Name and Persona

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This page is associated with the Ephemeral Elephants adventure.

Your Persona

In order to function as Middle Kingdom Heroes or Scholars, the characters must be recognisable. Each should seem to consistently have a suitable combination of

  • Hat, headgear (which may be just cloth-piece of a certain colour)
  • Robe &/or armour,
  • Weapon/fan/staff or, in rare cases, some other accessory (e.g. musical instrument)

Of course heroes & scholars do change their look, especially if they receive high office, or perhaps if they change allegiance. But such changes, if done at all, are only every few centuries.

Distinctive appearance: heroes are seldom considered ugly, but many do have a distinctive feature or two that is usually viewed as a positive: e,g., unusually pale, unusually red-faced. For example, Imperial Uncle SLAY can be recognised AS "the tall man whose hands hang down below his knees and whose eyes are very prominent".

Your Name

... is a one word family Surname combined with a one word (rarely two word) Given Name. This makes your name unique; in the rare case that coincidentally two people have the same name, or very similar, one or both will change their name. You will not have an unlucky name. Both Surname & given names must be real words. Apart from a few specific, locally historic place names, ALL surnames have a meaning … usually one that has a specifically Drow resonance. For example, the imperial surname is "Slay"; the chancellor's surname is KIN (with a definite overtones of P.L.U., "people like us"). Thus the list of common surnames has many words that would seem peculiar to Baronies humans: Austere, Creep, Boasting, Orchid, Flowing, Why, ...

You will not be able to refer to yourselves by any other name — the words won't exist once you reach the Middle Kingdom. For example, several centuries ago guild-member KILROY visited this plane. He translated his name as KILL King, and that is how he would be spoken of by others. In his presence, he would probably be addressed by his inferiors (or those who are being polite to him) as Master KILL or perhaps Scholar KILL.


Sometime powerful scholars or heroes (especially Wayist mages) will be granted a cognomen which is used either

  • instead of their normal name, e.g. Jade Arrow; Sleeping Dragon; Master Water Mirror;
  • Or in addition to their normal name, e.g. AX is, Dragonmage.

Common Surnames

King; Display; Plum; Stretch (expand, spread); [Slay]; Poplar; Yellow; Boast; Forest; Encircle; Leaf; Press (on against an enemy); Backbone; Progress (sedately); Grandson; Red; High; Horse; Bridge; Bailey (outer wall); What; Solemn; Whiskers; Straw; Doubled; Chieftain; Sap (fluid of vigour); Thank; Boastful; Allow; Net; Long (of clothing); Jump (over, on horseback); State; Perilla; Kin ("people as us"); Shore; Wheat; Direct (supervise); Loyal; Coping (of a well); Take-up (a post); Wild-rice; Look; Bell; Square; Stop (block); Nail; Graceful; Rice-wash; Ginger; Extend; Hill; Resemble; Gold; Eagle; Field; Lofty; Rules; Surplus; Guardpost; Marsh-grass; Honour; Bounds; Pupil (of the eye); Flood; Noble; Summer; Blank; Congratulate; Cash (money); Domain (estate); Rustic; Sea (deep & vast); History; Road; Stone; Advance (of army); Grant; Host (multitude); Impose; Deliver; Rely; River; Hair; Clue; Lane-gate; Austere; Norm; Healthy; Ox; Myriad; Pots; Eldest; Vine (esp. Pueraria Montana); Prefect; Thunder; Hardy; Hedge (hedgerow); Neat; Teach; Helve (e.g. Axe-shaft); Dragon; Bent; Close (checkpoint, pass); Threads; Warm; Tall; Soup; Ardent; Era; Part (section); Orchid; Hide (leather); End; Flowing (of clothing); Seal (stamp); Face; Nephew; Consent; Old-man; Hole; Invade; Military; Writing; Season; Bear; Peaceful; Dull; Well-wish; House; Blame; Ranks (of the army); Burnt; Well; Willow; Seed (edible grain); Toward; White-horse; None; Child; Talk; Reed (rush); Sprout; Upright; Palace; Worry; Firewood (Tough); Easy; Why; Suddenly; Express (state); Esteem; Tally; Huge; Peak; Hot (in flavour); Whisper (in an ear); Grouse (pheasant); Left (sinister); Single; Cattail (rushes); Bundle; Seek; Cleave; Worthy; Lacquer; Swim; Scene; Sorrow; Valley; Impetuous; East; Spend; Butcher; Verbose; Reserve (Store up); Faction; Grove; Abalone; Wormwood; Chariot; Guard; Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara); Splendor; Tranquil; Creep (pass undetected); ...