In business there is an employer who pays an employee to work.

In quests, what is the word for the person who issues the quest? And what is the name of the person who goes on the quest? (Questor perhaps?)

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    It's usually in the nature of an employer that he spends quite a bit of his time employing many different people, and the fact of him having that relationship with his employees is fairly important to him, them, and the world at large. A few kings in nursery stories send their sons out on quests, but it's not sufficiently common that we're likely to need a word to reference a person whose social role/identity is aptly summarized as "issuer of quests". – FumbleFingers Apr 6 '15 at 13:05
  • I don't think you issue a quest, rather an order; and you go on/set out on a quest to/in order to - it's a search. People in authority give out orders which others follow; otherwise such people as adventurers etc. may have their own motivations and agendas. – user98955 Apr 7 '15 at 2:56
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    As for the person who issues the quest, the word sponsor could work, particularly if the sponsor is funding the quest or expedition. As an example, the Encyclopædia Britannica mentions, "Columbus made his transatlantic voyages under the sponsorship of Ferdinand II and Isabella I." – J.R. Apr 7 '15 at 10:51

There are many words that you could use, given more context about the nature of the quest, such as suitor, knight, warrior, wanderer, etc.

The most general hypernyms I can think of are hero and inquisitor (because a quest is a long or arduous search).

Hero. n. a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

Source (Google)

Inquisitor n. a person making an inquiry, especially one seen to be excessively harsh or searching.

Source (Google)


The "employer" could be referred to as the quest master or dispatcher. If you want to get fancy you could use a metonym, such as the hand/sword of the quest. Also, though it is somewhat cliché, I think lord or quest lord may have some relevance here.

Lord. n. act in a superior and domineering manner toward (someone).

Source (Google)

  • I do actually like your "hand/sword of the quest", independent of cliché-ness. – Jonathan Mee Apr 7 '15 at 11:07

There is the term quester to indicate a person engaged in a quest:

  • someone making a search or inquiry; (AHD).

(The Free Dictionary)

  • explorer, the quester writes his own journey, always poised at the moment of articulating two worlds, the one of disappointment which he leaves behind and the one of promise he travels towards. As Nicholas Birns concludes, 'Both in ...

(Subverting the Empire: Explorers and Exploration in Australian Fiction )

  • Even that one is a bit "off the beaten track" in terms of normal usage. But OP is specifically asking for a word to reference the (other) person who actually charges the quester with his quest (and would you believe it? - Google Chrome's spellchecker underlines even quester, so I don't suppose it'll think much of OP's tentative questor :) – FumbleFingers Apr 6 '15 at 13:09
  • @Josh61 I think this is my favorite as it is intuitively obvious what the individuals identity is with relation to the quest. I also see this defined in Dictionary.com: dictionary.reference.com/browse/quest but not in Merriam-Webster :( However this is an incomplete answer because there is no word for the person who issues the quest... – Jonathan Mee Apr 7 '15 at 11:14
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    @JonathanMee - I don't think that there is a quest word to indicate who issues the quest. I'd notice that in the case of the quester they may coincide. – user66974 Apr 7 '15 at 11:21

Depending on the nature of the quest, you'd usually refer to them as:

Explorers/archeologists/pilgrims/detectives/mercenaries/assassins, etc.

The person initiating the quest is called "The Bankroller". (US)

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