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 Personal heraldry Basic rules and Lions rules.

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Knight Captain
Knight Captain

Number of posts : 387
Age : 43
Location : Vile emard, Montreal
Weapons used : sword, sheild, spear, polearm
Registration date : 2007-06-26

PostSubject: Personal heraldry Basic rules and Lions rules.   Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:26 am

Several of the members of the lions have taken an interest in having their own device or heraldry.

If you are a knight, or if your persona is a member of an existing noble or chivalric household, your persona has the right to have a heraldic device.

If you want to give a favor to a champion or if you want to give a favor to your squires you might consider using personal heraldry.

Even if you are not a knight yet you might want to start thinking about what device you would like to use in the future.

Now favors don't have to have your heraldry. Sir Mathew makes an excellent example of making favors which are all inventive and different. However they are al done in an early medieval style. The pictures are styled rather than realistic. If you don't know much about early medieval artwork you are probably better of sticking with the heraldic rules.


1) the background is called the field. Anything you put on it is called a charge. The lion rampant is the only charge on the lion's heraldry.

2) there are 5 colors and 2 metals. There are also furs but I'm not going into them since I don't know enough about them and you don't need them.

the 5 colors are: Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Black.

the two metals are: silver (you can use white), and gold (you can use yellow).

Colors should not touch other colors. Metals should not touch other metals. This creates contrast. You have light on dark or dark on light.

So with the lion's coat of arms we see a black field (that's a term for the background) with a white (silver) lion rampant.

Here we see a metal (white or silver) on a color (black)

The lion rampant is called a charge, or in this case THE charge, since it is by itself.

You would not want to have a purple ship on a blue background. You wouldn't even want to have a red ship on a green background. While red and green have contrast it's not the right kind of contrast, it should be contrast between dark and light.

There are exceptions in history. but it's best to stick with this rule as much as possible.

You will notice that the manticores have a color on a color. A black manticore rampant on a red field. In one way it's a big no-no. You really never ought to put a metal charge directly on a metal field or a color charge on a color field. You will notice it's a lot easier to see the white lion for a distance than the black manticore. It's really not as desirable. However this is partly because we chose a dark red. Sometimes black can be an exception and can be used Beside another color especially red. The nemesis black and blue beside each other is another example of breaking this rule is a gray zone sort or way. My advice is stay away from the Grey zones. Aim for maximum contrast and don't put black against other colors.

3) the field (or background) may be partitioned.

there are many ways to partition the background.

A) It can be split into left and right dividing it from top to bottom down the center (always the center). Here you will have a color on one side and a metal on the other.

It can be split top from bottom either in the center or sometimes a little above the center. Again if there is a metal on the top there is a color on the bottom.

It can be divided into 4 equal quarters with an invisible line that runs vertically and another invisible line that runs horizontally. Here you would expect to have alternating metals and colors so that the top right matched the bottom left, and the bottom right matched the top left. Faithful john's shield is a good example of this.

It can be divided by an invisible diagonal line that runs top left to bottom right.

It can be divided by an invisible diagonal line that runs from top right to bottom left.

It can be divided into quarters along the diagonals.

It can be divided top from bottom with a "pile" which goes up in the center teh invisible line starting on the left side goes up as it goes to the left, never touches the top though, and then goes down as it goes to the left side making a symmetrical ^ to divide the top from the bottom.

Instead of invisible lines you can use actual lines.

Manuel's shield it has a Yellow (or gold) Y on a blue background. This can be your partition. Each of the three sections could have a charge.

You can also use a cross that separates the shield into 4 in this way. So you might have a black feild with a white cross dividing the field into 4 separate parts.

All the ways you can partition with invisible lines, you can also partition with thick visible lines.

4) Choosing Charges:

Charges can be almost anything from the middle ages. an animal (lion, tiger, bear, horse, deer dove, falcon, sparrow, otter, hound, whatever). A tree, a castle, a medieval ship, a sword, or arrow, or axe. a helmet, a gauntlet, s symbol like a cross, a Celtic symbol (like on brand's shield), A mythological monster is also appropriate like a dragon or griffon or manticore. Verify with me or sir Mathew however. Some monsters might be inappropriate (like the sand worms from dune). It ought to be something from the middle ages.

Avoid modern reference. Avoid offensive images, like the order of arrogance.

Avoid composite changes. It should not look like a picture, or tell a story.

Avoid charges that describe you individually. Just because you are an archer doesn't mean your family heraldry has an arrow. Just because you are a priest doesn't mean you have a cross on your family heraldry. Just because you are a blacksmith doesn't mean you have an anvil on your family heraldry. (Anvil though is another great charge) It's a symbol for your family not a personal resume or autobiography.

don't put one thing on top of another like the guerrier de mountain is fine but you don't put a sword on top of it. As sir Mathew so eloquently pointed out last night, it looks more like a corporate or sports team logo.

5) Applying Charges:

Charges need to be big. Don't put on tons of little charges on that can't be seen at a distance.

Charges need to be balanced. This is especially important if you have partitions. If you put something on the left you should put something on the right. If there is something on the bottom there should also be something on the top. If your heraldry is divided like a Y if there is something in one section you need something in all three sections.

Rules for the lions:

If you are going to want to ever put your heraldry on the shield you carry onto the battle field make sure it fits with the look of the lions. It should be black and white, also a lion somewhere on it wouldn't hurt. If I remember well Faithful john's heraldry is all black and white, and I think he even threw a lion on there for good measure (did you?)

Anyway if it's only for favors or for shields used in tournament I don't mean to restrict you however if you are going to want to put it on your battlefield shield you better make sure you look like one of the lions on the battlefield.

Also, a role play note: I do believe that heraldry isn't actually early middle ages, it really surfaced mostly in the high middle ages i think, the golden age of the knight. We kinda include ancient, early middle ages and high middle ages, so it isn't inappropriate for us, but if you are stylizing yourself as from a viking or celtic or barbaric background for role play purposes getting heraldry might be a new thing for you.

Finally if you chose heraldry keep it. Chose carefully. The longer you use your heraldry the more it represents you, the more it is recognized as being yours. That's the point. If you change heraldry at some point your new heraldry will confuse people which is counter productive.

Also when doing your heraldry come to myself or sir mathiew for help.

Sir Mathiew has a book with lots of ideas.
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Sir Faithful john

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PostSubject: Re: Personal heraldry Basic rules and Lions rules.   Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:46 pm

LOL yes I did put a lion... I even put two!

My heraldry is as follows:

Left top corner: A White Lion on a black field
Right top corner: A Black tower on a white field
Left lower corner: Stripes of white and black going up from left to right
Right lower corner: A white Lion on a black field

The tower is my personnal heraldry (for real... my parents ancesters villages both had towers in their heraldry) and represents the fact that I will always grow sturdierand higher, much like a tower. The stripes represent courage on the field, the will to advance. the lions are our symbols but represent also courage and fierceness on the battlefield.

`"La prière n'est rien sans sacrifices
Le sacrifice n'est rien sans la foi
La foi n'est rien si elle attend une récompense
La récompense de la foi sont la prière et le sacrifice"

St-Lucius, Grand Inquisiteur et martyr du Dieu Unique

Sire Jean le Pieux, chevalier de l'Ordre du Lion, Inquisiteur du Saint-Siège et Mashal de Glennshire

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Personal heraldry Basic rules and Lions rules.
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