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The N'Gora and the Oiobáby Átila Pires dos Santos
The N’Gora and the Oiobá are two different Tanagoro groups from the Serpent Peninsula that settled the northern part of the Gulf of Hule and influenced the Verdan colonists. Both groups were allied with the Lawful Brotherhood and were brought there by LB ships c. 600 to 800 AC.
The N’Gora is the northernmost Yavi people of the Serpent Peninsula, living at the fertile lands that surround the northern rivers of north Yavdlom, such as N’Gora River (now known as Angorit River) and Nikonga River (Nikonga is also sometimes used as the name of the Yavi dialect spoken by the N’Gora people).
Because of that, the N’Gora were the first Yavi people to make contact with the Traladaran settlers of Kladanovic in 445 AC (the LB was aware of the Yavi people, but the goblinoid threat of the Yazak Steppes and Hule forced it to focus at the “Southold” (the Savage Coast) region only, and thus little effort was made to build outposts along the Serpent Peninsula). They had a peaceful relationship, but usually each group let the other alone.
However, the Pure Gold Merchant Company (that was in fact a mercantile league created by Minrothians and Meditor elves (before the creation of the Minrothaddan Guilds) that also included many Traladaran traders and had the support of the LB) had need of mercenaries and workers and the N’Gora were often hired. Large numbers of N’Gora were brought to the distant Thanegia Island in order to build a trading post close to Kastelios c. 600 AC (which is now the town of N’Goro, named after them). They were also taken to defend the LB holdings at north GoH, surrounding the Naval Outpost. There they helped with the building of Mercy Outpost (which guarded the Great Escarpment) and build three small wooden forts, which soon became three villages: Quilombo (meaning “military camp”), Senzala (meaning “residence” or “village”) and Cafundó (which means “faraway”).
Although they worshipped Yav before leaving the Serpent Peninsula, the N’Gora at the Gulf of Hule eventually embraced the LB pantheon (however, they kept worshipping Calitha even after their conversion). They were more resistant to the LB Trade Tongue, however, mainly because the LB missionaries and allies (such as lupins of the “Sea Lupin” breed and native Oltecindians) were by far outnumbered by them. They also mingled with the natives Oltecindians, quickly assimilating the few tribes living at there (that were greatly reduced by humanoid attacks recently, from up the Great Escarpment); the Oltecindians worshipped Calitha themselves and many elements of their religion were added to the GoH N’Gora tradition.
The Oiobá is one of the Yavi groups living around the Dhiki Namazzi, on some of the small islands between the Serpent Peninsula and Thanegia Island. When Yav fixed the artifact and sought one of his living descendents (c. 750 AC), he found the leader of one of the Oiobá tribes, living at the Ekundayo island. Yav revealed to this leader that this people were destined to give the first step towards a unified Yavdlom nation, but only if they follow his guidance; or else, they would be doomed to remain forever a “lesser tribe”, under a Yobar (baron) leader. This prophecy gave name to this people, since Oiobá (or its shorter form, Obá) is a variant of the word “Yobar” (the title Oiobá (Baron) was used until the Dominion of Tanaka was conquered by its neighbour Texeiras).
Guided by Yav’s prophecy, this people migrated to a ruined city within a giant conch shell, build by their ancestors. They rebuilt it during the next forty years, asking other Oiobá tribes and even other neighbour groups to join them. The LB eventually made contact with then and a limited exchange of products and culture started (the LB called this city as Quagmire).
That, however, didn’t last, as the shell started to slowly sink within the Dhiki Namazzi and lizardmen tribes began to viciously attack the city (it’s possible that the shell had a religious importance to them and they saw the Oiobá as trespassers). What Quagmire had become was quickly ruining and many were leaving the city, fleeing to LB holdings. Eventually, a group of adventures managed to rescue the last survivors of Quagmire in 790 AC, taking them to another shell city at Thanegia Island, the mythical Thanopolis (named by the Oiobá as Tanakumba, which means “the people (Tanaka, a variant of the word “Tanagoro”) that came from over the sea (Kumba)”). That became the starting point of the new Yavdlom nation.
Those Oiobá that left the Serpent Peninsula on LB ships (the “true” Oiobá, or the “cursed” Oiobá, according to the prophecy) were mainly taken to the northern GoH holdings, the Naval Outpost. The Oiobá culture had a deep influence at the local N’Gora religion, especially because the LB by now (c. 800 AC) is mostly a mercantile company and its religious purpose is almost forgotten. While the Oiobá religion absorbed much of the N’Gora, LB and Oltecindian religions, it gave new names for each Immortal. These names are still used at modern Vilaverde and Texeiras, even if they’re somewhat archaic now, while the Verdan names are more favoured.
The Oiobá language, on the other hand, didn’t last much, also being replaced by the N’Gora/Nikonga dialect, adding only a few loanwords to it, most of it being religions names (especially the names of the Immortals). Those loanwords were carried later to the Thyatian variant known as Verdan, which replaced N’Gora after 900 AC, also reducing the later to loanwords as well.
The Oiobá Pantheon: the Orixás
Ifá or Orunmilá-Ifá (Yav): Patron of wisdom, divination, destiny, and foresight. Originally the main Immortal of the Oiobá people, he lost much of his importance among them after they left the Serpent Peninsula and no longer had premonitory dreams.
Iemanjá or Janaína [*1] (Calitha Starbrow): Patron of the seas, sea creatures and sailors. Her symbol is a starfish, and she is often pictured having it over her head, as a crown. It’s not unusual to picture her holding with a mirror, especially when she is pictured as a mermaid. She is the main patron of both Vilaverde and Texeiras.
Ibeji (Korotiku): The sacred twins; represent youth, vitality, cleverness, jokes.
Oxalá (Ixion): Patron of light, spiritual purity, and moral uprightness. He is sometimes pictured as a powerful mage, sometimes as a skilled warrior. He is a patron for both classes and to any to those who are willing to fight against the Entropics.
Xangô (Thor): The warrior Immortal, patron of strength, courage and honour. He is also the Immortal of thunders. He always bears his magical hammer.
Iansã or Oiá (Vanya): This female Immortal of war is patron for both male and female warriors.
Axabó (Tarastia): Female patron of justice and revenge, she is sometimes believed to be related to Xangô (Thor).
Exu (Masauwu): Known as “the Messenger”, he is known for his persuasion and is the patron for all who uses diplomatic means for his own ends.
Ogum (Halav): Another warrior Immortal, he’s not only patron to warriors but also to those who works with iron or steel (especially blacksmiths). He is patron of courage and honour and of those who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of others. He is always represented with his magical sword.
Obá (Petra): Wife of Ogum, she is another female warrior Immortal and very similar to Iansã. They’re often described as rivals, and there is a legend which tells that Obá lost one of her ears fighting Iansã. Her symbol is a round shield, which is shown covering her lost ear.
Oçanhe or Ossaim (Zirchev): Patron of sages and those who knows the secrets of the forests (especially druids), as he is believed to be both a powerful mage and an experienced herbalist.
Oxum (Valerias): Patron of love, feminine beauty, fertility, and art.
Oxóssi (Mealiden Starwatcher): Sometimes called “the Archer”, he’s the patron of scouts and hunters.
Obaluaê or Omolu (Chardastes): Patron of healers and healing, it’s said that he acquired all known diseases in order to heal others. Because of that, he’s always pictured all covered, hiding the deformities caused by the illnesses. This cover has the shape of a bell.
Nanã (Hel): The bitter patron of swamps and death-and-reincarnation cycle. She is acknowledged but not worshiped.
*1 - This name was also used for the capitol of Tanaka, until Texeiras conquered it and restored the old LB outpost name, Vila Naval (which, eventually, evolved to Velha Navalha)