Have you read The Drowned Vault by ND Wilson? There’s an intriguing Latin family motto hidden in there: sic semper draconis. It’s a play on the Latin phrase sic semper tyrannis, which has a strange and storied history.
Update on 16 July 2021: NDW explained his thinking behind the motto on his podcast:
“Thus Always to Tyrants”
Sic semper tyrannis was the cry attributed to Brutus at his assassination of Julius Caesar, and in 1776 it was adopted as the official seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia after they declared independence from Great Britain.
Several decades later John Tyler, a Virginian boy who would one day be the tenth president of the United States, led a revolt against his despotic schoolmaster. Tyler and his classmates tied the teacher hand and foot and locked him in a closet at the end of the school day. When the teacher was found and freed, he confronted John Tyler’s father, who dismissed him with the Latin phrase.
John Wilkes Booth’s diary records that he hollered “Sic semper” after shooting Abraham Lincoln in April 1865, referencing Caesar’s assassination. And Timothy McVeigh, who was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, was wearing a t-shirt with the Latin phrase and a picture of Lincoln. Clearly, the pedigree of the phrase sic semper tyrannis has become less noble over the centuries.
Behind the Tyrants: Dragons
But with his variation, sic semper draconis, Nate Wilson not only revives the spirit of righteous rebellion, he recovers its biblical roots. Our ultimate enemy is not an earthly tyrant, it is a hellish dragon.