Realms, Empires, and Kingdoms

Humankind divides up the world into realms, empires, territories, kingdoms, shires, and duchies, claiming chunks of the world for their very own. But these borders always shift; only the world beneath them lasts ever on. Who “owns” your world?

The Menu

  • land, place, area, territory, realm, region, domain, reach,
  • kingdom, empire, duchy, caliphate, country, dominion, nation, principality, borough,
  • power, authority, rulership,
  • parish, diocese, prelacy, see, benefice, episcopate, episcopacy, precinct, canton,
  • network, system, complex, net, nexus, plexus, organization, structure,
  • hive, mind, one-ness, connection,  web, nest, swarm, colony, hill, collection
  • underground domain, underworld realm, cave network, dungeon, tunnel, hole, burrow, den,
  • sovereign, monarchy, domain, reign, crown, throne, dynasty,
  • colony, territory, occupation, jurisdiction, seized land, possessions, acquisition,
  • shire, province, state, county, district, municipality, bailiwick, subbailiwick, diocese
  • village, town, keep, estate,
  • seigneury, tenancy, sub-tenancy, lease,
  • fief, fee, feud, tenure, feodum, fiefdom,
  • shared land, grazing land, common pasture, crown land, treaty land
  • no man’s land, wasteland, buffer land, free land, unclaimed territory,
  • land, tract, sway, suzerainty,
  • turf,
  • sphere, field, sector, zone, ward, lands, reach, spread, stretch,
  • branch, division, section, wing, area, quarter (half, third, or eighth for that matter)
  • influence, reach, range, orbit, control, scope,
  • locale, location,
  • township, municipality, corner,
  • alliance, commonwealth, treaty,
  • claim, stake, grant, loan, inheritance, bestow, right, favor, dole, parcel, benefice, precarium, lease, let, sub-let,
  • panhandle, stretch, settlement, reach,
  • sergeantry, tenure (feudal, military or socage),
  • turf, corner, bit, piece, pile, chunk
  • shared land, allodial land, mortgaged land, gifted land, granted land, fee simple land, feudal land,
  • stratum, layer, level, grade, echelon, (could be applied underground, in trees, in space… wherever)
  • guild land, church grant, wizard range, clerical tract,
  • peasant land, commoner pasture, serf grant,
  • beat, walk, range, supervisory tract, range, swath,
  • suffixes: -land, -ia, -oria, -field, -shire, -ton, -burg, -borough,
  • prefixes: sub-, peri-, pre-,
  • phrases: stake a claim, claim land for xyz, sphere of influence, stomping grounds, gang turf, neck of the woods, occupied territory,


  • If you look at the landforms and waterbodies menu, you can pair ideas from there with a name and you have a new realm. For instance: Ogre Point, Elfwood, Bulgar’s Hill, Archie’s Archipelago, or Grimshtook’s Bay (he’s a pirate). Easy and unique!
  • Consider the hierarchy and bureaucratic power structure in your world: feudal, electoral, divisional, departmental, imperial, colonial, supervisors, inspectors, ministries, hereditary, religious,
  • In the feudal world, all land was owned by the crown. A monarch would grant land to a lord who in turn would grant parcels to tenants who’d pay “in service” and would have other tenants, serfs, commoners working shares of the land. Whatever you plan to do with your narrative world, have some kind of structure in mind.
  • Power and rulership in realms can take on a bajillion different forms: oligarchy, monarchy, democracy, autocracy, dictatorship, empire, triumvirate, sentae, government, elected official, small council, federation, organization, anarchy, bureaucracy, pentarchy, technocracy, theocracy, communism, despotism, aristocracy, capitalism, fascism, meritocracy, patriarchy, matriarchy, republic, socialism, socialist republic,

Look up

  • seigneural system, subinfeudation, feudal system, land tenure,

Links and Resources

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