Sylvari Naming Conventions

They are the Children of the Pale Tree and the youngest major race in modern Tyria. Emerging from the Tarnish Coast just twenty-three years ago, the strange plant-like people soon spread throughout Tyria with each generation following the Twelve Firstborn.


The Inspiration Behind Sylvari Names

The Sylvari are a strange race, one that in many ways is almost human, but in other ways, their planty exterior belies their alien nature. They are a race that were all born from a tree, meaning they lack the bonds of family that other races have. This means last names that show family relation do not really exist; they aren’t necessarily considered (more on last names later) when a Sylvari is born. In fact, it seems from birth that either the Pale Tree names the individual, or more likely, that Sylvari simply name themselves after Awakening from the dream.

The inspiration for this mysterious new race comes from several sources, including Irish Mythology, Welsh Folklore, and Arthurian Legend. The Tablet-following Sylvari of the Grove (called Dream Sylvari by some), and their conflict with the Nightmare Court (called Nightmare Sylvari by some), mirrors the conflict between the irish Faerie courts of the Seelie and Unseelie (Seleigh and Unseleigh in Irish). The chilvarious knight feel of the Sylvari is definitely seen in the stories of King Arthur, while their ritualism and unearthly feel is mirror in the Irish Sidhe or the Welsh Tylwyth Teg.

Most stories from the Celtic annals are the stories of passion and drama. In many ways, that can be seen in the Sylvari, as at the same time they have expanded beyond that to become their own entity unto themselves.

Non-Celtic Sources

For those seeking for a non-Celtic influence Sylvari name here are some good sources:


Sylvari Evolution and Naming

As a Sylvari experiences the world, their perception of it will change. Consider how old a Sylvari is, and what they have seen. What did they first encounter after leaving the grove, and how long where they there? These factors are something to take into one’s pondering as the decision to change the Sylvari’s original name appears. This is a truth that should be considered, as a species that wishes to experience will often most likely reflect that in how they identify themselves. This form of identification will require an event to provide reasoning for a change. This can be a random encounter, some kind of revelation, or simply a process of realization of one’s character.

This means that the notion of last name may come as a factor for some Sylvari. This doesn’t mean they will attempt to take a family name; although a Sylvari group mimicking a family might do such a thing. Very likely, a Sylvari will create a title or honorific.

So for example:

Neil an Sealgaire (Neil the Hunter)

Or Neil Firewalker (Could be an elementalist).


Using Group or Place related Titles

A final source for names is not necessarily a form of identification through an event, but where a Sylvari is from. In many ways, their origin, or a place they hold ties to, will matter quite a bit to a Sylvari. Often Sylvari identify themselves via their cycle, leading to a simple introduction such as:

Dara of the Night

They could also identify themselves by their home region or by their alignment to the Tablet or the Nightmare:

  • Dara of the Dream.
  • Dara of the Nightmare
  • Dara of the Groven
  • Dara of Caledon Forest

At the same time, a Sylvari might identify themselves by the occupation or services they offer:

  • Warden Dara – A defender of the Grove.
  • Knight Dara of Agony – A Knight of the Nightmare Court.