Eberron Naming Conventions

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Dragonmarked Houses

Most of the Dragonmarked Houses use the prefix "d" to their House name if they bear a dragonmark. This is in accordance with ancient Galifran edict on the denotation of House members and those who are Marked Heirs. This has fallen somewhat by the wayside, and most members of the Twelve Houses now use the prefix as a means of identifying themselves more closely with their House in formal situations.

Several notable exceptions exist, however. House Tharashk has ever been a maverick of a House and many of its members do not even use the House name, much less the prefix attached to it. While House Cannith has allowed its members to take the "d" prefix and add it to their family name when not using the House name for those unmarked members who have married into the House. This has led to some small confusion in certain instances, but this is often cleared up by either producing identification papers or a dragonmark to those who question the identity of the person.

Elves

Like most other races, the elves have naming conventions that follow their history, with certain events shaping names of people and places during that time. But as the longest lived of races, their time periods, simple eras of invention or discovery have lasted much longer than many races have been able to speak.

Aereni

The elves of Aerenal usually have Tolkienesque names that end like a wave along water. They tend to use softer syllables, which often repeat, and very few hard consonants

Valaes

Those elves from the Warclans stick with a series of names based around their war-talk and lingo derived from it. Therefore theirs tend to sound more like Arabic, Persian and Assyrian.

Dragonmarked

Dragonmarked Heirs and those of their Houses name themselves often in human fashion but far softer in form and spelling. They also regularly take names similar to their Aereni forebears to pay homage to their history. Sometimes the spelling is different while they still bear the pronunciation of the older names, but tainted by long exposure to human Common and other languages.

City elves

Elves not from the Dragonmarked Houses, the Warclans or maintaining their Aereni origins may take any name they please. Usually they opt for something to help them blend into their surroundings, and so stick with local convention. Some maintain ties with older traditions and these wayward clans and families of elves often have storied histories to compliment their strange choice of names.

Gnomes

The small folk of Zilargo bear names that are a constant string of fairly easy to pronounce syllables coupled with an English or Germanic bent. Most of their names are at least three syllables long and many of the Zil have at least three names to themselves, making formal introductions an exercise in tonguetwisting. Sometimes the Zil use names descriptive of a favorite pastime or action or even animal, but this always has the addition of an extra syllable or three to ensure that it is properly gnomish in convention.

Half Elves

Usually have fairly common or short first names, and often bear a last name from their family among either the Khorovar Riverclans, or the Lhaazar Waveclans. The family names of the Clans differ by region. The Riverclans typically bear family names that somehow involve the water, boats, and sometimes plays on words. The Waveclan names are often more dynamic and taken from the sea. Only a handful of the Clans take names after predators though, as they feel it is bad luck and reflects poorly on a person. The most famous of the predatory family names are the Whitefins and the Threshers from Lhaazar, the Pykes from around Scion's Sound, and the Gar from southern Khorvaire. The Pykes were supposedly driven to give up their pirating ways centuries ago by the northern satrapies of Galifar but were allowed to keep their names. The Gar were driven nearly to extinction by Malleon the Reaver and subsequent human incursions into southern Khorvaire. They are rarely found now. The Thresher and Whitefin Waveclans were humbled with the rise of the Pirate Princes, but kept to themselves and adapted as all good predators do living on the outskirts of the Lhaazar Principalities, preying on any who aren't watchful.

Those that grow up among humans often take after their human relatives in naming themselves. Very few half-elves grow up among the elves and are usually relegated as second or even third class citizens. They aren't allowed to take family names there and are usually identified by the town from which they hail.

Halflings

The little folk of the Talenta Plains bear first names with smaller syllables, and happier sounds, typically from Mongol and Scythian tradition. Tribe names end in vowels, always have at least 3 syllables. Family names within that will typically have descriptive elements that are natural and fit a more Native American style. Their names have also traversed the culture gap to those humans who must deal with them the most, namely those of southeastern Karrnath and eastern Cyre who live apart from the cities.

Humans

As the most widespread race on Eberron, humans have a vast variety of names available to them based not only on culture but also on region and even continent.

Nobility

Among all the nations of Khorvaire, human nobility use the same style of family naming convention. The use the prefix "ir" as a means to show that they are separate from the peasant masses. Only landed nobles may use the prefix and to simply attach that to a name in formal setting is akin to stealing an identity and forbidden by Galifran law. It is a prefix that is very nearly a title and must be bestowed by royal decree. Noble first names most often take the local form to better identify with their peoples. This is not always the case, though, and the Wynarn family is most often the ones to break this. Being not only nobles but royals, they are given far more latitude.

Aundair

Audairan names typically follow French naming conventions, often with intellectual or abstract concepts in their names, especially in those families from the metropolitan areas.

Breland

Brelish folk typically have names that sound either English or German or likely both. More rural areas will often bear spellings and pronunciations that border on Gaelic in the far west and north.

Cyre

Cyran refugees typically use Spanish sounding names with massive doses of aristocratic chutzpah. Those who live closest to the border with Karrnath have amalgamated names that sound similar to greco-slavic names with a bent that is very close to the original Cyran fashion.

Those Cyrans who live furthest east and away from the cities often take names derived from constructs similar to the Valaes elves and the Talentan halflings. While not typically Cyran in convention, it is due to the long history the rural folk of this region have with the dinosaur-riding tribes of the halflings.

The Eldeen Reaches

Due to their former state as part of Aundair, the Reachers, as they are collectively known, use mostly Aundairan sounding names with a French flair that is far more rustic. These names have mixed with some of the Brelish settlers from the south, and the original orcish inhabitants giving a strange mix of hard consonants, soft vowels, and a Germano-Gaelic feel found nowhere else on Khorvaire.

Karrnath

Karrns typically use a Slavic naming convention, though that has fallen into less favor over the last century or two. Older families and traditional names are often Russian, Polish or Baltic. Newer families, trying to court the favor of Kaius III have taken to "modernizing" their names which now bear a more Latin or Greek bent to them. The oldest families of Karrnath--and by extension House Deneith due to their locale--have names that are nearly lost in antiquity. Often these follow Scythian traditions, but some sound vaguely Elvish or Dwarven depending on the region from which they hail.

Those from the coastal regions often have Elvish sounding names in due respect to the first of the explorers. Those from the mountainous areas nearest the Mror Holds take after a Dwarvish convention, while those furthest south bear the most autonomy and keep Scythian sounds due to their incorrigible independence--a relic of pre-nationalist feelings and tribal loyalties inspired by the riders of pre-Valenar and the Talentan barbarians.

The Lhazaar Principalities

Unlike many cultures on Khorvaire, the Lhazaar take a particular pride in being men of the sea. They hold to traditions and honor nearly as old as some of the hobgoblin prefectures that once existed in those same far-flung locales. They maintain the Asian sounding names and strange familial conventions of old Sarlona, prior to the Quori invasion.

Sarlona

Humans originally came from Sarlona. Now the Inspired rule Riedra and in order to facilitate the transition of power from the old humans who ruled by sword and sorcery to those of the Inspired who rule by might of the mind, they keep the asiatic sounding names of old Sarlona. These are mixed with the newer names of the Inspired and their Quori masters, whose names bear a sound more Arabic. Those particular quori who interact most with the humans in their natural forms, or as pseudonyms often take monikers either real or imagined (after all nightmares are nothing more than imagination while asleep).

Thrane

Thranes take names similar to Brelish but without the Germanic influences, rather leaning towards Italian or Latin naming styles. Those from Thaliost still retain the names of Aundair, but that is discouraged by the current church there during christening ceremonies.


Orc Tribes

This is the summation of many of the orc species found throughout western and south-western Khorvaire. While half-orcs may fall into this, they take the name of the community in which they were raised. Tribes may be from almost anywhere in wester Khorvaire to include the Shadow Marches, the Demon Wastes, the Eldeen Reaches, and Droaam. They have a wide variety of traditions for names depending on the influences around them.

Orcs

Full-blooded orcs often have complicated names that sound like a repeated monosyllabic rhyme, followed by their tribe or totem. Orc names are rife with hard consonants heavy vowels and spitting when they are pronounced.

Half-Orcs

As half-breeds, even ones who breed true, half-orcs have a variety of names. Those raised in human communities take human names typically. Those from orcish communities take orcish names. Those who live the half-blood tribes follow the naming convention of the region they're in. Those who bear the tainted blood and live in the Demon Wastes are called Sakah and they wear names of vile meaning like a cloak of skins.

Shadow Marches and Droaam

Those tribes from the Shadow Marches typically bear names in line with the mannerisms of the orc tribes, such as repeating monosyllables and hard consonants. But the infusion of human blood over the generations has given many of them to take on names similar to the hardy Aundairan and Brelish settlers who survived the trek through the Byeshk mountains or through Droaam to settle there.

Demon Wastes

Any creature that survives to adulthood there is likely to have some kind of taint on it. Whether this be from eating corrupted food, exposure to the vile winds and sands or blasphemous magic, nothing lives there long without being touched by it. Even the very names of those who live there bear demonic origins and it is unusual to find a being from there who does not carry a moniker of his or her patron. Those who bear tainted blood from their heritage are called Sakah, and are very nearly required to have some sort of vile name given by a prophet of their patron. Foul creatures, their evil names carry power unto themselves as they are often named in the vile speech of the Rakshasa Rajahs. Such speech takes a sound similar to Indian origins with many interruptive consonants and softer vowels intermixed with strange juxtapositions of consonants.

Ghaash'kalah

Worhippers of the Binding Flame, Kalok Shosh, those few tribesmen who live in the blasted Demon Wastes yet cling to light and life with tenacity are the hardiest of souls. They take their names from the old ways of the orcish shamans but infuse it with a dose of their hard-bitten religion. Most of their names follow the style of the orcs and half-orc tribes of the Shadow Marches but their monikers inevitably reflect their devotion to the Binding Flame, the destruction of evil, and their family ties--in that order.

Scalykind

The dragon-kin, while they share a language in common with their ancestors, do not use that language for naming, feeling it either inappropriate or too complicated for everyday use. They therefore use a series of names that are somewhat shorter and further removed from the parent language.

Lizardfolk and Dragonborn

The scaled ones of Q'barra and Argonessen fall into a pattern reminiscent of Aztec and Incan names.

Kobolds

Smallest of the scalykind, kobolds take names of similar convention but often with half the syllables as befits their stature. Where a dragonborn may call themselves Xochtitlipocatli, a kobold of the same station would more likely go by Xochtli. Most also call themselves by a moniker that they earned/made-up.

Shifters

The Moon-Mad usually maintain short guttural first names, sometimes descriptive in nature. Their last names are almost always a family type that describes either their shifter heritage or something their tribe is famous for such as a defining physical trait or a personality type. Those who have grown up in human communities may diverge from their tribal ancestry and take on the names of the local community.

Warforged

The living constructs of House Cannith usually name themselves after objects, places or abstract concepts depending on the personality and job of the Warforged. While indentured to House Cannith and it's customers they were often simply numbered. More than a few of them kept those numbers as names, but many changed after the signing of the Thronehold Accords and their emancipation.


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