I’ve left the first couple of Blog Azeroth shared topics slide by since I didn’t have anything worth sharing, but I’ll hop on this particular bandwagon
So character names. Going back to my teens when I was playing pen & paper RPGs (yes, my nerd roots are that deep), names which sounded more or less gaelic were all the rage with the couple of nerdy friends sharing that hobby, and that’s more or less a broad overtone I stuck with ever since.
Gwaendar, my current posting handle, has evolved from the simple Gwaen I used to pick for many female character names back in those days, not just P&P RPG but computer games as well – Ultima and Bard’s Tale series had Gwaen already.
Gwaendar I believe I first used in FFXI as there was a Gwaen character on my server already (although at that time it was neither my main handle nor first character created). The toon name then carried over to my generic net identity when I switched over to WoW, mainly because I was soon to create my first guild’s website and Gwaendar was my main at that time. I stuck to it because it was convenient.
Celerann is a name I picked for my pallies and I started using with WoW. For the inspiration I probably picked Tolkien’s Celeborn and transformed it to a female name.
Caythlin was / is my gnome lock (and the name passed on to a couple of other female casters since), simply a gaelic-sounding modification of Kathleen, a name I seem to like for some reason (it’s actually the second name of my first daughter, my wife likes it too).
Then we have Alastair, which used to be my main toon name for male characters for a long time, and my first main on FFXI for instance. I used this as a modified version of Allister (as in Crowley, go figure) for my male characters for a good dozen years, and was quite amused when I finally met an authentic (and very Scottish) Alastair at work a couple of years ago. The name eventually gave birth to the female form Alastaria, which I still use for mages mainly. On FFXI, when I made a taru-taru, the name more or less naturally gave Alasutaru, which coincidentally is pretty close of the Japanese rendering of Alastair.
I further use Grandak for orcs – I was looking for something with a more guttural sound than my usual choices, Farngath for some dwarves, some variations of Tramplegnome for certain Tauren toons (go figure).
When PCTing my shaman over to Doomhammer, I had to rename her so I decided to go for something a bit different than my usual routine. I wanted something to do with the shaman class, in line with certain first and last names you’ll find on NPCs. I rather unoriginally came up with Wolfdancer but I like the sound of that, so it’s OK, I guess.
And that’s more or less most of the names. For pets, it’s a lot simpler, my hunters’ best friends are usually either Nerf or Nerfbat, and that’s it.