Another or a better term for....

cren_ew

New Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Indiana
Hello! I am currently working on fantasy, NA project and I'm seriously having a hard time finding a work that fits a very specific organization. I found a few options but none of them are truly fitting in the way I had hoped they would. To be completely honest, I have been working on this nonstop and I am fried but I refuse to take a break. I could keep putting it off like I have for a while, however, this particular word is starting to pop up more now in this particular section I am working on and I cannot keep leaving random words that MAY work in red. It is driving me crazy. Any suggestions will help! Please! SOS!

Now! Here I will describe these "organizations". In this project I am working on there are 6 of them. They are almost like "groups" that have power over certain sections of the city. Each with their own specialties and special characteristics, two having slightly more power (equal to each other) while the rest have lesser, but equal power. (think like a king and queen and their 4 council members.) Each of them have their own military forces that have specialized forces (paladins, knights, archers, sorcerers etc.), but also have jobs that aren't involved in the military as well, (politics, medics/healers, scholars and more mundane jobs as well like blacksmiths, farmers etc.) I don't particularly fancy the word "factions" but I guess that is a more modern term that could have been used if I was doing more of a dystopian setting, which it is not. I'm sorry, my brain doesn't work. Please help. Thank you so much in advance from a baby writer.
 

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
15,069
Location
California
I don't particularly fancy the word "factions" but I guess that is a more modern term that could have been used if I was doing more of a dystopian setting, which it is not.
Actually, according to the first dictionary I looked at, it's not a particularly modern term. In the sense "a party or group that is often contentious or self-seeking, a clique" the earliest known use in English is 1509. It's borrowed from Middle French, faction, which in turn is borrowed from Latin faction-, factio "the act of making a social set, band, or self-seeking group."

But you said you don't particularly fancy the word, and these definitions may suit even more poorly than you thought, and I am using it only as an example of how we may very often be mistaken about the dates and origins of words we hear around us and assume must be contemporary.

So what I am suggesting to you instead is that (supposing you haven't done so already) you look up the history of some of the words you've been considering, the ones you've been writing in red, and one of them (or one of its synonyms listed) may be found to exactly say what you want to say, as well as fit the sort of time and place you are trying to evoke. Any decent dictionary should assist you in this.

If that doesn't help, maybe someone who posts here after me will have some more specific suggestions for words you might use.
 

M. Robert Gibson

Member 41015
Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
1,707
My first thought was 'Guilds', but that's more to do with occupations.
Some further thought and the groups sound like gangsters each controlling their own 'patch' or 'manor', but 'mobs' is too modern and not appropriate for fantasy.
So another thought, is there a name for medieval gangsters? Well it turns out there were gangsters, but I couldn't find a specific one, but the term 'brotherhood' came up, also 'clan'.
And then there were the 'reivers', but that doesn't quite cover it either.


 

therapist

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
284
I'ld like to throw 'coterie' into the mix. You should pick whatever one sounds/feels the best, intead of what most accurately describes your groups.
 

Wayne Mack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
1,236
Location
Chantilly, Virginia, US
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
4,251
There's a difference between having official power over parts of a town and having unofficial influence. There's also a difference running part of a settlement and having overall control.

Rome had (on more than one occasion) a triumvirate, where 3 powerful men held political control. There was also apparently a septumvirate where the same happened with 7 individuals; I guess yours would be a sextumvirate, but this seems a mouthful and may not be appropriate.

Factions are organised, splintered sections of a 'whole' which (to me) doesn't really fit, whereas your description of 'Each with their own specialties and special characteristics' very much makes me think of guilds. Historically you would find that districts of larger settlements would be dominated by certain trades and governed by guilds. Although they could (sometimes) wield considerable influence, they were usually in overall control (Terry Pratchett's Ankh Morpork had guilds, but was governed by a patrician).
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
13,950
Location
nearly the New Forest
A galere is a group of people, particularly unpleasant ones, but it doesn't really fit for organisations which clearly have some power.

One definition of capitulary is pertaining to a chapter of an organisation (chapter as in a union sense, not of a book) and a corps is a body of people, both of which might work.

But perhaps look at words to do with six eg senary, or make up one eg hexaron.

Alternatively, instead of you imposing a word on the characters, perhaps consider how they would describe the groups -- eg they might think of themselves as brotherhoods or sodalities. The Scuole Grandi of Venice were confraternities formed for religious or charitable purposes, but it's easy to imagine that in a different world their original functions might have morphed so each one became a ruling body for a specific area of the city.
 

sknox

Member and remember
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
1,771
Location
Idaho
As you've seen, there are many synonyms. Just look them up, make a list, then go find some examples of use. Pretty straightforward.

In addition, though, another possibility is to not. That is, maybe just give each of them names. The Red Watch. The Carrion Crows. The Towermen, etc. Let the reader supply a common noun to them as a group, if it's even needed.
 

farntfar

My garden may be smaller than Rome, but...
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
2,786
Location
France.
Could you go for something like "The Honorable company of...."
It could be function based, like the Honorable Company of Metalsmiths or The Honorable Artillery Company., both of which exist.
Or maybe regional The Honorable Company of Hammersmith and Ealing, which I'm pretty sure doesn't exist.
It gives them some sort of gravitas, while actually meaning little really, other than that they gave themselves a name.
 

chriscarlton

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2022
Messages
5
Location
London
Commonwealth. Collective. Hive. Union. Parish. Consort. Guild. Order. Routiers. Company. Band. Fraternity. Brotherhood.
I really often use names or words from other languages to fill things like this. I think it works best when simple or snappy.
Hope that helps!
 

mosaix

Shropshire, U.K.
Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
7,878
Location
Shropshire, U.K.
Commonwealth. Collective. Hive. Union. Parish. Consort. Guild. Order. Routiers. Company. Band. Fraternity. Brotherhood.
I really often use names or words from other languages to fill things like this. I think it works best when simple or snappy.
Hope that helps!
'Guild' is good. In UK medieval times the guilds wielded immense power.
 

Similar threads


Top