Sunday, September 16, 2018

Monvesia By Any Other Name

RETCON NOTE:  Several posts have been modified to incorporate the new names and naming conventions presented below.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet ...
William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet Act II Scene 2

Monvesia is the name I have used for this campaign setting as a whole since its inception.  However, the crude map posted earlier shows that the territory I've been exploring is part of a much larger world.  As my vision of this world expands, incomplete settings from the past have started to fold into it.

In the past, I had developed a top-down setting that included three major world regions--though I never developed much local flavor.  I realized that the world of Monvesia is also built on a similar fashion: the Monvesien valley, the Forest of Vines, and Desolation are iconic locations in three, distinct subcontinents of a larger landmass.  I have chosen, therefore, to take the names of these subcontinents from that earlier setting:  with the Monvesien valley in Prace, the Forest of Vines in Henjal, and Desolation in Raviq.
These three subcontinents represent different archetypes of fantasy gaming:  Prace for eurocentic fantasy adventures, Henjal for "Oriental" adventures, and Raviq for "Arabian" adventures.  Crossover between the worlds is not only possible, but both encouraged and expected.
The setting that birthed the subcontinental names also gives us a replacement for the generically named "Ocean Sea," which is now the Frenetic Ocean--which is prone to great, nearly impassable storms.

Other names will be adopted from a plane-hopping campaign setting:  such as specific names for the Thrones, and even the name of the material plane.  Needing a place holder, I had used the Latin Orbis Mundi to name the mortal center of my own variation of Planescape.  Run that through Monvesia's academic standard languages, and a setting specific variant is formed: Orbimond (Orvemondt in Honderreicher, Orbemonde in Cuorrian).
This personal Planescape may have also given me more insight into the Cosmic Marches and Powers, but I will need to play with how those ideas fit into Monvesia's planar makeup.
Given this setup, the only thing left to name is the grand continent itself.  I have toyed with a few ideas so far:  [Great{er}] Monvesia, Titanis, Gigantis, Panborea, Tanna.  Whether one of these or another name wins out is yet to be seen.  I've written at least two into this post and deleted it again.  When it become necessary (in play or worldbuilding), the name of the continent will make itself known.

What is "Monvesia"?

Specifically, Monvesia refers to the Monvesien river valley and drainage basin.  This region has become the center of human culture and civilization; therefore "Monvesia" has become synonymous with the cultural impact of humankind.  This region was the backdrop of the first campaign I ran in this setting, and has become the backdrop of a new campaign I have recently begun.

Therefore, "Monvesia" has three meanings:
  1. The Monvesien river valley and drainage basin.  (In this strict sense, portions of Dvergheirm and Sunnimaa as well as the entirety of Voztok, Inheritance, and even the Sea of Sand are not part of Monvesia; this makes the subcontinental name Prace an appropriate addition.)
  2. The homeland of humans in Prace (including Voztok).  This will be the seond most common definition used.
  3. The entirety of the fantasy campaign setting encompassing Orbimond and the Six Spheres.  In general, this will be the most common definition used.
Monvesia (1) is located in Prace, which is part of the largest continent of Orbimond, which is the material plane of Monvesia (3).

Sena[r]/Senarian vs. Dray/Drajan

Another major name consideration comes as a result of finding my original map of the known world.  On this map, I had used the name Dray for the capital of the multi-national empire at the center of the Monvesien valley.  When I started to post about the world, I renamed that city Sena.  "Sena" was intended as a reference to the six temperaments of the local human religion/culture; while "Dray" was the capital of a theocracy from another setting I was developing.  I will use both names from here on out:  Dray for the city-state, its government, its territory, and its people; and Senarian for the human religious tradition commonly associated with the Senareum, a temple complex dedicated to the saints of all six Spheres.  The complex was constructed to serve as gathering place for the conclaves known as the Senary Councils, which established the basic doctrines of the Temperamental Orders.

The church, therefore, is the Universal Senarian Church (referring to the Universal Orders in Communion with the Pontiff at Dray); while the federation is the Divine Drajan Empire.

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games ...
T.S. Eliot, "The Naming of Cats"

While not a blanket name change, I have also begun shifting away from identifying the primary catfolk of Monvesia as rakasta.  While I love the name (because it was the race of my first D&D character), it belongs to another world.  In the last couple of months, I have transitioned to pridefolk, instead--which is something of a translation from Monvesia's rakasta language.  I prefer "pridefolk" over "catfolk" because the latter includes a larger category of races (noted above).

While for the other examples above, I have gone through past posts to update wording to include the new names, I have not done this with pridefolk.  For now, both "rakasta" and "pridefolk" will be used interchangeably--though the latter will start to become more common.

Edited June 30, 2019; May 26, 2020.

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