Coldforged: Cultural Names

https://www.deviantart.com/balaskas/art/Twisted-Mountain-Valley-337950398

Each Thursday this year, I focus on a different aspect of the world I’ve created and played D&D in for over 20 years, in the hopes of honing the ideas and cementing enough in place to settle the world in my own mind. This week, I’m going over the names of different population groups!

Names aren’t exciting

This I get, but it’s still something that is really fun for me. Each region, culture, and group of peoples have their own methods and traditions of names, and using that as a springboard for further exploration of the race, or using it as something that cements a cultures roots and influences are always intriguing to me. So, I’m going to walk through all of the playable humanoids and talk through how they get their names and give a short list of names for males, females, and family names if they have them. Let’s get started right away.

Killbar

I’m always going to start with Killbar, because its both the closest to my heart and the one I understand the most thoroughly. Killbar is based on the transitional period between Republican and Imperial Rome, and that influence should come across strongly when reading about them. Their names are traditional roman or roman sounding names, ending with -ius and -ia, with a smattering of -io’s and -arch’s, though you can get away with a number of different variances on the theme if it simply sounds right. This holds the same for towns and cities, to be honest.

While the first names and place names may be very Roman, the last name really isn’t. I’ve tried for many years to get a fundamental last name system down that doesn’t sound ludicrus when you’re not cherrypicking awesome names, but I’ve yet to succeed. That doesn’t stop me from continuing, however. The last name is composed of three parts: Birthrank, Status, and head of household’s name. Each child will have a different name the clearly and openly states their rank in society to all around them. The name is formed in a very specific way, with the first two letters being the birthrank, followed by an apostrophy and then the caste and household head following. for example:

  • Yasimious De’ralimus (Yasimious, Second of Mious the Baker)
  • Gaius Tr’ellsarius (Giaus, Fifth of Sarian the Potter)
  • Julan Me’lenasurian (Julan, Eighth of Asurius the Magus)

The problem I have with this naming convention is that it doesn’t seem to work out unless you play with it a bunch, and that isn’t how a cultures naming conventions evolve. I’ll keep tweaking it until I’m happy with it, but it’s going to be hard.

The Killbarans grand a name at birth, often one of endearment and of the child’s early temperament and looks, this is followed up later, on their 10th nameday, with that of their childhood name. This lasts until they become an adult and are granted their first public name, which their family bestows on them with great honor. A killbaran is often called by their public name first, and then their childhood or their baby name depending on when the speaker met the individual. It is considered incredibly, unforgivably rude to use a name you are not allowed to through custom, and it can result in family wide and generations long rivalries and feuds when it is done on purpose. The Killbaran script is it’s own, as is the language, and though scholars debate its origins, it is unlike anything else spoken on the island.

Killbaran Names:
Male: Aelius, Aetius, Antonius, Brutus, Blasius, Catullus, Claudius, Drusus, Flavus, Felix, Giaus, Julian, Livius, Severous, Tasimious,
Female: Aggripina, Balbina, Drusa, Faustina, Glaucia, Iunia, Laurentia, Livia, Marina, Octavia, Porcia, Septima, Titiana, Vita
Family: De’ralimus, Tr’ellsarius, Me’lenasurian Ke’ulithanius, Ter’dramillia, Ca’strimaninus, Ba’tarinia, Do’ralmithinus

Tyndaria

Tyndarians grant their child, for the most part, their only name at birth. Children are given a name that sounds well and are often named after famous people and places. It is common to have multiple adults within a single house having the same name and to be distinguished by their traits. In addition to their primary name, their last names are house names, which are both gender and race agnostic. These house names have been granted by kings and lords for hundreds of years and follow a tradition of describing the event, trait or personality of the individual who earned it. Additionally, houses regularly adopt and knight those of other houses, those who are unhoused, and those from other kingdoms and traditions. Houses are diverse affairs, and are ruled by an authoritarian lord or lady, who’s personal word is law within the household. This dictatorial traidition is supported by law within Tyndaria, again going back for centuries. This too extends outward from the houses to the common folk, who are even a rung lower, and belonging to one of the houses is clearly recognizable by ones name. When a lord or lady dies, there is often an internal struggle to replace them, with the laws in this particular area being unreasonably fuzzy.

The Tyndarians share a script and a general language with the Alorans and the Elthrim, though there are cultural differences here and there.

Tyndarian Names
Male: Alain, Brothian, Darkus, Ferdikan, Gregors, Helmid, Karl, Koldric, Lionel, Oster, Podin, Tyrus, Valin, Wakeen, Zelrus
Female: Aria, Bella, Deriasia, Etria, Isabellian, Julieara, Merinida, Malathany, Nhorina, Shelbe, Ulara
House: Soulshammer, Mindtwister, Banefiend, Hammerfall, Bloodstrike, Spellshaper, Moonfire, Griffonsbane

Levisha

Levishan children are granted their first name at birth, though they quickly shed these names as they grow through their lives, changing their names as they go through the seasons and habits of their everchanging lives. These names tend to be short, squat names that get across the general personality and attitude of the person, who has likely named themselves in their current form and iteration. Levishans value action and deed more than they do talking of those very same actions and deeds, so a name that conveys the sense of the person they are talking to is very welcome. Though they have short, quick personal names, they tend towards having two names and an additional family name, though the family name is quite long, as it is meant as both title and a description of the lineage, location of origin and though important, is left unused most of the time, though it be utilized for extremely formal occasions. Thankfully, the Levishans often communicate but a few letters from their last name to the inhabitants of other Kingdoms because they don’t want to watch others butcher their names. The levishan script features more curves and frills than most, but is otherwise unremarkable, and seems to be related to the human script used in Tyndaria.

Levishan Names
Male: Cleth, Edra, Kel, Hyl, Murn, Ola, Peth, Rex, Shost, Uri, Ulik, Vos
Female: Asha, Brua, Cles, Fyrn, Gir, Ira, Iram, Leea. Pala, Tumu, Vyr, Zadi
History: Alyiulimiadrailliooonastaloin (Aly) Hiimerathiliandumulyradithan (Hiir), Ushpiuiaeliathvirvuliaadyam (Ush)

Drimm

The sturdy folk of Drimm tends to use hard, choppy names that sound like stone breaking stone. They are named well after they are born for their features and attitudes, often taking on numerous nicknames and titles both granted and earned as well as creating some themselves if they want to be known for a specific trait or skill. Each Drimm tends to take on a name or two that they have an affinity for, and use that one for a length of time before adding a new one to their list that they think is more accurate. There are limits in the clan logs on how many titles and names can officially be recorded, though, so most individuals tend to keep it to a reasonable level, around 8 or 9. These folk are clannish and rough, and their clan names are those of long-dead heroes and folks of legend and lore. The Dwarven script is that of a sort of runes and is shared with many giants, who the dwarves once felt a deep kinship with long ago as fellow smiths and stonecrafters.

Drimm Names
Male: Althriak, Branki, Drumathrial, Fraggai, Helmaran, Joltun, Kekrun, Lothri, Margar, Norald, Piyki, Rognaiar, Sturi,
Female: Asa, Cestira, Eriniir, Glathria, Imiiria, Laageir, Marada, Nustra, Pfthilia, Restrid, Ridada, Solrid, Vulta, Wyir
Clan Name Akathun, Durmardun, Fulrathiun, Hedrianas, Jurimiak, Kalkimmus, Perianadak, Slethrum, Vendier

Thrax

The Thraxian tongue is not an easy one to master, with a lot of guttural, harsh, and conflicting consonant sounds peppered with violent vowel sounds. It is an old tongue, though it shares a script with dwarven, being spoken by goblins, orcs, Thraxians, giants, and ogres. Thraxians do are not given names at birth, like many others. Instead, they are referred to with simple pronouns and declarative. “Hey!” “You” and “Squirt” are used most often, until a Thraxian starts to recognize themselves. Once they start referring to themselves as something different than what others call them, they are given their first name, a short and simple name, not unlike the Levishan tradition. Then, when they approach adulthood, they are given a trial, and when the trial is complete, they return to their town and declare their second name, that of their adulthood. This is added to the front of their childhood name with an apostrophe separating them. Thraxians growing up in other kingdoms may take on the last names of the cultures but in Thrax itself, they have none, instead they are forced to take a new and unique name due to how they combine their child and adult names. Many other peoples expect them to have last names, however, and when pressed, they will give their clan name, often an intimidating sounding name from ages past.

Thraxian Names
Male: Ag’Gkon Bker’Raan Cjark’Ath Ezkiro’Bfath Hgerz’Junth Lkjath’Nuish Pgunth’Ke Raath’Kyun, Sgub’Mak, Tlkal’Gor, Ulferth’Igan, Xthen’Vol, Ze’yin
Female: Ber’Ullth, Flur’Lak, Hemrial’Uun, Lguir’Vnil, Niay’Pak, Ouok’Til, Paar’Jurik, Seeth’Ala, Uria’Kiigan, Yelthal’Uiik, Ztrik’Sha
Clan Names: Bloodeye, Burningwolf, Ragefang, Blackwound, Clawreaver, AshCleaver, Deathmaul, Ravenchewer

Brokensail

The halfling pirates, and those who live among them, of Brokensail, have carried with them the tradition of the naming conventions of Old Jeslith. They have flowery, flowing names and particles prior to their last names. They use a variant of the elvish script and language, likely derived from the supposed separation of the countries centuries ago. However, when the Jeslith, and now Brokensail halflings separated they took to naming themselves and their families after the notable physical and geographical features of the area. While hills, shires, and trees were common, and remain common, recent families have taken to naming themselves after the oceans, Islands, and rivers of their new home. Some among them who live in the city have also taken up the convention, while a significant number have kept to their old ways. Broken sail residents are named at birth, and often acquire nicknames over time, and many adopt pirate names and personalities to keep their true profession a secret from their more moderate Kingdom connections.

Brokensail Names
Male: Aley, Dorillian, Fadral, Garrial, Imaris, Jorith, Klem, Mauric, Narit, Qkewn, Ryias, Sylans, Tormin, Uldras, Wyle, Yaro, Xudin, Xyall, Zebrun
Female:Amieel, Cyeen, Diuan, Fyar, Hemal, Iara, Kyla, Kidris, Lyndis, Marian, Olthea, Paris, Qualla, Rouas, Uma, Wilmian, Xesry, Yadril, Zweall
Last Names: del Ruk, du Vaial , Burath, Venaris, del Kuuntal, del Marvay, du Mas, Dyalaian, Corthial, Frigiland, del Slummarais, Ioullia, Ocealianna