Achievement of Arms

IMPORTANT!

Drawing the full achievement of arms should be considered as a "beta-test". Both the syntax (form of words) and the implementation (visual appearance) may change in response to user feedback. Please let me know your own thoughts and ideas using the contact link in the menu above.

Background

Blazonry has a long history of precision in describing the shield itself (known as the escutcheon when we come to talk the full achievement). This means that when it comes to tinctures, ordinaries, divisions and all the component parts of the escutcheon there is widespread agreement on what everything means, and this is backed by a large body of evidence.

Sadly, the same does not seem to be true for the rest of the component parts of the full achievement of arms. How should we describe the colours of the mantling, style of helmet and so on? I have tried where possible to follow similar practice to that found on the escutcheon but there is little actual precedence for this style of language, and hence it is subject to change and further discussion!

Overall Organisation

To keep things simple I am requiring that all of the escutcheon description comes first and the achievement description comes afterwards. To make this even clearer you can if you wish use the word achievement to mark the start of the achievement description. See the examples below.

You can specify as many, or as few of the mantling parts as you wish and the others will take a default appearance. (Except for the motto, which will only appear if it is specified).

Helmet

At present there are four styles of helmet available, selected using one of the phrases:

  • A Royal helmet
  • A peer's helmet / a lord's helmet
  • A baronet's helmet
  • An esquire's helmet / a gentleman's helmet

If you do not specify a helmet type then an esquire's helmet will be shown.

Helmets have a default colour depending on the type, but you can override this by following the word helmet with a tincture. Only plain colours are currently supported.

Torse

It is also possible to position a torse on the helmet, this is a twisted loop of decorative rope and may have up to two plain colours. For example:

  • torse gules and azure

No torse will be shown unless it is actually specified, so you can just use the word alone. The default colours, if none are provided are argent and grey, matching the default mantling.

Crest

The word crest can be used to indicate a small charge which will be placed as if rising from the helmet, for example crest a lion gules. As there are many combinations of charges and helmets the default placement will probably not always work. You can use the charge adjustments extension to tweak the size and position, especially using the slightly prefix to make very small adjustments.

Mantling

At present there is one type of mantling available, in the form of ribbons, however I hope to add other types soon. It is selected using either of the phrases:

  • mantling
  • lambrequin

The phrase can be followed by of ribbons if you want to insulate yourself from future additional mantling types.

Ribbon Mantling Colours

By default the ribbon mantling will be drawn gray and white, however up to four colours can be applied. If one colour is given it will replace the white, if two colours are given then they will replace the white and gray respectively. However, you can give different colours to each side of the mantling using:

  • to the dexter colour (and colour)
  • to the sinister colour (and colour)

In which case the above rules apply but to each side of the mantling separately.

Motto

You may also add a motto, which if given will be shown in a scroll at the bottom of the shield. If the motto is longer than one word then you MUST enclose it in double quotes, "like this". An attempt is made to adjust the font size to fit in all the text, strings up to about 30 characters in length can be accommodated.

Using the motto to hold a family name will incure the wrath of Heraldic purists. You have been warned.

Some examples

Per bend azure and or
Works the normal way, the escutcheon only will occupy the whole of the image
Per bend azure and or achievement
Will produce a basic achievement, with plain mantling and an esquire's helmet
Per bend azure and or mantling or and gules
An achievement with coloured mantling and an esquire's helmet
Per bend azure and or mantling to the sinister or to the dexter azure a royal helmet
An achievement with mantling different each side and a Royal helmet
Per bend azure and or motto "Drawshield Est"
An achievement with plain mantling, an esquire's helmet and a scroll containing the motto

And if you want to go all the way you can use constructions like:

Per bend azure and or achievement with a royal helmet argent crest a lion gules mantling of ribbons to the dexter azure and argent to the sinister or and argent motto "Drawshield Est"

Effects

For artistic reasons the shiny effect is applied only to the escutcheon, all the other effects are applied to the entire achievement.

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