“The One God. Spode. Drakon. El. Your gods are content as they bask in their idle incompetence; the gears that inspire change rust and grind to a halt. Where are they when the believers they claim to adore are threatened? What divine hand falls from the heavens when worlds burn and fade away, saving their fragile flock? It can only be concluded that your gods bend to the everlasting will of Theruskrayathos; the incarnate and formless will of change - the jaws that gnaw the upon the neck of the indolent gods you so claim to worship.”
“The act of destroying is the most fundamental aspect of all that exists. Atoms, cells, individuals, civilizations… all are bound by the fundamental law of the sword. For if something does not make itself the perfect destroyer of all that should oppose it, it is doomed to be ended by something that is better at destroying.”
Therusism (unknown language: therus, fire) is a neologistic phrase describing to the religious practice centralising Angazhar as the chief deity of several doctrines surrounding acts of extremism and violence in the First Gigaquadrant. As a term defining a belief in Angazhar, Therusism constitutes the largest and oldest religion in the First Gigaquadrant, with the Dominion of the Xhodocto naming it as one of their main beliefs. It is the widest practised religion within the Tuuros Galaxy, with traces of its dogma lasting several millions (if not billions) of years.
Therusism, despite having perhaps the widest astrogaphical expanse of believers in the First Gigaquadrant is among the universe's most reviled beliefs and is often synonymously defined as a practice that utilises extensive terror tactics and illegal occult practice of which is vehemently frowned upon by nearly all galactic governments across the contiguous First Gigaquadrant. As a result, significant individuals of the therusist movements within the Gigaquadrant are frequently identified as war criminals and wanted figures of an extremely dangerous disposition.
Therusism has existed, in one form or another since the dawn of the universe. The first known believers of therusism were the Zhulultu; an order of Ultraterrestrials innately corrupted by the powers of Angzahar that began to structure their civilisation upon violent expansion and control of order. Though this was a practice of the Zhulultu, open worship and veneration of Angazhar was limited to only Lord Zhuleshxi - their leader who was reputedly in direct communication to the Xhodocto himself. The dissolution and disappearance of the Zhulultu in ancient times left behind innumerable traces of their civilisation, of where a vast number of these ancient traces had also left behind the doctrines of Zhulultu therusism itself. From that, therusism began to evolve in several civilisations across several galaxies. The Tuuros Galaxy, the home of the Zhulultu, sparked the most densely populated rising of therusism in the First Gigaquadrant.
Countless civilisations, independent and impossibly distant from one another invented analogies to create their own sect of therusism; among the most prevalent of which is Zahamantas by the Vranntan Order, and more indirectly Ikara by the Sacrosanctity of Hiroghain and Ikara. Whilst some religions faded away from the ideologies of therusism, some retained the traditional identity surrounding Angazhar. The modern incarnations of the original Zhulultu therusism, such as The Congregation and Dominion of the Xhodocto have a highly organised and somewhat secular practice of therusism, whilst the Argent Dominion - headed by Sethzak himself, is a model of hard therusism that treats terror tactics as highly important to their doctrine.
Therusistic mythology is defined as a more-than-ostensible, yet not invariably historical collective of stories defining the actions of Angazhar, his Tandava and his followers. Due to the manifold factions within the Gigaquadrant that are therusists, there is a virtually infinite number of therusist texts and mythologies. The most infamous and complete of therusist texts is the Codex of the Red Light, a compiled and immense list of texts from ancient Tuurosian cultures that have mythologies attesting to the dark ages of the Tuuros Galaxy. Whilst these texts are treasured by more absolute therusists, more modern and organised therusists tend not to adhere to the defined teachings.
As a whole, therusistic mythology has little dogmatic grounding in therusism. The most deistic interpretations of therusism define Angazhar as the creator and destroyer of all things, but most importantly (and most commonly defined even without mythological attribution) is the motion of change through violence. All texts defining Angazhar are chiefly violent in theme, although most therusists outside of the Tuuros Galaxy tend to hold mythology as only secondary to their own practices and personal beliefs in Angazhar. Ceremonial understandings in therusism; such as rituals and prayers, are ubiquitous in more ancient texts, and thus several of these prayers exist only in text and not in deciphered language. In modern times, only the most devoted of therusists tend to recite these prayers and carry out these rituals.
There is a lack of cohesion defining the nature of therusism concerning its beliefs. Whilst many have come to assume that therusism is monotheistic, several varieties and denominations of therusism more accurately define the religion as henotheistic, or more commonly monolatrist in thought. It is generally accepted that therusism cannot exist as a polytheistic belief; nor has it in any historical accuracy. Therusistic doctrines make little mention of any other deity treated as supremely as Angazhar, and mention of the other Xhodocto are often subsumed definitions of Angazhar's greater whole - commonly defined as Tandava. Such definitions of the other Xhodocto are practised in rarity in modern times, and thus other Xhodocto are normally dismissed in the doctrines of therusism.
The traditional beliefs of therusism entailed a strictly theistic belief in Angazhar. Perceptions of Angazhar have evolved into more complex images in more recent ages of the Gigaquadrant, where therusism has existed simultaneously as a monotheistic religion and an interpreted philosophy. Thus, it may be accurate to assume that therusism also encompasses the definition of a philosophy in some civilisations; some races such as the Kicath and Vranntan adhere to similar concepts. Therusism as a philosophy tends to be unaggressive, especially in comparison to the more actively enacted concepts of theistic therusism and often are considered archaic and obsolete even by the civilisations of which they come from.
There is little surviving mention of calendars in historical documentations of therusism, and several sects and civilisations that believe in therusism do not adhere to a calendar in the contemporary Gigaquadrant. Ceremonies and rituals in therusism are primarily sacrificial; the most ancient and usually only observed ritual in therusism altogether. The formality and sanctity of sacrifice varies across therusistic religions, where some consider it the paramount form of veneration of Angazhar. It is known that within both the Congregation and the Dominion of the Xhodocto, various races have different ceremonial practices and some hold sacrifice as important whilst others do not. Other civilisations, such as the Vranntan Order, have several ceremonies in their kratocratic culture that are observed in veneration of Zahamantas, including birth and death rites.
As Angazahar is almost universally described as the incarnation or god of war, the concept of war and violence is paramount to the practice of therusism. Whilst most therusistic cultures see war as a political and economic device in the modern age, kratocratic and violent undertones in their governance and very society still exist, as is evident with the Vranntan. Civilisations such as the Dominion of the Xhodocto, of which is directly theocratic in governance is one of the few therusistic civilisations left that view war as a divine right, and wait decades at a time to exact immense violence upon the Gigaquadrant.