Heraldry and Coats of Arms
I was blown away by the City-kingdoms of the Haréshk by vorropohaiah and the addition of shields (although some break the tincture rules). I was wondering if other people were interested in heraldry and blazons for their own medieval and fantasy maps.
There are a few sources I use for making and describing heraldry. One is a book I own but can be read online called Boutell's Heraldry. It's a book from 1890. Another is A Complete Guide to Heraldry from 1909 available on Wikipedia. The last is a website that has many, many examples including blazons of many shields throughout the world from a book called A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry from 1894. I don't use the glossary as much but only if I need to see how other people wrote their blazons with different shapes.
What I have attached is a shield I created (using resources from Wikimedia Commons because I can't draw worth anything) for an empire whose map I'll be sharing shortly.
Or, an eagle Sable imperially crowned Proper with wings displayed and inverted, in its beak a fish, perched on a nest all Proper, issuant therefrom five eaglets: I Sable, II Or, III Gules, IV Argent, V Azure with wings displayed and inverted, the first, second, third, and fourth close contourned.
If I didn't suck at drawing, the rest of the blazon would read:
Surrounding the escutcheon, the Order of the Grand Star linked with lion's faces and sprigs of rue interwoven and having from it a star of sixteen rays all Or; for a Crest, upon a frogmouth helmet Sable the imperial crown Proper yet not set with stones but only enamel, a sun without face of sixteen rays Or; Mantling Or and Gules; for Supporters, dexter a lion rampant guardant on a rock both Proper; sinister standing on a like rock a female figure Proper, crined Or, vested Argent, draped Sable with bordure Or surmounted a bordure Gules, wearing a breastplate, vambraced, shod with sabatons all Sable, and supporting with her exterior hand an anchor Proper.
I was not familiar with -Max-'s shields until I looked at the map for Selvarin just now. They are much more complicated (and artistic) than your average shield!
Originally Posted by Schwarzkreuz
What I like most about heraldry is how it can how a country/family represents itself. With my shield above, the large eagle stands for the emperor while the babies stand for the five provinces of the empire.
Last edited by Adolon; 05-16-2013 at 01:35 PM.
I like to use "fantasy" shields, so with no real heraldic rules on them, like I did on several maps. On my current WIP (Kingdoms of Kesh), I'm though using some heraldry based on real medieval blazons that I'm slighty modifying (especially colors and a very few composition) for the basic map. Then I'll mix them together to show heraldry changes along the time and the political events.
It's a wonderful subject to explore, though I think there's quite a bit of space in the language for artistic interpretations over time? Does it matter if the heraldry looks different from previous versions or is it really just about the broader images and symbols? I would definitely like to incorporate the use of some shields on a map at some point... or perhaps a form of family crest badges, somehow... or maybe I'll just enjoy researching the finer points of the subject and get lost in the books for a while.
Originally Posted by - Max -
Unfortunately not. Because of what I'm working on, the empire's coat of arms had to come first. Although, the colors of the babies do represent the heraldic colors of the provinces they stand for.
Originally Posted by Schwarzkreuz
Check out this link and look at all the different ways to draw a lion: A Complete Guide to Heraldry/Chapter 11 - Wikisource, the free online library
Originally Posted by Chashio
It's not so much HOW the lion is drawn but what the lion is DOING that's important. If the blazon says "lion rampant", the lion MUST have a hind leg on the ground while his other legs are in the air. It doesn't matter what it looks like.
Yes, quartering for some but other changes to some others.It will depend of the event that made the heraldry changes (alliance, war etc.)
In the appendix of my latest novel, Wall of Althasia, I put the heraldic crests of the major characters who were in line for the throne.
Here are the crests for the Kingdom as a whole and for the brother of the king, Prince Falimir:
Here is the link to the book:
Wall of Althasia: Harry Pasto: 9781482777864: Amazon.com: Books