The zulfikar is a charge from Islamic heraldry, representing the sword given to Ali by Mohammed (on whom be peace). It’s depicted as a sword, whose blade is strongly forked for about half its length; the blade might be either straight or curved. The zulfikar shown here was used on the standard of Selim I, Ottoman Sultan 1470-1520 [from the Topkapi Museum, Istanbul].
The Society’s default for the zulfikar is that of the sword: palewise, hilt to base.
Gürcü İskender bears: Azure crescenty argent, a zulfikar inverted Or and a gore sinister argent.
Jethro Stille bears as a badge: Gules, between the blades of a zulfikar inverted a mullet of six points Or.
A whip is an instrument for delivering a stinging blow, with one or more lashes set in a handle. The single-lash whip is used to drive animals. When blazoned a “scourge”, it has multiple lashes and is intended to be an emblem of martyrdom; it’s found in the arms of Eybeswaldt, 1605 [Siebmacher 37]. When drawn with distinct lashes (as in the illustration), it has three by default; it can also be drawn with more, as in the “cat-o’-nine-tails”, though the fact must be blazoned. Whips and scourges have their handles to base by default.
Deadra Colin Madoc bears: Argent, a drover’s whip bendwise sinister, lash in action sable.
Valgard Stonecleaver bears as a badge: Or, a scourge sable.
A valknut is a Norse artistic motif, consisting of three triangles voided and interlaced. It was associated with scenes of Odin and the Valkyries (valknut, “corpse knot”), and may have represented the slain warrior’s soul. As an heraldic charge, it’s unique to the Society; its use is considered a step from period practice. The valknut has its point is to chief by Society default; valknuts inverted are no longer permitted.
There were several depictions of the valknut in Norse art; the illustration is the one accepted for Society use. It’s based on the image on the Stora Hammars I stone, in Gotland. See also knot, polygon.
Styrbjorg Ulfethnar bears: Argent, a demi-wolf salient proper charged on the shoulder with an elf-bolt argent, issuant from a valknut gules.
Hallgrímr Úlfsson bears: Gules, a valknut and a bordure argent.
Justin Stephen Cradoc bears: Quarterly azure and argent, four valknuts counterchanged.
A triquetra is a design common in ecclesiastical art, where it is a symbol of the Trinity. It consists of three semi-circular arcs interlaced, the ends conjoined to form a knot. The triquetra is a period charge: under the name “Tyrell knot”, it was the badge of Sir Thomas Tyrell, d.1502 [Walden 129; Siddons II.2 295]. Though Tyrell used the charge with a point to base, the Society default for the triquetra is with a point to chief.
Tarynsa of Rivendell bears: Azure, three triquetras Or.
Ástríðr in spaka bears: Argent, three triquetras vert.
Ciaran ferch Marc bears: Quarterly sable and vert, in saltire five triquetras argent.
A Mosaic tablet is a flat slab or plaque, suitable for enscription or engraving. Tradition makes this the form of the tablets on which Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Sinai, hence the name. Though found in period art, we have no examples of them from period armory. In Society armory, Mosaic tablets are usually shown in conjoined pairs, though the fact is always blazoned. See also book.
Collawyn Lughaidh O Cearbhaill bears: Per fess argent and gules, in pale a lion contourny maintaining an Irish harp and two Mosaic tablets conjoined in fess counterchanged.
The star of David is a geometric figure, comprising two equilateral triangles, voided and braced. Alternatively, it may be described as a mullet of six points voided and interlaced. It’s also called a “shield of David”, a “Mogen David”, or a “seal of Solomon”.
The star of David appears in Jewish texts as early as the 11th Century (in the Leningrad Codex), and as a decoration on gravestones and synagogues; in modern times, it has been adopted as a universal symbol of Judaism. As an heraldic charge, it’s found in the arms of Compan, 1548 [Vigil Raber’s Armorial of the Arlberg Brotherhood of St. Christopher, fo.740]. For related charges, see knot, polygon, shield.
Judith bat Avram of York bears: Quarterly azure and purpure, in the second quarter a shield of David argent and Or.
Israel ibn Jacob bears: Paly wavy of twelve sable and argent, a star of David Or.
Moshe Mashughannah bears: Or, a star of David azure within and interlaced with another vert.
A scroll is a roll of parchment or paper. The mundane heraldic scroll seems to be a simple banderole, which is also called an “escroll” (and is so blazoned in the Society). In Society armory, the term “scroll” refers to the ancient form of book (still used for some sacred texts, such as the Torah); this form of scroll has not been adduced in period armory.
A scroll may be either “closed” (rolled) or “open” (partially unrolled). As neither type is default, the type should be explicitly blazoned; open scrolls are more common in the Society. Closed scrolls always include the handled rods around which the paper is rolled; open scrolls may include the rods or not, at the artist’s discretion.
An open scroll is palewise by Society default. No default orientation has been defined for closed scrolls; the illustration shows a closed scroll palewise.
Hubert de Recoing bears: Vert, a sword bendwise sinister inverted argent, gripped and pommeled azure, between an open scroll argent handled azure and a loaf of bread proper.
Simon d’Arc the Scholar bears: Per bend sinister azure and gules, two open scrolls Or.
Na’arah bat Avraham bears: Azure, a closed Torah scroll palewise, on a chief argent three frets throughout sable.
A paternoster is a closed string of beads with a small cross or tassel pendant at the bottom, used for meditation and prayer. It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Ruswörmb or Rußworm, 1605 [Siebmacher 144]. If the pendant cross hangs from a short beaded string, it may also be blazoned a “rosary” in Society armory; and this is the modern term for both forms of the charge.
The paternoster’s beads may be uniform in size, or may have larger beads at regular intervals: both forms were found as period artifacts, and it is considered an artistic detail in Society heraldry. See also jewelry.
Christian de Holacombe bears as a badge: A paternoster gules, its cross Or.
Elizabethe Alles bears: Argent, a paternoster purpure tasseled Or and on a chief dovetailed purpure three escallops argent.
Poplyr Childs bears: Or, two arrows in saltire vert within a rosary gules.
An orb is a ball, banded and with a cross atop it; also called a “mound”, it is a symbol of the world (and thus, when used as regalia, of temporal sovereignty). As an heraldic charge, it’s found in the arms of Friellas c.1540 [Nobreza xxxiiº].
In Society heraldry, the term “orb” was once used to refer to a featureless ball, synonymous with a roundel. This usage is no longer followed; orbs and roundels are considered distinct charges, with difference granted. For related charges, see sphere.
Fionn mac Con Dhuibh bears: Azure, three orbs argent.
Randolph Wedderlie bears: Or, an orb gules.
Margrett Schwarzenberger bears: Per chevron argent and sable, three orbs counterchanged.
An ombrellino is, in its simplest form, a sunshade or parasol; but the form used in heraldry is taken from the achievement of the Pope. In that form, it’s more ornate, frequently ensigned with a cross, and has a handle resembling a tilting spear. The ombrellino became an element of the most common form of Papal augmentation of arms, as in the arms of Cesare Borgia, 1502 [Galbreath’s Papal Heraldry, p.30].
Since the ombrellino was used in Papal augmentation, its use in the Society must not be too allusive to that augmentation. In practice, that means the ombrellino may not be used in conjunction with keys in saltire.
Luciana Caterina de Borghese bears: Vair, an ombrellino gules.