Heraldry Reference - Achaea Online Help

7.19 Heraldry Reference

Achaean Heraldry - the practice of adorning things with a recognised pattern
associated with an adventurer, Divine, or organisation (City, House, Order, or
Clan). The practice is much the same as found across the known planes, but not
entirely so.

The owner of a design is called the Armiger. The designer is called the Herald,
commissioned to research, design, propose and register heraldic arms, and to
emblazon them on things.

We'll cover (1) Heraldry Commands for You, (2) How Heraldry Happens, (3) the
Elements of Heraldic Design, (4) Decisions to Make in Design, (5) What Does it
Look Like, (6) How to Become an Herald, and (7) What might go wrong?


(1) Heraldry Commands for You
-----------------------------
HERALDRY SEAL <letter> WITH <signet> [<colour>]
 - seal a letter with signet ring, wax, and tinderbox.
 - use <colour> only with an artefact Taper of Eternity, in which case the
   colour may be (colours marked with * are available as normal candles):

      1 darkred | maroon
   *  2 green
   *  3 gold
      4 darkblue
   *  5 purple
      6 teal
   *  7 lightgrey | white
      8 slate
   *  9 red
     10 brightgreen | chartreuse
   * 11 yellow
   * 12 blue
   * 13 magenta | pink
     14 cyan
   * 15 silver
                       
              
                       
HERALDRYWHO          - see personal bearers of arms (not organisations).
HERALDRYWHO O        - see organisational bearers of arms (not persons).

HERALDRY CHARGE LIST   - a list of available ordinaries and charges.


(2) How Does It Happen?
-----------------------
Approach an Herald. Describe your desires. The Herald works with you in a
selection of divisions, lines, tinctures, ordinaries, and charges to create an
unique set of arms. The Herald registers the arms in the name of the Armiger
and then places the design (emblazons the arms) on items as requested by the
Armiger.


(3) What are the Elements in an Heraldic Design of Arms?
--------------------------------------------------------
All arms are designed to fit upon the front surface of a shield, also known as
the field, and are always shown in the shape of a shield.

DIVISION - the field may be undivided, or divided into two or more parts.
LINE     - the lines of division may be straight, waved, angled, etc.
TINCTURE - the colour(s) on the field. Each divided part of the field
           will have a tincture, which may be a metal, colour, or fur.
ORDINARY - a geometric shape, usually a thick bar across the field. The
           ordinary also has its own tincture and line.
CHARGE   - the charge is almost anything else that might lie on the field:
           animals, fish, birds, and weapons being most common. The charge
           has its own tincture, but no line. Nearly three thousand
           distinct charges are now available.


(4) Decisions in Designing Arms
-------------------------------
Decide on some tinctures. The Herald will know which are available, and how to
name them in proper Heraldic fashion.

Decide on a division - divided in two, four, or more, by vertical or diagonal
lines, or not divided at all, and whether the lines will be straight or
something else.

Decide on an ordinary, if any, along with its tincture.

Decide on a charge, if any, and on how many of it you'd like, along with the
charge's tincture. Example: you might want three eagles with wings extended,
coloured gold.

Decide if you want the charge(s) to be ON your ordinary, or not.

That's about it! The Herald will work some magic and present you with a
fully-realised "coat of arms" - your own symbol forever.


(5) Blazon: what does a coat of arms look like?
-----------------------------------------------
The heraldic arms of Somebody: Purpure, a bend wavy Vert between three moons
crescent in bend Tenne.

This slightly more complex blazon signifies three orange-coloured crescent
moons set on a wavy diagonal green bar on an undivided purple field.


(6) How to Become an Herald
---------------------------
Find the Herald's Commission office and there purchase a Commission of
Heraldry, at no small cost to you. As of this writing, the price of
commissioning is 200,000 gold sovereigns.

Once you have become a commissioned Herald, we suggest that you seek out The
Achaean Heraldry Association, clan alias TAHA.

*NOTE: Some argue that proper usage is "a Herald." The Achaean College of
Heralds does not accept this usage, preferring "an Herald."


(7) What might go wrong?
------------------------
Heraldic design is by nature somewhat artistic and subjective. Because of this,
some heraldic designs that are _possible_ are by no means _desirable_. Indeed,
some designs are possible but are forbidden by heraldic rules.

Because of this, it is possible that your registration may be rejected or
deleted without refund.

Please be especially careful to select an experienced Herald and take heed if
warned that your design could be a problem. It probably will be!