RPG a Day 8: Stream

This was the first really tricky title, because I was taking it too loosely, but then I thought about the geographical area of Sartar. It’s got three main rivers: The Creek, the Stream, and the River. They’re all about as big as each other, to be honest. They’re just different names for large flowing bodies of water. They combine into the Creek-Stream River, which flows down to the sea, and even gets renamed on the way.

I really like Glorantha-style naming. A lot of places are named for what was found there, or happened there. It’s in the same language as the adventurers use from day to day. It feels thematic to an age where there might not have been time for language displacements to make a river like ‘Avon’ be in a foreign language, and where conceptually people just call things what they are. “That’s a big rock. Let’s call it big rock.” Then they go get on with their lives.

The style seems to be more used in Dragon Pass than elsewhere, but I don’t know elsewhere enough to really comment. I just know that things having names like that are part of the world for me, and they give me the impression of people living alongside miracles.

It’s also a great way of world building, because you can find an interesting name, and then later, build something around it when people ask about it. Famous Bell. Famegrave. Runegate. Day’s Rest. All of them are descriptive. So is Sit Here – it’s the buttock prints of the trickster god, his greatest temple, and apparently the one place where his magic doesn’t work. Just don’t ask if it’s the tricksters who told you that, or how true it is.

I made one up myself. Sinking Rock. It’s also known as the badly named village – the rock floats about five feet off the ground, and you can climb up onto it. It IS sinking – just very very slowly. About a hundred years from now it’s likely to hit the ground, and then who knows what’ll happen?

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