In the town of Eon, children are born without names. They must earn a name by doing someting great before age twelve or they are banished from Eon
When someone befriends an animal, s/he obtains the ability to unite their souls together and take on the form of that animal as well as its abilities. S/he also gain some properties of that animal even when they are no keener t transformed, such as resistence to cold or senses. If s/he really wants to s/he can half transforms taking on characteristics of the animal and their normal form
Magical Fiends: When a mage or wizard casts a spell and draws more energy than s/he needs Magical Fiends are drawn to that spot and they feed of the extra magic as long as they can. When someone's magic is being fed off of they can't cast spells as well and they feel weaker. The only way to remove a magicial fiend is for it to be drawn away by someone else's power or to go to the very spot you first cast the spell and kill them
The court wizards of Angolterre have been working for several generations to protect the dynasty. They see to it that the new monarch's names acronymically refer to a rune of protection. Once completed, the rune will make the dynasty almost invulnerable in battle, wise in counsel, etc. Unfortunately the next name, the only one that starts with the right letter, happens to have belonged to the worst monarch in living memory. Not much chance of getting the current ruler to name his child that, or for the people to put up with it if he did! What's a court wizard to do? The magic requires that the plot be kept secret of course...