Zoa (ゾーア Zōa) refers to an ethnic group and location from TearRing Saga: Utna Heroes Saga. The region is on the continent of Lieberia whose eponymous original inhabitants have many descendants, both full-blooded and those who are mixed with other races. On the continent of Lazberia, the Zoan people were most often known as the Sons of God (神の子ら kami no kora), a title which they used for themselves.
The people of Zoa are the natives of the northern area of Lieberia. After Princess Miradona of the extinct Emiyu race arrived to sleep within the earth there, her four servants told the Zoans about the fabled dark god Gerxel, whom they made up to keep them from disturbing her. However, this instead resulted in the Zoans coming to the underground temple in which Miradona slept to worship Gerxel, around whom an entire religion eventually developed.
When settlers from the continent of Jugd (a reference to Jugdral) came to establish a settlement in Lieberia, the people of Zoa quickly came into conflict with them. Fearing the growing power of the settlers, the Zoans launched an attack against the newly-established Republic of Reeve, beginning a war between the two sides. After the Reevan official Denoas conquered all of the native clans, the Zoan leader Kalbazan drank the sleeping Miradona's blood and became the dark dragon known as Gerxel. Afterwards, he established the Zoa Empire and attempted to conquer all of Lieberia.
After Kalbazan's rise to power, the majority of Zoans stopped worshiping Gerxel and instead opposed the Empire. For doing this, they were enslaved by the Empire alongside the other non-Zoan peoples of Lieberia. Eventually, the Empire was destroyed by the hero Carluon and the heroine Utna, who worked together to slay Gerxel. The citizens of Canaan, who are descended from the Zoans like Carluon who had historically abandoned Gerxel culture, were thereafter considered a separate ethnic group from "pure-blooded Zoans" who remained more or less loyal to Gerxel.
Lazberian Zoans Edit
After the fall of the Zoa Empire, a group of Zoan pilgrims who had been loyal to the Zoa Empire fled Lieberia for fear of persecution. Departing for the uncharted seas, they eventually landed on a foreign continent. As they were far more technologically advanced than the native populations there, they easily carved out a place for themselves. They claimed to be "Sons of God" who had come from the heavenly realm of Altesia. At some point over the next century, their religion became centered around the Lazberia, a deity of death and rebirth. Either they began to call their god Gerxel by the name Lazberia, or they converted to worshiping a new god by the name Lazberia. During this century, they conquered a massive area, founding the Lazberian Empire.
Over the subsequent millennium, their religion split the worship of their primary deity, Lazberia, into two aspects: the Sky Father Raze, god of the night and death, and Earth Mother Veria, goddess of the day and rebirth, who together held the cosmos together. Eventually, these two sects had a schism, and the priests of Veria were banished from the Imperial Capital.
This eventually turned out to be a boon for the Verian believers: one day, the Lazberian Imperial Capital was swallowed into the Sea of Berre in a massive earthquake, killing nearly all of the Zoans on the continent, as they had isolated themselves in the city away from the lower-class common slaves. Only those who lived outside the capital survived the catastrophe.
In the era of Berwick Saga, the surviving descendants of the Lazberian Zoans are usually clergy of one of the two gods (Raze and Veria). They can be identified by their ability to use magic; magic was unknown in Lazberia before the arrival of the Zoans, and only those with Zoan blood are capable of using it. Rather than make use of scrolls or tomes to invoke magic at will like the mages of Lieberia, the Lazberian Zoans practiced magic much more dangerously; they sealed raw magical energy in its pure form into orbs, which would be released when the caster recited an incantation. This art was lost for many centuries after the fall of the Empire, and it was only recently discovered by alchemists in the kingdom of Veria.
Lieberian Zoans Edit
For the next generations, the pure-blooded Zoans who remained in Lieberia were severely persecuted, often being rounded up and confined to Zoa Valley by Canaan or deported to the penal colony on Il Island by Reeve.
On Il, the Zoans were forced to build ships for Reeve's navy until the year 547 when the White Sage Morse intervened, forcing Reeve to abandon the facilities there. However, the island remained a penal colony for Zoans until the year 801, when Yoda led an insurrection to free his fellow Zoans. The known Zoans remaining on the island in the current age seem to sympathetic or ambivalent toward Gerxel.
Some time after the destruction of Leda in 785, the Zoans residing in Zoa Valley began a large-scale revitalization of their cult with Gwenchaos as their leader, forming the Theocracy of Gerxel. In 803, they began to take over the scattered lands of Leda and the historically Zoan lands around Canaan. Youths from across Lieberia rose up in defense of Leda in the Leda Liberation War. King Bahanuke of Canaan, also seeing the Theocracy as a threat to the peace on the continent, declared war on them. In his attempts to stamp out the followers of Gerxel, Bahanuke invaded all of the other Zoan lands—Ava, Barge, Sophia, and Tirard—and united them under his rule.
However, despite Bahanuke's efforts, Gwenchaos had secretly sent the young witch Karla to become Bahanuke's concubine, where she manipulated him and corrupted his mind over the course of many years. After the grueling 20-year campaign in uniting the Zoan lands, Karla had Bahanuke sign a peace treaty with the Theocracy of Gerxel, merging them into a revitalized Zoa Empire. Under Karla's influence, Bahanuke then invaded Reeve and Salia to subjugate their opposition to the Theocracy of Gerxel.
Eventually, the four protagonists of Utna Heroes Saga (Runan, Holmes, Sennet, and Tia) rise up against the Zoa Empire and begin interfering with Gwenchaos's schemes. After Sennet and Runan take down the Zoa Empire, Sennet officially dissolves the Empire and restores the Kingdom of Canaan.
Unlike the technologically advanced colonists from Jugd, the Zoans were tribal and divided into clans. The clan leaders (called Diabolists in the Japanese version) conducted sacrificial rituals and were in charge of education of the tribe members. They traditionally worshiped the dark god Gerxel, who was said to purge non-believers and cowards in purifying flames. The teachings of Gerxel call Zoans the chosen people, and they are aggressive toward all outsiders. Centuries of persecution, including witch-hunts and public executions, have reinforced this aggression, making many Zoans bitter and distrustful toward non-Zoans.
The terms "Zoan Lands" and "Zoa Valley" refer to places in northeastern Lieberia, where the Zoan people historically held power. Some time after the breakup of the Holy Empire of Reeve, the Kingdom of Canaan further separated into five kingdoms, Ava, Tirard, Barge, Sophia, and a smaller Canaan. These are collectively referred to as the Zoan Lands.
Stretching through the Zoan Lands is the Zoa Valley, a large valley where the Zoan people first settled. The Kingdom of Canaan, however, kept pure-blooded Zoans in prison camps in the Zoa Valley. When the Zoa Empire was, established, these prison camps were instead used for the Empire's dissidents and prisoners-of-war.
Known Zoans (Lieberia)Edit
- Karla - A witch of Zoa posing as Bahanuke's concubine.
- Zeek - A dark knight of Zoa and Karla's younger brother.
- Dagon - A cruel and powerful priest of the Gerxel Church.
- Doruk - A priest of the Gerxel Church attempting to capture Katri.
- Mahoba - The Demon Summoner of the Gerxel Church.
- Bal - A priest of the Gerxel Church guarding the ☆Seiken Salia.
- Nefka - A priest of the Gerxel Church guarding the ☆Seiken Reeve.
- Ezrael - A priest of the Gerxel Church who is ordered to stop Runan's army.
- Yoda - The Dark Swordmaster of Zoa leading Il Island's residents.
- Julia - The daughter of Yoda and Shigen's adopted sister.
- Shigen - One of the Sea Lion Pirates and Karla's son, born as Theo.
- Sherra - A witch who defected from Zoa and a friend of Shigen.
- Temzin - A former soldier of Zoa who is now the king of Arial.