The Intemerate Order of Doors
The ability to alter perception and - in doing so - remake reality, offers more power than anyone should have, even when their attempts are limited by small imaginations.
Interrogations of the nature of our reality are as ancient as our ability to formulate their abstractions, and the proven and demonstrable failings and weaknesses of our senses have been the fuel that catalysed the creation of idealism; the metaphysical philosophies which posit that our perceptions are either a veil which obscures the objective truth of what is, or our own will projected into an individual subjective truth. In the formless matter of the latter, metaphor takes the place of certainty, and by adjusting our understanding of reality we can exert control over it, sometimes to an extraordinary degree.
The ability to change one’s subjective reality, and to do so convincingly enough that the change imposes itself on the subjective realities of those to whom such a change would have seemed impossible, is the basis of a magic from which many miraculous things are achieved. Some people, even whole faiths, focus all their energies on mastering even a single example of such work, striving to make some small piece of magic into a reliable and reusable tool, even to the point of forgetting the route by which it was made possible. The Intemerate Order of Doors is one such group, having come to mistake a path for a destination; a holy mission.
Even to those inside The Order there are more mysteries and secrets than facts; the practise of their magic - being able to walk through any door and emerge through any other - being so over-ritualised and mystified that the mere fact that it works at all is a surprise. They teach that, in order to properly use a door, one must first understand the distinction and relationship between a door (indefinite article) and the door (definite article) as sign and signified, and that the purpose and intent that went into the creation of a door is of paramount significance in its suitability for their work.
The door in question can be a sliding door, a revolving door, a door which must be pushed or pulled or simply an aperture between rooms, jambed or unjambed and with or without an architrave. But where the entrance to a cave, regardless of whether the inside is utterly desolate or a lavish dwelling, is not a door, the remains of a door in a collapsed structure, the merest outline of its presence, constitutes a door. It is vital to understand that not any and all means of ingress and egress can be considered to be doors, the mark of a door or doorway being twofold: The intention in its creation and its functionality.
Neither a door that has rusted or swollen shut, nor a door which is barred in perpetuity, can be passed by members of The Order - despite the distinction between a locked and unlocked door being of little significance for those otherwise properly prepared. Also unimportant is whether a receiving-door is open or closed, although the door by which one enters must be traversed in whatever manner is most typical for a portal of its type. Those belonging to The Intemerate Order of Doors are trained, often for years, to have a totally ingrained understanding of these rules, creating the orthodoxy which at once gives - and limits - their abilities.
Once members of The Order have a clear - albeit malleable - understanding of what does and does not constitute a door, then the most significant difference between the door with which one is faced and any other is simply a set of semantic and spatial markers, which are only shared subjectivities. Initiates are taught to give their utter focus to the particular doors they are passing through, noting its design, character and idiosyncrasies, and knowing them completely before allowing the particular to give way to the general and then mentally reasserting the qualities of the door which they would like to leave.
After this, with proper concentration and a sense of certainty that belies reason, The Order can then move between any two doors with only a little more difficulty than that of moving between two rooms in their own house. Focusing on honing the mental acuity to achieve this transference by repeating the technique between unconnected rooms, either within The Order’s properties or in their own homes, it takes months of continued practice before people are encouraged to try to step between doors that are any real distance apart; even ones with which they are deeply and profoundly familiar.
While, to the sceptical mind, the limitations of this ability seem greater than the advantages offered, those who dedicate enough time and the due diligence to perfecting their praxis of these teachings and techniques are eventually - sometimes - capable of moving between doors they might never have laid eyes on. This latter and last skill, whilst apparently extremely disorienting even when properly executed, allows The Intemerate Order of Doors to traverse great distances by intention alone, and comes closest to breaking the boundaries that the whole structure of the organisation has unintentionally placed on itself and its members.
Given the somewhat-spiritualist bent through which this ability is contextualised by The Order, it is unsurprising that certain superstitions fomented amongst their ranks: A mythology to describe the beginnings of their Order and to lead them into the undiscovered country where their best and brightest will come to rest. Belief in an afterlife, even one from which most of the world is barred, is hardly uncommon, but when it is conceived of and fervently believed in by a group whose single-minded devotion to their perception of reality can bend it? Their collective belief is sometimes enough to change their worlds in ways they did not intend.
Those in The Order who live long enough eventually find themselves drawn, unconsciously but irresistibly compelled, to a door that should not and should never have existed. These doors - in each instance unique in design and placement - appear in isolated, often remote locations. Immovable and inviolable, they cannot be forced open, displaced or destroyed, though they have not proven to represent a danger beyond that demanded by their singular and specific appetite. They usually appear within fifty miles of the one for whom they are intended, though some people have travelled half the world to theirs. The door will open only for them, and then they are never seen again.