Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
    1. Early History
    2. Present Day
  3. Conventions
    1. The Rules
    2. Unused and Uncommon Letters and Combinations
    3. Common Letters and Combinations
    4. Feminine vs Masculine Names
  4. Pronuncation

Other Resources

back to top

Seven Heirs

Ophaesian Name Guide

I. Introduction

Ophaesia oh•FAY•shuh
is a fictional kingdom that serves as the setting for the low-fantasy interactive novel The Seven Heirs of Ophaesia by E.S. Fawkes. It is a kingdom of excess, of luxury and indulgence, intrigue and mystery. It is not surprising that its names bear the same air of extravagance as the rest of the realm.

While it was first being developed, Ophaesia had distinct Ancient Greek influences with hints of France and the Mediterranean, but it has since blossomed into its own unique world. The Ancient Greek influences can still be seen in the style of many of the names, though one should not expect every Greek name to suit the style of names in Ophaesia.

There are guidelines that are followed when creating an Ophaesian name. Some of them are based in lore — such as creating a new name based on an existing one — while others exist for primarily aesthetic reasons.

This guide will provide you with the who, what, and why of Ophaesian names so that you can create your own lore-friendly names.

II. Background

Early History

Long before Ophaesia was founded, its land — like much of the rest of Southern
Selanes SEH•luh•nihs
— was comprised of city-states. These were known as the
Merathene MAIR•ruh•theen

“Merathene” refers to an archaic culture, language, and ethnicity, rather than any political entity. In particular, the Merathene city-states were Selanesian city-states which used the Merathene title
lurae LOOR•ray
(feminine form
luraena loor•RAYN•nuh
, roughly equivalent to a duke) for its ruler. “Merathene” itself has roots in the ancient city of
Merathia mair•RAH•thee•uh
, which was ruled by a
velurae veh•LOOR•ray
, and was once an epicenter of knowledge and culture in Southern Selanes before falling into ruin. In the centuries after Merathia’s fall, the Merathene people and culture continued to grow and transform, spreading further through the region that now comprises most of Ophaesia.

The Merathene city-states enjoyed centuries of independence that came to a brutal end by an unexpected conquest from across the sea by the
Dharsani dahr•SAW•nee
Empire, under the rule of the Dead Empress
Ahuramex ah•HOO•ruh•mehks
II. Despite fierce opposition, many coastal Merathene cities — including
Pytensia pih•TEN•see•uh
Naphia NAH•fee•uh
, and
Methina meh•THEE•nuh
— were conquered.

The Dharsani Occupation lasted for three generations. It took Lurae
Basitha Maeliah BAH•sih•thuh
and Lurae
Naelen Thyminae NAY•len
and their armies expelling the Dharsani to at last bring it to an end. Dharsan left its imprint, however, which to this day Ophaesia has not shaken.

This newly returned independence would not last for long, as the Serene Empire took advantage of the cities’ weakened state to annex them as part of their expansion across the South. The Serene Prince ordered for the immediate executions of Basitha Maeliah, Naelen Thyminae, and their officers with the intent to nip any potential rebellion in the bud. Unfortunately for the Empire, from their ashes rose
Rithalus Dahlas RIH•thuh•lihs
, known as the Bastard of Morian to the Serentines.

Aided by Houses Maeliah, Thyminae,
Verathae VAIR•ruh•thay
, and
Varena VAIR•ren•nuh
, Rithalus forced back the Serene Empire and secured the Merathenes’ liberation for the final time.

It was in the wake of this victory that Rithalus, now beloved by the Merathene people, went on to officially unite the Merathene city-states into the kingdom of Ophaesia, whereupon he was crowned its first King.

Present Day

Merathene, Dharsani, Serene. Each of these cultures left a mark on the land, its people, their language, and helped shape the earliest aspects of Ophaesian culture, including its names.

The Merathenes predictably remain the largest influence on Ophaesian culture. Many aspects of Merathene naming conventions are still used today, which is evidenced by the names of the kingdom’s own provinces. Each of the seven provinces are named for its capital city with the Merathene suffix of “-ene” appended to it. For instance, Naphia — a city supposedly named for the
Monathalist mahn•nuh•THAH•lihst
Naphenia nah•FEN•nee•uh
— becomes
Naphene nah•FEEN
, hence the Naphene Province.

However, since the time of its founding, Ophaesia has developed its own naming conventions unique to it. The most prominent of these is rooted in the superstition that giving a child the name of a living relative or public figure is ill luck for both the child and their namesake. They believe that doing so divides the soul between the two and curses both individuals for the whole of their lives. To get around this belief, Ophaesians who wish to honor a family member or historical figure will modify a name. For example,
Iseriah Thyminae ih•SAIR•ree•uh
was named for Queen
Seriah Haelith SAIR•ree•uh
, while
Ysonia ee•SOH•nyuh
was named for
Ysonen Senatheron ee•SOH•nen
, advisor and friend to Rithalus. Similarly, Crown Prince
Neraven NAIR•ruh•ven
was named for his father, King
Eraven. AIR•ruh•ven

While a vast majority of Ophaesians hold this belief and name their children accordingly, not everyone follows this rule; most notable by far is House Maeliah.

There are many members of House Maeliah’s main branch alone who share a name with a relative, including the Player Character themself, who is named for their same-gender grandparent. The reason for the Maeliahs’ unusual tradition of reusing names comes from their deep-rooted Merathene origins and the insular nature of the House. While Ophaesia began to develop its own culture and traditions, the Maeliahs have remained almost frozen in time from before the fall of Merathia.

House Maeliah is very singular in that regard.

III. Conventions

As with any other culture, there are rules which are followed when naming a child. Breaking any of these rules can result in anything from raised brows to a Priest of
Myteus MIH•tee•uhs
forcibly changing their name.

The Rules

  1. Don’t use the name of a relative from the last two or three generations. It is ill luck and could result in the child and their namesake — should they still live — being cursed.
  2. Don’t use the exact name of a public figure, be they historical or contemporary. It is far worse luck and the child will most certainly be cursed.
  3. Don’t use the name of any God from the Triad in any way, shape, or form. It is sacrilegious and the child's name will be changed by a Priest.
  4. Don’t use Rithalus’ name or any possible variation of it. It is sacrilegious and the child's name will be changed by a Priest.

Rules 1 and 2 are strongly encouraged but may be broken without much legal issue, whereas rules 3 and 4 will result in consequences.

Unused and Uncommon Letters and Combinations

There are certain letters and letter combinations which are not used in Ophaesian names. (Please note these combinations refer only to the arrangement of the letters, not necessarily their sounds.)

Letters Not Used F, Q, W, X, Z
Letter Combinations Not Used • Ch, Dh, Oh, Sh
• Any combinations with L (i.e. Bl-, Vl-, etc)
• -ius, -un

Some of these letters or combinations are replaced by others: “Ph-” is used in place of “F”, while “-eus” is used in place of “-ius”.

In other cases, there are letters and letter combinations which are only used in specific ways or circumstances.

C Only ever used as a hard “C”, like in “cat”. May be used in the middle of the name. May only be used to start a name when combined with “r” (“Cr-”). Cannot be combined with any other consonant.
G, J, K, P Only used as the first letter of a name.
H Used to at the start or end of a name or as part of a letter combination, such as “Ph-”, “-th”, etc.
O Only used at the start or in a middle of a name. Never used as the last letter in a name.
Y Only used as a vowel. Cannot be used as the last letter in a name. Never used twice in a name, with the exception of the special surname “
Mytys MIH•tihs
R On its own, only used in the middle of names. Never used to end names. When starting a name, almost always combined with “h” to become “Rh-”.

Additionally, some letters and combinations are uncommon, though still used.

Ae-, Cr-, D-, G-, H-, O-, P-, Rh- Rarely used to start names.
-ll, -rr Rarely used in the middle of names.
-ae, -eus, -in, -is Rarely used to end names.

There is some overlap between the table above and the one before it with letters “G” and “P” — they are only used at the beginnings of names and rarely then. The only exception, in the case of “P”, is with names starting with “Vesp-”, like “
Vesperae VEH•spair•ay
” or “
Vesperion veh•SPAIR•ree•en

Common Letters and Combinations

Other letters and combinations are featured more frequently in Ophaesian names.

-ae, -er-, -th Commonly used in the middle of names.
-an, -en, -on, -ian,
-ien, -ion, -ia*, -eth,
-ith, -yth, -ys
Commonly used to end names.

*The suffix “-ia” has the variation “-iah”, though it is not as common.

Names can begin in a wide variety of ways. Aside from the letters and combinations listed as uncommon or unused in the previous table, there are no specific letters which are more popular to begin a name with.

Feminine vs Masculine Names

For the most part, Ophaesian names are gender neutral, though are certain types of names that are generally considered to be more masculine or feminine, usually due to their suffix.

Names that end with “-ia” or “-iah” are exclusively feminine. Names which end with “-ith” or any variation thereof are typically feminine, though not always, while the suffix “-ian” and its variants are generally considered more masculine.

Names that end with “-a” are almost always considered gender neutral; however, it is seen more often with feminine names. Similarly, “-ae” is more often used in feminine names than masculine, though it can be used in either.

IV. Pronunciation

Ophaesian names follow a set of rules for pronunciation, but — like in English — some names are pronounced differently than the rules might suggest.

ay like in “day”
an, en, in
en like “in”
ahr like in “bar”
”, “
air like “air”
air like “air”
ir, yr
eer like “ear”
ia, iah
ee•uh like in “Mia”
”, “
yuh like in “young”
ian, ien, ion
ee•en like in “alien”
is, ys
ihs like in “this”
ahn like “on”
”, “
en like “in”
shuh like in “amnesia”
”, “
see•uh like “Sia”

*These are the less common pronunciations. Examples:

For a far more extensive explanation and break-down, read the Pronunciation Guide.

Other Resources

While this should help you come up with your own lore-friendly Ophaesian name, there is also an Ophaesian Name Generator to help you if you are struggling or just want inspiration. It should be noted that the generator is not flawless, as it simply combines prefixes and suffixes at random and thus might create some weird combinations. That said, it will create plenty suitable names if you use it long enough and serve as a good jumping-off point to create your own name.

Ophaesian Name Generator

For more information about The Seven Heirs of Ophaesia, please visit its thread on the Choice of Games forum or check out my blog or Patreon.

Seven Heirs Thread
Seven Heirs Demo
My Blog
My Patreon

Thank you for your support and interest in the Seven Heirs universe! It means so, so much to me!

e. s. fawkes

All content © E.S. Fawkes