Friday, August 8, 2014

By Any Other Name

When I went to college, suddenly I had unrestricted access to the Internet.  This was not the internet of today, keep in mind.  We're talking the early days, when Netscape Navigator was the hot new browser, and Lycos was the greatest of search engines.  My college computer lab had a few dozen UNIX terminals, and some brand new PowerPCs.  Here I was introduced to the world of MUDs.

MUDs were pretty much early text based MMOs.  There were a few different code bases, but most of them worked very similarly to the typical MMO you're used to today; you chose a race and class for your character and entered a fantasy world where you wandered about killing creatures and taking their stuff.  Find better gear, level up, repeat.  The MUD I joined was called Avatar, a MUD using the Merc code base.

Avatar had a number of race options for characters.  Most of the standard fantasy races were available along with some more out of the ordinary options.  One of those options was Kzin.  I hadn't read any of Niven's Known Space stories at this point, but on reading the race description I saw that these were Wing Commander's Kilrathi by another name.  My choice was made.

Warlock wasn't an available name, though.  Names couldn't be shared with other players or with any NPC in the game, and somewhere there was a creature identified as a warlock.  So I needed a name.  A Kilrathi name.  I settled on Frelghra.

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