This is following on from an earlier question posed by a fellow fan regarding shield decorations. Like you said in your reply, there weren't many badges or symbols denoting families, clans, or warlords except for the standards (bloody axes, skulls, or a goose as described in the Saxon Chronicles) during the Dark Ages. It wasn't until medieval times when elaborate heraldry - with particular meanings - began to appear. I believe Celtic and Dark Age shield design was mainly more a matter of choice in style and colour. Back to heraldry, however, it was necessary for me to invent an entirely new design for a character of my own creation. Set during the Wars of the Roses, Sir Cecil of Kinlet - nicknamed 'The Raven' - has a black raven, clutching a bloodied white rose (thus rendering it to the red rose of Lancaster), set upon a gold field representing his allegiance to King Henry VI. Simple, but effectively foreboding! There is an online game called 'War of the Roses' where players can create their own soldiers and coat of arms. Great fun!
Thanks - does sound like fun!