Another BlogAzeroth shared topic – How did your characters get their names?
Well, ok – before I start, let me give you a bit of insight into my characters before I weird you out. That way you’ll be well warned. I am an RPer. I play on an RP server. My characters, to me, are separate entities with personalities and histories. And, to some extent, they are separate from me. So occasionally I might mention that Annalira told me something, or Angoleth – and I really do mean that (in a non-multiple-personalities-disorder sort of way). I’m a lore junkie, so most of the time I do my research and piece together a character, and then start looking for their name. And I figure they’ll tell me when I’ve got it.
Of course – that doesn’t work for Angoleth – her name is a Sindarin (see: Tolkienian Elvish) construction that means some sort of frost sorceress. But the name was something I remembered from my DiabloII characters, and I needed *something* to name the nightelf in front of me. I would go back and change it now, but I honestly can’t find another name that suits her better. She’s old – very old – though she looks most like all the other elves that were alive pre-Nordrassil Destruction. An has had the fortune to serve her people in most of the major battles they’ve fought in the last 6 thousand years and the misfortune of not getting to die in any of those battles. She’s a scarred old sentinel with a busted shoulder, a quick wit, and an even quicker temper. She failed at what she thought were her two callings (first a priest and then a druid) and “ended up” a hunter. She will (if at all possible) only use crossbows now, because her left shoulder is deteriorated to the point where bows are too painful, and guns are just “too bloody noisy”. She’s grumpy, generally tired, seriously distrusts anything that has to do with demons, and has a lot of really great old stories that she loves to tell but doesn’t really let on that she enjoys telling them. Her D-P Character Diamond words are: Wary, Self-sufficient, Sarcastic, and Nature-loving.
Annalira I knew was going to be very close to me, in personality. My real life name isn’t Anna, but I’m a Medieval reenactor, and Anna is the name that I use for that (since my real name is decidedly not Medieval), and I wanted a little priest named Anna. And I sat at the character screen and typed in Anna. And I can honestly say that from somewhere she said “Annalira, but just Anna is fine, thanks”. And so (sometime just before the first war) Annalira was born. She’s an RP experiment – can I create a character that has a happy family life, no major deep horrible bloody secrets, and an upbeat personality that will be well rounded enough to make it as a “realistic” character. So far it’s worked remarkably well, and she’s by far my favorite character to dig into. For a priest, she’s got a fair amount of doubt in herself and her abilities, particularly since she’s had some serious conflict with the Cathedral lately. She’s also recently found herself in a relationship (IC), which is also a lot of fun to play. Her D-P Character Diamond words are: Faithful, Self-Conscious, Insightful, and Compassionate.
Annorah, my Draenei, was supposed to just be Nora. And odd permutations brought up yet another Ann character. She’s also pretty old, as Azerothian races go, but youngish for a Draenei – who, it seems, don’t really have a determined age. Velen is at least 10 thousand years old. I figure Annorah saw at least the last world that the Draenei were on before they got to Draenor. Obviously, she was not a shaman then, but just a young hunter or warrior of some kind. She’s never had a particularly strong connection to the Light, but was content with her people and her small family. She was there at the destruction of Shattrath by the Orcs, one of the survivors that made it to Zangarmarsh – and that’s where she eventually met Nobundo. (If you’ve not read Unbroken, Farseer Nobundo’s story, I’d say it’s required reading for any Draenei Shaman) She’s got a pretty dry wit, a fair sense of revenge/vengeance, and an incredibly deep spirituality and connection to the elements. She’s also got a serious angry streak when it comes to anything that has to do with demons.
My other characters? Aelflaed is an old Norse name meaning “elf flower” – my clumsy paladin. She’s a fierce warrior, very tall, regal, redheaded and green eyed… and about as accident prone as anyone can get. Berylla is a gnome mage, named because I thought of the little green Beryl gems, and she’s got green eyes. Fiery little thing with a collection of toads. Brietta is a dwarf rogue, so named because I liked the name in the babybook. Laisrean was a login I saw on an old forum that I used to frequent, and I just liked it. Turns out its a celtic male name, and the night elf druid that wears it is definitely female. But that actually fits her rather well. She’s a really fun character – a feral druid, and an odd one at that. From what I can tell, there weren’t really any female druids being trained until WoW started, so she’s one of those wilder sorts – had some druidic instinct, but no real training until recently. One golden and one silver eye, weird stuff braided in her hair, short, relatively socially backward little thing.
All that to say, I guess I don’t really have a system for naming my characters. Sometimes they take a lot of work (like Angoleth), sometimes they just happen (like Annalira), sometimes an odd combination of the two. I should probably do a full Character Diamond rundown for the lot of them someday too.