New Britannia Heraldry

Discussion in 'The College of Arms' started by Bowen Bloodgood, Oct 9, 2013.

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  1. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

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    Inspired by Sir Frank's Heraldry thread I thought it might interesting if we established rules and symbols for heraldry in New Britannia starting with the symbols from the magic sigil and mabe add specific meanings from New Britannia to some of the colors (although meaning behind some of the colors match up pretty well already).

    So what I'll do is start a list here for symbols & colors and their meanings and will update them as we go.

    Please keep in mind that meanings listed here are not official and also not endorsed by the College of Arms. This is intended as a starting point for those wishing to tell a story with their arms that may tie into SotA lore.

    Symbols
    From Lord British
    Snake: Wisdom, Order, Logic, Discipline & Ethicality?

    Ultima - Symbol of Lord British. The Silver Serpent, also the Serpent of Order which dwells in the void identied by it's head bending to the right. The Chaos Serpent bends to the left while the Great Earth Serpent is straight and is the Serpent of Balance. The Order serpent embodies Logic, Discipline and Ethicality.

    Also the symbol of the Order of the Silver Serpent based out of Serpent's Hold.

    Cross Moline: Virtue? Likely brought to New Britannia by Lord British and as such mainly associated with him.

    Magic Sigil
    Deadalus: Calamity and rebirth
    Ankh: Life, Virtue (Spirituality?)
    Skull: Mortality, Cowardice (UO)
    Sun: Glory & Splendor
    Chaos Symbol: Unordered, Uncontrollable or Uncontrolled. Great Enthusiam, Emotion or Tolerance.
    Tree (Earth): Object of Veneration. Strength and Fortitude. Abundance or Abundant Life. Longevity
    Waves/Water: Life Giving. Patience. Quiet Stillness. Flexible.
    Air: Unseen. Swiftness.
    Fire: Knowledge
    Obsidian Eye: Prophesy & Uncertain fates, Destiny, Faith, Order from Chaos.

    Combat Sigil
    Sword: Just and generous pursuit of honor and virtue in warlike deeds. Valor. Skill with blades.
    Shield: Defender
    Bow & Arrow: War. Power. Marksmanship
    Helm: Wisdom and security in defense; Strength, Protection, Invulnerability
    Halberd: Execution of military service. Skill in polearms.
    Armored Hand: Possessing leadership qualities.
    War Hammer: Power. Strength (especially physical). Skill with impact weapons.

    Crafting Sigil
    Pickaxe: Miner or Mining Profession
    Hatchet: Lumberjack
    Hoe: Farmer
    Sickle: Forager, hope of a fruitful harvest
    Skinning Knife: Hunter
    Cleaver: Butcher
    Spinning Wheel: Textiles
    Circular Saw Blade: Miller of wood
    Tanning Rack: Tanner
    Crucible: Smelter
    Anvil: Smith. Also carries the meaning of Honor.
    Carpenter's Hammer: Carpenter
    Scissors: Tailor
    Beaker or Potion: Alchemist
    Cauldron: Chef or Food
    Cog: Precision; precise movement towards the future

    Anti-Virtues
    Mask: Deceit
    Double-Bladed Axe: Hate
    Gold Coin: Greed. Could also mean worthy of trust or treasure.
    Unbalanced Scales: Injustice
    Broken Shield: Unreliability
    Rock: Philosophical materialism. More traditional meanings would be safety & protection, refuge.
    Black Sceptre: Pride

    Other
    Abacus: Logic
    Twin Moons: Knowledge through study or well studied. Not knowing tragedy or an original state of being. Traditional or old ways. Unchanged.
    Tear: Sorrow. Sacrifice
    Shepard's Crook: Watchfulness. Pastoral Authority. Episcopal jurisdiction and authority . Humility.
    Scales: Justice
    Chalice: In service to another. Honor
    Heart: Cherity. Sincerity. Compassion, Emotion
    Open Hand: Faith, Sincerity & Justice. Honesty.
    The Soyuz (8 point star): Determination gives flight to greatness.
    Rose: Love. Enthuisiam.(U7) Hope & Joy.. also carries other meanings depending on color. White - Love & Faith, Charm & Innocence. Yellow - Infidelity & Jealousy. Red - Grace & Beauty, Love & Desire.
    Chain: Tolerance (U7). Reward for acceptable and weight service.. possibly obligated service.
    Dagger: Justice and military honot. Valor. Discipline
    Torch: Ethicality (U7). Life. Zealousness. Truth & Intelligence. Engaged in signal service.
    Quill: Justice
    Writ: Honesty
    Soyuz w/ Obsidian Eye (centered): The Oracle. Guidance toward one's fate.
    Volcano: Power; raging intensity smoldering from within
    "Avatar Symbol": The image on the cover of Blade of the Avatar. Meaning Avatar or associated with Avatars. Possibly best avoided unless you with to announce that you are indeed an Avatar.

    Metals
    Gold: Infinity. The culmination of truth, love and courage.
    Silver: Order
    Copper: Chaos
    Bronze: Balance

    Furs
    Dragon:
    Silver Serpent:
    Phoenix:

    Colors
    White (Argent): Peace & Sincerity. Ultima - Spirituality
    Black (Sable): ("humble color") Sadness, Knowledge, Piety, Sincerity & Work. Ultima - Humility
    Red (Gules): Military, excellence and fortitude. Also corrosponds to the metal copper. Ultima - Courage / Valor
    Green (Vert): Felicity, Pleasure, Joy, Youth & Beauty. Ultima - Justice
    Orange (Tawny): Worthy ambition. Ultima - Sacrifice
    Purple (Purpure): Royalty, justice & majesty. Ultima - Honor
    Blue (Azure): Piety & Sincerity, Loyalty & Truth. Ultima - Truth / Honesty
    Yellow (Or): Generosity, Elevation of the mind. Ultima - Love / Compassion

    Thoughts anyone? I'll refresh my memory here and do a little research to start filling in some blanks. My personal preference is some kind of mix between real world and New Britannia meanings and names but I'm not married to that concept.

    For anyone who's curious I'm getting a lot of the 'additional' meanings here.. http://www.fleurdelis.com/meanings.htm

    They have a rather long list of symbols. Though I welcome additional or 'better' sources.
     
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  2. Vyrin

    Vyrin Avatar

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    Could also include mythical creatures from the game itself, quirky tech bits, and things from this world since it's the origin of the avatars.

    It's a quite interesting idea and someone with some talent might be able to create a SoTA heraldry generator. As long as it has a ton of options considering 10's of thousands of players.
     
  3. Bowen Bloodgood

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    I agree on all counts. The creatures I think should be unique to the world. For obvious reasons I believe we should avoid explicit Ultima references in the final version of whatever we come up with but at the same time I think we can draw something from Ultima as it seems apparent that New Britannia is indeed the future of Old Britannia.

    There are a few creatures we know about we can probably incorporate pre-alpha thanks to some lovely concept art.
     
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  4. Bowen Bloodgood

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    To get things rolling (and thinking of this is in part what inspired a new thread)..

    The image of Daedalus brings to mind some of the following ideas.

    Great tragedy. Brokeness. Power but with misfortune or similiar feeling, perhaps power that comes at a great cost. Loss. Merging of two forces. Destruction. Great Change.

    Mostly what I see is a sad and tragic symbol but one that redefines something. Maybe even a similiar meaning as a pheonix. Something new out of destruction .

    This could also carry a meaning of hope. Though great harm was done, something surived. So we could add fortitude and perserverance. Strength to survive even the harshest conditions.
     
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  5. Sir Frank

    Sir Frank Master of the Mint

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    I think orange is tenne, and purple is purpure.

    Good start. I'll do some digging too.
     
  6. Sir Frank

    Sir Frank Master of the Mint

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    Chaos seems to be grey or silver. Between the white life ankh and black skull death. So we may want to split silver and white.
     
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  7. Koldar

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    That's a good idea. I may have to see if I can whip something up. Art work is a challenge for me, but the code for the generator would be something I could do.
     
  8. Bowen Bloodgood

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    I think the color and the symbol in heraldry can be kept separate as both seem to carry their own individual meanings. For example.. a rather chaotic fighter might want a red chaos symbol.
     
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  9. Adiun Tesserande

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    Koldar, if you're interested, I have a friend who specializes in heraldic art. I can speak with her about helping whip up some of the drawings, if you'd like?

    Also, I think the ankh would very much stand for virtue and life, no?
     
  10. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Yeah that would be pretty typical. As an Egyptian symbol it's also the closest they have to love (or so I've read). In Ultima's is the symbol for Spirituality.

    That reminds me I should add other Ultima symbols to that list. Portalarium doesn't have to use them officially players should still be able to.

    Let me run through some of the obvious symbols here.. (I'm also looking things up and trying to incorporate actual meanings I find as I go along).

    Silver Serpent (aka the Order Serpent / LB's Serpent): Wisdom, Order, Logic, Discipline & Ethicality?

    In Ultima - The Silver Serpent, also the Serpent of Order which dwells in the void identied by it's head bending to the right. The Chaos Serpent bends to the left while the Great Earth Serpent is straight and is the Serpent of Balance. The Order serpent embodies Logic, Discipline and Ethicality.

    Also the symbol of the Order of the Silver Serpent based out of Serpent's Hold.

    Cross: The meaning of the cross is pretty straight forward as a Christian symbol.. as such I don't really see a way to work it into New Britiannia lore unless it's just something Avatar's brought with them. There are several different styles that I think have some different meanings if memory serves.. but I don't see a lot of room for a direct crossover. It can however still server to represent certain basic principles.

    Twin Moons: The original (and to be unnamed in SotA I'm sure) moons Trammel and Felucca. In present day New Britannia I imagine might present the past. "Old Ways". If we think of them in terms of astronomy I get the idea of knowledge or study.

    Ankh: Life, Virtue.. Ultima: Spirituality

    Skull: Mortality.. pretty much says it all to me.

    Sun: Glory & Splendor

    Chaos Symbol: I think just the principle of chaos as it applies to whatever. Such as lawlessnes. If we draw upon a similiar meaning of the Chaos Serpent from Ultima VII it embodies Enthusiam, Emotion and Tolerance.

    Tree (Earth): Object of veneration. Considering it's place on the magic sigil some natural meanings would include strength. Life. Longevity. Fortitude.

    Waves/Water: Life (again I know but it's water.. what can you do?).. imagergy this brings to my mind is patience and having both the properties of stillness and rage (think stormy seas). I keep imagining Bruce Lee saying "be like water".. and explaining how it both moves away from pressure and enters into every space. It can be soft but can it also hit hard.

    Air: What air brings to me mind mostly fits it's location on the magic sigil. Stealth. Switftness. Something unseen.

    Fire: Dare I say life again? Zeal. Enthusiasm. Possibly ambition?

    From Ultima Virtues

    Sword - Valor. Indicates the bearer to a just and generous pursuit of honor and virtue in warlike deeds.

    Tear - Sacrifice

    Shepard's Crook - Humility. Watchfulness. Pastoral Authority. Episcopal jurisdiction and authority

    Scales - Justice (pretty straight forward didn't find anything else)

    Chalice - Honor. One source says this denotes an office of the king's butler. I guess not everyone can be a king's butler. So how about signifying a position in service to.. someone.

    Heart - Compassion. Cherity, Sincerity

    Hand - Honesty. Faith, Sincerity & Justice
     
  11. Adiun Tesserande

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    Fire is often a symbol of knowledge, as are owls.
     
  12. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Knowledge really? It seems like a stretch at first but I guess I can see that. Discovery of fire and all that. I will add that to the list.
     
  13. Caveloot.com Owner

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    I have to disagree with the concept of establishing heraldry rules in general.

    My first reason is that not just americans are paying the game. We have many cultures and society's playing. Certain things "established" may have a bad meaning for those players.

    Beyond that, people should have the freedom to decide what something means for themselves.. Rather then say if some has a green and orange color going on having others telling them what it means.

    I mean if some people want to agree on it, go for it! Just don't try to push that onto others is all. Just keep it among the participants vs. making it some sort of official rule. My .02
     
  14. Vyrin

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    I don't think this is for establishing "rules", but for general guidance on what symbols mean. I see what they're doing as ideas to guide people who are creating heraldry but not requirements.

    SoTA is world with its own culture and symbols have meaning within a culture as you said. The goal here would be to identify what symbols mean in the SoTA world. Think of the new simple symbols Stephen created to represent the schools of magic... This would not be an attempt to force people to adopt and understanding of what symbols represent, but give them a choice for "New Brittania" symbology.

    The choice will always be with the player to try to "blend in" to SoTA culture or to use their avatar's original culture or do something entirely new.
     
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  16. Sir Frank

    Sir Frank Master of the Mint

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    Over in the other thread, there are people asking where to begin making a coat of arms. I see this thread as a starting point for the folks that work better within a structured system.

    Of course, I encourage people to pursue their own ideas.
     
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  17. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Indeed. no one is going to try to enforce a set of rules. If you don't want to follow them then don't. This is for fun and as Vyrinor stated New Britannia has it's own culture and its symbols have meaning within that culture but if you want to do something completely different on your own go for it. I would point out though that heraldry is not an Americian idea and if someone is going to be offended by symbols used by the game itself then the problem isn't going to be anything we come up with here.
     
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  18. Caveloot.com Owner

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    Thats cool, i think i just kind of misunderstood the direction (maybe goal is a btter word) being taken :)
     
  19. Bowen Bloodgood

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    hmm well I guess I shall just start filling things in with what I've got so far and if anyone has anything to add or a case to make a change I can update it later.
     
  20. Adiun Tesserande

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    I see this as a way to help people design their own unique coats of arms, not necessiarly to create the manner in which they are "supposed" to design them. There might well end up being a registry for those who purchased the right to bear coats of arms as part of their pledges, but that would be so two people don't end up using the same thing, I would think.
     
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