Doctrism is a monotheistic teaching based on the Doctrine – a set of rules sent by God, which was then interpreted by religious leaders. These leaders are considered saints by the doctrists. In a narrow sense, a doctrine is one of these rules; in those cases it is used with a number (like «Doctrine 17») or additional name («The Doctrine of enlightenment»).
The followers of this religion are known as doctrists. For the most part they are only moderately religious, even though a sizeable amount of radical doctrists does exist. They founded religious, social and political organizations, such as the Society for Eliminating Vice or numerous Righteous corps. These organizations are subordinate to The Ministry of Faith, which represents Doctrism on the political scene.
Doctrism is being supported and promoted by the elite – the aristocrats. For that reason lineage is considered very important by the doctrists: nobles are at the top of the social hierarchy, bastards are below them, while «mudblood» commoners and protoprimals are at the bottom.
God is triune. It exists as God the Word, God the Ruler, and God Leviathan. God the Word symbolizes will and wisdom. God the Ruler is order and power. God Leviathan is world and creation. Because of that trinity the number «3» is symbolic: triangular icons, triple-braided hairstyle of female doctrists, triangular squares in front of the doctrist temples.
The Plague King is God the Ruler, who decided to descend to the earth he created to wake the Word using order and to save the world from aberrant contamination.
Religious texts depict an image of a severe, yet merciful god in the minds of the believers. God rules its dull and unreasonable flock – even the brightest of men are unable to comprehend King’s thoughts, therefore he doesn’t speak to mortals, just sends them omens to show either discontent or satisfaction at human behavior. The Plague King is considered a political and religious leader by the doctrists, its cruel will is being interpreted according to the sacred texts.
Kaze and The Temple of Leviathan acknowledge the Plague King as one of many gods, whereas doctrists view other gods as some ancient mystical creatures with magic powers, denying their divine nature. Radical doctrists classify other gods as aberrations and promote the idea of destroying them constantly.
Few saw the Plague King. According to witness accounts, the King nearly always remains still, and only demonstrates activity occasionally. Its body is covered with incurable burns and scars, it is partially protected by armor. The King controls the Tower’s mechanisms with the help of his suit.
What else is considered sacred by the doctrists? Lots of things: people, the Word, artifacts, special places. The World of Leviathan is full of these shrines, which makes it a unique and special place for a true believer.
Doctrism exists roughly for 1500 years. There were quite a few zealots in its history, whose actions are considered great and who were canonized. Typically, zealots are canonized after death, even though some of them were called saints during their lifetime because of their heroic acts and deeds. Doctrist saints are not perceived as «miracle-workers» or «patrons» of some kind. Their purpose is serving as an example and a moral lever for the next generations, having become a part of the Word.
Since Doctrism is still a young religion, it borrowed many concepts from the Temple of Leviathan. One of these concepts is the Word, which, depending on the context, can be the King’s will, his omen, a sacred text (the Scripture, the Doctrine) or a religious parable. Another big and important part of the Word contains stories about the lives and deeds of the saints.
Technological artifacts brought to the world of Leviathan with the Tower are another proof of the King’s divine nature, they are idolized by people. And it is not by chance that the greatest number of doctrists lives in the capital. The opposite is also true: the further from the Tower, the stronger are ancient beliefs and the weaker are Doctrism positions.
Artifacts’ integrity is very important to the doctrists: shiny, good as new, mechanisms; guns never fired before, the Tower’s clean rooms… These things thrill and captivate the true believers.
Doctrists consider the Tower and the temples sacred. Any place can be sanctified at discretion of the church by bringing an artifact from the Tower inside. It can be a weapon, a mechanism, an element of furnishing, «celestial people» bodies, which are still found occasionally in the Tower’s unexplored corners and tunnels. Small parishes possess insignificant artifacts, whereas in the big temples you can find some valued objects, such as spaceship engines, weapons or small vehicles.
The symbolism of Doctrism is based on simple geometrical forms, easily recognizable even under the «make-up» of gilding and ornament. Doctrists’ visual culture influence is noticeable in odd pentagonal coins with five families’ emblems and the image of the Plague King in the middle. Triangular doctrists’ icons; discreet but splendid priests’ vestments… People of Leviathan do not understand this alien and strange culture, but they accepted it. It has overgrown with interpretations and was filled with divine light, strong enough to attract new disciples.
The image of the skull is also worth mentioning. It is widespread, typical and recognizable. In human thinking it is connected to the image of the Plague King and its’ power. The skull is frequently depicted with a stylized crown. Sometimes human eyes are added to the image. Doctrists’ Righteous corps tend to use it as an emblem. It is an archaic and well-known symbol; therefore it serves as a symbol of faith in towns and settlements far from Kroistham.
Radical believers from «Righteous corps» gather well-equipped and trained armies to wage religious wars with protoprimals and unsanctified humans. They set off for rural towns and settlements to build doctrists’ outposts. However, the main goal of the «Righteous corps» is conquering the world of aberrations or, more specifically, eradicating it completely…
Did you know that…
- In «Leviathan: The Last Day of the Decade» characters can meet a doctrist, employee of Society for Eliminating Vice.
- Zvi, one of the protagonists of «Leviathan: The Cargo» is a devout doctrist waiting for God to notice him.