Evocative Words—Part One

“Reading, master?”
“Silence maggot, or I’ll have you flensed. I’m too busy consuming Mugwort’s Tome of Evocative Words to communicate with you in any way. Now go and put some more lard on the cat’s boil. Her yowling is irritating me.”

Words, beautiful, lovely words. Each paints a glorious picture, and though the old saying of a thousand words is true, so also is the reverse—simple words can evoke images and implant suggestions. Plain Old Mire becomes something quite different when it’s called the Grimpen Mire, summoning up all kinds of images of a fractured boggy hell that is infested with mist and sucking pools (not to mention spectral hounds). Some words have a quality that enhances and seduces the reader into wanting to know more; sometimes these evocative words are real, sometimes they can be slight twists on real words to assign a place a fictional name.

Names for places you wish PCs to fear or seek to explore can be a strong tool in your writing box, enabling you to conjure up all kinds of apprehensions and images before you’ve even painted them into your descriptions of locales. Our theme for this edition, therefore, is such words; words that can be used as a prefix to a name, such as mire, river, henge, or tor, that sums up a distinct feeling and enables you to quickly move into the body of your writing without delay.

Your Whispering HomunculusSo first, let us deal with real words that evoke a particular image. You could use a single word to prefix your location or try mixing things up a bit by having two and changing their order to fill a need.

  1. Barb
  2. Bile
  3. Bitch
  4. Bitter
  5. Blacken
  6. Blemish
  7. Brackish
  8. Briar
  9. Brine
  10. Burr
  11. Coarse
  12. Fallow
  13. Fester
  14. Flesh
  15. Flint
  16. Gall
  17. Grim
  18. Grimace
  19. Grotty
  20. Growl
  21. Harsh
  22. Hemlock
  23. Horrible
  24. Lean
  25. Loathsome
  26. Lour
  27. Mar
  28. Mildewed
  29. Mould
  30. Moulder
  31. Must
  32. Perish
  33. Pock
  34. Rancid
  35. Rankle
  36. Rotted
  37. Rotten
  38. Slit
  39. Sodden
  40. Sombre
  41. Sour
  42. Spoil
  43. Stale
  44. Sullen
  45. Sweat
  46. Tarnish
  47. Waste
  48. Whine
  49. Wormwood
  50. Wreak

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For more of Pett’s perilous puns and collected oddities from Your Whispering Homunculus, check out the collected Your Whispering Homunculus and More Whispering Homunculus.

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