Boaq do Sosem
Salaperäinen Enqin väen soturi. Auttaa joukkoa syystä tai toisesta.
“Kaikkia asioita – olivat ne sitten lihaa, kiveä tai metallia – määrittää niiden itsensä tunteminen.”
-Boaq do Sosem
“‘Kuolematon’ on vain sana. Kaikki mitä on voi kuolla. Jokaista asiaa kohden on ase, jolta se ei voi puolustautua. Aika. Teräs. Sairaus. Syyllisyys.”
-Boaq do Sosem
“Jaettu mieli on tavoitteeton mieli. Jaettu mieli murtaa muureja ja hajottaa kallioita. Kyllin moni jaettu mieli voi kaataa valtakunnan.”
-Boaq do Sosem
Boaq do Sosem, whose true name is yet unknown, was born the first and only son of a relatively wealthy middle-class human family in the city of Umar. His father was a spice merchant and his mother a locally known painter. The parents led lavish lives – for their level of income, at least. Later in his life, Boaq came to realize that his parents’ marriage was a loveless one: his parents had sought for meaning in their lives by the way of hedonism.
When Boaq do Sosem was ten years old, he and many others began to feel the cold grasp of the Inquisition tightening around Dal Umar. Boaq’s parents were enamored by this school of thought: to embody virtuous ideas with your whole being, and thus serve these ideas in actuality instead of bowing to dead divinities. In his later years Boaq do Sosem often wondered whether or not the Folk-of-Enq had their hand in these events.
But as it often is: with good intentions come terrible consequences. Boaq’s parents took to the teachings of the Inquisition (a moniker which in time would come to outlive its original purpose) with great enthusiasm. The great speeches of the Many-Bodied Shah impressed many and alienated the rest. Indeed, young Boaq found these teachings quite puzzling – it’s not that he yearned after the fallen gods, just that he did not particularly care – as children are often wont to do. He would, in time, find his own meaning.
Boaq’s parents were mortified by their son’s disinterest in their newfound beliefs. They tried to force the boy to at least feign interest to impress the Inquisition’s higher ups. When this failed (due to Boaq’s curious and vivacious nature), they moved to physical punishment. When this too showed no results, Boaq’s parents had no choice but to enroll their unruly child to an Inquisition-led reeducation camp. To this day, Boaq is unsure of whether his parents were aware of the true nature of the camp.
Boaq’s reeducation camp near the town of Almassar was a place far from home, near the western border of Dal Umar. In accordance with young Boaq’s worst fears it was a place ruled with an iron fist – with fear instead of encouragement. Youth deemed unruly were punished by the most severe degree – regular beatings and cuttings led to the eventual infection of Boaq’s leg and subsequent amputation – a fact that the Inquisition obviously blamed on Boaq’s unwillingness to cooperate.
After young Boaq had healed enough and received a basic prosthesis – after all, the Inquisition definitely wasn’t evil – he covertly began to organize a rebellion among the youth of the Almassar camp. The idea of a rebellion was easy to sell, as Boaq was far from the only one who had suffered at the hands of the Inquisition. One day, the children assigned to serve dinner spiked the food with rotten meat, causing a small outbreak of food poisoning among the camp’s guards. The few guards that were spared from this were far from enough to stop the mass exodus of youth.
The Inquisition paid little heed to the slew of escapees, since their political and religious hold on Dal Umar had been consolidated enough to ensure their continued status as rulers. In the centuries to come, the work of the Chaotic Harmony cult helped abolish these reeducation camps, though in reality the existence of such camps only grew more shrouded in mystery.
In the years that followed, Boaq do Sosem traveled across most of the lands known and unknown. It seems that Boaq’s commitment to his inner wanderlust and inability to simply let things be were some of the traits that sparked the Folk-of-Enq’s interest in him. Boaq do Sosem lived as a landless exile for almost 50 years, witnessing among other events the rise of Vaistar from a small fishing town to a city worth marking on maps due to the influx of refugees fleeing the growing influence of the Inquisition.
During his travels Boaq had often tried to avoid visiting the city of Umar. On one hand, he still felt deeply pensive about the Inquisition’s softened but still harsh rule over Dal Umar – on the other hand, he knew that in all likelihood his parents would still be alive, and was not ready to confront them.
Through most of his years Boaq’s only guardian was himself – this eased him into an instinctive sense of detachment from others. The parts of him that still bore scars from his time in Almassar seemed to take over his emotions when meditating: Boaq soon found that even the slightest touch from another would send him into a deep awareness of his own body – a feeling he was deeply uncomfortable experiencing.
Boaq roamed the world, visiting and observing places many (at the time) had not even encountered. He kept to himself and wandered – searching for meaning – a bond strong enough for him to find his inner fire.
Some decades later Boaq found himself in Dal Umar.
In his seemingly final years, Boaq ruminated long on the things that can drive a man to do wrong. In a forgotten cave somewhere in northern Uld Craegg Boaq came to a realization – it was not his parents that had wronged him, but the false purpose planted into their divided minds. A mind divided – a mind without purpose – was a mind easily manipulated. Realizing this, Boaq knew that there was strength not only in knowing the self, but knowing how to bring knowing forth in others. He learned that not knowing something can be a tool, just like words and steel, if upon encountering it, he’d attempt to know its nature and how it came to be.
Yet, for all his years of thinking, not once had Boaq examined himself, his emotions or his beliefs critically – no, he was above all subjectivity. To his eyes his way was the way, and all the other ways were false.
When a mind does not know itself, it is flawed.
This promise of a world on the brink of death frightened Boaq – yet the great battle against the Old Gods also invigorated him – no being should be allowed the power to define others’ purposes for them. The power of the gods was no birthright – it was tyranny. In Boaq’s eye, their ends did not justify the means (though he would later learn that the line between right and wrong was indeed very indistinct at best). He had little faith in the Elders’ goal of stopping the natural entropy of the world – yet he still believed that the world deserved all the time it could – for it to know itself to the fullest. His purpose would be to purge the world of the gods’ purpose alongside the Enq.
When a mind is flawed, the man is flawed.
The Folk-of-Enq offered, in Boaq’s mind – a perfect framework to achieve his personal goals. When his ritual of joining was complete, he adopted the name Boaq do Sosem hel Ansei no Matsu – Boaq of the house of Sosem, sworn to service to the house of Matsu.
When a man is flawed, that which he touches is flawed.
Hundreds of years of work with the Folk-of-Enq led Boaq to adopt some of their dogma as his own – partly due to necessity, partly due to genuine agreement. He met and worked with many people in these times, but formed few true friendships. His demeanor was nearly always cold and professional – he considered himself a tool, used to preserve the world. Centuries passed and Boaq fought many battles and suffered many injuries, though his body would always be reinvigorated and even enhanced with the old magics of the Folk-of-Enq.
It is said that what a flawed man sees, his hands make broken.