John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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What's In a Name? Ask the Person Whose Name It Is

I have noticed, about my fantasy setting of Ethangea, that a lot of the wonderful, exotic names of the cities and places turn out to be actual names of real places or people. Two examples, right off the top of my head:

The lich-ruled city-state of Khaldun, I have learned, shares its name with a prominent historical figure, the 14th century Arabian historian Ibn Khaldun. I don't remember ever having heard of this august personage, but at the same time it's entirely possible that I may have, nearly napping over many a volume of forgotten lore, and the name percolated in my brain with associations of Arabian nights. When I think of the city of Khaldun, I see golden spires on the edge of a harsh desert.

Then, continuing with the exotic and undead motif, the city of Bhavnagar, home of the vampire Black Prince of Bhavnagar, turns out to be a real and not-at-all-scary city in India. It's easy enough to figure out where that came from ... I was raiding the World Atlas for place names!

Since references should be deliberate, and I don't want people to be thinking of a real-world city in India, I renamed Bhavnagar to Branapar in my recent Soloman fragment. I'm not sure if I like the Khaldun association or not; the historical reference is kinda cool in its own way, but to avoid flack I may rename it Kraldun or something similar. Branapar and Kraldun, unlike the other names, have been at least briefly checked to make sure they don't refer to something in the real world. How did I reality-proof these names you ask?

Google Search is your friend. ;)

-The Gneech, aiming for a new novel in the not-too-distant future
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