A Chaos Nomenclature


Introduction and Explanation

This naming scheme was developed by Bryant Durrell and Rich Dansky, with help from Gretchen and comments from many, in order to serve the needs of House Aspnes of Chaos on AmberMUSH. Use it freely, with credit; this document is © Copyright 1994 Bryant Durrell, and may be reprinted and reproduced with his permission.

The scheme is designed to be flexible, and to let people be baroque about their names; it can convey many subtle details of opinion and position. On AmberMUSH, it's only one of many possible nomenclatures in Chaos, as our Chaos is rather varied. However, we're not picky about how it's used; it might even be appropriate outside the Amber genre.

A formal name consists of the person's first name, unadorned. This is then followed by an indeterminate number of elements, each denoting one relationship. Each element consists of a first name, with a prefix that indicates the nature of the relationship. In most cases, one restricts oneself to naming either mother, father, and House (for those unmarried) or spouse and House (for married folks). Only in extremely formal situations would someone go through the entire list.

The relationships are named in reverse order of importance, with the most important relationship coming last. The importance is determined purely by the opinion of the person being named; it is his or her perogative to put his or her liege lord in a position less important than his or her wife, if desired.

There's also a prefix that indicates an old or non-current relationship. This comes in handy when someone's been adopted or divorced. It might also be used if someone wanted to honor an old liege lord, or mentor. It's added before the relationship prefix.

Finally, Lord/Lady is generally assumed in this usage. Other titles precede the first name.

Prefixes

Examples

Constantine n'at'Ilanna ta'Jenner d'Liebe v'Iello ti'Aspnes
Constantine was once Ilanna's husband and is now either divorced or a widower. He is sworn to Jenner, his mother is Liebe, and his father is Iello. His House, which he does not rule, is Aspnes. The least important of these relationships is his old marriage to Ilanna, and the most important is his House. This is a very formal version, containing all current relationships and one important past relationship. It is not the full name, presumably, as it leaves out any past mentors, but the full name is very rarely used.
Constantine at'Ilanna d'Liebe v'Iello ti'Aspnes
Constantine in a presumably more happy time. He is married to Ilanna, his parents are the same, and he's still of House Aspnes, in that order of importance. This is a less formal name, although it's probably not one he uses in everyday conversation, unless Ilanna, Liebe, and Iello are all very important to him.
Serengeti v'Mandor ti'Sawall s'Mandor
Serengeti is Mandor's daughter, is a member of House Sawall, and is also mentored by Mandor. Note that her name contains Mandor's twice, as he's in two important relationships to her, and that she considers one of those relationships more important than the other. They're probably both important, since this is a short informal version of her name.

Conclusion

Ideas for additional prefixes and such are welcome. Note that this is a hierarchical system; there is no prefix for liege man, child, or student. This avoids problems like the King of Chaos having a name that includes half of Chaos, given the number of people presumably sworn to him.

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A Chaos Nomenclature / Flick Inc / Authored 1994 Bryant Durrell
Last modified: January 27, 1997 / webmaster@flick.com