What is Heraldry?Heraldry is, broadly speaking, a system by which people in the middle ages could recognize people and groups quickly and from a distance. In the pre-photography era, unless you'd actually met the person face-to-face, you wouldn't recognize your own king, much less the other lords of the kingdom. Thus heraldry became a sort of universal recognition system. You wouldn't have to recognize the face of the King of England; you'd just need to see his shield or banner. It was also very useful to recognizing friend from foe in a battlefield where people's faces were covered by helmets.
In the SCA we use heraldry to not only recognize each other across the battlefield, but to add pomp and ceremony to our activities.
Devices and BadgesWithin the society, there are two pieces of heraldry (or armoury) that one can have: Devices and Badges.
A Device is a piece of armoury that is unique to the owner, and can only be worn or displayed by that owner or someone acting in an official capacity on their behalf, such as a herald. The device is used to identify that person.
A Badge, on the other hand, is a piece of armoury that is used by an individual or group to identify possessions, retainers, members, or other items.
In effect, a device says to the world "This is me; I am here." A badge says "This is mine."
What is a Blazon?Blazon (from the Middle French Blason, "shield") is a specialized language used to provide the formal description of a device or badge. Since the visual rendition of heraldry can vary from artist to artist, the language of blazon specifies the distinctive elements in a way that is consistent and that any artist can re-construct.
The language of blazon also comes from Middle French; hence why the colour green in blazon is "Vert", and many of the verbs of blazon follow French construction.
Bryniau Tywynnog's Roll of ArmsAdnar Dionadair: Counter-ermine, two reed pens in saltire and issuant from base a demi-sun Or.
Aldwynn of Canterbury: Vert, on a winged tower argent a compass rose vert, on a chief argent three Canterbury crosses vert.
Alice of Ramshaven: Per bend azure and purpure, on a bend Or three puffins close proper.
Christiana de Mundegumri: Sable, on a bend argent cotised of two chains Or a key cross palewise gules.
Dorothea af Holm: Gules, an eel-fork and on a chief argent and eel sable.
Dwynwen Caerdydd: Argent, on a pile ployé purpure between two sprigs of heather proper, a moon in her plenitude argent.
Eileen Darcy (called Aoibhal): Azure, an otter rampant maintaining a dagger, an orle argent.
Elyn Wodeloc: Per pale azure and argent, a bee skep beset by bees counterchanged.
Emer inghean Uí Aedáin: Per pall inverted argent, gules and sable, two foxes salient respectant counter changed, in base a triskelion arrondi argent.
Gabriella MacCalin: Per fess engrailled azure and gules, a demi lion issuant Or and a lacy knot argent.
Genevieve la flechiere de Duram: Argent crusily sable, a bend gules.
Geörg Stauffer: Vert, three smith's tongs and on a chief Or a sword sable.
Isabella von Sachsen: Purpure,a winged hedgehog rampant argent an in chief three apples one and two Or.
Ivan syn Irina: Per bend sinister Or and purpurse, two fish skeletons palewise counterchanged.
Jocelyne Duschene: Per bend azure and sable, a talbot's head couped Or and a sun in splendour, on a chief argent three fleurs-de-lys azure.
Khaaiwesenebastet saet ne Polemon mewitis Aniti: Or, two domestic cats sejant respecant sable winged azure and collared argent, in chief an eye sable irised argent.Kolbjorn skattkaupandi: Argent, a pithon erect contourny wings addorsed within a bordure purpure.
Maggie of Ealdormere: Or, two winged talbots passant gules, in chief three ravens sable.
Mairghread Eireannach (called Margaret of the Erainn): Per pale vert and Or, a shillelagh proper and a bordure per pale Or trefly vert and vert semy of roses Or.
Matthäus Lindenhayn von Schaffhausen: Per pale argent and azure, a pair of dragon-headed andirons conjoined counterchanged.
Melishka Vidaraia: Or, a bear rampant sustaining in its forepaws a butterfly azure.
Ragnar Thorbergsson: Sable, a drawn bow fesswise, arrow nocked, and on a chief argent three trees eradicated proper.
Rodrigo Navarro: Or, a bat-winged boar salient gules winged purpure.
Rónán mac Áedáin: Gules, a pall between three gauntlets argent each sustaining a morningstar Or.
Rylyn Buchanan: Argent, a sea-catamount sable tailed vert within a bordure quarterly vert and sable, for augmentation the sea-catamount maintaining on an escutcheon gules a trillium argent enfiling a ducal coronet Or.
Tamerlaine of Bryniau Tywynnog: Or, a melusine proper tailed azure and crined sable, within a bordure wavy vert.
Tristan Galbraith: Sable, three chevronelles between three celtic crosses argent.
Victoria von Willmundingen: Gules, a cross moline disjointed and on a chief Or three Ukrainian trident heads gules.
Wencendl of Rokesburg: Azure, a hart trippant reguardant contourney, on a chief embattled argent three dragonflies azure.
Yoshikuri Nagayori: Argent, three maple leaves in pall stems outward within a bordure sable.