Runsinshadows

Looking for new terms.

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Hello again. Sorry to bug you people with this long post, but I am hoping you can help. I am in the mapping stages of a story in which I am playing around with shape shifters, werewolves, and vampires. It is case where the shifters are huntng the "bad" werewolves and vampires. However, not all are "bad".

To make this clear, let me explain a little. In the world I am creating, there were once only shape shifters and "living" vampires. They lived peacefully among humans, but kept what they were a secret. Just like with humans, they had those that refused to follow the rules, and over time evolved into the lycans, and and the more typical form of vampires. 

Where I am running into trouble is with my desire to come up with terms for the "good" side. What I mean, is that lycans live in packs, they are lead by an alpha, the other members fall into the categories of beta, submissive, or omega. Their home range is called a lair.

Vampires are divided into clans, they live in groups called kisses. Their home range is called a nest. They are lead by masters. The rest fall into the category of either leader, childe, or fledgling. There is more to this, but I think that is enough to give you an idea of what I am doing with them.

Here is where I am hitting walls. I want the reader to be able to know the difference between a good or bad vampire just by the terms used.

I have tried using Google translator to find terms to replace the ones used for vampires, but what I am given is very close to the English word for the most part. I could maybe rethink things if I had alternatives for the words master, child, and vampire.

The shifters come in three types: Canindae(wolf), Felindae(large cats), and Serpendae(snake). They don't completely shift- think of a wolfman here.

I need alternatives for the words alpha, beta, and pack. There are no omegas among the shifters. 

What do you call someone who isn't traditionally submissive, but who isn't aggressive enough to be a beta type?

I am uncertain if the Serpendae should be used at all. Snakes are seen by many as evil. But there are those who see them as good. The living vampires and the other two shifters have counterparts with the lycans, and vampires.

A lycan that turns into a snake just doesn't fit. I am not saying that they wouldn't be dangerous, but they would be like someone with throwing knives, when everyone else had guns.

 

Again, I am sorry for the long post, but the only other person I could ask, blinked at me and told me it was something I was going to have to decide for myself, which was no help at all.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Runsinshadows

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Master – Dominator

Child – “Barely Evil,” n00b (gamers are pretty evil),

vampire – ‘suckers, leeches, nightkind, Plasmatics 

alpha – Primus

beta – Secundus  (the idea for these two being that one side has the greek letter names alpha/beta, and the other has the latin for first and second)

pack  – band 

What do you call someone who isn't traditionally submissive, but who isn't aggressive enough to be a beta type?

Neville Longbottom.

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2 hours ago, Runsinshadows said:

Hello again. Sorry to bug you people with this long post, but I am hoping you can help. I am in the mapping stages of a story in which I am playing around with shape shifters, werewolves, and vampires. It is case where the shifters are huntng the "bad" werewolves and vampires. However, not all are "bad".

To make this clear, let me explain a little. In the world I am creating, there were once only shape shifters and "living" vampires. They lived peacefully among humans, but kept what they were a secret. Just like with humans, they had those that refused to follow the rules, and over time evolved into the lycans, and and the more typical form of vampires. 

Where I am running into trouble is with my desire to come up with terms for the "good" side. What I mean, is that lycans live in packs, they are lead by an alpha, the other members fall into the categories of beta, submissive, or omega. Their home range is called a lair.

Vampires are divided into clans, they live in groups called kisses. Their home range is called a nest. They are lead by masters. The rest fall into the category of either leader, childe, or fledgling. There is more to this, but I think that is enough to give you an idea of what I am doing with them.

Here is where I am hitting walls. I want the reader to be able to know the difference between a good or bad vampire just by the terms used.

I have tried using Google translator to find terms to replace the ones used for vampires, but what I am given is very close to the English word for the most part. I could maybe rethink things if I had alternatives for the words master, child, and vampire.

The shifters come in three types: Canindae(wolf), Felindae(large cats), and Serpendae(snake). They don't completely shift- think of a wolfman here.

I need alternatives for the words alpha, beta, and pack. There are no omegas among the shifters. 

What do you call someone who isn't traditionally submissive, but who isn't aggressive enough to be a beta type?

I am uncertain if the Serpendae should be used at all. Snakes are seen by many as evil. But there are those who see them as good. The living vampires and the other two shifters have counterparts with the lycans, and vampires.

A lycan that turns into a snake just doesn't fit. I am not saying that they wouldn't be dangerous, but they would be like someone with throwing knives, when everyone else had guns.

 

Again, I am sorry for the long post, but the only other person I could ask, blinked at me and told me it was something I was going to have to decide for myself, which was no help at all.

 

 

 

 

Therianthropy is partially what you are looking for. D&D, in particular, started this quite strange obsession with blanketing shapeshifters into lycanthropy a strange trend that endures to this day for some inexplicable reason. (Asked WOTC but never got a reply back in 3.5 era days.)

A good source to kinda get a better idea.

https://whitewolf.fandom.com/wiki/Fera

White Wolf has very expansive lore. I prefer Old World of Darkness but to each their own. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Werewolf:The Apocalypse

has terms for good and bad shifting breeds. 

They also have a famous vampire line

called Vampire The Masquerade.

Start there.

Edited by InvidiaRed
Clarity

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15 minutes ago, JayDee said:

Master – Dominator

Child – “Barely Evil,” n00b (gamers are pretty evil),

vampire – ‘suckers, leeches, nightkind, Plasmatics 

alpha – Primus

beta – Secundus  (the idea for these two being that one side has the greek letter names alpha/beta, and the other has the latin for first and second)

pack  – band 

What do you call someone who isn't traditionally submissive, but who isn't aggressive enough to be a beta type?

Neville Longbottom.

Your suggestions for master, alpha, beta, and pack are things I can see using. They are close enough to the original words to be understood, but different enough that they would sound unique in a way. Your answer to my last question made me spray my dog with Dr. Pepper. He is now hiding under the coffee table, giving me betrayed looks. 

Edited by Runsinshadows

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13 minutes ago, InvidiaRed said:

Therianthropy is partially what you are looking for. D&D, in particular, started this quite strange obsession with blanketing shapeshifters into lycanthropy a strange trend that endures to this day for some inexplicable reason. (Asked WOTC but never got a reply back in 3.5 era days.)

A good source to kinda get a better idea.

https://whitewolf.fandom.com/wiki/Fera

White Wolf has very expansive lore. I prefer Old World of Darkness but to each their own. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Werewolf:The Apocalypse

has terms for good and bad shifting breeds. 

They also have a famous vampire line

called Vampire The Masquerade.

Start there.

I am not familiar with any of this, except D&D. I did play that a few times. It never really gathered much interest in the crowd I ran with, but I have always been the odd one. Thanks for giving another place to look. I really had no idea past searching other languages.

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3 minutes ago, JayDee said:

My apologies to your dog. Truly learning “what’s the worst that can happen” today.

Child’s a tough one. I was gonna say Youngling but it makes me think of star wars even though it’s like twelve hundred years old.

Actually, that isn't a bad suggestion. They age slower, and live much longer than humans, so I can see them calling anyone they see as "children by that.

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Adding on…

I like the Lord and Lady. He is Lord of the city kind of deal. Now, if I could figure out something to call the living vampires, instead of "Lampires" which my cousin likes to call them, I would be good to go. I can work around what to call someone submissive who isn't submissive.

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1 hour ago, JayDee said:

My apologies to your dog. Truly learning “what’s the worst that can happen” today.

Child’s a tough one. I was gonna say Youngling but it makes me think of star wars even though it’s like twelve hundred years old.

Thought you might be interested in this. I followed the link provided by Invidiared. While looking through the information, I came across the word "scion". I decided that youngling will be something the elder shifters use for teens and young adults. Scion, or descendant, will be used for the Lampires. Beginning to truly hate that word. I keep imagining glow in dark vampires. >_<

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Heh, fair enough! That word always reminded me of a Marvel/DC crosover, where the Sub Mariner says something about being a Scion of Atlantis, and Aquaman agrees he’s done plenty of “sighin’ in Atlantis” too.

Quote

I keep imagining glow in dark vampires. >_<

Still better than the sparklepires tbh.

Edited by JayDee

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Seconding using terms from World of Darkness (werewolf the apocolypse,and vampire the masquerade) at least for ideas. Those systems also provide alternates, like their darker are Sabbat. Since you are doing normal and darker variant, that might get to be a lot of custom vocab, is the lifestage that different dark or light to require separate names?.

I saw a recommendation for fantasy writers to limit your custom words to one page.  The words may be second nature to you, but readers get annoyed if they have to flip back and forth (had comments in a critique group too on this, and mine were greek derived)

For elder vamps of a coven, I’ve also seen Sire (also used in Buffy/Angel, which is more well-known than WoD) 

I’m personally not sure I could take Latinate terms for ‘wolves or vamps seriously. Not everything old and respected is roman, and taking these names from another language might make it fresh.  Alpha/beta/omega is already used in so many non-shifter stories, using it is a two-edged sword. [And to switch genres, do the latin-sounding Sith lords’ names in Star Wars make you laugh like me? Sidious is intimidating, Vader is germanic father which is strange for Palpatine to give him, and Tyranus is asking for scatological mocking.  Sith names just keep getting less intimidating: Lumis is especially humor inducing: look out for Lord Light!]  If I wanted a diferent flavor. I’d go old english or really ancient like Egypt or Asia.

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20 hours ago, Anesor said:

Seconding using terms from World of Darkness (werewolf the apocolypse,and vampire the masquerade) at least for ideas. Those systems also provide alternates, like their darker are Sabbat. Since you are doing normal and darker variant, that might get to be a lot of custom vocab, is the lifestage that different dark or light to require separate names?.

I saw a recommendation for fantasy writers to limit your custom words to one page.  The words may be second nature to you, but readers get annoyed if they have to flip back and forth (had comments in a critique group too on this, and mine were greek derived)

For elder vamps of a coven, I’ve also seen Sire (also used in Buffy/Angel, which is more well-known than WoD) 

I’m personally not sure I could take Latinate terms for ‘wolves or vamps seriously. Not everything old and respected is roman, and taking these names from another language might make it fresh.  Alpha/beta/omega is already used in so many non-shifter stories, using it is a two-edged sword. [And to switch genres, do the latin-sounding Sith lords’ names in Star Wars make you laugh like me? Sidious is intimidating, Vader is germanic father which is strange for Palpatine to give him, and Tyranus is asking for scatological mocking.  Sith names just keep getting less intimidating: Lumis is especially humor inducing: look out for Lord Light!]  If I wanted a diferent flavor. I’d go old english or really ancient like Egypt or Asia.

 

I lived in Washington state when I was young. The area I was in, referred to carbonated drinks as "Pops". Two counties over, they were called sodas, the county north of me called them soda pops, which is the original term. It somehow became bastardized in other places. You could use any variant in either of the three counties and people knew what you meant.

In a way, that was what I was trying to do, use variants of terms commonly known to differentiate the original races from the evolved ones. When you read the word alpha, for example, you usually are reading about someone who has an aggressive personality who often is the leader. However, a leader only has to be able to get others to follow them. Some of the best leaders I have known were not aggressive.

My point with this is that not just any word will work. Alphas are dominate personalities, so a word like dominus, which is Latin for master, is more likely to convey to a reader, the image of an aggressive leader, than a word that most people have never heard, and are unlikely to be able to guess it's meaning. That is something I want in this story due to the sides being related. In another story, I might make up words.

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hmm…. i know a few reigional vampiric variations you could probably use, but given ‘hive’, and folklore history, have you thought about epidemology terms? vampires have long been tied to plagues culturally, or they were before the romantic angle (even during for a while), but you could uses stages related to carriers, early infections, disease-spreading pests etc, both for the insectiod angle and as a slight from the people who named them. or vampires boasting about their capacity to spread.

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