Evocative Words—Part Two
“Hmm—Grimshall—that’s a word I haven’t heard used before. I shall use it today at the wicked-persons glovepuppet class. That’ll stump them.”
Continuing last episode’s look at words, there are also names that can evoke a particular mood that have no meaning as well as those that use true words: a glance at a map from my own homeland of Derbyshire in England tantalizes with place names such as Breamfield, Dark Lane, Gorseybank, Holloway, and Gibbet Wood. These places have earned their names through historic reasons, their nature, and their character. Their names say something about them, even though you may not know any of these places. I’m pretty sure Dark Lane evokes images of a very narrow lane overhung by gnarled trees with brooding hedgerows towering either side and enclosures and fields at either flank that tower above the sunken lane. This lane by its nature gets very wet in the fall and winter, becoming a quagmire, even late into spring, making travel difficult. Move that forward into your campaign and you have a place where ambushes by highwaymen and creatures frequently occur—perhaps bodies are found or crooked trees have fallen across the way. And what creatures or people live along such a sodden and difficult trail? Surely anyone with any great wealth or need would have improved it; therefore we can deduce that those who access their homes or lairs from Dark Lane are poor—or don’t care, or don’t like visitors. Also travelers are likely to be few on such a foul place, making it lonely and strange.
It’s great fun to run with a story based upon a few facts or words. We dealt with proper words last time and gave some suggestion about their combined use. Here are 50 more entirely made up words that also reflect or suggest a particular mood. Add these to your locations and they may bring a certain feel into play. Generate them randomly or pick the one that most serves your needs. Consider combining them with last weeks’ list, so you can allow your players and your imagination to explore Fallow Dyrge, Foll Spoil, or Harsh Sullen Smadge.
And as ever, have fun with your creations…
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.