The Church of Retribution is a religion present throughout the events of Rise.
The Church of Retribution is the central organization of the religion following the dogma ofretribution, focusing on the belief that the dual facets to the universe, -these being Nyarlatothep, The Crawling Chaos that represents the unpredictable, changing, profane, and dark nature of existence, and a unnamed constant light known mainly as The Cosmic Consciousness that serves as a allegory to calm, stillness, holy, and unified revelation of cohesion in everything- are at a constant flow, and that only by shedding oneself of one side can someone truly access the other. In turn, the faithful are called Retributionists, a title often held with pride.
It was founded aproximately three centuries before the events of the alien invasion by the first Hand of Nyarlathotep, a unidentified man presumed to have lived as a nomad in a journey of personal atonement and enlightenment. It has ever since become one of the mainstream religions in the 26th century, attaining the faith of many important global figures and cultural icons regional to Earth, resonating well amongst all kinds of social classes.
The belief stems from a universal belief that humanity is cursed with sin and is thus fated to primitive behavior consisting of evil and death. However, it is also believed that by following a set of teachings it is possible to shed the shackles that tangle with rest of the people and become capable spiritual transcendence.
The Hand of NyarlatothepEdit
The position of Hand is one of great, central power, akin to that of a Catholic Pope, being capable of manipulating millions in a spiritual sense. It is also amongst his power to appoint the respective true leaders of humanity, in their goals of guiding men to ascension into what they call the cosmic consciousness.
As of the date of the events there have been appointed 11 Hands. This title is transferable only once the previous has died and can be held by members of both sex, albeit by the time of the alien invasion located in the frontier planets, only males have been elected. Once appointed, said subject must go through a series of exhausting, secular rituals to cleanse himself of any flawed humanity in a quest to seek the approval by the cosmos to guide humanity.
Once attained the relationship, the person becomes a oracle of sorts, sporting visions through which enlightenment reveals itself to him or her first, for then the Hand to share with believers.
Part of their central dogma resolves in the practice of tributes or payments through which the follower is allowed to advanced in their spiritual quest for knowledge. Many of the rituals of the religion include renouncing part of their material wealth, which they believe is a central cause of human greed and evil, and making a tribute towards their god. This practice has brought the general public's approval given the appearance politicians see themselves as part of the common.
This practice however has also lead to much criticism from the rest of the public. Many consider the practice of paying for religious teaching as immoral, unnecessary, and at worst fraudulent. Because of this, some countries do not consider the Church as a religion but as an organization, mainly those of China and France.
The Paladin and the MythoclastEdit
One of their main beliefs, and respective take on the apocalypse, focuses on that on a powerful warrior known as The Paladin. The prophecy foretells of the rise of a mighty, but terrible, warrior that will appear to mark the start of humanity's comeuppance or the eponymous retribution. This comeuppance is characterized as a war between brothers in which the Paladin, in a act called the Mythoclast or the destruction of myths will "vanquish all tyrannic kings, cast down all unworthy gods, and end all untrue prophecies".
At the end of this war period a time of peace and abundance as humanity will follows as it continues to be judged, after which "legions of space" will descend upon the skies under lights coming from the sky", and begin to destroy all those whom are judged as unworthy and/or evil.
The Cosmic ConsciousnessEdit
As previously discussed, besides the entity known as Nyarlathotep, a second, more benevolent, entity is addressed upon their myths. Described as being the first-born from "the cosmic egg", it is alluded as a creation deity whose simple existence allows reality to function accordingly to how it is currently perceived.
When a sentient being dies its essence and knowledge acquired is reunited with said entity in conjunction with every other soul. In this aspect, not only is the deity regarded as creator but sapient embodiment of the universe, being one and the same.
Despite being in indirect conflict to Nyarlathotep, whom is perceived as more of a demonic or dark entity in the religion, it is of common practice to regard both as necessary components of the universe as Nyarlathotep itself is another creation of the Consciousness.
Besides the general criticism of the practice of tributing, another point of argument against the religion stems from the terrorist attacks by the person only known as "Jaeger". The terrorist, who some consider son of Nyarlathotep, viewed himself as acting per the mandates of the Mythoclast myth. Though the Church has attempted many times to distance itself from terrorist groups this does little to calm the ongoing alienation from those who criticize heavily the following.
Known Illustrious MembersEdit
- The Espadas, Spain's royal family.
- Tomas Walker
- Many politicians and celebrities.
- The Church of Retribution is based on real life, and controversial, Scientology as evident on the emphasis of paying for spiritual teachings as well being common amongst celebrities and cultural icons. It also takes elements from other real religions such as Christianity (mainly the "Book of Revelations"), and fictional ones such as the cosmic consciousness akin to the "Lifestream" element in the game Final Fantasy VII and some real life philosphies. It also contains tropes commonly found on modern depictions of "The Illuminati" and their supposed control over pop cultural icons and over modern-day politics in a effort to cause a "New World Order", something the Church wants to accomplish.
- The figure of the paladin is based liberally on the Christian figure of the anti-christ, mainly the relationship between him and Nyarlatothep which mirrors that of said anti-christ and the Devil. They also share similar goals, those of political subterfuge and the establishment of a united world order ripe for the taking of the satanic figures.