### Numerology

**The War of Math and the Acumen Cipher**

Many tools are credited with the rise of the piscean races over the wilds of Elqua’s oceans. The advent of aquaculture; the domestication of zoological diversification, the exploitation of mineral resources, all have been strong pillars in a foundation of societal growth. But perhaps the one most precious invention has nether substance nor weight, yet has spawned nearly every technological advance of import in the history of the Endless Blue.

This creation of the mind is none other than mathematics. Without it, commerce cannot prosper, science is left bereft of action, and pisceans are prevented from attaining their true potential. With its power, any mind can conjecture about the laws of nature, find patterns in the physical world, even investigate, comprehend, and teach the insights gleaned from simple calculation when applied by a logical methodology. Sadly, the truth is that there are forces conspiring to keep the populace mathematically illiterate.

**Leviathans Amongst the Schools**

Both the Holy Church of Olyhydra and the Synesthete Synod have been waging an ongoing campaign, though on opposite sides, to keep the common piscean mathematically permanently retarded. Were it not for this concerted effort at undermining the educational standards of the Known World homeseas, pisceans may have discovered secrets of the universe and freedoms undreamed of by their stunted minds. Instead, they now flounder under the oppressive influence of self-interested organizations that prefer to enforce their control through dogma or deception.

The only force that has made more than a token effort to combat this history of ignorance comes from the restless inquiries of the Godless. Unfortunately organized religion has done quite a thorough job of slandering their image. With popular loyalty securely in their places of worship, it is an against the tide battle for those of atheistic viewpoints. The Resurrectionists are forced to remain out of the philosophical war, both in fear of the revelation of what they truly are and of repercussions against their guise as the Academy of Doctors. As such they are quite impotent in the face of the Church or the Synod, despite the underlying need for mastering the mathematical grades that is inherent in their healing works.

**The Mathematical Grades**

The art of math is broken down into *grades*. These are considered levels of difficulty inherent in computation that form the basis for the next grade. By mastering one grade, the individual is catapulted into an even wider understanding of the world at the next grade.

1** Numeracy **(

*number literacy*) — Most all pisceans attain this level of math, which includes knowing the order of numbers and understand the concepts of greater and lesser.

2 ** Functions **(

*basic arithmetic*) — This level not only includes simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, but also extends into the order in which complex series of equations must be resolved (i.e, multiplication/division before addition/subtraction).

3 ** Algebra **(

*variables*) — The basic concept of representational math, where a symbol refers to an unknown quantity that can change depending on the data supplied. Only the educated on Elqua reach this level of mathematical literacy, and rarely without the support of an organization or insights from a numerical form of synesthesia.

4 ** Geometric **(

*spacial relations*) — These are the skills of the architect, the math of constructing shapes and their relationship to each other. This is the last “public” grade of math, known to the greats of piscean history and is the most complex mathematical skill available to the Olyhydran congregation.

5 * Calculus *(

*limits and infinities*) — Considered an esoteric science by the educated of the Known World, this level and above are poorly known except by Synesthetes. It is the study of change, learned by the synesthetes in glimpses from number-form members of the Synod.

6 * Probability *(

*math that predicts based on some data*) — This discipline opens the doorway to synesthetic divination, teaching the diviner how to gauge the aftermath of an action and the likelihood of desired results transpiring due to outside interference.

7 * Heuristics *(

*math that pre-guesses based on nebulous or no data*) — The penultimate step in divination, allowing the synesthete precognitive knowledge of events barely hinted at in the present.

8 ** Cipher Acumen** (

*math that self-calculates*) — This pinnacle of mathematical understanding is not just artificial intelligence, but such intelligence independent of physicality. A self perpetuating formula, ever constant is its self-summation.

**The Acumen Cipher**

Just as the Resurrectionists have their cynosure in the quest to revive the dead Icht, the Sensates have their apex of philosophy, also inherited from the Icht: The Acumen Cipher. Unlike the Resurrectionists, however, the Synod has already achieved theirs — though not without the prior theories postulated by the Icht. It was actually synesthete diviners of the Icht Dominion that created a primitive prototype of self-computing arithmetic promised in the Eight Grade of Math, but its finalization into the form it holds today was firmly caused by the Synod.

The existence of the Acumen Cipher is virtually unknown outside the Synod, and is only a mathematical abstract to those synesthetes that do not comprise the inner council. A mental exercise in the potential puissance of mathematics, the Acumen Cipher mostly serves as a communal goal that ties a disparate conglomeration of pisceans that, by their very nature, leaves them as incapable of working together as the pre-Occupation Kraken.

Capable of computations far beyond the level of math currently possible among the Known World, delving into calculus as a norm and peaking into levels of numerical computation that would perplex even the most intelligent today. This great leap in mathematical skill was directly resultant from the a form of synesthesia called number-form. With this type of synesthesia, numbers take on a relational pattern in actual space — a mental map of math. This visualization of numbers as allowed intuitive leaps in mathematical innovation, building up over the years into long sought after ultimate expression of computational science: the self propagating formula.

The Acumen Cipher is a ghost of sorts, in symbolism if not in actuality. It appears as a wavering, blurry outline that is roughly patterned after the piscean form, with an indistinct head atop an ephemeral torso, wavering limbs and a phantom tail. Those entrusted enough to be in its presence can, if they listen intently, hear the mumbled sounds of numbers being added, subtracted, multiplied, divided… A faint yet haunting refrain of math lofting on the currents as the Acumen Cipher must continue to calculate itself lest it cease to function. It cannot interact with the world around it directly, and to communicate in sentences of only a few words it must speed up its calculations for weeks in advance to gain itself a sliver of buffer time where it can address its attention elsewhere. But its origins with the synesthetes is evident, as it expresses every form of synesthesia known concurrently, projecting a globe of faintly glowing light, shapes, sounds, and sensations around it. It is as if you were seeing through the Cipher’s invisible eyes, hearing with its non-existent ears, feeling the sensations of its ethereal form.

Most of the inner council’s efforts delve into these palpable expressions of the Acumen Cipher’s divining synesthesia, and the prognostications extracted from such an all encompassing synesthesia guide the Synod in its overreaching goals. While finding two synesthetes that can operate together without working at cross purposes, no synesthete has ever experienced a negative sensation from the vision of the Acumen Cipher.

**Forbidden Lore, Knowingly Hidden.**

There are surprisingly many mathematical tomes that hide the secrets of calculation in their treated and tattooed pages. The synesthetes of the Synod cherish their* Codex Calculus*, while the masterful pontiffs of the Harsh Mistress fearfully guard their few copies of *The Divine Insight*. *Patterns in Numerology* lingers never too far from the reach of a Resurrectionist employing either side of their dichotomous skills. But perhaps the most humbly named book that holds the secrets of education lies in the hands of the Godless and is passed between its students, entitled just *Math*. The Church of Olyhydra has unequivocally banned the book from the households of its faithful, castigating it as apocryphal and evil. Sensates take a less direct approach to spurning its existence, choosing instead to influence the experience of those around the grimoire into negativity and distaste. Little would please the Godless as a whole more than to get the work into the hands of every piscean in the Fluid Nations, as their philosophy is sure of the material’s potency to undermine the machinations of the deistic.

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