Boash

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The eunuch priests of the Blind God, as depicted by Jordi Gonzales Escamilla in The World of Ice and Fire

Boash, the Blind God, is a deity that was once worshiped in the Valyrian Freehold. His followers settled on the main isle of Lorath.

Beliefs and customs

Followers of Boash ate no flesh, drank no wine, and walked barefoot, clad only on hair shirts and hides. Their priests were eunuchs who wore eyeless hoods in honor of the god; for only in darkness, they believed, would their third eye open, allowing them to see the "higher truths" of creation that lay concealed behind the illusions of the material world.

They also believed that all life is sacred and eternal, and in the equality of men and women, lords and peasants, rich and poor, slave and master, and even that of man and beast. All equally worthy, all creatures of god.

Another essential part of their doctrine was the extreme abnegation of the self, for only by freeing themselves of vanity could men hope to become one with the godhood. Thus, the Boash'i put aside their own names and spoke of themselves as "a man" or "a woman", rather than say "I" or "me". Even after the extinction of the religion of the Blind God, this habit of speech would endure in Lorath, where the nobility regards it as terribly vulgar to speak of one's self directly.[1]

History of the religion

One thousand, three hundred, and twenty-two years before the Doom of Valyria, a sect of religious dissidents left the Freehold to establish a temple on the Lorathi main isle. The ancient mazes of the mazemakers became the towns, temples, and tombs of the Boash'i. For three-quarters of a century, they dominated the islands of Lorath.

Later, men from other lands and faiths, including escaped slaves, settled on Lorath. They were at first subservient to the followers of Boash, and so the priests continued to rule; however, over time the newcomers outnumbered the faithful. While the worship of Boash dwindled, the priests grew worldly and corrupt, forsaking their hair shirts, hoods, and piety, and growing fat and rich off the taxes they extracted from those they ruled. Finally, the lower classes rose in rebellion. The acolytes of the Blind God were slaughtered, save for a few that fled to the great temple maze on Lorassyon. They remained there for the best part of a century, before they died out.[1]

References and Notes

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