[Suggested] Naming and Family

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[Suggested] Naming and Family

Post  Robin Hercher on Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:22 pm

Types of Names
There are two types of Names in the Guthrie Culture: The one most commonly referred to is the False Name, and in everyday conversation requires no adjoining adjective as it is common knowledge among the Guthrie that a Name is a False Name. False Names are Names given through Birth or Adoption.

The True Name is always referred to in conversation with the adjoining adjective, as a True Name is believed to confer Power upon the person that knows it, and can be used for ill should another know it. True Names are the Name of the essence, and to find one's True Name is considered a difficult and time consuming process of coming to understand ones-self intimately that, while possible, often results in death long before the seeker finds their True Name. The majority of Guthrie, living in the here and now and feeling secure in the knowledge of the Essence Cycle, consider it a waste of time to find their True Name, and never attempt it.

Naming and Family General Knowledge
The communal aspects and daily life of a Caravan often lead to close relationships between all its members - as such, the Guthrie have come to view their specific Caravan as their entire Family, and will often upon first meeting introduce themselves as '[insert Name] of the [insert Caravan Name]'. It is to be noted that within the Family are the families, which often comprise the immediate blood relations within a single wagon.

Despite the natural inclination of the Guthrie to roam together in caravans, it is not unheard of for a Guthrie to embark on an adventure of discovery on their own. As a race that is well known for their need of social interaction, and a dependence upon a Family, it is common for a wandering Guthrie upon spending significant time with another Family or social circle to accept Adoption if it is given.

The foremost reason a Guthrie insists upon Adoption of receiving another Name different from their own has two motivations, the first being the long remembered legend, safe kept by certain Caravans:

The Power of a Name
Long ago, in a time few remember, Phanterra was young yet and just giving birth to her children.

But for everything young there is something old. In those days, a Darkness from Beyond came upon Phanterra, old and twisted beyond any sane reckoning. Seeing the youth and beauty of what she was creating, the Darkness grew heavy with envy and billowed out three times its size with jealousy. It stalked Phanterra’s surface and swallowed her children whole wherever it found them, and used their Names to bind their essence to itself.

The An’Dar learned of the Darkness quickly and ran in fear from it, naming it the Kak’lar; the Essence Eater.

Phanterra, seeing the ravages the Kak’lar was creating among her children, sent an avatar to them in her stead. The avatar appeared before the An’Dar, shining so bright with the light of Phanterra they named him Por’karin; the Shining One.

With the An’Dar forming an army behind him, the Shining One strode out along the paths of Phanterra, and stalked the Kak’lar to its lair. Tired from the dogged trek, they took one night of rest before the An’Dar and Por’karin rained down their justice upon their foe.

The battle lasted days, for every wound inflicted upon the Kak’lar, the Eater would turn and snap up one of their brothers and sisters, and using the Name of the fallen, heal itself with the stolen essence. Finally on the fifth day, knowing well the An’Dar’s grief and weariness were taking its toll on the warriors, Por’karin stepped forth, and issued a challenge of single combat. The Kak’lar agreed readily, eying the light around Por’karin with hungry glee.

Swiftly they clashed, shield and sword against claws and shadows, faster and faster a hail of harrowing blows. The An’Dar were silent, in awe of the battle, until unbelievably, irrevocably, Por’karin faltered and was swallowed.

Cackling at its victory, the Kak’lar towered over the tired and weary An’Dar that had come with the avatar to fight. “And now,” it roared, “I command Por’karin be mine for eternity!”

With a cry of rage and grief, the An’Dar raised their swords to rush forward in what was surely to be a bitter end.

But from deep within the belly of the Kak’lar, a bright light burst forth from its shadowy hide, consuming and burning up the Kak’lar as it screamed in agony.

With the Kak’lar’s final screams, the light shrank down in intensity and formed back to the outline of the avatar.

The An’Dar were in disbelief, for surely Por’karin had been Consumed. Sensing their confusion, Por’karin smiled and said, “Children, my Name is not Por’karin. It is you who named me that. I am, and have always been Phanterra.”

From then on, the An’Dar and the rest of Phanterra’s children, in fear of another Kak’lar, give Names to their children upon birth or adoption to mask their True Name from those who would Consume them.

and the second motivation being to allow the Guthrie in question to compartmentalize the various responsibilities of their Families - speaking to a Guthrie Named Drake Runeblade, of the Redbird Caravan and of the City of Nix and addressing them as 'Drake' only, is a cultural indicator that you are speaking to Drake of the Redbird Caravan, instead of Runeblade of the City of Nix. Addressing them by both Names indicates wishing to speak to both Family Members.

The mechanics inherent in Guthrie Adoption
A Family Member or Family Head/Caravan Leader (preferred) can Name a person or newborn to adopt them into their Family, and an individual has a right to accept or reject the offer upon their Coming of Age (For Guthrie, this age 40) or at the time of offer.

In a Family, everyone's pretty much equal except the Family Head (Leaders are considered of equal status). The expectations of a Family Member is to help, support, and defend the other Members of the Family, while the expectations of a Family Head is to ensure the growth and well-being of the Family, and to settle any inter-Family and intra-Family disputes.

Name Renouncement is a right of a Family Member, usually to be used should they believe that the Family has failed in their duty to them as an individual, just as Name Revocation is a right of the Family Head should they deem a Family Member has failed in their duty to the Family.

The Family Head also has the right to declare Enemies of the Family.

Note: Nobility is viewed as just another Family and titles are like any other Name.

A Guthrie with no Name
There are, few and far between, Guthrie with no Name. The reasons for this can be wide and varied - the Name was Revoked by their First Family, or they themselves Renounced their Name, etc.

These Guthrie have no claim to a Name, and thus believe themselves more vulnerable to beings such as the Kak'lar.

Robin Hercher

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