Faction Paradox, once known as House Paradox, was a time-active cult and criminal syndicate devoted to opposing the Time Lords' traditional philosophy of rationality and stability over time travel. Originally founded by Grandfather Paradox as a renegade Great House, they were based in the Eleven-Day Empire and notably inducted members of the lesser species into their ranks. They played a neutral role in the War in Heaven between the Time Lords and the enemy. (PROSE: Alien Bodies, The Book of the War, et al.)
Most Time Lords - including the Doctor - dreaded the Faction. (PROSE: Alien Bodies) Iris Wildthyme described the Faction as "paradox-inducing psychopaths from the far future" (PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion) and "insolent children playing at being cultists, messing about with their shadows, and tying their timelines into impractical knots". (PROSE: Panda and the Airship) Timon, the Vice President of Gallifrey, merely said the Faction had no interest in the arts. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell)
Grandfather Paradox, a member of the House of Lungbarrow, (PROSE: Christmas on a Rational Planet) seceded and created House Paradox about four hundred years before the War in Heaven. The House was unpopular for their penchant for death fetishism (which mocked the Great Houses' pretension of immortality) and due to members' use of familial terms like "Grandfather" (disdainful, since the Great Houses had been made sterile by the anchoring of the thread). Most offensive, though, was the House's open interest in perverting the Web of Time. (PROSE: The Book of the War) The Doctor was in his fourth incarnation when he first started hearing rumours from Gallifrey about House Paradox. (PROSE: Interference - Book One)
After the Grandfather founded the Eleven-Day Empire with the Gregorian Compact, (PROSE: Interference - Book One) he was arrested and imprisoned on the Time Lords' prison planet. However, he was released during the crisis surrounding the Carnival Queen (PROSE: Christmas on a Rational Planet) and seceded House Paradox from the rest of Great House society, abandoning the Homeworld and adopting the mantle of "Faction". They began recruiting members from the lesser species, becoming a cult on many planets. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
After President Romana reconciled Gallifrey with the Sisterhood of Karn, lifting the Curse of Pythia, (PROSE: Lungbarrow) the Book of Lies said that, from within his tomb, the disgusted "Great Grey Eminence" made a deal with Faction Paradox to fold the Doctor's timeline back on itself and return Gallifreyan history to passionless sterility. The Faction agreed to do this in order to teach the Eminence the ways of paradox. (PROSE: Unnatural History)
The Seventh Doctor encountered Faction Paradox near the end of his life. (PROSE: Alien Bodies) In his time, he thought of the Faction as a nuisance, obsessed with symbols, ritual, and breaking the rules. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)
Before the War
Around fifty years before the War in Heaven, the Faction began acting as a criminal organisation on Dronid and around the universe. By twelve years before the War, they were freely peddling time travel technology to the lesser species. They also chose a homeworld for themselves, (PROSE: The Book of the War) which they thought their blood rites would protect from the Time Lords.
However, the High Council wiped out most of the homeworld, (PROSE: Interference - Book One) as well as the Faction colonies on Dronid and elsewhere, ten years before the War. (PROSE: The Book of the War) Cousin Shuncucker was one of the few survivors, and she carried Grandfather Paradox's shadow. (AUDIO: A Labyrinth of Histories)
The leaders of Faction Paradox escaped to the Eleven-Day Empire, which became a community for the first time. The Faction began infiltrating cultures to create the Remote. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Ice Lord agents of the Faction on New Mars notified the elders of the Eleven-Day Empire of I.M. Foreman's Travelling Show. The Faction analysed I.M. Foreman's biodata and learned that he would eventually become an ecosystem. The Remote were programmed to keep watch for I.M. Foreman and inform the Faction if they found the planet which Foreman would eventually overtake, something which wouldn't happen until many years later. (PROSE: Interference - Book Two)
Early in the War
Template:Section stub From the Eleven-Day Empire, the leaders of the Faction decided to adjust their tactics and become more subtle in their interference with the lesser species, in the hopes of avoiding notice of the Great Houses. (PROSE: The Book of the War) They began to set up voodoo cults and secret societies throughout the universe, including the Order of the Rectangle, the Cult of the Black Sun and the Luminus.
During this process, they encountered an Earth colony on the edge of human space in the 26th century where the inhabitants were all heavily connected to a medianet. The Faction, noticing that the celebrities of this world were not unlike the loa, infiltrated this medianet and primed it with their ideology, creating the first Remote. The High Council noticed and destroyed the colony, but the Faction rescued some followers from the planet, sending some off by themselves but bringing most to Anathema.
The Faction hoped the Remote would be their front-line shock troops and would help them destroy the High Council, (PROSE: Interference - Book One) but after a military failure on Simia KK98 in the second year of the War, the Faction implemented the Viewers and Listeners Protocols and set the Remote free. They also began Remote experiments in the Native American warrior tribes.
After Devonire failed to reconcile the Great Houses with Faction Paradox in the sixth year of the War, the Second Wave of the House Military began a campaign of sterilisation against Faction project-worlds and permanently severing the Faction's contact with the Remote. Only the Eleven-Day Empire stayed secure, but even there discontent began to rise; building off of this, Cousin Anastasia founded the Thirteen-Day Republic in the War's eighth year. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Template:Section stub In year 14, the Star Chamber attacked the Empire with their analytical engine. As a result, much of the Eleven-Day Empire had to be rebuilt, and with it, Faction Paradox began its own slow rebuilding, focusing more on weapons research than defiance against the Houses. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Involvement with the Doctor
Template:Section stub Fifty years after the start of the War during the Cataclysm on Dronid, while the Corporation occupied the capitol, Faction Paradox tried to rebuild its powerbase in the smaller towns surrounding it, (PROSE: Alien Bodies) though the Mission there was far more concerned with ritual observance and collecting leftover time technology. It took the Faction's culture to religious extremes, often converting the desperate of Dronid. The Eleven-Day Empire sometimes sent new Faction recruits to serve their apprenticeship at the Mission. (PROSE: The Book of the War) Sanjira led the Mission when the Relic was discovered there; however, he didn't realise its importance and had seventeen-year-old Little Sister Justine dematerialise it into the Vortex. For sacrificing this important biodata, a spirit punished Sanjira by forcing him to kill his younger self. (PROSE: Alien Bodies)
Little Sister Justine was returned from the Dronid mission-house to the Eleven-Day Empire to become a protege of the Godfathers. (PROSE: The Book of the War) In her initiation ceremony to become Cousin, she chose a sword as her shadow-weapon and broke Faction tradition by choosing to not change her name. (AUDIO: The Eleven Day Empire) Subsequently, she was sent with Little Brother Manjuele to the mid-21st century to reacquire the Relic at Mr Qixotl's auction. The Eighth Doctor was able to hi-jack the Faction's Shrine, which was essentially a proto-TARDIS, and use it to destroy the Krotons before tricking the attendees at the auction into believing that the Relic had become a temporal paradox, setting up a scenario where it appeared that the Doctor had become an agent for the Celestis in his eighth incarnation when the Relic only became an agent just before his death. After failing to retrieve the Relic, (PROSE: Alien Bodies) Cousin Justine returned to the Eleven-Day Empire. (AUDIO: The Eleven Day Empire)
By one account, a far future version of the Faction from near the end of the War (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles) but before the fall of the Eleven-Day Empire (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) had become an army to fight the Time Lords. From their Edifice, they attacked Gallifrey with their skulltroopers and Uncles. Since they had come from the future, they already knew how they would win this battle, and they were nearly impossible to fight. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles) They were led by a manifestation of Grandfather Paradox created due to the Doctor's infection with the biodata virus. The Eighth Doctor barely managed to defeat the Faction by draining the TARDIS of all its power by firing its ancient weapon systems, destroying the Faction and Gallifrey alike. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell)
Destruction of the Eleven-Day Empire
Fifty-two years into the War, the Sontarans invaded the Eleven-Day Empire, planted a fusion bomb in the Stacks, and stole the Faction's biodata codices. Godfather Morlock guided Justine to pick up the fusion bomb with her shadow; when it exploded, her shadow was destroyed, and Morlock granted her a replacement by helping her pick up the knife of the Act of Severance, which gave her Grandfather Paradox's shadow. (AUDIO: The Eleven Day Empire)
Subsequently, Lolita consumed the Eleven-Day Empire, killing all members of Faction Paradox who resided there, with the exceptions of Justine and Eliza, who escaped in a timeship. (AUDIO: The Shadow Play) Cousins Shuncucker (AUDIO: Movers) and Belle also lived after the destruction of the Eleven-Day Empire. (PROSE: Panda and the Airship) The film Mujun: The Ghost Kingdom apparently foretold Lolita's consumption of the Empire and predicted that Godfather Sabbath would also survive. (PROSE: The Book of the War) Cousin Isabella said there were several different versions of how the Faction was wiped out, but she was the only survivor. (PROSE: Spinning Jenny)
Justine and Eliza turned to 1762 Europe for new blood, (AUDIO: Sabbath Dei, COMIC: Political Animals) hoping to be recognised as diplomats due to the relative recency of the Gregorian Compact. There, they took sanctuary with the Order of Saint Francis at Medmenham and became uneasy allies with Mary Culver against Lolita. (AUDIO: Sabbath Dei)
Justine and Eliza eventually forged an alliance with the Osirian Court 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. (AUDIO: The Judgment of Sutekh) During this process, the War King attempted to reintroduce the Faction to the High Council as House Paradox, (AUDIO: Words from Nine Divinities) and Cousin Eliza became Horus. (AUDIO: Body Politic) When inducting his earlier self into the Faction, Richard Francis Burton made himself swear by "Horus, the reborn child from whose sacrifice our Faction owes its own rebirth". (PROSE: Head of State)
After the War
Before his wedding to Juliette, the Eighth Doctor sent invitations to thirteen groups who he believed possessed pieces of an ancient knowledge scattered throughout humanity. The handwriting on one of the letters was illegible. Nonetheless, representatives from the organisation attended the wedding, arriving on horseback. One group was dressed as skeletons. (PROSE: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street)
In the City of the Saved
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. (PROSE: Interference - Book One)
Godfather Morlock, one of the Faction's scientist 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. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Faction Paradox heavily emphasised the worship of Death and Family, both of which the Great Houses had discarded to more closely resemble gods. 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 Brother, Little Sister, Cousin, Mother, Father, Godfather, and Godmother. The elder titles, naturally, were reserved for the senior or most experienced members. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Inductees into the Faction from the lesser species renounced their former species for the sake of the family. (PROSE: Alien Bodies) The War King said that most members did not belong to the Homeworld by blood right, but they'd been adopted by House Paradox and given the inherent advantages of all members of the Great Houses, so they were equal to even the members of the War Council. (AUDIO: Words from Nine Divinities)
Bloodline to bloodline, in constant transition.
Our pattern, our flesh, and our one restoration.
Conception, completion, the will of the city.
Justine, The Eleven Day Empire (audio story)
Bloodline from bloodline we smuggle our cargo.
Edward, Of the City of the Saved... (novel)
Behind the scenes
- Creator Lawrence Miles said, about the Faction: "I think maybe the name can be a bit distracting. The point of Faction Paradox is that it's a criminal-terrorist organisation, it uses all the death-and-biomass imagery in the same way that voodoo cults and pirate cells used the skull and crossbones, it's a way of making a point rather than being the point in itself. ... The name Paradox was chosen just because it was so obviously going to be offensive to the Time Lord hierarchy, it wasn't meant to suggest that the Faction's particularly interested in time paradoxes, as such."