The World of Gerard van Oost and Oludara

Posts Tagged ‘magical beings’


Sacy-Perey was a slave child on the first “black ship” to ever visit Brazil.  However, he was treacherously murdered, and powerful magic brought him back in his current form: a one-legged imp with magical powers.

Sacy loves three things more than anything else: tobacco, puzzles, and tormenting travelers in the Brazilian wilderness–particularly Gerard van Oost and Oludara!  He can hop on his one leg faster than most people can run, and can even “hop” through space, teleporting from one place to another at will–a power which allows him to drop in on our duo much more often than they’d like.  He isn’t an official member of The Elephant and Macaw Banner, but don’t tell him that!

Sacy-Perey (originally “Saci-Pererê”) is undoubtedly the most famous character in Brazilian folklore, and is sometimes used as a symbol of the country itself.  In The Elephant and Macaw Banner series, the myth of Sacy lives on, but with new dimensions to his history, powers, and personality.

Gerard and Oludara know the source of Sacy’s power, but if you want to know as well, you’ll need to read “The Fortuitous Meeting of Gerard van Oost and Oludara”.  And for those who enjoyed the imp’s antics in the first story, don’t worry; you haven’t seen the last of Sacy-Perey!

(Illustration by Paulo Ítalo)

African Dragon

To wrap up our journey through Africa, some information about the African Dragon from “The Fortuitous Meeting”:

Like most cultures around the world, Africa has its own tales of dragons.  In fact, Africa, the birthplace of man, might just be the birthplace of dragons as well.

Theodore de Bry’s sixteenth-century engraving of Africa: Antelopes, snakes, elephants, and of course–a dragon!

The Serene Dragon website lists twenty dragon legends which come from the top to the bottom of Africa.  Even one of the Yoruba Orisas, Oshumare, is known as a rainbow serpent.  This Orisa is not just specific to the Yorubas, but is common among many peoples of Western Africa.  The Ewe-speaking peoples know him as Anyiewo, and the Fon-speaking peoples call him Aido-Hwedo.

In Andre Thevet’s Singularities of Antarctic France, published in 1558, Thevet says that Africa contains “an enormous quantity of savage animals–lions, tigers, dragons, leopards, buffalos, hyenas, panthers, and others.”  Modern historians interpret his use of the word “dragon” as referring to crocodiles.  But of course we know better! 😉

In “The Fortuitous Meeting”, Oludara meets a dragon in Africa.  It is described as:  “A massive green snake, except for some tiny, apparently useless wings and several stubby pairs of legs which it used to propel itself in a half-walking, half-slithering fashion.  The scales appeared impenetrable, like painted iron plates stacked upon each other.”

And with that, we can close this post with Paulo Ítalo’s amazing interpretation of the beast:


Giant serpents can be found in the histories of almost every civilization on Earth, and Brazilian history is no exception.  The Botat, a serpent of immense proportions, is one of Brazil’s oldest and most famous monsters.  Its original name, “Boitatá”, comes from the Tupi words “mboi” (snake) and “tata” (fire), and it was known throughout Brazil long before Europeans ever set foot there.

The Botat appears only at night, and always covered in a glowing blue flame.  The flame burns flesh but not foliage, and cannot be doused.  In fact, the creature hides at the bottom of lakes and rivers during the day.

When someone gets close enough to see through the serpent’s flame (an unfortunate case indeed!), they see the scales beneath shimmering in many colors, like a rainbow in a watery mist.  Globes of fire burn in place of eyes, and those who make eye contact with the beast go mad.

In “The Fortuitous Meeting”, Antonio Dias Caldas and Diego tell of their battle against this amazing serpent.