the person imparted to the society. Faction Paradox used Gallifreyan biomass to remember Greyjan the Sane into existence.
Though the Armour of Faction Paradox is variable in form - inevitable, given that it can't exactly be mass-produced - all the suits have key features in common, with significant variations being found between cliques (or cabals) rather than between individuals: most personal customisations of the armour are purely aesthetic. The suit seen here may not exactly be "average", but it contains most of the usual fixtures. Note also that different models of armour are worn under different conditions. For diplomatic (and purely ritual) occasions Faction agents wear no real armour apart from their ceremonial headpieces, while in open warfare they tend to favour lighter, more flexible, less elaborate protection. The suit seen here might be described as the armour of "standard bearers", worn on the battlefield - if the War can be said to have any real battlefields - but designed to make a specific impression. Typically the Cousin-protoges would wear this model of armour, allowing them to act as go-betweens for the Mothers and Fathers while under fire. As a result, this suit can best be described as part armour and part carnival construction, and its heavy use of skull-and-spines imagery may be more than a little tongue-in-cheek.
HEADPIECE: These are far more elaborate than the "standard" ceremonial masks. The Military Wing tends to bring out the Faction's more exhibitionist tendencies, understandable considering that among its members ritual's far more common than actual battle.
FACEPLATE: The features of the armour-suits have an animalistic quality simply because of the parts used in their manufacture. Though bat-like cranial structures are most common, the wearers' habit of personalising the faceplates often make the original "breed" difficult to identify.
HANDLING GLOVES: The heavier versions of the armour include gauntlets specifically designed to handle the dead-time/ deep-time resources of the Houses. Both [[Faction Paradox (The Faction)|Faction Paradox and the Remote employ heavy-duty handling gloves when collecting time-engineered or entropic materials.
RIBCAGE: Various kinetic dampers are set into the fabric of the suit beneath the original skeleton, suggesting that the bone itself offers very little real protection. The entire torso section is jointed at the sides of the body (allowing it to be opened and removed as a single unit).
ENHANCEMENTS: In many cases sensory reinforcements will be set into the headpiece, although this practice is increasingly uncommon: in step with the newer methods of the Houses, these enhancements are now more often coded into the biodata of the Faction's recruits.
QUILLS: Not universal, and purely decorative. Though in general quills are only seen at the larger ceremonial events, every full-sized suit of armour is likely to feature at least one item of personal significance to its owner, usually welded into the suit's basal structure. Feathers aren't unknown.
ARMPIECES: As with the ribcage, the protection offered by the bone is apparently minimal. Here the original skeletal structure is held together by at least one layer of forced-matter sealant, which not only insulates the wearer but frequently irritates enemy monitoring techniques.
SPURS: Theoretically, in close-quarter combat the sharpened edges of the larger bones can be used as weapons. Realistically, in a War of this nature close-quarter combat is almost unknown and in the field the suits are chiefly used while putting their occupants into the right positions. Most time-active battle is about placement above all else.
Faction Paradox heavily emphasizes the worship of Death and Family, two important elements the Time Lords had rejected in order to more closely resemble the gods they presented themselves as. Paradoxes were created indiscriminately and only served to exacerbate the conflict between the Homeworld and the Faction.
One of their most blatant abuses of their time technology was a part of their induction rites, in which the inductee was sent in time to kill an ancestor before they had the chance to sire the descendant they came from. This created a living paradox out of the convert, making him or her harder to kill by time-based attacks.
As part of their "familial" structure, the titles in the Faction were related to family titles, such as Little Cousin, Cousin, Brother, Mother, Father, and Godfather. The elder titles, naturally, were reserved for the senior or most experienced members.
The Loa were the supposed mythological gods of Faction Paradox.The Loa occupied a plane of existence alongside Humankind, rather than above it. Faction Paradox often used the Loa as spiritual tools, summoning them so that the Loa would invest them with that Loa's particular abilities. Godfather Morlock was known to have summoned Loa out of thin air when he needed them.
The Eleven Day Empire was created with the changeover from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as eleven days (2 September through 14 September 1752) were "lost". These days were purchased by the Faction Paradox and became their heartland, known as the Eleven Day Empire. The Army and Navy Club in St. James' Square was used as a billet for Little Brothers and Sisters in training. The Unkindnesses resided in the Empire before the Faction moved in. Members of the Faction could buy their own private seconds and minutes within the empire to reside in. Six hundred and thirty Mothers and Fathers of the Faction Paradox sat in the House of Commons. The speaker's chair was empty, waiting for the return of Grandfather Paradox. Godfather Morlock sat in the chair on occasion to speak to the members of the Faction. The empire was destroyed by Lolita at the behest of the War King, who consumed the empire into her interior dimensions.
Although it's well-known that Faction Paradox is organised as a "family", there's some debate about why this might be the case. All the Great Houses are to some degree over-extended families (even if they don't generally reproduce through natural childbirth), but the Faction attaches far more importance to family titles than any of the other bloodlines. It's been noted that in this respect it's got something else in common with the voodoo-cults of the Caribbean, and as both voodoo and the Eleven-Day Empire have their roots on eighteenth-century Earth this might not be a coincidence. The way the voodoun describe the loa -spirits is remarkably similar to the way the Faction describes entities like the Grandfather of House Paradox, and indeed, for the voodoun the loa are often perceived as the founders of a spiritual "family". However, as with many of the voodoo-cults, Faction Paradox is a political organisation above all else. A cynic might point out that for all its ritual and technology, at heart the Faction's no different from any other cult and the best way for a cult to ensure the loyalty of its members is to forge "family ties" between them. Furthermore, Faction Paradox is a House that's constantly preparing for war: the military wing might be relatively small, but it's notable that when a new member is indoctrinated into the "family" he or she is equipped with a weapon as part of the initiation process. So although the titles given to Faction agents might suggest family relationships, in practice they're closer to being positions in an army.
LITTLE BROTHER/ LITTLE SISTER: The lowest "rank" in the organisation. A purely transitory title, new initiates become Little Brothers or Little Sisters as soon as they're recruited, at which point their training begins. Though these junior members may be given rudimentary weaponry, they're not encouraged to use the Faction's techniques/ rituals, although they are shown the basic principles by older family members (usually elder Cousins rather than the Fathers and Mothers). This stage is essentially a kind of apprenticeship, during which the Faction has the opportunity to prepare the recruit before his or her real indoctrination. However well he or she does during this period, the Little Brother or Little Sister will always be granted the provisional title of Cousin before embarking on a period of initiation: if the initiation is successful, then the new Cousin will be given the title permanently and go through the armament ritual. If the initiate's performance is disappointing, however, then all links to the family will be severed. Contrary to popular rumour, Faction Paradox does not execute those who fail the initiation, although as the initiation itself is usually performed while under fire it's not unusual for new Cousins to be killed during the process. Those who survive but fail are simply returned to their own place and time of origin... and if their knowledge of the Faction's methods damages local causality there, then that's no concern of the Faction's.
COUSIN: The majority of the Faction's agents were designated Cousins. When the Great Houses abandoned natural childbirth in favour of the artificial breeding programme, the word "Cousin" was taken to mean "anyone of the same House", but the term was an archaic one and for the most part only Faction Paradox used it. The Cousins were the rank-and-file of the family. Every Cousin had rudimentary training in the Faction's techniques, and most had had their weapons bound to them as part of the initiation process. The majority of Cousins were found outside the Eleven-Day Empire itself, and inhabited the Faction's various interests and colonies in the outside universe. Few Cousins were actually children of the Great Houses; most were recruits from the "lesser" species, trained and equipped for whatever tasks the elder members of the Faction deemed necessary. If the day finally came when Faction Paradox began its long-anticipated crusade against the other Houses, then the Cousins were expected to make up the bulk of the army, although even in the military individual strengths would still have been encouraged. Within the Eleven-Day Empire itself, a Godfather or Godmother would often have had a small clique of Cousins in his or her employ, to act as assistants and in some cases even proteges. No official distinction existed between "ordinary" Cousins and "sponsored" Cousins, but it was generally accepted that those taken under the wing of an elder patron had a much greater chance of entering the Parliament.
FATHER/ MOTHER: There are 630 seats in the Parliament of the Eleven-Day Empire, the vast majority of them taken up by the Fathers and Mothers. These are the true "rulers" of the organisation, although as there are so many of them it's rare for a single individual to wield a great deal of power. (It's a mistake to think of the Eleven-Day Empire as a democracy, as it's quite definitely a one-party "state", and no Mother or Father would have entered Parliament in the first place if they hadn't followed the family line.) Although every Father and Mother has a right to a seat in the Parliament, many are found outside the Eleven-Day Empire altogether: wherever the Faction has a powerbase in the outside universe, or wherever its agents are working to subvert local causality for their own ends, a Mother or Father will usually be present to oversee operations. Only very small or very well-established Faction outposts are left entirely in the hands of the Cousins. Many of those who sit in the Parliament are children of the Great Houses rather than members of the "lesser" species, lured away from their own bloodlines by hook or by crook (the Faction being the only House which steals offspring rather than breeding its own, many have questioned whether it counts as a true bloodline at all, although the Faction makes so many biological changes to its recruits that there is still a genuine blood-bond between members). Recruits from the Houses have a tendency to be automatically granted the title of Mother or Father rather than having to rise through the ranks, and although it's been argued that this is a form of class prejudice it's true to say that members of the Houses do have a definite genetic advantage, certainly when it comes to the techniques of time-control. Of course, seats in the Parliament don't become vacant often. Thanks to surgical and chemical enhancement, Fathers and Mothers have a tendency to live for centuries, even those recruited from the "lesser" species. But of course, there are always accidents.
GODFATHER/ GODMOTHER: Faction Paradox, like any political organisation, is divided into "chapters": there are departments, or wings, to deal with specific areas of concern. For example, there's a military wing, entirely devoted to the training of Cousins under battle conditions; a bio-research wing, currently dedicated to the development and application of biodata viruses (bio-weapons which re-write the biology of a victim retroactively, thus having a mutagenic effect from the day that victim was born); while the section which handles the initiation rites of new Cousins, and oversees the binding of weaponry, is very nearly a cult in itself. The title of Godfather or Godmother is granted to the head of any such department. Unlike the Fathers and Mothers, the Godfathers and Godmothers seldom leave the Eleven-Day Empire. Within the city there are any number of buried facilities and testing-grounds, and those Cousins trained by the military wing are among the few who permanently reside in the Eleven-Day Empire itself. Traditionally, one of the Godfathers or Godmothers will also perform the duty of Acting Speaker in the Parliament: the Speaker's Chair itself remains vacant, as it has done ever since the Parliament was founded, awaiting the return of the Grandfather. Not, of course, that anybody expects this to happen in the near future.
THE GRANDFATHER: The Grandfather never actually existed, and has now never actually existed for over two-hundred years. Although it's clear that somebody must have created the Faction, and although "Grandfather" is indeed the traditional title for the founder of a House, many outside the organisation are of the opinion that the Grandfather of House Paradox is, was and always will be nothing more than a myth. On the other hand, it's a maxim of the Faction that failing to exist is the best form of camouflage. There are very few, even in the Parliament of the Eleven-Day Empire, who would claim to possess any real knowledge of their ancestor. All that remain are certain relics - the knife, for example, which was ostensibly used to remove the Grandfather's own arm in a legendary act of self-mutilation - but the provenance of these items is questionable. The name of the founder is rarely taken in vain by those members of the Faction who do exist, not because of religious veneration but because it's still considered possible that to speak the name too often might summon the Grandfather into being again, an inconvenience which the Grandfather probably wouldn't appreciate.