In ancient Greece, there was an order of Mages known as the Cosian Circle. Founded by Hippocrates of Cos, they focused on the Sphere of Life and were the first to rigorously experiment in the applications of Magick towards the field of Medicine. They did much good work, collating and collecting the scattered knowledge of Medicine Men, Wise Women, tribal healers, and the first real surgeons, who began as field medics in the imperial campaigns of Thutmosis, Sargon, and Alexander the Great. But while some of them stayed true to the mystical side of things, using potions and herbs and casting horoscopes, others began to focus on the applications and practice of surgery, the brewing of poisons, and the creation of human-animal hybrids. Some believe it was the last form of research that led to the first Werecreatures, although most Werecreatures themselves would hotly dispute this theory. It does seem clear that at least some of the least common breeds of werecreatures may have been created this way, although whether the mages in question used only humans and animals or started with werecreatures already in existence and reshaped them into new species is lost in the mists of time. Regardless, the mystical mages went on to become the ancestors of the Verbenae and the Dreamspeakers, while the scalpel-happy rational experimenters went on to become the Aesculapian Order, and later the Progenitors. They were a founding member of the Order of Reason.
After the long night of the Dark Ages, in which the Cosian Circle's rational wing morphed into the Aesculapian Order while happily developing poisons and carving up executed criminals to increase their knowledge of anatomy, the Renaissance brought new opportunities. Partnering with the Explorators to find exciting new plants and animals, not to mention primitive tribes of aborigines, to experiment on, the Aesculapian Order spread out across the Earth, finding new diseases to cure, control, and weaponize. As the Order of Reason became the Technocratic Union in 1851, the Aesculapian Order cooperated closely with the Ivory Tower and then the Lightkeepers in creating the foundations of modern medicine and biology, especially the theories of Evolution and Genetics. This new field of Genetics opened up marvelous new areas of research into cloning, forced mutation, and even mind control. The opportunities to experiment more successfully in the area of Eugenics led to projects to breed better, more powerful, and more pliable mages, which in turn inspired the name change to The Progenitors. When several Traditions which had been driven underground re-emerged in the late 20th century under the cover of the Free Love movement of the 1960's, the Progenitors are rumored to have engineered the AIDS virus to strangle this burgeoning social movement in its cradle.
Gehenna and BeyondEdit
Gehenna was only a mild shock to the Progenitors, and they were actually relieved to be able to operate more openly at last. It was they who conducted cruel and bizarre experiments on the Horadrim Children captured and brought back to Earth by the Void Engineers. They also developed new techniques of surgically and chemically enhancing the combat effectiveness of the new Tech Infantry with Bio-augmentation, FTS, cybernetic enhancements developed in cooperation with Iteration X, and viral training programs. When even the draft could not produce enough awakened soldiers for the endless campaigns against the Bugs, the Progenitors became deeply involved in secret projects such as Project Vitek, Project Exo-Genesis, and Project Nightmare, trying to clone and resurrect fallen troopers, and artificially awaken unawakened humans to provide more mages and werecreatures to be drafted into the ranks. These morally questionable projects enraged the populace at large and the Tech Infantry troopers in particular, and led to the First Civil War, which led to greatly reduced Progenitor influence. When the Technocracy as a whole was forced to disband following the Third Civil War, much of the Progenitor leadership escaped to flee into the underground. Their current whereabouts are unknown.