Predicted by the father of psychics himself, the Nostradamus Effect did not end the world, but instead gave birth to a new breed of human. Children exhibited strange abilities from unusual pigments to muscle mastery and even energy projection. Originally split into tiers based on offensive capabilities, a new classification has been developed based on properties of their individual gifts. While each emerging Child can have wildly unique powers, they all have natural enhancements in strength and over developed immune systems making them immune to common ailments. Because of this ability, in the early 21st century, Children hid amongst the ruins of Boston before migrating to Troy.
While Nostradamus is believed to be the first person with psychic abilities, it isn’t until the Culling in 1992 the full extent of the mentalist population is revealed. Mentalists come in a broad variety with slight variations to their gifts but generally categorized as telepath, telekinetic, pyrokinetic, or precognates. Nearly wiped out, mentalists went into hiding. It isn’t until 2033 when Jean-Luc Baptiste, the Prime Minister of Canada revealed himself to be a telepath that prompted the resurgence of mentalists. Unlike the Children of Nostradamus, there is no known cause for their abilities. While there is no corroborating evidence, legends have stated that some Children have also demonstrated mentalist abilities.
Humans have long since clashed over how to handle their powered brethren. Activists have stated that both mentalists and Children deserve basic human rights while their opposition claims they are not human and should be monitored, or worse, captured and studied. Geography plays a strong role in human perception. Canadians have found a way to co-exist and continue to live in harmony while the United Kingdom has elevated Children to positions of power ruling the country. In the Middle East and parts of Asia, mentalists are considered sacred while Children are hunted for sport. While the Church of Nostradamus started as fanatical worshippers, it has shown one extreme viewpoint while the Warriors of Man have been sanctioned as a domestic terrorist group seeking to eradicate all mentalists and Children.
During the collapse of the United States, the Church of Nostradamus rose to from cult-like status to a recognized religion. The foundation of their religion recognizes the Children of Nostradamus as titans amongst men. While they are not explicitly worshipped as gods, more radical sects preach they are gods given form. Nostradamus himself is put on a pedestal as a prophet who saw the emergence of these god-like beings. The underlying tennet of their church is a simple statement, “I see you.” This statement emphasizes the togetherness of humans, mentalists and Children and our need to connect and understand those around us. Each major territory is overseen by a Valentine, while individual churches are supervised by priests. It remains unclear if either position is held by mentalists or Children.
The Network is a rumored organization weaving through the Church of Nostradamus that spans the globe. While the Church promotes goodwill and enlightenment, word of mouth says the Network serves everything from data collection to enforcers. How one identifies or becomes part of the Network is entirely unknown. Conspiracy theorists claim the Network is responsible for the Corruption and they secretly control the Free Republic. At the moment, even the Corps does not recognize their existence.
After the corruption destroyed all digital records, a small group of elite hackers emerged. Inspired by the internet legend, Dav5d, they assumed his name and his creed of information liberation. The 5 are viewed as a terrorist organization by several international governments and terminated on sight. Speculation has risen that The 5 may be in league with the Network, however there is no corroborating evidence. However, they have recently made it clear they oppose the Warriors of Man and released evidence of the cleansing of Children in Mongolia and Russia. Genesis Division states The 5 have illegally hacked and infiltrated the Phantasm, using it as a method of spreading their propaganda. While this is an unsubstantiated claim, the graphical 5 has started to appear in private Phantasm simulations.
The Paladins serve as the Corps’ elite unit used to handle matters concerning mentalists and Children of Nostradamus. While they have been granted a measure of autonomy in how they react to deadly situations, they answer directly to the General of the Corps. Members of this unit are heavily modified by the Body Shop and have access to advanced non-standard issue weaponry. Newspaper clippings have revealed in the 21st century the Paladins were led by a Child of Nostradamus. It is unclear if their purpose was to apprehend powered individuals or protect them. Current attitudes range from seeing them as the military’s boogymen to serving as Children sympathizers.