What is known about superpowers and the paranormal?

Continuing in the series of articles investigating what the inhabitants of the Ascension Epoch universe actually know about the secret history and strange phenomenon of their world (part one addresses non-human civilizations), today we take a look at the nature and origin of talents and paranormal phenomena. What does science say about superpowers? What is popularly believed about vampires, werewolves, and fairies?

  1. Everyone knows that talents exist. There are some working scientific theories on how and why these powers work, known anatomical and genetic differences in talents that are related to certain ‘powers’, and tools that can measure various aspects of psychic phenomena. Virtually no one knows that the so-called Psychic Potential Field is just a form of Aether. For that matter, very few people who are aware of the Aether know what it really is.
  2. While the pooling of the Psychic Potential Field is well known and accepted, the idea of active, intelligent egregores, Tulpas, and the Incarnate phenomena are largely beliefs on the occult and parapsychological fringe. They are true, if incomplete, however. No one really knows how or why Incarnates are chosen.
  3. There are a lot of scientific theories about why there was no discernible metahuman population for recorded history until the 1850s, but all of them are off the mark since none of them know about the Great Interdict or Aether. Most won’t even consider an idea going down this path since it seems to contradict one of the primary foundations of science: the belief in unchanging physical constants.
  4. Modern science believes it has credibly explained Vampirism as incidences of Von Karnstein’s Disease. They are unaware that the disease itself is an egregore-mutated form of a mundane disease, harbored and transmitted by actual, supernatural vampires. Outside of the Pact of Lelitu itself, there are only hints of this original coven of blood drinkers, and only whispered knowledge of its connection to the Elder Days of the human race or the Master Mahan ritual.
  5. Thanks to the journal keeping of Dr. Seward, the events of “Dracula” are fairly well known to the public, but since it’s a historical record and not a fantasy in the Ascension Epoch, it is not nearly so popular. As mentioned above, people think Dracula was just a megalomaniacal sufferer of Von Karnstein’s Disease.
  6. Similarly, modern talent science believes it has discovered the source of werewolves and shapeshifter legends: telepathic illusions and zoomorphism. To put it succinctly, they’re wrong.
  7. Now that he’s a celebrity for more than 100 years, people do generally accept that the Promethean is as old as he says he is, though they believe he’s a metahuman of some sort (and in a way, he is). It used to be widely believed that the events of Frankenstein were essentially biographical, but the Promethean has worked hard to refute this idea.
  8. Since the early 20th century, the belief in fairies has been widespread thanks to the Cottingley Encounter. Even skeptical scientists were forced to admit its validity in the presence of physical evidence. However, the category of Fey is extremely broad, and the creatures most commonly thought of as fairies by the general public (tiny, winged humanoids) are only one species, while many other actual fairies are categorized as animals or appear in forms that are more or less indistinguishable from normal humans, or were considered to be extraterrestrials. Over the last fifteen years, however, some scientists have begun to doubt the Cottingley Encounter, suggesting that it was either a telepathically induced hallucination or the work of a talented ectoplasmic sculptor. Since encounters with fairies of the Cottingley type are exceedingly rare, this hypothesis has gathered some clout.

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