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A Name of One's Own Choosing

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Farmer Cape


Farmer had many reasons to choose the name Farmer.


A Farmer is someone who produces food for people to eat. A farmer must know about nature. A farmer works hard. A former’s work is nothing without nature’s contribution. A farmer often needs a helping hand and will often lend one in return.


A Farmer can be a man or a woman or neither or both. The name wasn’t exclusive to any gender. And Farmer was: a man and a woman and neither and both.


Amber Orchid


What is home? Home was with Nestor, that was for sure. But there were other places. Every stage Amber performed on was home to her. A home could lie in the lines of a song or in its melody. The odour of a flower could be home. Many flowers that weren’t native to Tortall were regularly shipped to Port Caynn from faraway places, such as Amber’s first home: Carthak.


Many Tortallans thought of Carthak as a land that was only desert. They had probably never seen the oases. When Amber thought of Carthak she remembered a land that was an abundance of colour, of pleasant odours and of flowers. Especially orchids.


When Amber was a girl she learned that there were orchids in a thousand different colours, and she learned that the amber ones flattered her most (they looked great in combination with the tone of her skin, a colour that she loved).


Amber also learned that sometimes, putting flowers in your hair was an act of bravery. Sometimes beauty and bravery were one and the same.


The Amber Orchid was the most beautiful of all flowers. To settle for anything less than most beautiful when it came to her name – that would have made no sense to Amber.



Beka Cooper


‘Terrier’, ‘Bloodhound’ and ‘Mastiff’ were all names meant to praise Beka. However, she didn’t like to be called that. Those names referred to very particular achievements of hers. They represented spectacular hunts she was very proud of, but they weren’t connected to her daily life. In her daily life she was one of many dogs. She was a friend, a lover, a mother and a sister. She was a person with wild magic. Most of the time she didn’t feel much like a hero.


Beka wanted to be acknowledged for all of herself, not just for her outstanding actions. Therefore she insisted on being called Beka. Because that was her name.



Rosto the Piper


Trusting his gut feelings had proved to be the right thing to do for Rosto many times. Whenever he got into a fight his actions tended to be faster than his mind. This had often saved his life (and the lives of his loved ones) and it had been the end to many of his enemies. He knew within a heartbeat whether to trust someone or not. When he saw injustice he had an opinion about it within the split of a second – and he acted according to it. He was also prone to falling in love at first sight (some of his friends remarked that this happened to him almost daily – and that was only a mild exaggeration).


So, the first time Rosto was asked his name after he decided that the feminine name his mother chose didn’t fit him any longer, he just ‘Rosto’ as if he had been called by that name all his life. It was a spur of a moment decision without any special meaning. But it was a name that he liked.


And ‘Rosto the Piper’ was a name that would be remembered for centuries. That he would make sure.



The Cat


The constellation that looked a little like a cat was given many names by many different peoples over the course of many centuries.


The cat that was more than a cat was given a number of names by human friends. Pounce and Faithful were only two of them.


Did the cat have a name that stayed with him forever? If so, he was the only one who knew.