OR: How To Create An Entire God From Just A Name
Spencer had a paladin. We knew that much, at least. We were rolling dice, writing down numbers, making characters, we knew his strength (decent) and intelligence (low) and all that. Then came the big question: “What god should I worship?”
The players turned to me. I shrugged. I could have listed off a bunch of gods and let them pick one, but when I’d been preparing to run this game I’d taken a look at the old roster I’d written up for the Imperial pantheon and realized that most of them sucked. I had a god of “good judgment and hard work” on there. Dunno what I was thinking when I wrote that one up.
“Make something up,” I suggested.
“Jojo McMotherfucker,” said Peter. “That’s the name of your god.”
And so we have Gibson the Paladin, in the service of Jojo McMotherfucker, and I get to make this name work with a world that tries to take itself seriously. Let’s do this.
Take the name. Jojo. Look it up. It’s an African name that means “Monday-Born.” Rock on: already we have a holy day for the worshipers of the McMotherfucker. I look up “Monday,” and find that the original meaning was “Day of the Moon.” So the moon is holy to Jojo. It’s round, he’s a badass motherfucker…let’s say that in Imperial mythology, the moon is Jojo’s shield. Sounds like something a holy warrior would shout. Maybe they have moons painted on their shields, I dunno. And maybe he’s big into werewolves–he’s got the moon, so it seems appropriate. But Jojo is, as I noted earlier, an African name, so maybe not wolves…
Lions. Jojo is associated with the moon, lions and werelions, swords, and crusades. His holy order of knights will be called something Lions. I need a good word. The Illarym Empire has a sort of Chinese/Indian vibe, let’s bring up a list of Indian names. Skip to the Js. Jujhar. Means “Warrior with tenacity” or something. Also, it sort of sounds like Jojo. All right then, we’ve got the Jujhar Lions, holy warriors who fight for Jojo McMotherfucker.
Now for the other half of his name. The prefix “Mc” means “Son of,” but I’m going to ignore that. This guy is supposed to be the badass, not his dad. “Motherfucker” is more interesting. In modern slang, it can mean anything from an insult to a stone-cold badass. His followers probably believe the latter interpretation, but I’m thinking there’s a heresy or two out there who believe that Jojo actually had sex with his mother. In all the old Greek myths that’s where a lot of the crazier monsters come from, so I’m going to say that these heresies believe that this unnatural union led to the birth of the Medusa. Singular. I like the idea of there being one Medusa, so I can capitalize it and use it as a name and have her be a player on the world stage just like all the Emperors and Kings. If I ever need to turn someone to stone I’ll whip out a basilisk or two. Medusa has a special place in my plans for this mythology, oh yes she does.
I’ve plotted out a bit more about Jojo and Medusa and the moon and whatnot, but my players don’t know that–indeed, have barely received any hint that there is anything more to Jojo than the official line. I’ll leave it at that for now, because I know at least one of them reads this blog.