Chaoticians (A.K.A. Grey Men, Arithmecians, Probability Engineers) are one of the 5 factions of the Virtual Adepts, they focus on probability, calculating the odds of some situation going well or bad or altering them.
Modern science defines chaos theory as the study of iterative non-linear systems in which arbitrarily small variations in initial conditions become magnified over time. The Chaoticians believe that these minor changes, these flaws or errant bits of code, can be used to calculate where the faults in reality will occur and how the universe compensates. Chaoticians seem to believe that this universe is always experiencing growing pains. At least that’s how I understand it. Like minor stress fractures that occur in a growing child’s bones as the bones grows too quickly to handle the stresses, reality occasionally cracks to release stress.
They used to believe that the whole universe was going to undergo a reformat; a massive change due to overwhelming complexity that was compounding exponentially with the input of new data. They used to operate on the assumption that eventually the universe would succumb to a cascade failure, and some of them believed that this would happen roughly around November, 2000. It didn’t and, when they realized something had been overlooked in their calculations, they had to revise their models.
We all depend on sophisticated calculators of some sort, but the Chaoticians take math back to the drawing board. Hell, they take it back to parchment, stone tablets, and sand drawings. There are Chaoticians who’ve forgotten more about calculus than Isaac Newton ever figured out. All the most recent advances in advanced mathematics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, and string theory come from Chaoticians, one way or another. I’ve seen one particular chaos freak use an abacus to out-calculate a university super computer. F’realz.
While they’re less doom and gloom than they used to be – with the exception of the real old-school guys who hold to the idea that reality’s going somewhere fast in a hand-basket – they’re still creepy. They are the masters of calculation, and it gives them this habit of just sidling up to you when you least expect it, or knowing stuff they should have no reasonable access to. The best way I can figure to give you an idea is to liken them to Sherlock Holmes. All of them. They all see tiny details everyone else misses and use it to figure out the next time your phone will ring, or precisely when your steps will creek while you walk upstairs.
Perhaps because of this unique familiarity with the world, they are also the least likely to succumb to Paradox when doing something really vulgar: like appearing out of nowhere into a crowded room. They always seem to show up at exactly the moment when everyone is looking away from where they appear, so as they can simply say, “Hey, I couldn’t find the beers in the fridge.” They seem to delight in doing this, and truly capture the adage that a wizard appears precisely when he means to.
Some very few Chaoticians are truly, mind-bendingly weird. Cthulhu weird. Like they just walked to the edge of known horizon realms and made an imaginary friend. Only the imaginary friend whispers some very real secrets to them; tells them where and when things will happen. No one knows what cost these secrets come at, but no one really wants to find out.