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[ Noble Houses | Families and Names ]

Rihannsu Noble Houses

Last Updated Friday June 20, 1997, 10:35 PM EDT

At the root of Rihannsu political organization is the noble house, or hfihar, system. Houses are family groups or clan-like organizations, with hereditary succession structures. Unlike feudal family organizations, however, Rihannsu houses encompass a much broader spectrum of society. For example, servants of a house lord, or hru'hfirh, are considered part of the family and adopt the house name, using it as their own. That is not to say that they are equal members, but they are included.

Each house that has its own rank and status accorded in Rihannsu society. houses are considered either Great Houses or Lesser Houses. Great Houses have many family members that are high in the social standing of the Empire. The members of Great Houses have proven their service to the Empire in past honors and loyalty. Lesser Houses have not received the honor and glory, but serve an integral and vital role within the Empire. It is their quiet service that supports the Empire and brings greater glory to it. The status of house members reflects directly on the status of their house and vice versa.

Within each hfihar are various positions, as detailed in the following table:

Position Function
hru'Hfirh Head of House
erei'Hfirh Heir of House
Auethnen Advisor
Rianov Weaponsmaster
Llaugh Representive
hru'Nanov Grandmother
v-hru'Nanov Adopted Grandmother
hru'Diranov Grandfather
v-hru'Diranov Adopted Grandfather
ri'Nanov Mother
v-ri'Nanov Adopted Mother
di'Ranov Father
v-di'Ranov Adopted Father
Rinam Sister
ia'Rinam Oldest Sister
v'Rinam Adopted Sister
Dianvm Brother
ira'Dianvm Oldest Brother
v'Dianvm Adopted Brother
Rian Cousin
v'Rian Adopted Cousin
Paenhe Daughter
ia'Paenhe Oldest Daughter
v'Paenhe Adopted Daughter
Faelirh Son
ira'Faelirh Oldest Son
v'Faelirh Adopted Son

The most important person in a house is the hru'hfirh or Head of House. The hru'hfirh is responsible for the members of the house, maintaining the house's mnhei'sahe and the day-to-day financial and social dealings of the house. The eri'hfirh, or heir, assists the hru'hfirh. The status of the house and the responsibilities are decided by the hru'hfirh, but usually the importance of House members is as follows: hru'hfirh, eri'hfirh, auethnen, and then llaugh and rianov with equal rank. The other status and importance follows as listed above. As you can see in the chart above, there is the added complexity of adoption. An adopted member of the family has the same rank and receives the same respect as a blood member, but with the added responsibility of another house, perhaps. Adoptions are commonplace in Rihannsu society.

When it comes to choosing a hfihar name you have two choices: be a member of the major nobility and join an existing hfihar or decline to be a member of the nobility at all. We will discuss each of those two options. We recommend that you join one of the existing hfihrnn, although you are by no means required to do so. Although very few Rihannsu are actually members of these families, the ones who are are typically high ranking members of the military or government officials, in other words, they are more likely than other Rihannsu to be Player Characters. More information on the existing hfihar-a, including both family names and descriptions of their activities and goals, is available in these pages.

You can also talk to the hru'hfirh-a (house heads) for more information on their families. You do not need to make a decision right now, and can choose to have been IC born into a hfihar any time up until you graduate from the Phi'lasasam. After that, however, or once you do choose a hfihar, you can only join a hfihar through more formal IC methods, such as marriage or adoption. Leaving your hfihar for any other reason than these is extremely discouraged and frowned upon. Your second option is not to join the nobility at all. To do this, simply ignore the step of giving yourself a hfihar name.

The below are the most common hfihar-a in the Empire amd their locations. Note that all of the hfihar links are off the site and so, the TrekMUSE admins hold no responsibility for maintaining them:

Another commonplace is a unique form of revenge, usually prompted by mnhei'sahe in the case of the murder of a child, known as rrh-thanai, or "hostage fostering." In this situation, a house steals the children of a rival house and rears them as their own. A family that has loses their child in this manner usually never sees them again.

Rihannsu Families and Names

A typical Rihannsu family is similar to the Terran counterpart, composed of a mother, father, and children, and is located within a noble house. Generally, these houses can be huge, especially in the case of some major houses. The family unit does not look to one parent as superior, as both mother and father have equal status both in the family and society. Although male children are favored, females are not considered second class citizens or stigmatized. Quite the contrary, females fill quite a few command positions in the Rihannsu Star Empire.

Finally, divorce and separation are extremely uncommon within Rihannsu families because the bond between the husband and wife is so very deep that the possibility of divorce and separation never enters their minds. A typical Rihannsu family is very happy and devoted to each other, united by the common bond of love and commitment.

It is within the family unit the first lessons in mnhei'sahe will be taught to ground a child in the basic morality of Rihannsu life and society. Similar to some Terran families, the Rihannsu family also includes every single blood member of the house. Each member of the house is responsible for seeing that all of the children are raised in the proper traditions of the house and that the lessons of mnhei'sahe are taught and learned properly from birth.

Names, as everyone should know, are of extereme importance in Rihannsu society, having a quasi-religions significance. A name is a Rihanha's most important possession and says more about its owner than his face, clothes, or more physical possessions. The typical noble Rihannsu name has four parts: the proper (or first) name, the secondary name, and for members of the nobility, the family or house name, with most Rihannsu also taking on a fourth name, known as a rehei. This page will discuss the creation and meaning of each of the four parts of Rihannsu names and will conclude with an OOC discussion of how to name your TrekMUSE character in appropriate Rihannsu fashion.

Each name has its own meaning and significance and tells all who hear it something about the nature of its owner. Rihannsu names form a rather set form and concept. The first, or proper name is generally given by one's parents. Examples of these names and their meanings can be found in the Rihannsu dictionary on this site. Its meaning reflects their hopes and aspirations for the child, although not often in a literal sense. For example, parents might name a child 'Ael' which means 'winged,' in the hopes that she will soar to the limits of his abilities. Perhaps they would choose the same name with the intention of associating the child with the qualities of the Element of Air. Also, they may have any of a dozen other reasons. The shadings and connotations of a name go far beyond its simple dictionary definition.

Although the first name is bestowed by the parents before they know much about the character of their baby, children most often grow into their names, although not always in the way their parents had anticipated. The above named Ael, for example, might end up as an atmospheric transport pilot, showing her wings in flight as the birds do. Not perhaps what his parents had intended, but Ael nonetheless. If all else fails, make something up following the guidelines given above. However, you may not want to use a name that similar to one already used by a TrekMUSE player, as it can lead to confusion.

The second name is locative and is determined by the Rihannha's birthplace or clan of origin. This locative name is prefixed by i- (in the city of) or ir- (in the region of). Examples of birthplaces can be found in the Rihannsu dictionary, but this list is by no means exhaustive. There are three forms of locative names, each describing a different type of background and distinguished by the name's prefix.

The first form of place name begins i- meaning, from the city of. If our example person Ael had been born in the city of Ra'tleihfi, she would be known as Ael i-Ra'tleihfi. The second form of place name begins ir- meaning from the region of. A region is a rather nebulous term encompassing anything from a small province on a heavily-populated world such as ch'Rihan to an entire colony world, depending on the local population. If our Ael had been born in the Mnaehe province of ch'Rihan, she would be called Ael ir-Mnaehe, "Winged One of the Mnaehe Province."

The final and rarest form of the locative name is used only by nobility who have a family name other than the one they were born with. Usually, this happens through marriage, although occasionally adoption will require it. In this case, the person changing their name would take their old family name as their locative name using the prefix e-, meaning 'of the family of.' Continuing with an example, let's say Ael is a noble of the Khellian family, with a full name of Ael ir-Mnaehe t'Khellian. She wishes to marry another noble, a man of the Sahen family from Ra'tleihfi. His name is Nniol i-Ra'tleihfi tr'Sahen. When they marry, however, he changes his name to Nniol e-Sahen tr'Khellian. She would still be Ael ir-Mnaehe t'Khellian, since she is not leaving her family to join another.

Only Rihannsu who are members or servants of noble families have hfihar (noble house or family) names. This third name is the clan or house name. A Rihannha's third name determines the noble house they are affiliated with. In order to use a house name, one must be associated with a noble house, this may be by birth, by employment or by "adoption." Thus, commoners have but two names. The house itself possesses a name, for example, Khellian, and a Rihanha who is related to the house uses a prefix for that name: t' for females, and tr' for males, while the neuter prefix for the hfihar in general is s'. Thus, Lhaes tr'Khellian is a male member of house Khellian and Jaeih t'Vaebn is a female member of house Vaebn. Examples of house names and the locations of those houses can be found in the Rihannsu dictionary, a rather complete list. Again, only members of the nobility or those who are indentured to noble families have hfihar names. If Ael were a commoner, she would simply be known as Ael ir-Mnaehe.

The primary name alone is never used except between equals, family, or friends. The house name may be used alone, except in circumstances where it is not unique, in which case some other identifier must be used, often the primary name. For example if several tr'Khellian's were present, Lhaes would be addressed as Lhaes tr'Khellian. The exception again is the old style single names, where the single name is used and the house name or middle name is used if differentiation is required, for example, S'taron i-Ramnau, if several S'taron are present. Some Rihannsu use this old style of name to show respect for S'task and his vision in leaving Vulcan.

Finally, some Rihannsu develop a fourth name, a rehei, which is a deeply personal name, discovered by its owner, not given. It is intensely private and shared only with intimate friends and family. For a list of some acceptable reheiin, refer again to the Rihannsu dictionary on this site. To find your rehei, you look inside yourself and if you look carefully enough, you will find the correct one. The meaning of a rehei is that which best describes its owner. As such, the rehei is shared only with close family and intimate friends, because to know a person's rehei is to understand the depths of their soul.

The exception to this naming process is those who honor an old style and have a single name, often beginning with S' to honor S'Task. Names of this style may have a house name as well, but just as often do not. Rihannsu often change their name for reasons of honor, which will not be touched on here. Note that the lists of names presented in links in the above paragraphs are by no means exhaustive, so feel free to consult with other Rihannsu if you would like to invent a name for your character.

Also, as several players seem to have misunderstood the purpose of the S'T and S'L prefixes for names. You can not just take the prefixes and tack them on to the beginning of a name. Quite the contrary, they are not really prefixes, but are there to show you what parts of certain names mean. Again, they are not to be tacked on to existing names, but only hold meaning when they are found in existing Rihannsu names, i.e. S'Task and S'Laerv, whose names infer bravery and honor, respectively, due to the presence of S'T and S'L present in the names.

As the Rihannsu take their names very seriously, so do we here on TrekMUSE. You are expected to have an IC Rihannsu name including both a personal (first) and a locative (second) name at the very least. First a note on the Rihannsu language in general. In some cases, it may be desirable to make up a name rather than use one of the examples provided. There is certainly nothing wrong with doing that as long as you preserve the basic Rihannsu feel to the word. Basically, this means two things. First, Rihannsu words tend to be very smooth with liquid consonants and long vowels. Sharp, guttural sounds are best saved for Klingon words. Likewise, avoid the quasi-Latin forms prevalent in some early novels, as we are not Romans. Second, avoid making puns out of your name. Things like tr'Ampoline or S'Tinger may be mildly amusing at first but they are completely OOC and will not be allowed.

Now that you've determined your character's IC name, you need to figure out what to @name it. If you are the hru'hfirh of a major noble family, you should set your @name to be your hfihar name with the t' or tr' prefix. Note that this prefix is not capitalized, the correct capitalization is t'Hfihar not T'Hfihar or T'hfihar. Otherwise, you should set your @name to your personal (first) name.

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