in the Realms
systems vary widely in the Realms, with many local customs
being commonly followed. Player characters may one- or
two-part names, nick names, titles, or pseudonyms their
career. General guidelines on naming are as follows.
Humanity; The greater bulk of humanity takes a single
name, such as Doust or Mourngrym, with a secondary name
added if there is confusion, either from profession (Doust
the Fighter), location (Doust of Shadowdale), or lineage
(the latter in particular if some legendary figure was
in family line, such as Doust, Grandson of Miniber the
Sage). In addition, a name may be added for a physical
condition, such as "Blackmane" or "Firehair,"
or for some legendary or extraordinary event. (There are
a large number of "Trollkillers" in the Realms,
more a credit to the numbers of the monsters, rather than
the prowess of their slayers.) Young children are given
a pet name or diminutive that is sometimes retained, but
more often than not dropped upon adulthood (Mourngrym
and Shaerl's son is named Scotti, but that may change
when he reaches his majority). A wedded couple sometimes
takes a common name, which may be his or hers (particularly
when dealing with nobility) or be a new name entirely.
In the course of a lifetime, average humans can take and
discard several surnames, keeping their given names throughout.
Nobles and Gentry: Noble and landed individuals tend
to retain the family name, a name usually derived from
the individual who established the family's fame, position,
or prowess. Such names are retained even after the nobility
has fallen from grace or power. Again, special additional
names for events or appearances are common.
Wizards: Mages tend to eschew long titles and names,
and the general feeling is that a wizard's fame should
precede him or her, such that a single mention of the
name is sufficient, and no one would doubt the speaker
was referring to anyone else but the genuine article.
For example, there may well be an Elminster the Barber
or an Elminster of Waterdeep, but a reference to Elminster
(or the even more modest "Elminster the Sage")
refers to the advisor without peer who resides in Shadowdale.
Priests: Identifications of the faiths of the realms
are usually included in a name, supplanting any family
or noble names. Amaster, a cleric of Tymora, can be referred
to as Amaster of Tymora without incident. In higher church
circles and matters involving leaders of particular temples
or faiths, the full title is important, such as Asgaroth
of Tempus, Patriarch of Baldur's Gate.
and Half-Elves: The People have family names that
they tend to translate back into common as nicknames,
so that there are families of Strongbows or Starglows
in the world. Such family names are important in that
elven siblings can be hundreds of years apart in age.
Half-elves take elven or human naming fashions, depending
on where they were raised, and may change back and forth
several times in the human fashion.
Dwarves have a very strong sense of their past and the
heroes in their families. They carry only a first name,
followed by the qualifier of heritage. The lowest dwarves
attach themselves to their state or hold, such as Monger
of the Iron House. Dwarves with a dwarf of renown in their
heritage may use the appellation "son of" or
"grandson of" (or "daul" or "grandaul"
for females) such as Thelarn, son of Mongoth. Beyond two
generations, the phrase "blood of" is used,
but only for the greatest dwarven leaders, as in Nor,
blood of Ghellin, King-in-Exile of the Iron House.
These quiet people use both given and surnames, and maintain
long-standing family ties, such that a third name, for
location, may be necessary. For example, outside of his
homeland, Wysdor Sandminer may have to be known as Wysdor
Sandminer, of the Sandminers of Arabel to avoid constant
discussions with other gnomes who may or may not be close
Halflings are similar to the gnomes in the fact that
they use both given and surnames, but both those names
may change over time and be overappended with nicknames
for adventures, physical abilities, and pet or diminutive
names. In addition, the original names may be lost behind
a maze of pseudonyms and false backgrounds. For example,
the halfling Corkitron Allinamuck chose both first and
last names (his parents were named Burrows), and goes
by the diminutive Corky and the nickname "High Roll."
Races: Most of the other races make do with a single
name and further clarification as needed (a centaur named
Aldophus may be called Aldophus the Roan, for example).
and goblins tend to use proper names only when they
need to, the rest of the time using a native word that
translates as "Hey, you!" in everyday speech
(a true speaker of the orcish tongue can put a great deal
of venom behind the word, such that fights can start in
bars at its mention).
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