Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's in a Name? Redux Part 1

Way back when I started this blog I wrote a post about names. Now I get to revisit that topic thanks to the next in Ray Winninger's Dungeoncraft series of articles. Ray has great advice for naming things (PCs, NPCs & places) in a campaign. I thought I'd take a minute to go back through and put a name to things that I've been talking about to flesh out the setting a little more and examine the choices I made. I've organized these by post in chronological order.

So you want to be a GM? Part 1
This is the first of the Dungeoncraft posts detailing my setting creation. Although I came up the the name of the setting before I started this series, it is worth mentioning the origin of the name Icosa. There is nothing mystical here, and most folks may have already figured it out, but Icosa is a root part of the word icosahedron, also known as the twenty-sided die (d20). Since this world is divided into 20 triangular regions, it seems like a good fit.

In the beginning there was only Chaos
In this post I mention Law and Chaos as primal forces constantly doing battle. This struggle impacts the nature of Icosa. I don't need any fancy names here as Law and Chaos have a long history in the fantasy RPG genre.

There's no place like Home
Here I mention a few names and give reference to a few more that will or should be named. This first the the PCs home base of operations which is named in a later post as Dragonsgate.

Next is the name of the human-controlled lands surrounding Dragonsgate. At first I only mention this as a league of city-states and don't really name it. This form of government is inspired by the Ancient Greeks and the League of Corinth. I'd like to give this government its own name, although stealing the name Corinth has its pluses. Since the humans of the setting have thrown off the chains of their oppressors I think they will refer to themselves as Fremen (free men). Both the Fremen League and League of Fremen has a nice ring to it. It can always be referred to as The League for short.

I make mention of three major poleis (city-states) that form the core of The League, but I do not name them. Time to  hit the books and see what I can come up with. One of these is martially focused much like Sparta. Why not call it Martialis and say it is named after the founder. Lo and behold, there was a Roman by that name so it sounds like a winner. The ruling members of this poleis and others under its direct control are know as Marshals.

The second major poleis has a more ecclesiastical focus. I'm sticking with the Greek influence since all these poleis would have formed around the same time. I find a Greek work that is a form of cleric: Kleriki. The ruling members of this poleis are know as Ministers and are added by their appointed Clerks.

The last major poleis is a center of trade and scholarly learning. Here I'm going to depart a little from the names I've taken so far. I found the word that works well for the original name of this city-state: Scholasticus. However, I want this city to have more of an Italian feel, so the new name is Scola. The ruling members of this poleis are known as Magistrates.

The race that had formally enslaved the Fremen are known as the Archons. Again, this comes from Greek and means the 'rulers' or 'lords'. You can tell how much the Archons think of themselves.

Arche is the name given to this region of Icosa. Since it is the first such region I'm developing and since I'm already borrowing a lot from the Greeks I call it Arche which means 'the first'.

More names continued in next post.


Follow Your Bliss,

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