River Jova (ˈd͡ʒova)
To the humans, it's a source of plentiful fish and the site of a huge natural harbour.
The Jova cuts a huge swathe from the icy north to the sunny south in eastern Pfemba, almost splitting the Pfemba Peninsula entirely. Until a couple of centuries ago, the river was completely impassable on foot without entering the main landmass.
Considering this, it's possible that the northern parts of the Jova are the site of the first meetings between humans and vena, at least in recorded history.
For centuries, the vena of the area have used this river as part of their funeral rites. Cremation is a hugely common vena practice, but this river showcases a unique take on it.
The dead are placed onto a ceremonial raft with their most treasured belongings and set alight, to drift down the river and, eventually, into the sea.
Of course, that was all very confusing when the humans settling near what would become Yenagun kept finding burned corpses, ruined watercraft, and assorted treasures and weapons.
These likely fed into early human myths and stereotypes of vena as warmongers and barbarians.
A Complicated Name
There is some disagreement on the history of the name, although the prevailing theory traces the word back as two roots from two different languages:
The first part of the name almost certainly comes from the Old Elveñan term 'cho'. The word usually refers to a still body of water, so it's likely that the vena who used this term were referring to the river's mouth, or the destination of their offerings.
|cho + fae||water related to vena|
|jova||name of the river|
This part is more difficult to trace back to a definitive origin. It may have stemmed from the adpositional 'pfa' from Old Elveñan, meaning on/at/with. Going back to Proto-Pfemban, it may have come from a similar word there, or even from the original Elveñan word for person, 'fenä'.
However, the Jova spans an incredible length. It reaches from native vena lands through human-dominated territories all the way to Yenagun, a city that has changed hands often in the lands few centuries. With this in mind, it's very possible that the second part comes from an old human term for the vena, 'fae'.
If both assumptions hold true, then the river was likely actually named by humans, copying the vena who referred to the water as 'cho' and simply sticking their own word 'fae' onto it.
Chofa, literally meaning 'vena water', became Jova over time.
Yenagun was originally named 'Jovham', after this river.
Often referred to by other species as elves. The most magically adept species after tilkens.