The Glorious History of Aathenaar, Part 3: Names from the Vine
With their fast speed, ability to fly over rough terrain, and utter lack of discretion over where and how they lived, the ancient sprites were the first to explore Coventra fully. It is for this reason that so many places on our world bear names from their language.
Some of the names that they gave were logical, such as the great mountain Eeren, which in their language simply means “great mountain.” Other places were given a whimsical name, or they were named after their discoverer, or perhaps the discoverer’s beloved.
And many places went unnamed, for the race of sprites is prone to flitting about and not finishing tasks.
But one sprite lord named Ator saw the rest of the animals spreading across the land, and realized the opportunity the sprites were on the edge of losing. Ator gathered the sprites of the world together, and they brought drawings of all the places yet to be named, in hopes that by combining their abilities they might finish the task.
After a few unproductive moments, a sprite named Zelda suggested that wine might aid the process.
This suggestion was more successful than anyone might have predicted. The first place named under this scheme was Leondara, which comes from the sprites’ word for the particular sound a cork makes as it comes out of a wine bottle. Names such as Gyagyagya come from the peculiar glugging sound that wine makes as it comes out of the bottle, and Chajji, their term for a sprite who believes she is flying between two trees, but is actually bouncing off of one tree into the other.
Dances were invented in this state of intoxication, both aerial and terrestrial, and their names became place names as well. And when they grew weary of dancing, many of the sprites broke off into pairs, or sometimes groups small or large, and allowed the drink to guide their friskier urges.
This segment of the meeting was particularly productive, giving names as diverse as Yarbadou, which means, in our tongue, “Fasterharder”, or Pinge, which means “wrong hole!”
In fact, only one place on all of Coventra remained unnamed after this night (and day and night again). It was a difficult territory, rough and rugged, with land fertile enough just for survival, where only the strongest and most noble of people could live. This last land was named some weeks later, when one of the youngest sprites discovered that, much against her wishes, she was with child. And so she screamed a lament, such as any young woman in that situation might, and that lament comes down to us today as “Aathenaar.”
No doubt it will not be long before a man of courage and vision realizes the wisdom of changing Aathenaar’s name to something more appropriate.