In the second issue of the Behind the Name Series, I dive into the inspiration behind Eklatros and the Ekataramn.
While Eklatros is in my book title and the name of the world the story is set on, the name itself isn’t based on all that much. From what I remember, I came up with the name around September 2017, as it was September 16, 2017 that I purchased RPG Maker VX Ace. I already had the story in mind, and I’m sure I had the name Eklatros already by then, but that is around the time I first came up with the name (and I still consider Eklatros a ‘newer’ name/word that I made up).
The inspiration behind the name Eklatros stems from Ekataramn. I liked the ‘Ek-‘ combination, and from there I came up with Eklatros.
As I hinted at already, Ekataramn is much older than Eklatros. I don’t quite know the age of it, but the oldest date I can pinpoint is 2013-2014, as I find notes about Ekataramn in my 2014 version of my story. However, it could be older than that.
In the 2014 version, the planet Eklatros didn’t exist yet, so they were based on a different planet I called Musai. But even back then they were tree-like beings, and rather than there being seven of them, there were five of them. The five were Bugenaluf, Yttendaus, Roheefy, Galasem, and Panabeeta + Alakana. Alakana was not quite an Ekataramn back then, but Panabeeta and Alakana were always linked together.
That all being said, I have no idea how I came up with the name Ekataramn. But it shows my love of the suffix -ramn goes back quite some time.
Before I move on to the individual Ekataramn, I want to say that most of the Ekataramn are based off of pictures and doodles I drew. I believe most came from my high school years, but Bugenaluf’s picture comes from my freshman or sophomore year in college.
Traditionally, Bugenaluf was the leader of the Ekataramn. This is the description I found from the 2014 version:
The Leader of Ekataramn, Bugenaluf is the wisest out of all Ekataramn. His branches are bare, but beautiful. The pattern that they have grown in is huge and fantastic. The only foliage growing on him is for his beard. His mouth is covered in a big, thick beard of dark green moss. His eyes are a burning red.
The name Bugenaluf comes from melding two different names together – Bugenhagen from Final Fantasy VII and Gandalf. It really doesn’t matter that this name is over ten years old now, but even today I remember the decision I made while making this name, because I had given myself two options. It was always going to be the beginning of one of the names and the ending of the other name. So, the options were either Bugenalf or Gandhagen. Even back then, I kinda liked the name Gandhagen better, but I chose Bugenaluf because it was the one that sounded the strangest – Bugenalf. I added the ‘u’ to make it Bugenaluf to make it sounds more aloof.
So, for Bugenaluf’s drawing, his is based off of a tree that I drew on my friend Keith’s 20th birthday card (I used to create my own birthday cards for friends and family). I am not going to show the entire picture of the card, but only Bugenaluf:
Yttendaus was traditionally the second Ekataramn. When Yttendaus was first imagined, it was not on a floating island, and it apparently had a telescope that it could use to peer into the universe.
I don’t have any recollection on how I came up with the name Yttendaus. It could have been one of those where I just put letters together to create names, which was a tactic I used on several occasions. If that is the case, then I believe I wanted to have a name similar to Yggdrazim, but rather than ygg- I used ytt-.
Also, Yttendaus does not have a drawing, because it is one of the only ones that was never based on a drawing.
Originally, Kalahsem was the third Ekataramn, and its name wasn’t Kalahsem, but Galasem. Galasem is of course a play on my own name, Galassi. So, to better differentiate my own name with the Ekataramn, I changed the Gal to Kal, as there are some spellings of the name Galassi that use a k I believe. So Galasem became Kalahsem.
Here is the picture I drew that I used to create Kalahsem. Of course, when I originally drew this picture, I was just drawing. I also have no idea when I drew this picture. My best guess is sometime during college or late high school. And I still have never finished coloring it in either.
Originally, Roheefy and Kalahsem were connected by their canopies. The image I based Roheefy off of connects to Kalahsem’s image via the roots and the canopy. So, back then I took the drawing literally.
Roheefy’s name comes from melding the beginning of one of my friend’s first names with her last name. So, Rose Heaphy became Roheefy. I also like how Roheefy sounds like leafy, like a big leafy tree.
As mentioned, this drawing is a companion to Kalahsem’s drawing, so I believe I drew this around the exact same time as the other one. Also, yes, that is a Chibi Theodore next to a miniature house.
Panabeeta was originally the 5th and final Ekataramn. Panabeeta was supposed to be the smallest of them all, and always had a bird on the top of its canopy. The doodle I based Panabeeta off of comes from the cover of a school notebook. I believe this is from my senior year of high school, or maybe one of my first years of college, as I remember having a year where I had Tuesdays and Thursdays off from school. That was a great time.
The name Panabeeta comes from somewhere, but it’s hard to remember when it’s a name I’ve been using for over ten years. In fact, the oldest dated document I can find with Panabeeta comes from July 14, 2013, but is most likely older than that. I think it’s interesting how some names that I make up I remember everything about how and why I came up with that name, and other names I completely forget how I came up with them. But as is life, I suppose.
Alakana was always the name of the bird that hung out on top of Panabeeta (since 2014 at least). And originally, it was literally a bird. The description I have for Alakana is this:
Bringer of doom and destruction when it dies. Its birth is also a forewarning of change and misery to come.
So, it seems as if I originally imagined Alakana as some kind of phoenix. Also, its appearance was supposed to change as it aged. So this bird was originally green like the tree as a chick and then before it died it would have rainbow hues.
I can’t really recall when I changed Alakana to become an actual Ekataramn that can fly like a bird, but it was most likely when I was working on Battle for Eklatros.
And yes, Alakana and the whole idea of having the bird-like being perched on top of Panabeeta’s canopy was because of the way I drew that tree on the cover of that school notebook. As soon as I drew it, I connected the base because I thought it looked like a bird. So yes, this random doodle did impact my entire story.
The Seventh Ekataramn
While I will not yet reveal the name of the seventh Ekataramn, that name is pretty old. I don’t want to say much, but it is base off of the old show, Johnny Quest. Also, the seventh Ekataramn will be seen at some point in my story.
Alex Galassi’s debut novel Battle for Eklatros is the first book in the Rebalancing the Cosmos series. He has been writing and creating stories for most of his life. Many of his characters, including Navacus Clums and Cecil Kloud, were born through his time playing with LEGO.
When he is not writing fiction, he enjoys hiking and camping in Colorado’s beautiful mountains and playing Dungeons & Dragons with his friends.