I am currently working on a short story about two brothers on the front line about to charge into battle. It is set in a somewhat nondescript setting and time (though certainly prior to the common use of gunpowder in Europe) and so whether the story is set in my fictional world or the real world will depend greatly upon what names I give the brothers. If I give them “fantasy” names, essentially names of my own devision or at least suitably uncommon, does the reader care about the story I am telling if it will only be one or two thousand words? I could easily give them good Scottish names and then the reader can automatically set them in any number of wars between Scotland and England. But then I am not adding anything to my greater story. It is just a tale of two brothers charging into battle, not potentially a scene that sets up larger conflict or the creation of reusable characters.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated.