Iyo/Naming

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Iyo/Naming is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

Iyo Families and Naming

(As transcribed by Eslada L'Rae, a researcher imbedded with the tribe for several years, in early 5015)

At first glance, Iyo naming seems fairly simplistic, with each family sharing a prefix, but looking beneath the surface reveals a surprising amount of depth to the practice. The Iyo do not retain their names for the entirety of their lives. Indeed, the name given at birth is always transient and not retained for very long once an Iyo has reached an age where they are able to "follow their roots," as the Iyo term it. While they are quite secretive about their language as a whole, this is the one phrase spoken openly and even explained. In their language it is pronounced: "Lhiss Sowshem."

Following one's roots can loosely be translated as “seeking your calling”. If an Iyo feels drawn to a particular skill or lifestyle they might seek out and join a family more oriented towards their particular desires. Each family has a specialty or two, and they all openly welcome new family members who share their passions. The Iyo regard themselves collectively as one large family of sorts, and there is no interfamily aggression.

For example, the Uh family is one that specializes in woodworking, especially when it comes to musical instruments. Their members will demur and claim that there are other families who do much finer work, but the Uh reputation is one that draws young Iyo to them. When an Iyo wishes to join the Uh family, they are given a new name, generally of two syllables, and begin their journey as a member of that family. They take up residence with their new family and begin to live the life that most appeals to them.

It is not uncommon for individuals to make this transition several times as they mature, and it is always a cause for joy as the community as a whole celebrates someone following their roots to where they are meant to be planted.

Families in the Iyo culture are started by an Iyo who seeks to pursue a particular skill or lifestyle. This Iyo chooses their leading syllable (Im, for example), then takes the suffix "-resh", thereby arriving at their own new name (Im-resh using the earlier example). As best I can ascertain, "-resh" in the Iyo tongue means 'guide' or 'leader', though these both feel lacking in some fashion, and I suspect the meaning goes deeper than either of those. Other Iyo who might join the new family would take their new name from the -resh's leading syllable. It is interesting to note that for each family there will only ever be a single "-resh", as the title is not inherited or passed down when the original "-resh" dies.

To date, only a handful of Iyo families have been identified:

The Uh family, as noted above, are talented woodworkers and instrument-makers. They also are rather clever tailors.

The Ah family are hunters and trackers and are one of the foremost crafters of firewheel weapons.

The Es family are poets, music-makers, and pacifists. They frequently 'sing for their supper', trading entertainment for food from the other families.

The Is family are farmers and are quite skilled at drawing all manner of crops from the rich soil.

The Ul family are gemcutters and miners who spend much of their time in tunnels under the mountain and fashioning beautiful jewelry from what they unearth.

When asked how many families there are, the common reply is, "as many as there need be."