Heraldry - Is there a standard?


I’m new to the Empire LARP, and LARP overall, and am part of a banner which is being formed (hopefully) for the next Empire event. As part of the formation of our banner I proposed to my group that we have some form of actual heraldry, for use on banners, pennants and personal adornment, and was going by the standard rules of heraldic thumb (No colours on colours, no metals on metals etc). It has occured to me now however that there may already be a pre-existing court of arms, or other form of heraldic oversight which we may need to talk to first.

My real question therefore is; Is there a standard system for heraldry in Empire, and if so who runs it and how can I get in touch with them?

Thanks for any help you can provide, and I hope to see you at the next Empire event.


(Edit) If no such standard exists then would there be a need to set one up? I could probably find time to do this if needed/wanted


IA lot of this is going to depend on which nation you’re in, assuming you’re Dawnish in terms of turning up and not being too close to another house I’d suggest joining the dawn facebook group and checking with them first.

if you wanted. I think there was an attempt to gather a record of heraldry’s, but there is certainly no College of arms or anything similar.


I should have said, we’re Nevarr, so we’ve tried to remain fairly close to the example on the wiki page, the only quibble I have with it being the brown on the green, but that’s beside the point.

If there isn’t a College of Arms (England) or a Court of Arms(Scotland), do you think that there is any demend for such am institute to be set up? It would after all make sense given the medieval setting.



Partly this is going to differ from nation to nation in terms of the importance of symbology.

There is Empire: The Citizen’s Directory who, now I look them up are doing something similar.

Note also that Empire isn’t quite a medieval setting: For one thing literacy is pretty much universal due to Urizen influence on the citizenship tests,


Thanks again Ricohard,

I’ll be sure to go and ask the Citizen’s Directory if there appear to be any trends I should try and adhere to, or if they have a few recommendations I can put to use.



I’d also suggest your national facebook page if you want to make sure you’re not clashing.


Generally the most important thing is not to be too close to anyone else in your nation to avoid confusion, unless of course that is what you are planning. :slight_smile:

Heraldry really only gets slapped on everything if you’re Dawn or Highguard, other nations might have groups with a similar colour pallet to show group allegiance, or their heraldry is kept to small personal tokens and a battle banner.

As stated the national FB groups are probably the easiest place to check whether you are going to clash or not.


Simple answer is no there is no standardisation in flags, coats of arms or even the national flags. Yes there are some flags that PD had made but they’re very clear with say Highguard that any flag with something that looks like a Basalisk and a bell on it counts.

The Navarr national FB group will tell you if anyone is already using a flag like that but no one has the authority to tell you to do anything IC with your groups symbols or heraldry. Although it is polite OOC to double check and avoid confusion, unless as previously stated that is your aim :slight_smile:.

Cool banner btw it looks properly Navarr :slight_smile:.


Thanks Mark,

I’ll make sure to check with the Facebook page, and sadly the banner above isn’t ours, just the example on the wiki, our current designs are made in MS paint and look spectacularly crap.




Hi Aflin.

I may be the one Ricohard mentioned above, I spent the first couple of years of Empire collecting all the heraldries.

(Amusingly, “Heralds” in game are the messengers and envoys of the Eternals… so if you say you’re training to be a Herald, several people twitch and try not to drag you off for interrogation :slight_smile: )

I did collect all the symbols extant in play at that time, so there’s a few groups present now gone, and a few not in it. That character died before doing all the illustrations, but I dropped a copy off with the militia and a couple of other groups.

There is not a formal College of Arms, and there is not the careful selection of symbols, edgings, and quarterings that RL heraldry developed. Given that heraldy tends to be most important to Dawn, Highguard, Urizen, League, and maybe then Wintermark, (and then the rest) in that order, there isn’t a huge demand for it.

For a group heraldy: Check it’s appropriate for your nation, check that no-one else is using something very similar*. Some distinctive colours to be easily applied are a good idea, as is a symbol with a history/story behind it (there are some excellent examples of these on the field, I can suggest some for comparism if you like).

[There are 6 groups using a tower/castle as a symbol, 4 different ones with pheonixes, 3 variations on crows, and I lost count how many Navarr groups have vines/thorns/brambles…]

Then decide how much you’re going to display your symbol. A banner, little pennants, sashes, tabards, belt tags, shields, embossed into equipment… they’ve all been done, but as mentioned it’s mostly Dawn (and Highguard) who are likely to plaster their symbols on everything.

You may also want to discuss any variations. There’s a few houses in Dawn which have a theme and variations on it. Example: House De Gauvain: Majestic winged beast and roses: (Pheonix with a wreath of roses) (Eagle carrying a rose) (Dragon above three roses) (griffon wearing a crown of roses)

Don’t worry too much about this sort of thing. A clear symbol is nice but not essential. And if you like you can always leave it an event or two before sorting out and displaying your symbology.

Happy to discuss this further :slight_smile:


Thank you very much Geoffrey,

This clears up a lot of my question, and I have decided that the best way to progress it to present any arms solely to the Navarr Facebook page for their approval, and if my Nevarr dies I might make a Dawnish herald who’s goal is to create a standard system and implement it.

Thanks again,



Nobody is going to go for a standard system, but it’s an interesting idea.


but it could create an awful lot of game (read very loud arguments) for someone though.


I dunno, I feel like heraldry rules undermine the very essence of Dawn. Which is turning the whole concept of feudal knights and nobility on its head.

Meanwhile, I hear the Iron Confederacy has a heraldry system…


In my opinion, yes and no.

Dawn heraldry in theory has it’s own set of rules, but it’s more like the rules of fashion than heraldic system. Heraldry isn’t trying to capture who your family is but who you are. The legendary beasts page lays out a basis of Dawnish heraldic system, and actually going in trying to expand that (in the same way that page was written - by finding people who have that element on their heraldry and looking for the significance.) Feels like it would be the Dawnish way of doing this.

Also generally speaking Dawn is metal on colour (although that is often broken)


So if I were to die and come back as some kind of aspiring heraldic officer, what would be the best nation to start with to either add credibility to any claims, or make tracking down all bearers of arms as easy as possible?


Dawn probably have more opinions on what is ‘representative of themselves’.

Highguard chapters will just says theirs is either traditional, correct or both.

I suspect asking about the stories behind the heraldry would be an interesting occupation though in either nation.


Yeah, Dawn is likely to have the sort of argumentative and curious people intent on getting everyone to do heraldy the way they think it should be done. Which can include such tweaks as “No, this is my House heraldry, THIS is my personal heraldry…”

Heck, I can see that as a heck of a non-combat test of mettle “Impose your will on the Empire by getting every nation to accord with a standardised rule of heraldy and insignia, designed by you…”

And given that every group that has a sigil, has a story behind it… if you go around asking stories, you’ll find plenty.

See for starters:
Cohort of the Winter Bear (Highguard)
Brotherhood of the Torn Banners (League)
Celestial Cascade (Urizen)
House Drommond (Dawn)
House Orzel (Dawn)
House de Rondell (Dawn)
…actually most of Dawn.


Thanks Geoffrey.

Excellent, so if I happen to die as my Nevarr, I’ll come back as a Dawn folk out to bring order to the chaos of the heraldry throughout the Empire.

Thanks again,