23 December 2011

Who Is This Elcalen Guy Anyway?

For years now, I've used the nickname 'elcalen' on many online services. I don't think I've ever really discussed its origin, though.

It goes all the way back to the mid 90's. And it was originally made up as a name for some RPG character. Probably for MERP, or possibly AD&D, or possibly both. And I'm pretty sure the character or characters were never used for anything. This was before we started spending all our waking hours online, and people (well, kids anyway) actually had time to waste doing something like character creation just for the fun of it. It was also a time when I was very interested in RPG's, but didn't get as many chances to play them as I would've liked.

I mentioned MERP, which of course stands for Iron Crown Enterprises' Middle-earth Role Playing system. This was the first RPG I ever bought, I think, probably not in the least because I was a huge Tolkien fan as a kid (and I guess I still am, even if I don't get around to reading the books very often these days). Since this was a Middle-earth character, I made up the name by picking words from the Elvish vocabulary provided as an appendix to The Silmarillion. 'El' stands for star, and 'calen' I think is a word for 'green'. So together they're supposed to mean something like 'green star'. I don't know if it's grammatically correct or anything, and I've never cared about that. (Anyway, these days I don't really even think about the meaning much, it's just a word that stands for, well, me.)

And later, when the Internet and online chats and forums became a 'thing', I recalled this name from my memory. And it kinda stuck.

The end.

EDIT: And I realise this post has very little to do with who 'elcalen' actually is. But whatever, it was a good title.

EDIT 2: And as for pronunciation, I don't say it 'elCAYlen'.

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