Reply To: True Names

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This is a very interesting question that SERIOUSLY gets ignored way too much.

And it’s also something I’ve wondered about, particularly the “how do you know your true name?”

In theory, your father (or mother depending on culture) will name you with a true name at birth, and then your mother, father and “god parents” are entrusted with this name until you are old enough to remember it on your own (of course they will still know it). Or it may come from a priest.

If your parents die when you are young, it would be your god parents job to tell you.

Obviously this doesn’t always work.

In Astlan, the exact rules are handled by your religion. It might be a parent naming you, but in many cases, your true name comes from the priest, and your parents only give you a calling/common name. The reason for this? If you are being reincarnated, your true name remains the same and the priest receives it from the deity or an avatar upon recognizing that you are “born again”

So, if all else fails, say your parents died before telling you, as did your god parents, then you’d need to go to a priest of your religion to find out.

Now, what to do if you are an atheist?

First, as will become very clear in book ii. Being an atheist in Astlan, is simply not a good idea. There are people, particularly hermetic druids, that are basically atheists, but one pays a HUGE price for being an atheist.

With your physical presence a seer or sorcerer can probably figure out your true name. It may require a quest.

As a rule, true names don’t ever change. Titles, and honorifics don’t change. As far as Jr. Sr. Those presume that you have parents/grandparents with the same name, thus your true name will generally have a “the second, the third” in it…or, it may not be any of those…your calling name is not really your true name.

The only time a true name would change would be if two beings literally merged with each other….then it’s probably a hyphenate.

In the case of Tom. Earth doesn’t use True Names any more. So in his case, he essentially “named himself” when he was summoned. yes that was his name before, but it became set in stone with the bindings….

Following this logic (and Jack Chalker’s) a deity could possibly change someone’s true name.

Now, as to why true names aren’t particularly used on Earth anymore…that’s a question for book IV, I think….