Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saint Oro-Bora One-Eye

"Saint Oro-Bora One-Eye (The Saint of Two Tears, Old Roper, Oroghbora Mnguembe)"

"Saint Oro-Bora was a ropemaker of one of the many small Surdic towns braving the dangers of the Sands. His knobbed, calloused hands were skilled in twisting hempen strands and laying strong rope of three cords, sold throughout his town and the surrounding trade roads."

"It was a night of strong wind and blowing sand that brought trouble to his small mudbrick house on the edge of town. Sand Elves came from the dark and entered his home, binding him tightly; the Saint’s right eye was put out in the struggle. His two wives and five children were taken as slaves, likely to be sold in the markets of Syr-Marad. The tribe of Sand Elves disappeared with them into the night, but not before hanging Saint Oro-Bora upon his own qerfruit tree with a length of his own fine hempen rope."

"However, the persecuted Saint’s rope did not betray him. When the Sand Elves left him, the knot loosened itself and dropped Saint Oro-Bora to the sand, where he soon regained consciousness. Taking up his faithful rope and weeping tears from his good eye and blood from his ruined one, the grief-stricken Saint trudged into the darkness."

"Each daybreak thereafter, the foul tribe of Sand Elves found their number to be one less than the previous nightfall. The missing corpses, strangled with unyielding cord and dragged to burial beneath the cooling sands, were never found."

"On the fortieth night, Saint Oro-Bora found that there was only one life remaining to take: his own. He had unknowingly killed his loved ones in his madness, making him guilty of the worst sort of murder and deserving of death sevenfold. His faithful rope did not fail him."

"Though Saint Oro-Bora’s tale is clearly cautionary, it also provides an important example in the Saint’s final act of justice and integrity: the execution of a murderer. For this, he is considered redeemed - nay, saintly. There is no doubt in the careful reader that Saint Oro-Bora’s spirit shines among the stars for such a selfless and righteous act. Many frivolous tales, told to children to ensure their behavior, paint him as a murderous bogeyman (“Old Roper”) who seizes sleepers and drags them into the wilds to be strangled, though this is clearly a misuse of the Saint’s blessed story."

"Saint Oro-Bora’s veneration is inconsistent, likely due to disagreement regarding the interpretation of such a weighty tale, and due to the fact that it originates from the Sands, an immense area still outside the reach of the Church. Still, he is the patron of ropemakers, the bereaved, and repentant murderers, and is often invoked when seeking vengeance, justice, or an honorable end to one’s own life. His auspices are the coiled rope, the qerfruit tree, and paired tears of white and red (often interpreted as symbolizing sorrow and vengeance)."

- From the Hagiograph of The Hundred by the Venerable Viebalde

This post is the fourth in my The Hundred Saints series, updating Fridays!
Previous Saints:
Saint Grenna of Merthis
Saint Be'lak the Bard
Saint Cryndwr Firebeard of Wealdvale

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