COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
Bombastus' Guide to Heraldry
+32

Greetings! Let's talk about heraldry.

The purposes of heraldry are many: battlefield identification, historical symbolism, and esprit de manse. Though there are many rules and standards in European heraldry, many of them are loosely followed or adapted to the needs of the commissioning house. Other rules are considered law, and misrepresentation of one's house and arms a crime.

In Elyria, we know only a little about the standards and rules of heraldry (Source: IRC Transcript). In this guide I will discuss in general the rules from a European perspective, and I will note along the way where the few Elyrian specifics come into play.

As with all my guides, I hope this will become in some ways a group effort--please respond in comments if you see something in error or unclear, or if you have more current information on Elyrian heraldry that I haven't seen.


The foundation of all heraldic arms is the escutcheon or shield. The base color of the escutcheon is called the field. This color can be one of three types: tincture, metal, and fur. The field can be divided or may bear an ordinary, and is also colored according to one of the three types. European heraldry has a rule here: one cannot place a division or ordinary from one color type atop the field of the same type. For example, one cannot place a silver division atop a gold field, as these are both metals. Finally, the boundary between the field and division/ordinary may be modified in several ways, as shown above.

In Elyria: the gentry are allowed to represent themselves with an escutcheon and charge (see below). We do not yet know if rules of tincture exist, or if the categories of color are the same.


The charge is often erroneously called a "crest." The charge is usually a symbol or symbols closely associated with the aesthetic, values, or history of the house it represents. These range from animals both mythical and ordinary, tools, weapons, celestial bodies, structures, geometric designs or other objects without limit. Many believe a charge to hold specific symbolic meaning in accordance with the rules of heraldry, but in fact the meaning of a charge varies from culture to culture or even house to house. A lion could symbolize bravery in battle, just rulership, royal lineage or even the opposite of these depending on its pose or size and relation to other charges.

Single charges are typically centered on the shield, though other arrangements are possible, including surmounting one symbol atop another. These alternate arrangements are almost always symmetrical and balanced.

A charge can be colored proper (as one might find it in life) or according to the three color types mentioned above, and divided similarly to an escutcheon. Rules of tincture do not typically apply to a charge.

In Elyria: We will have a limited selection of charges which are appropriate to the tribal culture, region or religion from which they originate. Multiple charges may be placed on an escutcheon similarly to European heraldry.


The crest is a symbolic object situated above the escutcheon and held by the torse, a twisted or braided piece of cloth. The torse usually matches the colors of the escutchon, but not always.

The crest itself can be as widely varied as the charge. Commonly, the crest is flora, fauna or a person (or part of a person--most especially a human arm), or a structure or other symbol. If a helm is present in the coat of arms, the torse and crest sit atop it.

In Elyria: aristocracy gain the right to bear a torse and crest. As with the charges, expect the available symbols to be commensurate with the culture and region from which they originate.


The helm is situated above the shield and signifies a militant house. Though there are many cultural differences, in general nobility have an open or barred visor and the helms of royalty are front-facing. All other classes have closed helms facing to the viewer's left. An exception to this is when two helms are present (signifying two houses merged through marriage). In such a case, both helms face inward to the center.

In Elyria: Barons may have access to helms. Otherwise this feature is restricted to ducal and royal arms. Open or barred helms signify nobility. It is yet unknown if facing will matter.


The mantle is a part of a knight's garb layered under the helm to cover and protect the gaps and joins at the neck and shoulders. As a result, the mantle is often torn and tattered in combat. In heraldic arms, the mantle is most often portrayed in such a manner, though decorative and heavily stylized. Members of the clergy who also held lands and title would represent their arms with an uncut mantle, to show restraint from violence.

In Elyria: Dukes and kings may wear a mantle on their arms.


The crown or coronet is placed on the arms of titled families, usually atop the escutcheon below the helm or crest (if present). There are many types of crowns and coronets for each culture and strata of class throughout Europe, from knights to emperors.

In Elyria: Only kings may display a crown on their arms.


VII.
Supporters

NOTE: I seem to be missing an image for supporters! I will correct this omission on future updates.

Supporters are symbolic elements similar to the charge and crest. These are arrayed on either side of the escutchon, usually holding or otherwise supporting it. While animals are the most common supporter, people or structures are sometimes used. Also, a single supporter can be placed behind the shield as in the eagle of the US Coat of Arms.

In Elyria: Supporters are granted to nobility. As with the charge and crest, expect the symbols available to reflect one's culture or region.


8/21/2017 8:46:04 PM #1
+3

Is it true that only pompous snobs use a jousting helmet for their helm?


My death carries meaning

8/21/2017 8:48:22 PM #2
+2

As a huge fan of heraldry and it's importance, I approve of this thread.


8/21/2017 8:53:54 PM #3
+5

Posted By Luminios at 1:46 PM - Mon Aug 21 2017

Is it true that only pompous snobs use a jousting helmet for their helm?

In European heraldry, knights and aristocrats wore tilting helms. The true pompous snobs among the nobility wore barred helms or helms with open visors.


8/21/2017 9:20:41 PM #4
+3

Nicely done. I only had a vague understanding of heraldry before. Thanks for clearing it all up!


Ehhh.

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8/23/2017 10:11:55 AM #5
+4

I was unaware that we knew anything about Elyrian heraldry rules already. Has it been discussed before?

I must say this is a great post. I've always wondered about the rules of heraldry.


8/23/2017 2:17:49 PM #6
+1

One might notice that the charge is always facing left. That comes from the fact that a shield was usually held with left arm and thus the charge is facing forwards, instead of retreating backwards ;)


8/23/2017 2:29:15 PM #7
+2

WOW! Fantastic guide, will definitely help me out in my own creations :-)

8/23/2017 5:03:16 PM #8
+2

So will we be able to add things to our crest if we raise in rank? Likewise, if a King falls from grace will they be required to remove their crown?

*EDIT and now that I think about it even house heraldry changed from person to person based on marriages with other houses. How frequent do we expect to be able to change our house heraldry?

8/23/2017 5:50:58 PM #9
+2

Posted By Immortalis_Family at 11:03 AM - Wed Aug 23 2017

So will we be able to add things to our crest if we raise in rank? Likewise, if a King falls from grace will they be required to remove their crown?

*EDIT and now that I think about it even house heraldry changed from person to person based on marriages with other houses. How frequent do we expect to be able to change our house heraldry?

I presume you could change it as often as you want, as long as you pay the person(s) involved to alter it on any clothing, armor, documents, etc etc that you have produced. So it's more of a financial blocker. As to "rules" about what you can do, I assume it's only really player policed rather than being restricted in game. So you could put whatever you want on your heraldry, and if someone else takes offense and attacks you over it, that's your problem.


Death is just another path, one we all must take

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8/23/2017 6:09:42 PM #10
+1

Posted By BioRules at 12:50 PM - Wed Aug 23 2017

I presume you could change it as often as you want, as long as you pay the person(s) involved to alter it on any clothing, armor, documents, etc etc that you have produced. So it's more of a financial blocker. As to "rules" about what you can do, I assume it's only really player policed rather than being restricted in game. So you could put whatever you want on your heraldry, and if someone else takes offense and attacks you over it, that's your problem.

I think that would be awesome, maybe similarly to how the server deals with maps. AKA if enough maps call a city X the cities name is now X. But a followup to that would be what would stop anyone from adding duke level things to their heraldry as a commoner? would it be a sever wide implicit law? Thinking pledge packages and how the higher you go you get access to more things.

8/23/2017 7:46:41 PM #11
+0

Posted By Immortalis_Family at 12:09 PM - Wed Aug 23 2017

I think that would be awesome, maybe similarly to how the server deals with maps. AKA if enough maps call a city X the cities name is now X. But a followup to that would be what would stop anyone from adding duke level things to their heraldry as a commoner? would it be a sever wide implicit law? Thinking pledge packages and how the higher you go you get access to more things.

Again I think self policing may be the best way. If you're a lowly farmer that wants to spend the money and resources to get your own crest then go for it, but if your Count/Duke/King doesn't like what you've done expect higher taxes, evictions, arrests, etc. I think having it more freeform in this fashion both makes it easier for the devs to create, and opens up more player driven stories.


Death is just another path, one we all must take

Friend Code: C8DF9C

8/23/2017 8:21:00 PM #12
+5

Posted By MReal at 03:11 AM - Wed Aug 23 2017

I was unaware that we knew anything about Elyrian heraldry rules already. Has it been discussed before?

I must say this is a great post. I've always wondered about the rules of heraldry.

All I have is from an IRC transcript. I'll quote it here for everyone to see and add a link above:


(12:31:19 AM) Caspian: OK.

(12:31:23 AM) Caspian: Polite: Want feedback?

(12:31:33 AM) Polite: Sure. I can take it Caspian. Crush me.

(12:31:37 AM) Caspian: Hehe.

(12:32:03 AM) Persephone: Break him down and I'll build him back up.

(12:32:23 AM) Polite: I'll be happy to just have feedback honestly haha

(12:33:12 AM) Caspian: For a greater chance of keeping this after launch do the following:

(12:33:12 AM) Caspian: 1. Remove the drapery/mantling.

(12:33:12 AM) Caspian: 2. Change from a crown to a helm. (Crowns / Coronets are reserved for Kings)

(12:33:12 AM) Caspian: 3. Add a torse & crest that represents something about your duchy

(12:33:12 AM) Caspian: 4. The field is fine with the red/white, but it's unlikely we'll have that woman's face for you. So maybe pick a simpler symbol.

(12:33:53 AM) Caspian: Did my points 1 through 4 come through?

(12:33:58 AM) Caspian: Or did IRC kill them?

(12:33:59 AM) Polite: They sure did.

(12:34:02 AM) Persephone: They exist!

(12:34:11 AM) Polite: I like coronets but I feel you on that helm point.

(12:34:24 AM) Ithikari: Lol

(12:34:26 AM) Caspian: Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmet_(heraldry)

(12:34:29 AM) Polite: I need to look up what a torse is

(12:34:40 AM) Polite: I figured on the woman's face. ( 12:34:42 AM) Caspian: "Open or barred helmet, reserved for members of the nobility"

(12:34:47 AM) Polite: I can do with a sun and moon once in game

(12:34:50 AM) Caspian: "Closed or tilting helm, used by medieval knights, also adopted by English esquires and gentlemen, as well as on burgher arms"

(12:35:10 AM) Caspian: So you'd want an open or barred helmet.

(12:35:30 AM) Caspian: We may grant closed helms to Barons.

(12:35:40 AM) Polite: Interesting. I'm taking notes.

(12:36:18 AM) Caspian: The plan now is for Mayors to just get torse & crest, barons to get closed helms after being appointed a baron by their duke. And then Dukes getting the open/barred helmet and mantling.

(12:37:20 AM) Caspian: Also, a sun and moon would be a great charge for your field.

(12:37:29 AM) Caspian: See this for ideas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_(heraldry)

(12:37:44 AM) Polite: Exceeeeeeellent

(12:37:56 AM) Caspian: I recommend doing a crescent moon/sun combination.

(12:38:06 AM) Caspian: Maybe white / black or another color contrast.

(12:38:21 AM) Caspian: Especially if you plan to go as Qindred.

(12:38:31 AM) Caspian: The symbolism of Luna / Angelica would be pretty neat.

(12:38:52 AM) Polite: Indeed, my thoughts exactly. Or close to, my duchy lore reveres a Joan of Arc like figure

(12:39:08 AM) Polite: Various sects of the cult believe she was inspired by Luna. Some think she was inspired by Angelica.

(12:39:22 AM) Polite: Some more heretical ones whisper the Two Fold Goddess told her to bring order to the world, etc.

(12:39:36 AM) Caspian: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/45/a5/c2/45a5c2088599b3a0c2b0fbcc90c3d42b.jpg

(12:39:46 AM) Caspian: http://awoiaf.westeros.org/images/thumb/f/f3/HouseTarth.PNG/250px-HouseTarth.PNG

(12:40:15 AM) Caspian: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0c/87/4e/0c874e90511f1006191825babd208424.jpg

(12:40:30 AM) Caspian: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/WalterScottcoatofarms.png

(12:40:57 AM) Persephone: Ooooh

(12:41:03 AM) Caspian: https://img0.etsystatic.com/107/1/12913186/il340x270.969918732pmo5.jpg

(12:41:05 AM) Persephone: Do it for the siren

(12:41:10 AM) Polite: The third one is nice

(12:42:09 AM) Caspian: Ok.

(12:42:13 AM) Caspian: That's all I got for now. :-)

(12:42:16 AM) Ircai: woah what is this?

(12:42:25 AM) Polite: Thanks so much Casp.

(12:42:31 AM) Caspian: Suggestions/ideas for Polite.

(12:42:35 AM) Ircai: ohh i see

(12:42:48 AM) Caspian: On ways to improve his Coat of Arms to increase the likelihood of getting something close to his design after launch.

(12:42:49 AM) Ircai: im using my actual family coat of arms as inspiration :D (12:42:52 AM) Polite: Now I can make a tentative "CoE Ready" version.

(12:43:15 AM) Ircai: if u can gimme a second polite

(12:43:18 AM) Ircai: i have a link for you

(12:43:23 AM) Polite: Sure.

(12:43:32 AM) Caspian: Ircai: What rank are you?

(12:43:41 AM) Ircai: I am duke Caspian

(12:43:47 AM) Caspian: Ok. The same applies for you.

(12:43:51 AM) *Polite ducal high five

(12:43:57 AM) Ircai: :D

(12:44:02 AM) Caspian: Field, Supporters, Torese & Crest, Helm & Mantle.

(12:44:06 AM) *Persephone countess low five.

(12:44:10 AM) Ircai: ahh! ok

(12:44:19 AM) Ircai: good to know

(12:44:22 AM) Caspian: No helm & mantle for Persephone. :-(

(12:44:29 AM) Persephone: That's okay, who needs em

(12:44:31 AM) Caspian: Until she works her way up to Duchess!!

(12:44:34 AM) Persephone: !!!

(12:44:41 AM) Caspian: Or marries into the role....

(12:44:50 AM) Ircai: I have someone working on re-working the coat currently hopefully should have it done shortly

(12:45:13 AM) Caspian: (assuming Persephone either is female, or will be playing a female character)

(12:45:13 AM) Ircai: http://www.familytreesandcrests.com/heraldry-symbols.htm

(12:45:15 AM) Persephone: This gal is all about HARD WORK and DEDICATION and OVERTHROWING POLITE IN A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS.

(12:45:17 AM) Polite: Perse does want to be my little sister in game haha

(12:45:23 AM) Ircai: all your heraldry goodness

(12:45:30 AM) Polite: Wait what was that about overthrowing?

(12:45:35 AM) Ircai: who?

(12:45:36 AM) Persephone: Yea I'm gonna be playing as Polite's lil sister.

(12:45:44 AM) Persephone: Also what

(12:45:48 AM) Polite: NPC selection gods willing

(12:45:50 AM) Zenfyre- [~Zenfyre@c-50-174-4-183.hsd1.ca.comcast.net] entered the room. Zenfyre Zenfyre-

(12:45:55 AM) Polite: Heyo Zenfyre

(12:46:07 AM) Persephone: Oh gosh those NPC selection gods are.... woo. We are going to be asking a LOT of them lol

(12:46:08 AM) Ircai: I am an independent duke... so haha

(12:46:21 AM) Ircai: who am i overthrowing today/

(12:46:24 AM) Ircai: lol

(12:47:28 AM) Ircai: also for the heraldry thing

(12:47:28 AM) Ircai: https://images.discordapp.net/.eJwVyMsNwyAMANBdGADMxxiyDQVCIiUBgXuqunvVd3wf8Z6X2MTBPNamVDlX7rPIxX2mVmXrvV01jXPJ3G-VmFM-7vrwUsZHHZ31CBqCJQT3L-O8twQukEEEVFmqjXaQU4Fdx1rLS7EHcgQQUGQ42ni-wOa6CiJ.Ba3WIgj48SbCaweBkJ2TNcHBdc

(12:47:34 AM) Ircai: as a general guide

(12:50:01 AM) *Polite steals that

(12:50:03 AM) Polite: Thanks Ircai

(12:50:12 AM) Ircai: @Caspian since that pic is my reference to my heraldry design what do you refer to by field?

(12:50:35 AM) Zenfyre left the room (quit: Ping timeout).

(12:50:42 AM) Ircai: no problem

(12:51:01 AM) Caspian: Ircai: The field is the contents of the shield.

(12:51:09 AM) Ircai: ahh ok just wanted to make sure

(12:51:12 AM) Ircai: thank you

(12:51:13 AM) Caspian: What the diagram calls "shield elements"

(12:52:00 AM) Caspian: Also, that appears to be more or less fine for a Duke's Coat of Arms.

(12:52:33 AM) Caspian: It's got all the elements a duke can have, and none it can't - except for the motto.

(12:52:55 AM) Caspian: As to whether we make those supporters available, or that crest - that's hard to say.

(12:53:05 AM) Ircai: Well I am basing my designs off of this https://www.houseofnames.com/edouard-family-crest

(12:53:09 AM) Caspian: But assuming we've got something similar, you should get pretty close.

(12:53:14 AM) Ircai: I can not copy the image directly unfortunately

(12:53:40 AM) Polite: Ooh nice.

(12:53:58 AM) Ircai: that is part of my actual family historically :D

(12:54:03 AM) Polite: Very nice!

(12:54:13 AM) Polite: Maybe I can find my portuguese arms :S

(12:54:17 AM) Ircai: hence why I took the name Ircai Edouard

(12:54:48 AM) Ircai: that decents from Welsh

(12:56:42 AM) Ircai: Also Caspian my artist was asking me about whether or not to use the helm or a crown

(12:56:57 AM) Polite: Casp said only King tier gets crown

(12:57:03 AM) Polite: So we're stuck with regal helms

(12:57:06 AM) Ircai: I am not exactly sure what he meant but appearantly historically dukes could dawn a "minor" crown

(12:57:13 AM) Polite: Yeah a coronet

(12:57:16 AM) Ircai: yeah

(12:57:34 AM) Ircai: i wasnt aware of the name haha

(12:58:07 AM) Ircai: iirc from the conversation the crest could present both or a degree or something?

(12:58:14 AM) *Ithikari steals Polite

(12:58:17 AM) Ircai: lol

(12:58:29 AM) Caspian: Dukes don't wear crowns / coronets in CoE.

(12:58:36 AM) Ircai: ahh i see

(12:58:39 AM) Caspian: Use an open or gated helm.

(12:58:40 AM) Polite: I am not sure on that part Ircai, I need to study up on heraldry

(12:58:55 AM) Caspian: The helm was the symbol of military combat.

(12:59:06 AM) Polite: Good symbol for the Duke then.

(12:59:19 AM) Caspian: Since Dukes are responsible for the defense of the realms, we use the helms to indicate the Duke's role of leader of the armies.

(12:59:20 AM) Ircai: so the helm I use would be considerd a closed helm correct?

(12:59:38 AM) Caspian: The one you linked before is a closed helm.

(12:59:43 AM) Caspian: It's more for knights / barons.

(12:59:48 AM) Ircai: ahh i see

(01:00:00 AM) Polite: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_e0kADGmH3-I/TTuPuYGHMnI/AAAAAAAACLE/np6dlz5eRm0/s1600/helmets.jpg

(01:00:04 AM) Polite: Check this Ircai

(01:00:17 AM) Caspian: ^

(01:00:20 AM) Ircai: ok I had a feeling that was the case

(01:00:26 AM) Caspian: Either of the left two are common for Duke.

(01:00:29 AM) Polite: I am digging that barred helm

(01:00:30 AM) Caspian: The right two would be for Barons.

(01:00:31 AM) Ircai: those are considered gated correct?

(01:00:39 AM) Caspian: Yes.

(01:00:41 AM) *Ircai shuts mouth

(01:00:59 AM) Caspian: There are of course other styles.

(01:01:34 AM) Ircai: are you aware of the movie A Knights Tale?

(01:01:44 AM) Caspian: Yes.

(01:01:50 AM) Polite: Ooh my family's coat of arms isn't bad

(01:01:52 AM) Ircai: im curious if i could use the one similar to prince edward III

(01:01:53 AM) Polite: I could dig this

(01:02:14 AM) Ircai: i think thats a 1/2 gate or something similar

(01:03:03 AM) Ircai: https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Flettherebemovies.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F03%2Fknights-tale-black-knight.jpg&f=1

(01:03:05 AM) Ircai: there we are

(01:03:24 AM) Ircai: crap smallllll

(01:04:04 AM) Caspian: We

(01:04:10 AM) Caspian: We'll have a couple to select from.

(01:04:27 AM) Ircai: ok no worries i was just curious

(01:05:35 AM) Ithikari: Duckduckgo, lol

(01:06:18 AM) Ithikari: I personally only want in game animals and items on my CoA

(01:06:41 AM) *Ircai hides from googles long arm

(01:07:03 AM) Caspian: Ok.

(01:07:07 AM) Caspian: I'm off to bed.

(01:07:11 AM) Caspian: Work tomorrow!

(01:07:12 AM) Caspian: Later!

(01:07:15 AM) Polite: Cya Caspian, thanks for hanging out

(01:07:17 AM) Polite: Sleep well.

(01:07:59 AM) Ircai: ok take care Caspian!

(01:19:31 AM) Polite: Ooh nice.

(01:19:33 AM) Ircai: I am the epitomy of the underdog


8/24/2017 6:14:15 AM #13
+0

Do you happen to know from roughly when that IRC conversation took place?


8/25/2017 5:10:09 AM #14
+1

Now I want to go back and research how heraldic blazoning works, both to show off some knowledge in this thread and for future if I become a livery maker in game.

Edit: Did some research and decided to brave attempting to blazon Bombastus's shield (please correct my mistakes as I assume I've made several. Also I'm using "embattled" for the divide because I don't know how else to describe it):

"Or, a seven-point star above six five-point stars argent and gules, and on an embattled chief gules on a roundel argent a wheel Or and gules between two pegasi salient respectant argent."

Doesn't help I'm going off the smaller picture I can see in the footer, but that should be enough to properly describe it, I think.


Death is just another path, one we all must take

Friend Code: C8DF9C

8/25/2017 7:39:48 AM #15
+2

Close! The division style is "potent counter potent."

I blazon it: "Or, an estoille of seven points above six mullets of five points in an arc inverted gules, on a chief potent counter potent gules, a compass between two pegasi salient and countersalient proper"


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