Elf names

Among the elves, naming customs fall into two general categories: names that resemble the more traditional "elven" names in fantasy, and those that follow the Wolfrider convention or one similar to it. Some tribes may mix and match these two trends, but on the whole a specific tribe will usually follow only one of these two customs.

Tribes that do not use a Wolfrider-like style of naming use names that tend to be short, generally no longer than three syllables, but lyrical. Some examples from the tribes that show up in the Elfquest books are:

* Sun Folk: Leetah, Rayek, Toorah, Minyah, Ahdri;
* Gliders: Voll, Aroree, Tyldak, Reevol, Kureel;
* Go-Backs: Kahvi, Yif, Skot, Krim, Urda, Zey, Chot.

Tribes that name themselves as Wolfriders tend to live a lifestyle highly dependent upon deep interaction with nature, who do a great deal of sending, or both. This style of naming is dependent upon one central idea: a name should fit the individual who bears it. Moreover, as the tribes that use this custom of naming are also often the ones that have soulnames, the name is considered for use by the elf on a daily basis.

The following categories, and their examples, reflect the many ways a name might be chosen following this custom:

* Birth-names, reflecting some trait of the child that the parents find singular: Ember and Suntop, thus named for their bright hair; Dart, named for taking after his father, the archer Strongbow.
* Commemoration of events: Newstar, named for being the first child born after Madcoil decimated the Wolfrider tribe.
* Reflection of parentage: Rainsong, daughter of Rain.

* Striking or unusual appearance: One-Eye, or nicknames such as 'Squirrel Cheeks' (given to the round-faced Pike) or 'Brownskin' (given to the dark-skinned Rayek by the pale Go-Backs).
* Favorite weapons or fighting techniques: Pike, Strongbow, Two-Edge (for an example of a weapons-based name with a psychological basis as well).
* Nature names: Clearbrook, Rain, Nightfall.
* Skills or talents or favorite pastimes: Tanner, Skywise, Mantricker.
* Extraordinary accomplishments: Redlance, who was so named for saving his chief from a long-tooth with one throw of his spear.

On the whole, it is generally best to avoid the more obvious elements for names, regardless of what type of name you try for. Words such as star, moon, sun, fire, and shadow can become quickly over-used; make use of a dictionary or thesaurus to find uncommon synonyms of common words. One is bound to fit the personality of your character.

Keep in mind that names of this style are generally bestowed upon the individual, not chosen by him or her. They should never be rude, tasteless, or derogatory; neither should they be pretentious or boastful. The name should be easily pronounceable, and blend together without breaks or multiple accents; short names are always preferable (after all, an elf whose name takes five seconds to pronounce might not hear in time about that arrow that will hit him in three).

Regardless of the tribe of your character, your name should reflect your elf's environment and heritage; desert-dwelling elves should not have names that refer to the ocean, and Sea Elves don't have names that invoke images of vast, tall trees. An elf growing up in a tribe that values strength and courage should not have a soft-sounding name, or he will be teased. Most importantly, an elf's name should enable a stranger to identify him from among his tribesfolk by looking at him or watching his activities.

elves do not employ surnames. An occasional elf might take on an additional name or nickname if they do something which is particularly notable among his or her tribe; for example, Cutter is often referred to in his tribe as "Cutter Kinseeker" due to his desire to find and unite the elf tribes of the world. But on the whole an elf will use only one name.

An elf may change their name if a situation in their life warrants it. Some tribes, such as the Plainsrunners, have customs that involve an elf youngster taking a new name upon achieving adulthood. Other elves who undergo major life-changing events may choose to commemorate this by taking on a new name; their tribe might also choose to begin calling them by a new name as well (Redlance, mentioned above, was previously known as Redmark for his bright red hair, but was given his new name by his chieftain Bearclaw).

If you need further assistance on selecting a name, contact the story teller, or consult with your fellow players.

Elfquest, its characters, situations, logos and their distinctive likenesses are trademarks of Warp Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!