Necromancer names and titles

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zookeeper
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Necromancer names and titles

Post by zookeeper »

So, what do these titles of necromancers and liches mean? Mostly Muff and Mal, but there's also a lich named "Sel-Mana" in Liberty.

Muff and Mal are certainly rather canon as such, so what's the actual story behind them? Who uses or gets to use those names and when? And is there some other even slightly unified "culture", customs or such amongst practitioners of necromancy that would be at all relevant (besides any already told or implied in the game)?

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Ken_Oh
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Post by Ken_Oh »

I was just wondering this the other day. It seems to me like these guys get new names when they go into the dark arts, much like how Jedi in Star Wars get "Darth whatever." Darth apparently means dark in German. I always associated Mal with bad in French. That's just my guess, anyway.

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Post by Iris »

Indeed.

SPOILER_BEGIN
Malin Keshar in DiD later turns into "Mal Keshar".
SPOILER_END

In Spanish, "Mal" is actually a word, translated to English as "Evil (The)".

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Post by Zachron »

If you play the Rise of Wesnoth campaign, then there is given a slight explanation behind the names of undead and necromancers being different. The undead have a population of enslaved humans, some who follow the lich lords out of fear, others who follow out of loyalty, and they are the source of sacrifices to produce their undead armies. They are a different ethnic group from the Wesnothians... or whatever the people of Wesnoth are called, presumably descendants of the enslaved Wesfolk of the Green Isle. Not to be confusing, but the Wesfolk were actually enemies of the ancestors of Wesnoth. (Although some possible outcomes of the first few scenarios in the Rise of Wesnoth Campaign, imply that a sizable group of Wesfolk follow Prince Haldric to the mainland... This is coarborated by the Siege of Elsenfar scenario of the Heir to the Throne campaign. Elsenfar is an independant city state that is usually a loyal ally of Wesnoth, where the people are more rougish and have a heritage like that of the Wesfolk) People who aren't of Wesfolk descent have also been enslaved by undead, if not willingly inducted into the necromantic orders. These innitiates take on names borrowed from previous generations of necromancers, providing a virtual ethnological link. (I.E. a necromancer who arises from within the ranks of magi from Wesnoth or the Elven lands and becomes a Lich might take on a name that is borrowed from or immitating of the names of Liches of old)

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Post by Urs »

Dark in German is "Dunkel"

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Ken_Oh
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Post by Ken_Oh »

Urs wrote:Dark in German is "Dunkel"
Indeed. My bad, I skimmed 'Contrary to popular belief, the word "Darth" is neither a Dutch nor German word meaning "dark" (translated as donker and dunkel, respectively)' from here poorly

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Post by hjwn »

Ken Obi wrote:Darth apparently means dark in German.
what the heck... "Darth" has no meaning at all in German. And aren't the bad guys called Darth Something in Star Wars? (not being a fan boy I'm not quite sure)
Btw. there are do-it-yourself stores in Germany called "Obi", but "Wan", "Kenobi" and "Ken Oh" again means nothing.
Urs wrote:Dark in German is "Dunkel"
Thank you very much, Urs.

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Post by Iris »

hjwn wrote:"Ken Obi wrote
Note that too.

Well, Darth seems to be a fantasy name with no real-life origin, indeed.
But that wasn't the topic, but it was the origin of 'Muff' and 'Mal' (Mal is quite obvious if you're a spanish-speaker, as it means "evil").
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Post by Rhuvaen »

Shadow Master wrote:Well, Darth seems to be a fantasy name with no real-life origin, indeed.
I'm sure it's an olde English word, actually. Perhaps something close to "dearth"?

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Post by MDG »

Shadow Master wrote:But that wasn't the topic, but it was the origin of 'Muff' and 'Mal' (Mal is quite obvious if you're a spanish-speaker, as it means "evil").
Muff is also quite obvious if you are familiar with British slang. I wonder if Dave intended to have Necromancer's running around in Heir to the Throne called Vagina Malal?...

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Post by playtom »

names doesn't have to associated with sounds similar to another word :wink: , we'd have a better chance getting people to know them if we'd start having more specific campaigns about them. really, so far dark hordes is the only popular(made into mainline once) campaign i've known.
I was just wondering this the other day. It seems to me like these guys get new names when they go into the dark arts, much like how Jedi in Star Wars get "Darth whatever."
similar to a pen name?to avoid confusion, get rid of uninteresting, unreleated names of the art, and get a new one because they are in a new realm. :roll:
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Post by Zachron »

playtom wrote: similar to a pen name?to avoid confusion, get rid of uninteresting, unreleated names of the art, and get a new one because they are in a new realm. :roll:
breaking down the linguistics of Wesnoth names is as amusing as it is disturbing. Yeah, and "mal" is rooted in Latin, and found in the French language as well as Spanish. Some of the other names I've just glossed over and will just sit back and let others bring them up.

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Post by waw »

I doubt Muff was to be the british slang term.

I go with a previous stated idea:

Voldemort in Harry Potter (sry to reference) changed his name to sound unique or scary.

This happens in many fiction realms, aka, Star Wars. If my Star Wars Mythos is up to date, an ancient Sith used the named Darth Something, ur, rather, that WAS his name. So his apprentices from that time on wards adopted the 'Darth' suffix to make themselves seem significant.

Muff and Mal are similar in terms of the way they are used. An evil wizard named Randal or Randal the Villainous just doesn't seem scary or power evoking. Muff-Tarkos is a lil bit more... stand-outish. Mal-Randal still doesn't do it... you gotta spice it up to be important.

I would assume that Muff and Mal do mean something more though. Ya, that is why they use them, but certainly they have a meaning. I took it as two different sects of necromancy, the Muff and the Mal. Sunni Shiite, Protestant Catholic, Red Blue, Yin Yang...

They are the same thing but probably just some smaller differences.

I think a star wars general had the name Grand Muff Tarkin... just to note.



The above is COMPLETELY only what I assume and is no way fact in the Wesnoth Universe. Feel free to disregard it.

Also as a note: in many ancient cultures, a 'True Name' was said to evoke great powers. If someone of evil knew your real name, it was said they could control you. Most witchcraft get into that, as well as ancient rites to invoke Gods and Goddesses. In many modern fantasy cultures, a true name for a wizard/spirit will be hidden, otherwise their foes have leverage over them. It would make sense that they use this new name to cover up any part of themselves that once seemed mortal. Does that make sense?

NOTE: this is also evident in Christianity, in early forms, God's name was given as Yahweh (Jewish text: YHWH, pronounced Je-ho-va) but was considered taboo to say his name for fear of offence. So they opted for the term Adonai (meaning my lord). This carried over into modern culture where he is referred to Our Lord, Our Father, etc. In some psalms he is referenced by his ancient name though.

Names were always considered sacred.

:) Just some thoughts...
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Post by Cuyo Quiz »

I laways thought they were just taking exotic names with wesfolk inflexions/traits. Unless wesfolk also has a secondary set of symbolic words analog to kanjis, runes or hieroglyphs (which is also possible, i mean, we're talking powerful magi with an appropiately secretive and old art).
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Post by Grand Moff Tarkin »

Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, thank you very much.
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