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Blood Names

Thursday, Jun 14, 2018
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⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.

Each person in Vekllei has three names — a given name (Tzipora), a surname (Desmoines), and an alternative given name as part of rapotenne (potenne is ‘handtalk’, upotenne is ‘spirit-talk’, and so it follows that rapotenne is the language system of names). This alternative name is a ‘key’ to the full blood name of an individual, which are given in secret by the mother traditionally, but can be gifted by any mother-figure.

For all intents and purposes, ‘Tzipora Desmoines’ works exactly as ‘John Smith’ — a distinguishing name and the ancestral name. In Vekllei, the men take the name of the child-bearer.

Tzipora’s blood name, her rapotenne, instead reads as: Zelda lo Ula Desmoines. This is a name she should never reveal until her death, so rites can be performed.

Although Vekllei’s monarchy is long dead, ancestors are still held sacred by these people. They hold ancient family names that tie their blood to the earth. They are also used when talking with spirits, as they are part of upotenne, the external language of the soul. In this sense, blood names operate as a sacred vocal rune.

Pictured above is Tzipora receiving her blood name from a father-figure many years ago. Since she has no bloodline left alive, he fulfills the role of a father and gives her a name constructed of several parts, researched and tailored to her.

  1. Zelda is a nickname and a moniker Tzipora has used to hide her Jewishness, and so works perfectly as a public ‘key’ to her blood name.
  2. lo Ula (her blood of Ula in upotenne) is her ancient, sacred title. The name-giver has not been able to trace her blood to the times of spirits, so he’s traced it as far back as he could and scoured that region for a proper title. Ula is a combination of two words — Ura, a type of bare, wind-swept coastal shelf in Northern Vekllei, where Tzipora’s bloodlines originate, and the Vekllei word for iceberg. It also links to an ancient Vekllei saga — in which a proud and mighty iceberg is reduced to ice-pebbles after being dashed against the northern rocks. A story of mortality, it is a warning for Tzipora, who does not age.
  3. Desmoines is the family name, unchanged for centuries, and is fairly common in Vekllei.

I’m really enjoying exploring more of Vekllei’s traditions. Let me know if you have any questions, about these language systems, Tzipora, or anything.