I'm having a bit of trouble naming the mage faction in my fantasy world (nothing serious, world building is a hobby)
Here's the idea.. it's a couple of city states with strong magical roots and a long history of arcane advancement, coming together to form a powerful faction that can stand against the drow empire.
Each city has a 'mayor' and they come together to discuss realm politics. I guess it's sort of like a decentralised federation? I'm not calling it a federation though, sounds way too modern.
Hmm... It is technically a consortium or a coalition (depending on the freedom left to both parties), I'd guess (though it may also sound a bit modern... even sci-fi), or you could just use the plain old Alliance word.
other ideas: Pact, Union, League, ???
Were you asking for ideas on just the denomination of the group (sort of blablabla consortium or Pact of blablabla, filling the blas with lore-friendly terms), or did you look for a whole name?
You could also go in the way of magical jargon. If some sort of binding spell was used to ensure the goodwill and loyalty of both parties, you could use terms such as "Bind" or "Contract"? Just throwing ideas here.
While I'm at it, perhaps the term "Conjuration". Etymologically, it's simply a group of person or entities that swore (juro) together (con)... to protect their mutual interests?
Anyway, good luck with your name crafting, it is one of the hardest (and I find, most interesting) part of creation!
In political science terms, what your describing is technically a "confederation" (similar to the United States under their first constitution...the articles of confederation). A central organization existed, but cooperation among the independently sovereign states was completely voluntary. It obviously turned out to be a pathetic failure and was replaced by the Federal system employed today (whereby the central government and states maintain their own spheres of sovereignty but in those instances where there is a clash, the central government prevails).
In any event...both "confederation" and "federation" do sound very modern...but the failures of the american confederated system during war time might prove to be interesting fodder for story ideas....i.e. perhaps part of the reason why your mage faction is unable to successfully defend themselves against the drow is because the organization provides too much autonomy and deference to its local units. (as was the case with the US early on). Local units acting in their own self-interest may be unwilling to make the kinds of sacrifices for the collective good that are necessary.
How about a Republic? That's at least as old as Plato. Also drawing from Greece is the term League. I like Eochaid's idea of naming it after a magical contract, too. Maybe "Compact"
Pact, union and league sound good, those are the words I'm looking for. The thing with this faction is that it's a desperate "on the spot" attempt to defend against the drow. It hasn't been around for more than a few years and is very decentralised.
Agree about the last part of your post, eochaid. I can often come up with decent settlement names but am often troubled when it comes to factions.
Midgardsormr, it's hardly a republic since they don't elect a leader at all. Maybe I am misunderstanding the true definition of republic.
EDIT: Could it be a.. concordat?
'Circle" or "Council" might work. :)
Hmm… quite right: the word republic doesn't refer to the relationship of city states, but to the source of political power. But a republic doesn't necessarily require an elected leader, merely some form of governance by public consent, whether that's elected officials or a true democracy where lawmaking is done by popular caucus and vote. You haven't given much detail on the demographics of your city state. If the entire populace is made up of magic users, then it could certainly still be a republic. Otherwise, it's likely some sort of meritocracy, where political power is based on magical ability. That doesn't really help you name it, though!
In the real world, a concordat is usually an agreement with the Roman Catholic Church. I think that carries a sufficiently mystical connotation.
Oh no, it's not at all entirely made up of magic users. Think of it more like Luskan from NWN2, it's a normal human city that was taken over by an order of ruthless mages. Also I just found the word magocracy, not sure if it can be used here.