The Citadel: Concordance

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12.2.2.1. The Faceless Men
  • On Braavos there is a society of assassins called the Faceless Men. One could hire an army of sellswords for half the price they demand, and that for a merchant. The cost for killing a princess would be huge. Fees for assassinations are negotiated with the Guild of the Faceless Men, and are determined by such factors as the prominence and the difficulty to kill the target (1: 297. SSM: 1)
  • The Faceless Men of Braavos are known to use the poison called "the strangler" amongst the maesters of Westeros (II: 15)
  • A man (possibly a Faceless Man of Braavos) literally changes his face and other features. His long straight hair of red and white turns to a dark cap of curls, his cheeks grow fuller, his nose hooks, a scar appears on his cheek, and a gold tooth appears in his mouth. His manner of speaking changes as well (II: 505)
  • A Faceless Man gives a small, worn iron coin to someone. It meant to be given to any man of Braavos accompanied by the words, "valar morghulis". The man it is given to will respond "valar dohaeris" and touch his brow with two fingers before setting out to take the coin bearer to Braavos (II: 505. III: 854)
  • "Valar morghulis" is a well-known phrase in High Valyrian, and means "All men must die" (III: 308)
  • The iron coin meant to be given to a man of Braavos with the words "valar morghulis" is an old with queer words on one side and a man’s head on the other side that is so worn no features can be made out (II: 650)
  • Braavosi who know that someone is to be taken to the temple of the Many-Faced God act in two ways: some will shun them, and others will give them gifts and make sure that they are aware of their names (IV: 88)
  • Most other temples to gods are located on an isle in the center of the city, including the temple to the Many-Faced God (IV: 89)
  • A small canal leading to the right from the great canal passes between the looming walls of the Holy Refuge. Taking this canal, one passes through a tunnel and then out into the light again where yet more shrines can be seen (IV: 94)
  • After passing between the walls of the Warren, a bend and then another bridge brings into view on the left a rocky knoll with a windowless temple of dark grey stone at its top. A flight of steep stone steps leads down to covered docks, where there are stone pilings (IV: 94)
  • The temple of the Many-Faced God has a sharply peaked black tile roof, similar to the houses of Braavos. At the top of its steep steps is a set of carved wooden doors twelve feet high. The left-hand door is made of pale weirwood, the right-hand door of ebony, though the carved moon face at the point where the doors join reverses this (IV: 94-95, 97)
  • The doors of the temple can open without any apparent human agency (IV: 95)
  • The temple can seem larger on the inside than it did from the outside. It is dark and gloomy, and contains massive statues of many more than seven gods, with red candles lit about their feet. The floor is made of rough stone (IV: 95, 96)
  • The nearest statues after passing through the temple doors is that of a woman twelve feet tall, with tears apparently streaming down her face to collect in a bowl she cradles in her arms. Beyond her is a lion-headed man seated on an ebony throne. On the other side of the doors is a huge rearing horse of bronze and iron. Farther on one can see a great stone face, a pale infant with a sword, a shaggy black goat as big as an aurochs, a hooded man leaning on a staff, and many more. Between the statues are shadowy hidden alcoves or the occasional burning candle (IV: 95-96)
  • The air in the temple is warm and heavy, and can contain smells both familiar and unfamiliar (IV: 96)
  • In the center of the temple is an inky black pool of water ten feet across. It is lit by red candles. There are stone cups all along its rim, and it seems that the water is poisoned (IV: 96)
  • Around the pool are alcoves with hard stone beds, where those who have come to die can lay themselves down (IV: 96)
  • Priests of the Many-Faced God wear cowled robes that are black on one side and white on the other (IV: 96-97)
  • The temple is called the House of Black and White by a priest (IV: 97)
  • The Many-Faced God grants the mercy of death in his embrace. The priests believe that he is the face behind all the myriad gods, and call him Him of Many Faces (IV: 97)
  • The priest is able to create an illusion to make his face look like a yellowed skull with a few scraps of skin clinging to its cheek and a worm wriggling in its empty eye socket. When touched, however, it melts away like a shadow (IV: 97-98)
  • It's said no whisper is too faint to be heard in the House of Black and White (IV: 312)
  • Many prayers wishing the deaths of others are heard in the House of Black and White (IV: 312)
  • The Faceless Men see themselves as the servants of Him of Many Faces, and have no say in who lives or dies (IV: 313)
  • Besides the two priests, the House of Black and White maintains several acolytes, two servants, and a cook (IV: 313)
  • Acolytes of the House of Black and White wear black and white robes, but without cowls and with the black on the left side and the white on the right. Priests wear the colors reversed (IV: 313)
  • The staff of the House of Black and White pray each dawn before breaking their fast. The prayers are in the Braavosi dialect of Valyrian (IV: 314)
  • The temple is never full and there are no paeans or hymns sung (IV: 314)
  • The House of Black and White has altars to some thirty different gods. The Weeping Woman is favored by old women, the Lion of Night is preferred by rich men, the Hooded Wayfarer by poor men. Soldiers light candles for Bakkalon, the Pale Child, while sailors prefer the Moon-Pale Maiden and the Merling King. Even the Stranger has a shrine (IV: 314)
  • The temple stands on a knoll which has many passageways hewn into it. Priests and acolytes sleep in the first level, servants in the second level, and the third level is holy sanctum forbidden to all but the priests and those they bring with them (IV: 314)
  • Vaults in the House of Black and White contain great arrays of weapons as well as clothing from the richest silks to the foulest rags (IV: 314)
  • The priests believe that the Many-Faced God sends a dark angel to walk beside a person through their life. When the sins and suffering come to be too much, the dark angel takes them to the nightlands, where the stars always burn bright (IV: 316)
  • The candles in the House of Black and White have a soothing scent that smells like those things a person best loves (IV: 316)
  • The dead are carried to the second level by servants, and then their bodies are stripped and washed by acolytes before being taken down to the holy sanctum. Servants sort through the clothing of those who die at the temple, counting out the coins in their purses and gathering the other belongings they left with them (IV: 316-317)
  • Shutters provide some privacy at each alcove with an altar (IV: 316)
  • Those who choose to die and drink from the black pool will then stretch themselves out on one of the stone beds in the alcoves behind the various gods (IV: 316)
  • When a body is found, a priest says a prayer over them and makes sure that they are dead (IV: 317)
  • Those who wish to become Faceless Men must give everything over to the Many-Faced God. It is a hard life. Those who cannot make that choice are offered the opportunity to do whatever they please. A girl is told she could become apprenticed to one of the famed courtesans, or married to any kind of man she wished, or provided a place as a servant in some merchant's house (IV: 318-319)
  • There have been many Faceless Men over the centuries, serving the Many-Faced God, but very few of them have been women because women are said to be made to bring life into the world, while the Faceless Men bring death, and no one is able to do both (IV: 318)
  • The Faceless Men of Braavos are older than the founding of the Secret City (IV: 321)
  • It's said the first Faceless Man existed in Valyria. There he brought death to the slaves who lived horrid lives toiling in the heat of the Fourteen Flames, praying for an end. He came to realize that the many gods they prayed to were one god, and that he was an instrument of the gods (IV: 321-322)
  • The Faceless Men may have had a role in the Doom of Valyria (IV: 322)
  • The Faceless Men have made an art of reading faces and body language, which allows them to know when someone is speaking truth or a lie (IV: 322)
  • Beneath an acolytes robes are small clothes of fine linen and a black undertunic reaching to the knees (IV: 323)
  • Acolytes play a lying game, attempting to determine what is a lie and what is a truth based on observing their opponent's face and body (IV: 323)
  • The poisons used by the House of Black and White can stunt growth (IV: 324)
  • Meetings are held in the House of Black and White with various men who seem to come from different places and classes. One man has a different beard and nose every time he visits (IV: 324)
  • Years of education and sacrifice are required to learn how to make a proper glamor, such as the Faceless Men do (IV: 325)
  • The Faceless Men will use mummer's tricks to change their faces as well. They learn to rule the muscles of their faces to this end (IV: 325)
  • An apprentice of the Faceless Men may be sent out to spend most of their time in Braavos, working in some menial labor so that they can observe the world about them and learn new things. Each black moon might mark their return to the temple for a time (IV: 326, 507)
  • The Lion of the Night is a god of Yi Ti (IV: 507)
  • The Faceless Men make use of many poisons: sweetsleep, the tears of Lys, pastes spiced with basilisk blood, and more (IV: 516-517)
  • A man whose daughter was nearly poisoned to death by her step-mother gave up two-thirds of his wealth and his daughter to the Many-Faced God to have his revenge on her (IV: 517)
  • The knowledge of the Faceless Men is passed down, but not through families (SSM: 1)
  • The Faceless Men are by and large to be found on Braavos (SSM: 1)
  • The Faceless Men and the Sorrowful Men have very different outlooks and approaches to what they do (SSM: 1)