Monday, January 11, 2010

On the Naming of Things

Oddly enough, as I work on my grim Sword & Planet supplement for Spellcraft & Swordplay, I found myself hit with the following piece of fluff that has nothing whatsoever to do with, but which fit right in with my Onderland Campaign.

"The naming of things is the taming of things. For to give something a name is to separate that which is named from all other things. To give the name earth to rock and dirt and loam means that the sky and the sea are not part of the earth. A name circumscribes an object's essence.

"At first, there were no names, since the folk had no interest in taming the world. The Faerie-folk crafted the first names of things. Long and broad were the faerie names and with much inflection. Like meandering streams were those names and by them, the Fae worked their subtle arts.

"But the Tribes of Men brought new names with them, over the Hither Gates. The names they gave were short and sharp. What they lacked in breadth, they brought in precision. The names they wrought were like knives; they were like hammers beating all things into small shape and making tools of them. With these names, Men made mastery over spell and steel and raised up their dominion over all things.

"Yet the Old Names still have their power, as even as shadows have some reality. And he who works slowly and softly and subtly will find much strength in those Old Names."

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