The Red Star style distortions and anachronisms, the fantastic elements, the accompanying rules all of that pretty much flowed freely from my pen… …or would have, if I hadn’t been stumped by a late realisation: What is the Ireland equivalent called in the world of The Red Star in the first place?
And what about Northern Ireland? Ulster?
And republicanism, loyalism, unionism? Catholics and Protestants, even?
What in turn the IRA? The UVF, UDF, UDA?
To say nothing of individual counties, cities, streets…
Now, those latter questions can be headed off by answering the first few, but those – about Ireland, Ulster, the ideologies – still need to be answered.
So, Ireland. What do we have to work with to give it the Red Star treatment, that turns the USA into the WTA, the USSR into the URRS, Germany into Volksreich, France into Gallia, the UK into the Isle of Lions, …?
Eire, Erin, Inisfail, Hibernia, Emerald Isle, …
Eire is out for obvious reasons.
Due to the Gaul precedent, lending names from antiquity works quite well for me, so Hibernia is a definite contender.
Emerald Isle fits very well with some of the established Red Star naming conventions but it also feels a bit like not really trying. Perhaps a variation? Something like Verdant Isle? Another synonym for green? Another green mineral (Jade has already been used and does not really fit, anyway)? Isle of … something? Harpers? Hounds (as in Irish Wolfhound)?
Or one of the older or more poetic names like Erin or Inisfail or another form or spelling?
Regarding Ulster there would be other Irish kingdoms or tribes to look to for inspiration. Darni/Darini, Voluntii, Ulaid, Ui Neill, …
Osraige is completely off as far as geography goes but it would allow to exchange all those Us in the loyalist paramilitary groups for Os. Airgialla would be closer and also brings another vowel to the tables but going from U to A is a bigger phonetic change.
Speaking of phonetics, instead of (mis-)appropriating a historic name, aiming for phonetical similarity with an otherwise fictional name might be another option.
As for the ideologies, the easy option of just keeping them as is might actually work out well. After all, there are republics and loyalities also in the strange alternate world of The Red Star. And together with the names of the fantasy equivalents of Ireland and Northern Ireland they will already yield new unique combinations. However, that helps nothing with identifying those equivalents’ names in the first place…
Perhaps there was a reason after all, why I did not finish this project yet…