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Coat of Arms of Salisbury


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I was looking at this old armorial, and I found the blazon of "Hermin le Félon" very close to the one of the count of Salisbury.

Blason_Hermin_le_F%C3%A9lon.svg

http://marikavel.org/arthur/armorial.htm

 

This Hermin is a minor character, and was the (evil) brother of the king of the Red City. By the way, félon in french means "treacherous" or "perfidious". As his coat of arms was in a prestigious armorial, we can suppose he is a powerful knight (famous or extraordinary level). We can imagine an adventure where the count of Salisbury is accused of the felonies of Hermin le Félon, and are trying to clear the name of their liege ;)

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Under stress, you can not count precisely the stripes. It's easy to imagine the count being falsely accused of murder in front of the king Arthur by a squire who failed his heraldry roll. The count asks for a delay of forty days to prove his innocence. the PK must investigate, and any GM could craft a nice little adventure...

 

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Yep, I misread in haste. A very easy heraldry mistake to make at a glance. Although one would imagine that the good count has scores of knights vouching that he was holding court at Sarum/someplace else at the time of the murder. But he would definitely want to know what knave is going around bearing his arms and committing these crimes.

 

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11 minutes ago, Morien said:

Yep, I misread in haste. A very easy heraldry mistake to make at a glance. Although one would imagine that the good count has scores of knights vouching that he was holding court at Sarum/someplace else at the time of the murder. But he would definitely want to know what knave is going around bearing his arms and committing these crimes.

 

 Hermin le Fel (not Felon) appears as a Round Table knight during the Grail Quest in the Post Vulgate and Prose Tristan. He's of sufficient Glory that he's not obscure. The likeliest explanation is that Hermin is a relation of the Earl's, and the coat is not an accident, though it was held that near identical coats were permissible if they came from different countries.

'Armant' (Malory's Hermaunce) is a different character, not evil, who was slain by a serf and was king of the Red City/Ile Delitable in the Prose Tristan and Malory. But he died before the Grail Quest and can't be the same man who bore these arms.

Not to say that the possibility that Hermin le Fel committed a murder is impossible. Several RT knights were not good men, as we know.

Edited by jeffjerwin
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I suppose he appeared under this nickname in the old armorial. I am curious. What Fel (not félon) means?

18 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Armant' (Malory's Hermaunce) is a different character, not evil,

I readed somewhere that Hermin was the evil brother of this benevolent king.

Edit: It was in the armorial of Freddy Sibileau, who was hosted in the old Greg Stafford site. I found a (dubious) link.

http://doczz.fr/doc/422353/les-armoiries-des-chevaliers-de-la-table-ronde

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Quick googling: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/felt

Old FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Proto-Germanic *faluz, cognate with felon.

Adjective

fel m (oblique and nominative feminine singular fele)

  1. evil
  2. vile; despicable quotations ▲
    • circa 1170, Chrétien de Troyes, 'Érec et Énide':
      "Fui!" fet Erec, "nains enuiieus!
      Trop es fel et contraliieus.["]
      "Flee" said Erec "pesky dwarf!
      You are too vile and maddening"
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3 hours ago, Morien said:

 

fel m (oblique and nominative feminine singular fele)

  1. evil
  2. vile; despicable quotations ▲
    • circa 1170, Chrétien de Troyes, 'Érec et Énide':
      "Fui!" fet Erec, "nains enuiieus!
      Trop es fel et contraliieus.["]
      "Flee" said Erec "pesky dwarf!
      You are too vile and maddening"

yes, well, a fell fellow is given to felonies. But they aren't quite the same. Anyway, Hermin le Fel is not a nice person, we can agree on that.

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6 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

I suppose he appeared under this nickname in the old armorial. I am curious. What Fel (not félon) means?

I readed somewhere that Hermin was the evil brother of this benevolent king.

Edit: It was in the armorial of Freddy Sibileau, who was hosted in the old Greg Stafford site. I found a (dubious) link.

http://doczz.fr/doc/422353/les-armoiries-des-chevaliers-de-la-table-ronde

yeah. they can't be the same. I think Monsieur Sibileau made a small mistake. But Hermin, as Morien indicates, a bad person, regardless.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorta unrelated but: I always wondered what exactly the way they came up with coat of arms back in the day was? Was it just picking what felt right for the lord based on meanings and deep symbolism? Or was it just whatever materials of paint they owned and what ever came first to their brains that felt good? I would imagine probably a little bit of column A and B. 

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4 hours ago, Redmoongodess said:

Sorta unrelated but: I always wondered what exactly the way they came up with coat of arms back in the day was? Was it just picking what felt right for the lord based on meanings and deep symbolism? Or was it just whatever materials of paint they owned and what ever came first to their brains that felt good? I would imagine probably a little bit of column A and B. 

Well the original idea was for the arms to be easily recognizable, as the knight in armor wasn't. That how the original rules of metals and  colors came about, and even today sports teams use similar rules for their uniforms top give them contrast and make them more readable. The coats of arms tended to start out simple and got progressively more complicated as more things were "taken" over time, and as knights wanted to show off family ties to other noble families.

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4 hours ago, Redmoongodess said:

Sorta unrelated but: I always wondered what exactly the way they came up with coat of arms back in the day was? Was it just picking what felt right for the lord based on meanings and deep symbolism? Or was it just whatever materials of paint they owned and what ever came first to their brains that felt good? I would imagine probably a little bit of column A and B. 

Yes. Though the choice of colors and charges was almost always influenced by their lord and their alliances. Often if a coat wasn't chosen, it was differenced from a father-in-law, or an overlord. The first type of heraldry is vary basic colors in some geometric pattern (two colors only, usually) so the knights might choose the same colors as their lord (Roderick of Salisbury uses the same colors as King Arthur, note). As animals and other complex charges were used, these acquired political meaning: for example the eagle = the Roman/German Empire; the lion = England, Anjou, the Welfs; the Lily = France.

Note that Gawaine received his arms (traditionally) from the Pope, and thus bears the double-headed eagle of Rome.

Consider what arms that your PK's ancestors' lords bore and it may suggest colors:

Uther: dragon(s), gold/yellow and green

Vortigern: lions; black and gold and red. {his arms: sable three escutcheons or, each charged with a lion gules)

Etc.

Also, certain colors do not appear in early heraldry, like brown or purple. Red and Blue are often associated with royalty.

 

Edited by jeffjerwin
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11 hours ago, Redmoongodess said:

Sorta unrelated but: I always wondered what exactly the way they came up with coat of arms back in the day was? Was it just picking what felt right for the lord based on meanings and deep symbolism? Or was it just whatever materials of paint they owned and what ever came first to their brains that felt good? I would imagine probably a little bit of column A and B. 

There is also the concept of canting arms (fr. armes parlantes).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canting_arms

For example, the cities of Lille or Florence both have a fleur-de-lys in their arms (lily, lilium in latin), because it sounds the same or evokes the flower in the name.

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/10/2019 at 8:49 AM, Tizun Thane said:

Under stress, you can not count precisely the stripes. It's easy to imagine the count being falsely accused of murder in front of the king Arthur by a squire who failed his heraldry roll. The count asks for a delay of forty days to prove his innocence. the PK must investigate, and any GM could craft a nice little adventure...

 

I LOVE this idea! Might have to use it at some point...

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On 12/10/2019 at 8:49 AM, Tizun Thane said:

Under stress, you can not count precisely the stripes. It's easy to imagine the count being falsely accused of murder in front of the king Arthur by a squire who failed his heraldry roll. The count asks for a delay of forty days to prove his innocence. the PK must investigate, and any GM could craft a nice little adventure...

It's a nice idea, but I think you need someone more important than a squire to accuse the count herein order to make it stick. I doubt Arthur would consider a charge against one of the peers of the realm based entirely upon the arms recognized by a squire. Now if someone else (perhaps a knight with a grudge against the Count, perhaps from Levcomagus?) were to back up the accusation it might stick. But otherwise I think they just tell the squire to mind his place. 

It is still a good seed for an adventure though. The PKS would go out to try and clear the Counts name and would need to come across some sort of lead to Hermin, perhaps still misidentified as Count Salisbury and need to track him (or his shield) down.

 

 

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On 1/31/2020 at 7:02 PM, Craiger said:

I LOVE this idea! Might have to use it at some point...

Glad to help! I would love to read about it

On 1/31/2020 at 7:40 PM, Atgxtg said:

It's a nice idea, but I think you need someone more important than a squire to accuse the count herein order to make it stick.

The witness does not need to be the accuser himself.

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7 hours ago, Tizun Thane said:

The witness does not need to be the accuser himself.

True, but then if you have an accuser you don't need a witness. That's the tricky bit with medeival courts vs. modern ones. Today we rely upon things like evidence, witnesses and such. Back then it was more a matter of status of the people involved. You really have to catch someone red-handed, and then in a situation that hurts a higher up, in order for witnesses to matter. So I think that for this to really work, the guy who was murdered would have to be some sort of royal official or such, killed along the King's road, so that the crime is more than "just" muderder but would also count as treason against the King. That way the King has a vested interest to step in and see the guilty party punished.

But then you sort of need to leave some sort of area of doubt so justice doesn't run over the Count before the PKs can prove his innocence. People accused to treason do not usually get a 40 day grace period. But Merlin might be able to help here. If he tells Uther/Arthur to delay the execution to some particular day and that gives the PKs time to act. If this happened before Merlin running off with baby Arthur it would even help to explain why the Count goes to bat for them when Uther puts them on trial.

But, it is a great idea. It is just one where the GM has to be very careful in how they set it up, and/or put in an escape plan (like Balin or Lancelot showing up at court at the last moment with some knight he defeated bearing Salisbury's shield) to prevent the death of the count should things go badly. Or be willing to deal with the fallout.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

But then you sort of need to leave some sort of area of doubt so justice doesn't run over the Count before the PKs can prove his innocence. People accused to treason do not usually get a 40 day grace period.

The period of forty days is precisely what I was thinking, to launch the adventure.

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12 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

The period of forty days is precisely what I was thinking, to launch the adventure.

But there is no precedent for such a thing. Yes, except he wouldn't get it. People accused of treason typically have an angry king out for vengeance wanting to nail their hide to the wall ASAP. And it think this whole adventure has to be  something treasonous to keep the Count from being able to sweep it under the rug. Basically if it is something bad enough for the king to take seriously then he will do so right away -unless something else pops up that demands his attention.

Now the adventure also works if the Count is convicted and sentenced to death, and then the PKS prove his innocence. But again the whole thing is very tricky. If the PKs do not succeed, or even if they do, but fail to get back to court in time it could end badly. 

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  • 5 months later...
On 2/3/2020 at 5:57 PM, Atgxtg said:

But there is no precedent for such a thing.

 In fact, there is.

To sue a count, even a king must follow rules, especially the king Arthur (Just 26). So, the king could summon his court of justice to judge the case (composed of anothers counts and barons and the like), with a delay of forty days. I studied enough medieval law to know it's not a crazy idea.

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As I recall, Count Robert is one of Arthur's earliest and staunchest supporters, so if it's that hard to buy you can just use that to justify the delay; Arthur has trouble believing that a good and loyal man like Robert would do the things he was accused of, but he can't be seen as lax on traitors. Therefore, he's giving as much of a grace period as he can without losing face so that an investigation can be done to prove the count's guilt or innocence, thus the 40 day time limit.

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