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Some surnames are here translated into English where applicable, resulting in such words as "Ironclad", "Strongarm" and "Redmark".

Here's what I assumed: Upon becoming Emperor, Ironclad I took the name Ironclad and therefore his house became House Ironclad. Upon becoming Emperor, the general who would become Strongarm (still working on that story too) took that name because it was more regal. The same with Erika. ---Drakey

A good idea. However, in that case, we need some kind of name for Ironclad I (I assume history remembers it...) Also, are crown princes given their house's names upon being born, or do they only use these once they become Emperor? --- Aran 14:37, 31 Aug 2005 (CEST)
Well, we can cross that bridge when we come to it :P. Unless that time is now, in which case I'd go for something Aizoan-sounding. Once someone from a House becomes Emperor and changes the name of the House (which is not necessarily the case - see Stewart and perhaps Hawthorne and Prazac), everyone in the House changes their name.

New Canon

As far as our scope is concerned, Jeff's word is Canon even if he comments outside of his games, right?

But there are other members of the Redmark clan. With very different careers and personalities, but with a similar ability to find themselves in the middle of chaotic events.
One of your superiors is General Manfred Redmark, a distant cousin of Erika (though, of course, Erika died around the time he was born). The Redmarks were a very influential and powerful political family on the surface (which is how Erika was able to receive such extensive magical training in the first place). Erika's actions caused the family to go into great decline. Understandably.

This runs counter to the assumption that Erika chose her name - the clan already existed and she was in fact the last member before it lost much of its influence.


I think that this (combined with Gabor Krizsan and family) gives us enough canon material to work out a theory by implication: Surnames are held by nobility. Since nobility is something more formally defined than just having a lot of money (traders don't have surnames), they probably choose a surname upon getting a title. Which presumably is bestowed by imperial decree.

Combining this with the non-Canon, but established and realistic ties that the great Imperial houses have to the military, it's not unlikely that most titles are bestowed on able generals. And a few perhaps on politicians and imperial advisors. After such an event, they are inherited, leaving the family free to pursue other, non-military professions.

Thus, the history of the Redmark clan could well run:

  1. Military commander rises to fame
  2. Military commander gets noble title
  3. Noble family gains land and influence
  4. Noble family gets rich and can buy Magical education for its children
  5. Magically apt child is born into rich family and becomes archmage.

Edit: I nearly forgot what point I was going for here. My conclusion is that the article on Names is still sorely lacking, and the canon that we have would allow us to put a lot of stuff together by conjecture.

-- Arancaytar | Send Reply! --- That is not dead which can eternal lie... 02:08, 5 June 2007 (PDT)

You mean, by wild conjecture? I don't buy this theory at all. Let's look at all the instances of surnames we have. I count four categories:
  1. Surname given by game and referred to as some kind of clan identifier (Erika Redmark, Rita Cskany, Carol Hamer)
  2. Surname given by game and treated exactly the way we do (Patrick Padraig, Cecile Vidican, Gabor Krizsan, Mariann Krizsan, Tor Gunston)
  3. Surname implied by difference of names in Exile and Avernum and OOG refernces (Jordan Bojar, Gilda Radner, Genevieve Radner)
  4. Surname fabricated outside of canon and treated exactly the way we do (Dorian Kylen)
Erika and Patrick were big deal mages and the Krizsans were a military family. But there is no evidence to suggest such lineage for Rita, Carol, Tor, Jordan, Gilda, or Genevieve. What this evidence suggests to me is that surnames are rarely used except by big-deal noble types, who place importance in them. But they clearly aren't restricted to nobles and having them bestowed as "titles" with the vast majority of the population having no surname sounds completely unrealistic and impractical. --- Slarty 06:08, 5 June 2007 (PDT)