Fantasy names for Real World nations

Quasqueton

First Post
I need fantasy (or fantasy-sounding) names for various nations/regions that correspond or compare to Real World "nations"/people. Preferrably, each name needs to be pretty quickly recognized as their Real World counterpart.

Britain/British
France/French
Spain/Spanish
Germany/Germans
Italy/Italians
Norway/Norse (really looking for "Viking" or "Northland/Northman")
Russia/Russians
Africa/Africans
Japan/Japanese
China/Chinese
India/Indians
Arabia/Arabians

I want these nations and ethnic groups to exist in my campaign world, but I don't want to have to constantly remind the Players what the different nationalities/ethnicities look like (or compare to).

I'm thinking it may be best to use similar end sounds or syllables, like maybe "Tikainese" = Japanese. I could probably use the local name for the country (Japan = Nippon?) in some cases, but others are probably too close to the English name (France = France?).

What do you suggest?

Quasqueton
 

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Another way to go might be to use the real-world old names for such places.

For instance, France was known as Gaul back in the Roman Era. England was also known as Alba (if I remember correctly...that might be Ireland that was known as Alba).

As for Japan, perhaps use Edo? Its the former name of Tokyo.
 

Umbra

First Post
Or use another real world language version of the real world name eg in Spanish - Spain / Espana, France / Francia, Italy / Italia or in German - Spanien, Frankreich, Italien. Just use an online english-foreign language dictionary.
 

Turin Turambar

First Post
Although Britannia is taken, you can use that for Britain, or Albion (alba)

As stated above, Gaul for France..

Spain you can use a couple of the old names used in olde times... Castille or Aragon (no, not Aragorn!)

What is know as Germany today, was once many kingdoms, some of the bigger, more famous ones were: Saxony, Brandenburg and Bavaria

Italy was of course the center of the Roman Empire, but there are regions there you could use: Tuscany, Lombardy or Sicily.

The northern region of Norway, Sweden and Finland is known as Lappland.

Russia, well you have Muscovy or Novgorod.

Africa is quite a large continent, and a few of the countries there still have present day nations, such as Ethiopia, Egypt, etc. But a few you can use could be: Numidia or Sheba, or Nubia.

Japan had an ancient name that was used quite recently: Nippon

Cathay is what China used to be known as many moons ago.

For India, you could use Kashmir, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Gondwana or Bengal.

And finally for Arabia, you can use Araby (warhammer?).
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
some old names no longer used...
Persia, Babylon, Mesopotamia, Bohemia, Siam, Prussia, Sumeria, Assyria, Carthage
 

Quasqueton

First Post
Thanks a lot for all these names.

But most of these names are recognizable as Real World names, and that kind of tears the fantasy-world veil. Kashmir and Persia are too well known to pass as fantasy names.

And some are so different from their current names that anyone who doesn't know the history wouldn't immediately recognize the people referred to. I mean, I wouldn't think "French" when I hear the name "Gaul". And "Saxony" makes me think of England.

But some of the names you've given at least give me ideas. Araby and Muscovy hint at the nation and people without being obvious.

Quasqueton
 




Zappo

Explorer
Warhammer has lots of countries that are less or more corresponding to real world ones. I'm not an expert, but I recall that France becomes Bretonnia, Germany becomes The Empire, Italy becomes Tilea, the Far East becomes Katai... then there's Araby... uhm, can't remember anything else.
 


johnsemlak

First Post
The Erde campaign setting has a lot of inspiration for such sames.

Here's a few possiblities for Russia:

Rus, Rossia (pronoiced Ros-SI-ya), Torassia (a name of a setting in Monkeygod's Tsar Rising module), Moscovia, Suzdal, Vologda
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Britain/British -- Alba
France/French-- Castile
Spain/Spanish -- Iberia
Germany/Germans-- Gotenland
Italy/Italians-- Palmora, Velancia and Romula
Norway/Norse -- Oustheim
Russia/Russians-- Dravoi principalities, Khrzghk*
Africa/Africans -- Kush
Japan/Japanese-- Nihongi
China/Chinese-- Khitai
India/Indians -- Pagani
Arabia/Arabians -- Parsi

Khrzghk* I always liked those vowel-less place names from central asia (thanks Khryzbekistan (sp))
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
Here are names from my campaign setting (just from the part of Earth that my players have seen, though):

Nation, Citizen (Real-World Language)
Luxoria (mainland and , Luxorian (French)
Alianza del Mar (Glacia, Urracca, Arboleroja, Isle de Juventud), Libertine (Spanish)
Terra dei Padroni, Ferrone (Italian)
Aeirheim, Aervolk (Germanic/Nordic roots, not fully fleshed out)

... those are the human nations that the PCs generally know about. There are some Dwarven and Elven lands which they're not allowed to enter.

-- N
 

Gez

First Post
Tonguez said:
France/French-- Castile

Well, there's a Castille in Spain... Some French region names, (with inhabitants in parenthesis):
Picardie (picard m, picarde f)
Charente (charentais m, charentaise f)
Limousin (limousin m, limousine f -- and yep, that's the origin of the name of limousine cars)
Bourgogne (bourgon m bourgonne f)
Ardennes (ardennais m ardennaise f)

And an oddity:
Ile de France (francilien m francilienne f). Literally, it means Island of France, and looking at a map, you'd have trouble considering it an island... The whole country is actually named after this region, rather than the other way around.

For old-style variations, you can replace all -ais by -ois (frex, ardennois), Bourgogne can becomme Burgonde, etc.
Use this link to find where those regions actually are.

Tonguez said:
(thanks Khryzbekistan (sp))

Did you mean Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan ?
 
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In foreign languages, Germany is usually to refered by the various "root" cultures. In Finland, they use "Saxa" or "Sachsa" (I don`t know exactly) for the Saxon roots, in France they use "Allemagne" for the Alleman roots. (English obviously the Germans). We call our country "Deutschland" (well, actually "Bundesrepublik Deutschland" ), which is based on the teuton roots (I think).
 

countgray

First Post
Scotland used to be known as Caledonia in roman times.
France: Gaul, Gallica
Scandinavia or northern Germany was known as Thule.
Switzerland was named Helvetica

Check out old historical atlases of europe from the roman era.

Also check out Michael Moorcock's Hawkmoon series.
 

SpringPlum

First Post
Jacqueline Carey did a really good job of changing nations' names in her Kushiel series but you can still tell what real nation she was alluding to. Some examples of the names she used:

France: Terre d'Ange
England: Alba
Ireland: Eire
Greece: Hellas
Egypt: Menekhet
Spain: Aragonia
Italy: Caerdicca Unitas
--Rome: Tiberium
--Venice: La Serenissima
 

Voadam

Legend
Britain/British = Anglund
France/French = Gaul
Spain/Spanish = Hispania/Iberia
Germany/Germans = ?
Italy/Italians = Romany
Norway/Norse = Norlund, Norslund
Russia/Russians = Kiev
Africa/Africans = ?
Japan/Japanese = Nippon
China/Chinese = Middle Kingdom
India/Indians = the Raj
Arabia/Arabians = Rabia
 
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DiamondB

Explorer
Here's what I used in my campaign world (link in the sig)

British Isles - Britannia
  • Ireland - Hybernia
  • Wales - Cymru
  • Scotland - Kingdom of Caladonia & Caladonian Highlands
  • Britain - Albion
France - Galia
Of course in my campaign world France is not a united kingdom and is broken up into 6 regions; Aquitaine & Gascony, Breton & Armorica, Burgundy, Flanders & Hainaut, the Holy See (Avignon) and France.​
Spain - Iberia
Like France, the Iberian pennisula has not been united under one king yet, thus the following kingdoms exist; Aragon, Castile & Leon, Navarre, Portugal and Granada​
Central Europe - Central Eurpoa includes The Empire (fromerly the Holy Roman Empire), Bavaria & Ostland, Bohemia & Moravia, The Cantons, and Holtwould & The Wuldgraftdums
Italy - Italia & Roman Republic
Northern Europe - Northern Europa is made up of Danmark, Isaland, Kalvala, Karelia, Lapland, Norge and Sverge
Russia - Principalities of Rus
Africa -
Japan -
China -
India -
Arabia - Most of Mediterranian Africa is included in our Arabia (based on it's religious affiliation). The whole is known as the Levant (I know not entirely accurate). I kept the original names, though a lot of old empires didn't go away (i.e. Mesopotamia, Arabia, Persia, Kingdom of Antioch and the Ottoman Empire are all alive and well)
 

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