Originally Posted by Raze

That would be a reasonable assumption. I did a quick search for someone mentioning one of the names was from maybe a Greek or Roman myth, but couldn't find it (I did find the following, but only read that particular post, since I have not finished DKS).

From the topic Just finished the game. My one issue. Spoilers. - from a DKS/FoV forum
Originally Posted by Macbeth
Some names are quite random, others are not. We used a lot of Roman names for the Champions of Aleroth for instance, whereas a lot of villagers have random names. Still, it is true that there are many names that carry a connotation or reference to something else. A couple of examples:

  • Stan and Ollie: the first names of Laurel and Hardy
  • Eugene, the axe-wielder: after the Careful with that Axe Eugene song by Pink Floyd
  • The trees Yggdrasil, Jievaras and Irminsul: after mythological trees (Norse, Lithuanian and Germanic respectively)
  • Simeon the philosopher: after Simeon the Stylite (who actually spent 37 years atop a pillar until his death)
  • Sosostra, the fortune teller: after 'Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante' from T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land

Etc. etc.

Many of the important character names though, do not have a secondary meaning. Rhode, Lovis, Zandalor, Laiken, Ygerna, Maxos: they are not intended to have further reference.

I think Zandalor occurs in Divine Divinity (I maybe wrong here).

About Kali, they shouldn't have made her the bad guy. I hope that it's unintentional and only due to incomplete research. I don't know all about her but here is some trivia:

Like any avatar she had a specific purpose (in whatever world she incarnated). It was to guide an entity back to God (which involved killing it in that world). The entity in question could only bleed and faced no other hazards. So (by whatever means of medetation etc.), the entity had obtained a blessing that wherever it's blood touches the ground, a clone would get spawned. The entity is referred to as 'Rakta-beej' (Blood-seed). Raktabeej, believing itself to immortal, uses this blessing for evil (and hence a need for the clean up). Kali ends this existence of Raktabeej by battling it and dispatching a lot of it's blood (mostly by drinking the blood). Killing so many required a raze on behalf of Kali (which otherwise a goddess wouldn't have). The raze also made her pitch dark. How her raze was cooled after Raktabeej's end (so that she doesn't destroy more) is another story (it involves introducing a fraction of guilt at some point). She is often depicted wearing a garland of identical looking heads which belong to the clones of Raktabeej. Among her weapons is also a cup, in which she would catch the falling blood.