So I’ve been throwing out names as they come up (for example, the town in Chapter 3 is Fallinghollow), but I now want to be a little more definitive about this. What is the region going to be called? What will the towns be called? And, perhaps most importantly, what is the entire adventure path going to be called?

Naming adventure paths is hard. Here at Paizo, adventure paths are almost all my small team does, and all of us agree that finding a good, evocative name for an entire adventure path is difficult. It shouldn’t use a lot of jargon or made-up words, so an adventure path including a villain’s name is almost always straight out. It must evoke adventure and maybe danger. It should communicate the thrust of the adventure path in a single short phrase. It must be trademarkable (for my purposes, it shouldn’t be something anyone else has used in the fantasy space). It must not start with the word “The” (okay, the last is just something Paizo latched onto, and not really a rule for anyone else).

My adventure path is about a demon lord turning the land bad. The principal foes are demons and evil fey (dragons and devils to a lesser extent). So “Twisted Branches” or “Demonrot” or something like that evokes the theme. How about “The Heartwood Blight”? That sounds like a rot getting at the heart of a forest, and I can name one of the large forests the Heartwood. All of its words are common nouns, so it’s not jargon-y. I’ll call that my working title, and see if something else better comes along. 

For locations, I have one town called Fallinghollow, but my map pretty much requires an overall name and multiple settlements. I already want at least one large city to be the locus of devilish activity, and a few cities works well to make the region seem well-established, even if the heroes don’t ever visit them all. 

My map has something of a Viking look to it, and I want to veer toward Scandinavian-sounding names. A quick Google search and some creative rearranging gives me good names that fit my theme.

The Northfells is the name of the whole region. I picture it as mostly pine forest, with cold hills and such. Cities include VelkendirKensley, and Jorenkirk. There’s a big river, and I’m calling it the Langebeck River

I’ll need people names as they come up, so I’ll keep names like TorhildArvidHalvardHjalmarBrenna, and Sigridon a list so I can cross them off as I use them. I’ll use other names for non-humans (like the catfolk leader Aslam), but this will give my humans all a theme.

I can use these names as placeholders, but they won’t be final until I make my last check over the document; I’ll give a good overview of how I do that next time, in a blog that’s a little bit of a departure from this AP project.