This is one treat you don’t want to eat.
Gummy Anatomy Toy, by Jason Freeny
Jungle Girls are the female counterpart to Tarzan, Sabu, and countless other wild men and boys clad in flapping loincloths swinging through the trees. Modern interpretations of her began with Rima the Bird Girl, a character in the 1903 novel Green Mansions, which makes her older than Tarzan who debuted in 1912. Like Burrough’s creation she was often an orphan raised in the wilderness by animals or natives, but unlike Tarzan she also appeared as seductress, the wanton Queen or sorceress of a lost civilization. She also played the role of victim for the male adventurer to rescue. Her popularity took off with the pulp and Hollywood age, and she appeared in hundreds of books, adventure magazines, comics, and movie serials. Many incarnations came and went over the years, most forgotten now: Vooda, Nyoka, Lana, Rulah, Taanda, Luana. Sense a pattern here?
Following are some evocative Jungle Girl names writers can use in their own work.
Jansa the Jaguar Queen
Nammina of the Jade Jackal
Karida, Lady of the Zebras
Ganzha Queen of Paradise
Thuvoka the Forest Girl
Staranee the Eagle Girl
Thuruma, Princess of the Moon
Fantna, the Black Huntress
Jania, Mistress of the Jungle
Farmeena, Queen of the Forest
Sabra the Rising Witch
Faroka the Falcon Girl
Fanta the Elephant Girl
Turanee the Lion Girl
Nyona the Hyena Girl
Beluna the Dingo Girl
Farida the Leopard Girl
Zanida the Emerald Forest Maiden
Rashalina the Swamp Goddess
Princess Jondanee of the Sighing City
Oyna, the Secret Queen of the trees
Thurra the Gentle Huntress
Mokkira the Divine Mistress of the Moon
Mambalina the Jungle Orchid
Yvezana, White Moon of the Rainforest
|Sauma the Blue
Reesa the Barbarian Princess
Warrior Queen Rashika
Aquilia, the Conqueror Queen
Leina of the Lion Clan
Vinmeena, the Viking Princess
Kyzara the Mercenary Princess
Queen Tarona the Savage
Oukana the Sacred Queen
Nozola, the Destroyer Queen
Talkana, the Nomad Princess
Tona the She-Devil
Thuria the Witch Queen
Savage Princess Wiluna
Amazon Queen Rhomeena
Nika, Princess of the Steppe
Karina, the Witch Princess
Jaydina the Huntress
Alya, Green Ghost of the Forest
Tarmeena the Sorceress
Queen Cassanee of Sarhonistan
Sazha the She-Wolf
Mokkana, Savage Lioness of the Plains
Xenasa, the Mountain Pearl
Ganthonga of the Witch Kingdom
…eventually. All things take time.
(artwork by Phil McDermott)
No other creature is as evocative of the contemporary fantasy genre as the dragon. They combine snakes, lizards, dinosaurs, large mammalian predators, and human intellects into one massive, armored, fire-breathing package. (Their drives, however, are their own.)
The current version of the dragon dates from within the last 100 years. Tolkien gave us a deadly foe in The Hobbit’s Smaug, but it was really the 1960s when the dragon literally and figuratively took off. Perhaps it was folk trio’s Peter, Paul and Mary’s song Puff the Magic Dragon, or the very dragon-like Cecil the Sea Serpent in the Cecil and Beanie TV kid’s show. It may have been excerpts from Walt Disney’s The Reluctant Dragon (1941) shown ad nauseum on The Walt Disney Show every Sunday night, or the spectacular metamorphosis of Maleficent from evil witch into dragon form in the animated film Sleeping Beauty. Or, perhaps, the many dragon-like creatures populating such Saturday morning fare like The Herculoids. But whatever the case, dragons arrived and made their titanic footprint on the scene, supported in no small way by the growing popularity of dinosaurs among the small set.
That presence eventually bore fruit in novel series like Anne McCaffrey’s The Dragonriders of Pern (begun in 1967) and Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea, and fantasy writers began using them more frequently. But what really lit the fuse was the mass-marketing of the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game, with its creatures color-coded to evil (primary colored) and good (metallic) dragons, with different breath weapons and tendencies for each. Over the years these germinal reptiles mutated into dozens if not hundreds of other forms, some fairly ridiculous (Fairy dragons anyone?)
And dragons continue to stretch out their snaky necks in new directions. They’ve recently claimed a section of the urban fantasy market, transforming into slabs of beefcake for the delectation of romance readers who enjoy shapeshifter characters.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to come up with a distinctive name for a dragon character. Here’s a list of randomly generated names to use for your own creations, following the Tolkien, McCaffrey, and LeGuin conventions, sprinkled with some Latin and sibilant sounds.
Enuphion the Tyrant
Ancalasez the Scourge
Stormwreck the Great Wyrm King
Thisme the Burning Maw
Nagrumox the Great Worm
Sjiag the Clawed Shadow
Cnothgon the Wise
Gauntgrim the Gray Empress
Meblak the Vengeful
Ftafer the Burning Plague
Luthigne, the Winged Destroyer
Tyrlon the White
Ballag the Tyrant
Ancalluth the Armored
Anhkphar the Erudite
Rievetaur, Plunderer of the Badlands
Tyrphaz the Ancient
Thristhrax the Red
Grisgrund the Stormlord
Unthaug, Ravager of the Western Hills
Nagaes the Ice Storm
Skymourn the Blizzard Queen
Flamespark the Wise
Aneylong, Bane of the Elven Forests
Grisbagon the Terror of the Canyon
Luthang the Gray
Anliredon the Peaceful
Anshas the Despoiler
Drakpang, Empress of the lands of men
Kakunth the Icy Destroyer
Cnaufier the Brown
Vinsripan the Deadly
Mnetzlong the Ravager
Augrund the Dark Watcher
Essrit the White
Eutrapyon the Protector
Vermischan the Invulnerable
Angme, the Icy Furnace
Luthkas the Blue
Harkrieve the Wicked
The last thing the oceanographer saw.
(Concept art from the Syfy movie Dinoshark)
Portrait of Auster Denoerval, by Virginie Carquin
Fantasy organizations are not limited to the grandiose and world-shaking. Scores of bureaucratic organizations run silently beneath the surface, serving to frustrate and stymie your characters in pursuit of their goals. Terry Pratchett, Franz Kafka, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stanislaw Lem, and J. K. Rowling all used them to good effect. Often they also serve as humorous interludes, as in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker series. Can they be satirical or offer social commentary? You bet. Often a minor character appears who offers up some pompous resume tidbit, and with this in mind, I created a list of impossible and not-so-impossible bureaucracies below.
Division of Unmentionable Mummification
Ministry of Reptilian Petrification
Department of Gustatory Purity
Task Force for the Relinquishment of Religious Idols
National Institute of Mercantile Transformation
Regional Institute of Virtuous Education
Managerial Division of Domestic Communication
Imperial Task Force on Strategic Studies
Federal Task Force for the Creation of Healthy Aesthetics
Managerial Institute for Strategic Hygiene
Druidic Hearing on Intelligent Horticulture
Bureau of Eldritch Battlecraft
Imperial Federation of Paranormal Persuasion
Federal Division of Philosophical Inquiry
Civic Bureau of Artful Labor
Imperial Institute of Human Love
Robust Hearing on Witches’ Adventuring
Federal Institute of Magical Freedom
Managerial Bureau of Insidious Comedy
Imperial Commission for Free Athletics
Managerial Commission on Spiritual Freedom
National Institute of Mercantile Management
Bindenum Institute of Ophidian Intelligence
Imperial Task Force for the Study of Military Oddities
Royal Academy of Archaic Discoveries
Crossneedle Royal Campaign for Demonic Rights
League of Imperial Scholars
The Order of Hooded Sages
Professors of the Phlegmatic Trillium
Bright Wheels Literary Society
College of the Iron Laurel
Studious Society of Perfumed Fools
Way of the Fiery Wheel
Students of the Fulsome Heart
Scholars’ Conference on Gently Persuading Religious Literature
Sage’s Conference on Progressive Legendary Diseases
The Blacksmiths of Literature
Drovers of Civilization
Tricksters of Intelligence
Buskers of Warcaft
The Flaming Faction of Hell’s Scholars
The Eternal League of Skywise Scholars
Imperial Academy of Draconian Discoveries
Academy of Dignified Military Education
They are laughing at you always.
And they never stop.
The Granddaddy of all Fantasy fiction tropes must surely be the Medieval Inn, with its open hearths and wenches in low-cut bodices, unsavory characters lurking about, and bowls of hot stew. (No less a luminary than Tolkien created the seminal template with The Prancing Pony.)
In truth, inns served a vital function in the Medieval/Renaissance world. Travel and commerce were becoming more common, and at the same time, highwaymen and robbers began to make open-air camping unsafe near settled areas. Where there was a business need, then as now, a business sprang up to serve it. The hospitality and food inns served was diverse, depending on the area’s resources and its wealth.
Here’s a list of randomly generated inn names you can use in your own works, and a list of House Specialties they might serve to their hungry patrons.
|The Grotto of the Dark Virgin
The Merry Peacock
The Whistling Fox Retreat
The Longshoreman’s Treasure
The Double Apple Inn
Bunker of the Foolish Dragon
The Laughing Moon
The Bard’s Dogfish
The Four Bottles Alehouse
The Monk’s Tumbling Mug
The Sapphire Phoenix
The Whistling Horse Inn
The Dagger and the Pearl
Four Mugs Hideaway
The Minstrel’s Jewels
The Tipsy Pine
Golden Dragon Tavern
The Black Star Inn
Inn of the Sleeping Moon
The Admiral’s Blue Haven
|Mermaid’s Golden Alehouse
Keep of the Prudent Virgin
The Happy Basilisk
The Captain’s Crab
Shanty of the Puzzled Mug
The Silver Compass
Alehouse of the Blue Dog
Fifty Crown Alley
The Grinning Raven
The Mermaid’s Flying Anchor
The Stumbling Weasel Inn
The Thirsty Frigate
The Salty Cockerel
The Prince’s Plow
The Wench’s Dirty Dungeon
The Fainting Gypsy
Retreat of the Four Jewels
The Pirate’s Plot
The Singing Shark Tavern
Manor of Dancing Spirits
The Golden Dog
|Devil’s Pudding: Pureed mussels and collard greens.
Goodwive’s Wonder: Slow-roasted bacon glazed with raspberry juice and the whites from goose’s eggs.
Poslim: Eel and pumpkin stew.
Geltonshaft: A creamy cheese with a red-orange rind.
Gorgon’s Omelet: Slow-roasted gizzards glazed with berry juice and scramble-fried with hen’s eggs.
Blueberry Sinner: A nutty ale from the east.
Dibbleqat: Fermented goat’s milk sweetened with apple-quince syrup.
Duke’s Dice: An alcoholic drink made from bulgur mash beer mixed with milk.
Peach Wonder: A delicious ale from the far south.
Whore’s Stew: Roasted fish mixed with collard greens.
Dascups: Fried oat and garbanzo bean cakes.
Savorfern: A savory pasty cheese made from mare’s milk.
Grundyrice: Thin slices of suckling pig dried in the sun until chewy.
Vanbittant: Cold fermented kefir blended with mead.
Scullylunga: A soft, filling cheese flavored with lemon.
Spinsalt: A starchy white cheese made from unicorn milk.
Dashobble: A dark, pasty tea brewed from alini leaves.
Scaddylak Scarlet: A local beer.
Dame’s Cross: Frothy cucumber juice flavored with nutmeg.
Gobblelunge: Fried goat with pickled mushrooms.
Gods’ Broth: Slow-roasted pork soup decorated with the whites from chicken’s eggs.
Funnack: Roasted pike stuffed with boiled broad beans.
Bobbleflan: Roasted tripe served with lentils.
Rummyborne: A northern brandy that tastes of cherry and fennel.
Caskdrop: A local beer.
Raspberry Envy: A bright pink alcoholic beverage brewed from hyzenberries.
Scullybeck: A soft cheese flavored with bacon.
Necromancy, by Lyndsey Hayes
Secret societies are a mainstay in popular fiction. (Just look at Dan Brown.) In fantasy and science fiction, we have the Bene Gesserit, The Dharma Initiative, The Talamasca, The Sith.
In mundane life, there are many, from the sinister to the accepted. Freemasons are one. But there’s also Aleister Crowley’s occult group Order of the Golden Dawn, the mystical St. Germaine Foundation, The Skull & Bones Society of Yale, and the Opus Dei of the Catholic Church. They may be secular, commercial, community, or spiritual in nature. Often their membership is restricted, and members cannot speak of what goes on in them.
Here’s a list of randomly-generated names you can use for your own.
|Brothers of Euphoria
Association of the Shadowed Sword
Starry Institute of the Bright Seafarer
Egalitarian Sanctum of Enchanters
Mothers of Fate
Coven of the Stringless Lute
Brotherhood of the Savage & Wondrous
The Starry Disciples of Sidefess
Minions of Solitude
Enclave of the Emerald
The Elder Syndicate of Dracotis
Union of the True Lantern
The Mist & Lightning Society
Citadel of the Iron Mage
Legion of the Scarlet Pyramid
The Minds of Profane Silence
Beauty of Ancient Ivory
The Golden Solitude
Apotheosis of Ash
Diviners of the Chimeric Veil
Legion Primal Clay
Order of Unconventional Fire
Utopia Of Hidden Beauty
The Nuanced Silence
The Looking Glass
|Commune of the Twilight Eagle
Enclave of Perfumed Earth
Servants of the Idol
Society for fhe Study of Aquatic Phenomena
The Eternal Sanctum
Mothers of Dauntless Purity
Conclave of Night
Brethren of Harmonious Shadow
Black Alliance Of Tamschim
The Spellmasters Union of Eurä
The Fire & Water Society
League of the Behemoth
Kin of the False Stone
Fraternity Of The Fiery Cowl
The Onyx Hegemony
Brothers of the Contorted Star
Sanctum of the Violent Dawn
The Sylvan Breath
The Salient Shadow
The Free Energy Syndicate
League of Bright Transcendance
The Clear Day Coalition
Kin of Kharmic Discovery
Eternal Sanctum Of Winter
The Spiritual Fire
Dawn of Luminous Gold