Tuesday, April 14, 2015

If You Don't Have Anything Useful to Say...

...Say something useless!

And no one is better at that than I -- Padhric, Grand Mufti of the Mundane, Prince of Puffery, Sultan of the Superfluous, and Baron of Bloviation (...and @**hole of Alliteration. Get on with it. -- Mrs. Pad).

Ever wonder where my characters' names came from? Of course you didn't! I'd be very concerned about you if you did. But, now that I have your attention and also because, for the life of me, I can't seem to think of anything worthwhile to write here today (Par for the course, in other words. -- Mrs. Pad), here's the story behind each one.

Benford Billingsworth -- I was reminded one day of the tool brand "Binford" from Tim Allen's 90s sitcom Home Improvement, and I replaced a vowel to make it sound like a plausible name. I'll never forget this joke from the TV show: "Remember, if your tools say 'Binford' -- GET OUTTA THE HOUSE: TOOLS AREN"T SUPPOSED TO TALK TO YOU!!!"

Bennard Billingsworth -- I wanted a hobbit guardian and I thought it would be fun to have two characters be related to each other as part of their backstories. The surname was a knock-off of Dr. Evil's cat, Mr. Bigglesworth.

Besil -- In Khuzdul, besek means "promise." I felt the meaning was very appropriate for a rune-keeper, but when I went to type in the name during character creation I accidentally fat-fingered it and typed Besel. From there it was a quick corruption to Besil. It's the name I'm most proud of.

Brendyn -- This is one of Mrs. Pad's favorite baby names, albeit spelled differently.

Derrik Danderfluff -- I had the name Derek in my mind for a character, but it took a few tries before I found a spelling that wasn't taken. The surname was actually what an online hobbit random name generator spat back at me when I typed in my dog's name, Goober.

Edgerin -- I have no idea where this one came from... out of the clear blue sky, from what I recall.

Eryndil -- This one is my second favorite because a) it is Sindarin for "Lover of Trees," and b) I couldn't believe no one had taken it before. Go me!

Faruk Fellhammer -- This was one of the older names from 2008. I was having a rough time thinking of a respectable name for a Dwarf, and actually settled on a weird spelling of the old pro-wrestler Farooq, since it's pronounced the same way (fah-ROOK). It wasn't until later I realized it's also the first word of the Dwarven battle-cry (Baruk Khazad!), except with an f, so it's no wonder it sounded natural. The surname comes from his favored weapon, the war mattock.

Freoi -- This name was based on the Icelandic word for "singer," which is freaoi. Unfortunately, that's a few too many vowels in a row and LOTRO had a slight stroke when I tried to enter it as a character name. So I had to remove the a, but I still like it.

Galfi -- Funny story: once again I was having the worst trouble coming up with a decent Dwarf name when suddenly this one hit me like a bolt of thunder. Brilliance! Genius! The perfect name! It wasn't until weeks later I discovered there is a Dwarf NPC named Galfi at Gondamon. And he's even a minstrel trainer, if you can believe it. To this day I don't know if I really invented the name or my subconscious was screwing me over...

Grimlur -- Another one I'm fond of. I would swear on my mother's grave (which doesn't exist yet, but if it did I would totally swear on it. Probably in permanent marker.) that I encountered a mob named "Grimlar" or something similar in Moria once upon a time because that's where I got the idea for the name. Odd thing is, I've taken more than 20 characters through Moria, and I've never encountered that mob ever again.

Guthinwe -- He's the second oldest toon and, as such, I had a really hard time thinking of a name for him. I finally settled on a re-arrangement of the letters in the name of Eomer's sword (Guthwine) to get Guthinwe. It's pronounced GOO-theen-weh in my own mind, but I'm not so sure it's very lore-appropriate, a fact I consciously choose to ignore. Once that was done, I started messing around with the letters of other actual LOTR characters to produce the names for his herald (Frealof instead of Felarof) and his skirmish soldier (Galruf instead of Gulraf). I'm a silly person.

Mallacai -- He's a seer, so a modified spelling of the Biblical prophet seemed fitting.

Malloren -- The original spelling was Maloren, and he was the very first character from back in 2007. The name simply came from putting a prefix and a suffix from the list of suggestions you get during character creation together (the fact it wasn't taken gives you an idea of how early on this was), but it had a nice ring to it. After a few years I was forced to delete poor Maloren due to some world transfer problems with Turbine, so I eventually created Malloren in his stead.

Padegar -- I wanted another Pad. And who wouldn't?? (Let's have a vote. -- Mrs. Pad) The character generation screen says -egar is an acceptable hobbity suffix, so the rest was easy enough.

Padhric Pemberton -- While you're traveling through Waymeet, you may see a passing hobbit-lass mention her difficulties outfitting herself so that "Padric sees me at my best." I liked the name, but I had to fiddle with the spelling to get one that wasn't taken. Eventually I ended up with Padrikk, which was not at all to my liking, but after quite some time I had the idea to add the h, and there you have it. You can still see the name Padrikk listed as one of the top contributors to the Bounders' Bounty competition on the Vilya server. Right under Kay, leader of the Dawnbreakers (a most excellent kinship), coincidentally enough.

Curious about the surname? Well, it's an odd (but true) story: in Real Life, I had to deal with a salesman from Virginia by the name of Rolf Pemberton. The name was so funny that every time we talked about the guy around the office we felt compelled to deliver his name in dramatic fashion: "ROLF ... PEM-M-M-BERTON!" Like that. Anyway, when I created Padhric it seemed like a perfect fit for a character I never meant to take seriously in the first place.

Saxolf -- Dang those Dwarves, it's so hard to come up with names for them! By this time I was so tired of racking my brains in search of Dwarf names I was prepared to give up and call him "Gufi," only to discover there actually is a Gufi in Anazarmekhem! Geez... So, I figured, if I can't come up with a name LOTRO hasn't already taken, I'll just blatantly steal one. But at least it should be somewhat respectable. Saxolf is the Relic-master in the Crafting Bunker of the Twenty-first Hall.

Typps -- He was originally Tipps due to the fact he fights with a spear and javelin. I later had to change the spelling when migrating him over from the Landroval server.

Uthi -- He was originally Uthi the Hobbit minstrel because the character creation screen says hobbit names are often Gothic, and this amusing name popped into my mind. After a while I got bored of playing minstrel (this was way back when minis were squishier than rotten calamari), and the name sounded too cool for a hobbit anyway. Uthi the Dwarf Champion was born.

Padhwe -- I needed another Pad for kinship play purposes and I was having a hard time working that prefix into an Elven name (and I'm not so sure I succeeded in the end). In any case, he now sounds suspiciously like a certain Nubian senator from a galaxy far, far away.

There, wasn't that fascinating???

Don't answer that.

Master of Toons

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