One thing I do sometimes with my brain is make systems...it's just what I do when my mind is at rest, like a screensaver
here's one of them
The Acanthese Heraldic Tradition
(I guess this was for a defunct game I might have played in?)
Unlike European heraldry of the world we know, Acanthese heraldry is fundamentally an art that is seen up-close, and as a result it has very different rules.The Parts of a Heraldic Design
A fully realized Acanthese heraldic design/system, which I'll call a motif, is most often depicted in condensed form as a design on a flag. The flag has the following components:
Staff and Finial
- Scarf or Tassel
- Bearer (a person or creature carrying the flag)
- Silk (the body of the flag; the silk is further subdivided...)
The staff and finial collectively represent the precise type of gorget and crown the bearer is entitled to wear and carry as symbols of their authority. The staff may be wooden (for non-royals), silver (for royal descendants not in the line of succession) or gold (for reigning sovereigns and their direct heirs). The finial may be a jewelled sphere (for any aristocrat, the color matches the ground of the silk), a spearhead (for battle leaders), or a wreath of foliage (for priests and princesses; the type of foliage varies by specific cult or heritage). The finial may be supported by a small charge, according to the bearer's family tradition. Foreign dignitaries receive a hollow ring as a finial.Scarf or Tassel
The scarf or tassel is a length of fabric or cord that emerges from the finial's base and wraps loosely around the staff. It is generally in a secondary color of the silk, and lined with a metal. Maritime families and priests use tassels; other armigers use scarves.The Bearer
Many armigers don't have a bearer. A few have several. The bearer is one of the least formal elements of Acanthese heraldic tradition. For instance, the bearer traditionally used by the royal family is a raccoon, with one hand holding the staff and the other stuck in a beehive.The Silk
The design of the silk is very different from the design of an escutcheon. The first thing a foreigner will notice about Acanthese heraldry is the heavy emphasis on texture and pattern. Patterns and the Ground
A great many patterns are recognized by the formal tradition. The commonest are the narrow stripe (alternating, equal-width bands), the checkerboard, and the fawn-dapple (closely spaced, but disordered, hollow rings, based on a traditional knot-dyed pattern). More complex patterns such as "dappled waves" (waves drawn with lines of dapples in such a way as to create even color while suggesting line) or "stripes of wheat" (sheaves of grain arranged in lines) are permitted.
The color of a patterned ground is described either as "color atop color" or "color damask" depending on whether the pattern element is a distinct hue compared against the base, or a lightened version thereof. A ground can also be "color dipped in color", meaning that it fades from one color at the top to the second at the bottom. The second color is invariably darker, reflecting the system's basis in describing real fabrics.
Lastly, a plain color can be "satin color," "velvet color," or "linsey color" depending on whether it is glossy, flat, or crinkly.The Emblem
An emblem is traditionally a floral, geometric, or animal design, stylized and arranged in the center of the flag. Repetition and arrangement are highly salient elements in this tradition. There are a variety of terms for common arrangements, such as a line abreast, a column, five in a cross, in the manner of a clock, one great in the center surrounded by attendants, etc.
Emblematic designs are generally a single color, heraldic "proper" meaning colored in a particular conventional way, or counterchanged against the pattern (but not the dip) beneath. A design can also be "washed" (bleached out of the ground so that the pattern shows), "beaded" (depicted as a pattern of dots), "beaded of shape" (beaded with dots of a particular shape), "drawn" (outlined against the ground but unfilled), or "blackened" (a particular coloring, a silhouette with no interior detail, applicable only to designs that would otherwise be detailed).
It is common for first daughters to display their mother's emblem at a smaller size just below their own, and likewise for first sons and their father's emblems.The Border
The border is another fabric that may be patterned independently of the ground, although it is never dappled. It may itself be bordered of a specific color. The border can bear emblems; if it does the emblem pattern appears at the flag's cardinal points, or "repeated" filling the border side-by-side as space allows.The Fringe
The royal family may bear gold or silver fringes. Aristocrats who have living heirs may bear fringes that have a color of their emblem.Customs of Display
Most armigers own a curtain that duplicates their heraldic flag; this is traditionally displayed behind the throne or seat of office. At formal occasions, one may wear garments interpreting the flag. This is the most common way that heraldic arms are borne.
It is also expected that one flies a flag of one's heraldry, and below it on the same staff, smaller flags displaying the arms of all surviving ancestors, the youngest closest to the top and thereafter ascending in age.