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Ypotryll

Ypotryll passant (Period)

Ypotryll passant (Period)

The ypotryll, or hippotryll, is an heraldic monster of awesome ugliness, with a camel’s humps, a boar’s face, and cloven hooves.  It was used as a badge by Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester c.1460 [Dennys 166].  The ypotryll does not seem to have a default posture; the illustration shows an ypotryll passant.

The Canton of Attilium bears as a badge:  An ypotryll passant Or.

Edelgard Erzsébet von Württemberg bears:  Purpure, an ypotryll dormant Or.

Nina of Bright Hills bears:  Or, a pale azure and overall an ypotryll rampant gules.

This entry was posted on June 8, 2014, in .

Yale

Bedford yale rampant (Period)

Bedford yale rampant (Period)

Beaufort yale rampant (Period)

Beaufort yale rampant (Period)

The yale is an heraldic monster characterized by two long, mobile horns, which could be swivelled independently and at will; it also has a set of fierce tusks.  The yale doesn’t seem to have a default posture; the illustrations show yales rampant.

Two forms of yale are found in period heraldry [Dennys 165].  The earlier form, the “Bedford yale”, was one of the Duke of Bedford’s supporters c.1435, and resembles an antelope.  The other form, the “Beaufort yale”, was used by his grandson Sir John Beaufort, c.1450; it is stockier, more like a goat, and is usually strewn with roundels.  However, both yales have the characteristic horns and tusks; either type may be used in Society heraldry (and specified in blazon, if the submitter insists), but no difference is granted between them.

Jacinth Aldith de Warwick bears:  Argent, a yale rampant sable, armed and attired Or, within a bordure compony erminois and vert.

Styrkárr Bjarnarson bears:  Or, a yale rampant guardant vert bezanty armed gules.

Tristan le Chantecler de Champaigne bears:  Barry azure and argent, two yales combatant Or.

This entry was posted on June 8, 2014, in .

Winged monsters

Lion of St. Mark statant guardant (Period)

Lion of St. Mark statant guardant (Period)

Winged stag segreant (Accepted)

Winged stag segreant (Accepted)

This class of monster consists of beasts with wings grafted to their shoulders.  Almost any beast may be so treated, such as the winged fox in the arms of Fuchs, mid-16th C [NW 37], or even the winged fish in the arms of von Bruecdorp or Brockdorf, c.1370 [Gelre 33v].  Even other monsters, if normally wingless, may have wings added.  The wings are eagle’s wings by default; other types of wings, such as bat’s wings, are also found in Society armory, but are unattested in period armory.  Such cases must be explicitly blazoned.  (This doesn’t apply to those monsters whose definitions include wings, such as the dragon.)

There are special terms for some winged monsters.  A haloed winged lion may be blazoned a “lion of St. Mark”; it is found in the civic arms of Venice, 1413 [Conz.Const. cciii].  (St. Mark was the patron saint of the city.)  A haloed winged ox may be blazoned an “ox of St. Luke”; it is found in the arms of Caravello, 1413 [Conz.Const. cliii].  Both evangelists’ monsters are frequently shown maintaining a book, that being their attribute, but such cases are nonetheless explicitly blazoned.

Bat-winged boar courant (Accepted)

Bat-winged boar courant (Accepted)

Winged dolphin naiant (Accepted)

Winged dolphin naiant (Accepted)

Rampant winged monsters may be blazoned “segreant”, since that term may be applied to any monster “half-bird, half-beast”; in that case, the posture of the wings is defined by the term.  Winged monsters statant or couchant do not need their wings’ posture blazoned, either:  the wings will be addorsed by default, that being their most distinguishable posture.  The term “volant”, however, is ill-defined for non-birds, and should not be used for winged monsters; instead, the posture of the body should be blazoned in a standard way, with the wings’ position made explicit (e.g., a “winged lion courant, wings elevated and addorsed”).

The illustrations show a lion of St. Mark statant guardant; a winged stag segreant; a bat-winged boar courant, wings elevated and addorsed; and a winged dolphin, wings addorsed.  For specific entries, see humanoid monster (angel), pegasus, pithon.  See also winged charges.

Jon de Cles bears:  Gules, a winged camel trippant argent.

Jean Pierre de Sabre bears:  Or, a winged fish volant sable.

Harold von Auerbach bears:  Vert, a bat-winged boar salient argent.

Hastini Chandra bears:  Or, an Indian elephant passant gules, winged sable.

Jamie MacRae bears:  Purpure, a winged stag rampant to sinister argent.

Niall Kilkierny bears:  Vert, a winged sea-lion rampant Or.

This entry was posted on June 8, 2014, in .

Werewolf

Werewolf passant reguardant (Period)

Werewolf passant reguardant (Period)

The werewolf is a bloodthirsty monster from folklore, said to be a human who changes into a wolf during the full moon.  Its heraldic depiction, as found in the crest of Kaylewaye, late-16th C., is that of a wolf with human hands instead of feet, and human ears [Bedingfeld 92].

The werewolf has no default posture; the illustration shows a werewolf passant reguardant.

Jeanne Marie Lacroix bears as a badge:  A werewolf passant reguardant vert.

This entry was posted on June 8, 2014, in .

Vegetable lamb

Vegetable lamb (Accepted)

Vegetable lamb (Accepted)

The vegetable lamb is considered a monster in Society heraldry, a mythical plant bearing young sheep as its fruit.  It was first mentioned in the Travels of Sir John Mandeville, c.1371, but does not appear in mundane armory.

Lysander Keisalovitch bears:  Argent, a vegetable lamb vert.

Solange Sarrazin bears:  Or, a vegetable lamb vert fructed argent and flowered gules, a chief indented azure.

Áine Táilliúir bears as a badge:  A vegetable lamb Or fructed of sheep sable.

This entry was posted on June 8, 2014, in .

Unicorn

Unicorn (Period)

Unicorn (Period)

The unicorn is a fierce heraldic monster, named for the single horn growing from the center of its forehead; it was the medieval archetype of purity and chastity, and its horn was considered an antidote to poison.  As an heraldic charge, it’s found as early as c.1340, in the arms of Tengen [Zurich 72].

The unicorn is always shown with its forward-pointing horn, which is its defining characteristic; it’s also drawn with cloven hooves.  The usual English depiction gives it a body much like a horse’s, but with a bearded chin, a lion’s tail, and tufts at its feet (and frequently higher on the legs).  The Continental depiction is based more on a goat, frequently with a goat’s tail (though a lion’s tail is common), and often no tufts or beard.  The exact variant is not distinguished in blazon:  either form is acceptable in the Society.  Both forms are rampant by default, as in the illustration.

Modern fantasy art often depicts the unicorn as a horned horse, with long sweeping mane and tail; this is not the medieval concept of the unicorn, and so-called “unicornate horses” are no longer permitted in Society armory.

The March of the Unicorn bears:  Gyronny of sixteen azure and argent, a unicorn rampant and in chief a laurel wreath Or.

Charles Edward Alexander Everman bears:  Ermine, a unicorn rampant sable, armed and crined gules.

Henry Clarence bears:  Argent, three unicorns passant azure.

Duncan MacDougall of Mendersham bears:  Or, a unicorn rampant gules.

This entry was posted on June 8, 2014, in .

Tyger

Tyger rampant (Period)

Tyger rampant (Period)

Bengal tiger rampant (SFPP)

Bengal tiger rampant (SFPP)

The tyger is an heraldic monster, described as incredibly swift and deceitful; its body is much like that of the wolf, but it has a crest of tufts on the back of its neck, and a tusk pointing down from its nose.  Medieval legend asserts that to escape a pursuing tyger, one must throw a mirror before it, so that it will be entranced by its reflection; indeed, the tyger in the arms of Sybell, 1531, is in just such a pose [Dennys 144].  The illustration shows a tyger rampant.

When blazoned a “natural tiger” or “Bengal tiger”, the term denotes a natural beast, the great cat Felis tigris:  like a maneless lion, but with stripes on its coat.  When blazoned “proper”, its coat is tawny, and the stripes black; this naturalistic coloring is no longer permitted in Society armory, but standard heraldic tinctures (e.g., “a Bengal tiger Or marked sable”) may still be used.  The use of a Bengal tiger is considered a step from period practice.  The illustration shows a Bengal tiger rampant.

The King of the East bears as a badge:  A tyger passant azure.

Alia la rousse bears:  Gules, in pale two tygers passant argent.

Sean Fitzwallace bears:  Gules, a Bengal tiger rampant guardant proper within a bordure counter-compony argent and azure.

This entry was posted on June 5, 2014, in .

Theow

Theow rampant (Period)

Theow rampant (Period)

The theow, or thoye, is a rare monster resembling a mastiff or wolf, but with cloven hooves and a bovine muzzle and tail.  It was used as a badge by Sir Thomas Cheney c.1560 [Dennys 161].  The theow does not seem to have a default posture; the illustration shows a theow rampant.

Fedora Phelan bears:  Pily bendy sinister vert and argent, a theow rampant pean.

Æthelwulf Stealcere bears:  Gules, a theow rampant and on a chief embattled argent four trilliums gules, barbed vert, seeded Or.

Eric of Nord Broc bears:  Pean, a theow rampant and issuant from base a demi-sun argent.

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Tarasque

Tarasque statant guardant (Accepted)

Tarasque statant guardant (Accepted)


The tarasque is an amphibious monster associated with Tarascon, France.  Legends of the tarasque date from the 12th Century, frequently as part of the legend of St. Martha.  It resembles a spiny-shelled tortoise with six legs; it’s often shown with a somewhat humanoid face.  The tarasque is used in the modern arms of Tarascon, but no period heraldic examples have been found.  The illustration shows a tarasque statant guardant.

Morgiane de Provence bears:  Azure, a four-legged tarasque statant gardant contourny argent.

Dawn Schadue bears as a badge:  A tarasque passant vert vorant of two human legs clothed azure.

This entry was posted on June 5, 2014, in .

Sphinx

Greek sphinx sejant (Period)

Greek sphinx sejant (Period)

Egyptian sphinx couchant (Accepted)

Egyptian sphinx couchant (Accepted)

The sphinx is a monster from ancient myth, with a lion’s body and a human head.  There are two forms of this monster, the Greek form and the Egyptian form, both of which date from antiquity.

The Greek sphinx (the riddling monster slain by Oedipus) is winged, and has a woman’s head and breasts; it’s the more common form, and the only form found in period heraldry.  Blazoned simply as a “sphinx” in period, it is sometimes blazoned in the Society as a “winged” or a “gyno-sphinx” (gyno, “woman”).  The Greek sphinx was described in period tracts [Bossewell II.46], and was granted as a crest to Robert Parris in 1573 [Dennys 118].

The Egyptian sphinx is the monster whose statue is seen at Giza; it has a man’s head, wearing a pharaonic headdress, and has no wings.  It’s sometimes blazoned an “andro-sphinx” (andro, “man”) in the Society.  Though the statue was known, the Egyptian sphinx doesn’t seem to have been used in period armory.

Of course, Society armorists take pleasure in conflating the two forms, and examples of “Greek andro-sphinxes” and “Egyptian gyno-sphinxes” have been registered.  Go figure.

Neither form of sphinx has a default posture in Society heraldry; the illustrations show a Greek sphinx sejant and an Egyptian sphinx couchant.  For related charges, see chimera (German), lamia, manticore, man-tyger.

Ariadne Leontodes bears:  Argent, a Greek sphinx rampant azure winged sable.

Eirene Korinthia bears:  Purpure, a Greek sphinx sejant Or.

Khalil el-Hadji bears:  Or, an Egyptian sphinx couchant azure between in chief two scimitars inverted, blades to center sable.

Mammarra Liona of Egypt bears:  Azure, an Egyptian gyno-sphinx rampant Or.

This entry was posted on June 3, 2014, in .