The discern location spell says
A discern location spell is among the most powerful means of locating creatures or objects. Nothing short of a mind blank spell or the direct intervention of a deity keeps you from learning the exact location of a single individual or object. Discern location circumvents normal means of protection from scrying or location. The spell reveals the name of the creature or object’s location (place, name, business name, building name, or the like), community, county (or similar political division), country, continent, and the plane of existence where the target lies.
To find a creature with the spell, you must have seen the creature or have some item that once belonged to it. To find an object, you must have touched it at least once.
So, while I am aware this looks like one of those situations that would just depend on how good your DM feels the day you cast the spell, I was wondering what's the most correct way to interpret the meaning of "location's name", in particular how good would the spell be into recovering a location's name. Some examples I am unsure how to handle correctly:
- A location that is known by a certain name only by the caster (and maybe few other people)
Mialee the wizard and her friends call a cave in the High Forest "Yellow bed cave" because it's full of yellow moss on which they slept. She casts discern location to find the whereabouts of her beloved pin (which she forgot in the cave), would the spell say "High Forest" or "Yellow bed cave"?
- A location that is known by a certain name only by a group of people but not by the caster
Turniel the evil cleric wants to know where his nemesis Mialee is. She is in the Yellow bed cave looking for her pin but Turniel doesn't know the cave is being called like that by Mialee, once again would the spell say "High Forest" or "Yellow bed cave"?
- A location with no official name but to which different groups gave different names, none of which is known by the caster
A very small village of humans near the Lurkwood calls a clearing "The clearing of the great meeting" because two kings met there to discuss peace, nobody else except those from that village calls it this way. A group of orcs call that same place "the big clearing" because, well, it's a clearing and it's big and they stop there often enough that they gave it a name. Mialee wants to know there the group of orcs is, she casts discern location while they are in the clearing. Would the spell say "The clearing of the great meeting", "the big clearing" or just "Lurkwood"?
- A location with no name that could be unequivocally determined by some directions
I am aware that discern location can just give a name and should not be used to receive directions to reach a location, but I wanted to talk about this example anyway. Mialee wants to know where her friend Lidda is and so she casts discern location. She is hiding in the High Forest, in a nameless cave a few Km north from Grandfather Tree. There's no other cave in that direction. Would the spell say "The cave a few Km north from Grandfather Tree" or just "High Forest"?
The way I personally feel correct is to use the name of the smallest location with an official name (or at least a very common and acknowledged name. Being the DM I suppose I can get to decide what's common and what's not), and never give a more precise name if it's only used by few (caster included), nor give directions to a place. But i'm not sure it's the most correct