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  1. #1

    What is the source language for the terms in Birthright?

    I was wondering if anyone knew what language the names in the Birthright setting belong to. I have done searches for Awnsheghlien and can't find any reference other than the Birthright setting itself. Were the names just made up or are they derived from some real language? Thanks

  2. #2
    My best guess is welsh/other celtic languages. The elven lands seem to have welsh type names. Annwn is the name of the otherworld in welsh mythology, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annwn.

    From the bbc welsh dictionary Awn is "mynd, vb CONJUGATE Example
    example_sentence=Dwi'n mynd i weithio i'r adran farchnata mis nesaf.
    go,
    overstep,
    take off,
    traverse,"

    Someone who knows more about either Welsh or celtic mythology could probably give a better answer. It is fairly clear that the human realms are not meant to be welsh.

  3. #3
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Lots of Welsh.

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    At 10:01 PM 1/28/2009, budgrayjr wrote:

    >I was wondering if anyone knew what language the names in the
    >Birthright setting belong to. I have done searches for Awnsheghlien
    >and can`t find any reference other than the Birthright setting
    >itself. Were the names just made up or are they derived from some
    >real language? Thanks

    Which names are you asking about? Each of the BR human cultures is
    alludes to a real world human culture. So, for example, Anuireans
    are French/English (mostly French) while the Khinasi are Arabic (with
    a little African) and the Vos are slavic/Mongol. As a couple folks
    have noted the elves are mostly Welsh.

    The awnshegh mostly come from particular mythical analogs,
    though.... Many are based on mythical/fantasy creatures (Gorgon,
    Harpy, Basilisk) but some represent a sort of epic version of a real
    world beast (the Serpent, the wolf, the Boar) and a few represent
    relatively unique individual creatures (Rhoubhe Manslayer, the
    Magian.) So, they aren`t derived from any particular language.

    Gary

  5. #5
    Specifically, I was looking for the source of the words Awnsheghlien and Ehrsheghlien.

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    At 11:59 PM 1/30/2009, budgrayjr wrote:

    >Specifically, I was looking for the source of Awnsheghlien and Ehrsheghlien.

    Ah, OK. As noted, most of them come from mythical creatures. The
    myths from which they come are primarily Greek, though most have been
    Anglicized to some extent or another. The actual character of the
    awnsheghlien may or may not have much to do with that original Greek
    myth, though. I don`t think many folks imagine a hydra as
    originating from a crocodile, for example. The most iconic BR
    awnshegh, the Gorgon, is also quite different from most people`s
    concept of what such a creature would be. The original Greek concept
    of that monster was female, serpent-haired and could turn people to
    stone with her gaze. (Medusa was A gorgon, not the iconic name of
    all such creatures.) But in D&D they made gorgons a sort of armored
    bull with bad breath, and the BR Gorgon appears to be a sort of
    extension of that rather than the original. Most of the rest of the
    awnshegh who have mythic totem names are more closely related to the
    original archetypes.

    Roubhe Manslayer`s name is a mix of his elven (Welsh) name and an
    aptonym given his proclivities. The Magian is certainly rooted in
    "magi" which, depending on how one wants to look at it, is all kinds
    of creepy given the Christian origin myth. It wouldn`t, of course,
    have that connotation in BR, but it`s an interesting way of looking
    at that character given his secretive nature, corruption,
    manipulation and (probable) origin as a member of the
    Lost.... Alternatively, it might be a pun on the role of BR
    magicians, making him a massive charlatan of truly epic
    proportions--but there`s not much to indicate that was really
    anyone`s idea for the character. The White Witch is the only
    awnshegh whose name is qualified by an adjective. It opens things up
    to the possibility of Black, Blue, Green, Purple, etc. Witches as
    well, though I doubt many folks want to fill out the whole rainbow
    with them....

    When it comes to ershegh, we don`t have a quite so many examples, but
    they follow a similar pattern. There are those named for mythic
    creatures (the Faun, Pegasus) a few that are more newly minted
    fantasy creatures (Treant) some that are based on animals (Badger)
    and the occasional new names based upon the theme of the character
    (Quickfoot.) There are no real "rules" for naming them,
    though. Several have adjectives in their names (the Golden Unicorn)
    or some personal information (Meson the Wolfman, the Stag of
    Sielwode) in addition to a name that describes their particular
    thematic totem. Hap Prechlen Thelma is apparently called Aurichlacht
    (Brecht for the Golden Light) as often as she is called by her given
    name, but that`s the only one that has a name in a non-English
    language that I can think of off the top of my head....

    I have an essay about naming new awnshegh/ershegh around someplace if
    you`re interested. I don`t recall whether I`ve posted it before or not.

    Gary

  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgrayjr View Post
    Specifically, I was looking for the source of the words Awnsheghlien and Ehrsheghlien.
    Its hard to prove a negative case, but I have not found these words, affixes, or roots in Welsh, Scottish, or Irish. Its still possible these words are archaic, mythological, and so on.

    I suspect that are these are pseudo-celtic words. Designed to look Celtic, or specifically Welsh, but invented to describe parts of the unique game world of Birthright.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kgauck View Post
    Its hard to prove a negative case, but I have not found these words, affixes, or roots in Welsh, Scottish, or Irish. Its still possible these words are archaic, mythological, and so on.

    I suspect that are these are pseudo-celtic words. Designed to look Celtic, or specifically Welsh, but invented to describe parts of the unique game world of Birthright.
    Ah, that's what I'm looking for, thanks. I thought the same but I wasn't sure if they were real words or just made up. I'll just follow a similar formula for what I have in mind. Thanks to everyone for replying.

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