Inspiration does not strike this week, so I’m back to the noble science of heraldry. This time, however, I’m looking at the equivalent of the Journal of Irreproducible Results: If these coats of arms were scientific papers, they would have dodgy p-values, doubtful statistical techniques, and great difficulty reproducing. And if they were people you would pray for them to have difficulty reproducing.
We’ll start with my eastern neighbors, the Lazuli, currently ruling Byzantium:
Gules a wyvern segreant sinister so-far-so-good azure. Azure! I ask you! Can you put azure on gules? You cannot. What can you put azure on? Azure is a colour, so it goes on metals; either white or gold, in other words. Probably gold would look best. Presumably the red represents the ocean of heralds’ blood that was shed before the Lazuli found one cowardly or incompetent enough to sign off on this, and the blue represents whatever-it-is that gives the family its name.
Next up, the Czar of half the Russias:
What is this, I don’t even…? Ok, you can divide the field per pale, sure; and you can even do so with two colours, because neither is considered to lie atop the other. Fine. But who the devil divides a charge? A few books do consider it possible, but I’m damned if I can find one that gives an example. And even if I did, what’s with the colour on colour? So the blazon would be something like “per pale sable and azure a tree eradicated divided per pale azure and sable”, which I guess is ok up to the point where it puts black on blue and vice-versa. I mean, never mind heraldry, this is bad graphic design; nothing pops. Presumably the bruised colours represent the initiation ritual of the Zombie Cossacks, or something. My esteemed overlord doesn’t have any such excuse:
“Sable a tree eradicated azure”. Yeah, yeah, colour on colour, it’s an old story by now. What initially causes shock and horror becomes an accustomed sight, and then you learn to like the stuff; and one day you find yourself looking at an achievement that puts purple on orange, or polka dots on a field vair, and not flinching. And then you go home and make sure to cut lengthwise, not crosswise, because seriously, what have I become?
Little that was exciting happened in Venice this week; but there was great drama over in Hungary, where Khan (subbing for my esteemed overlord) went on an assassination spree to cause Poland to inherit the country. (Poland is played by the Quietest Player Ever, “king cruel”, and is currently a vassal of Germany. Also, not yet dead.) There were accusations of collusion in this plan on the part of Yami, playing Hungary; it’s not that easy to lose your main title by inheritance. Our GM found these accusations credible, and intends to roll back Poland’s gains in accordance with the rule against throwing your nation to another player. Hungary is now looking for a player. Meanwhile, I’m just sitting here unifying Italy.
The central Med, 1372. With the kingdom of Italy to give me de-jure claims, unification of the north proceeds rapidly. Otherwise my gains have been diplomatic.