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Thread: Heraldry and Coats of Arms

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    Guild Apprentice Adolon's Avatar
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    Default 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.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Blazon:
    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.

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    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Schwarzkreuz's Avatar
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    I had not spend so much thoughs on the background of Heraldry in my former designs, but with the recent increase of Coats of Arms on maps like thoses of Vorro and -Max-, my interest was back to try understanding rules and structures of what I paint. I hadnt heard of Blazon before and am very fascinated about this language and am reading the Book you have linked.

    What interests me most is not simply copying some Coat of Arms, but to create a growing and realistic range of visual references for my own world of Arden.

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    Guild Apprentice Adolon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwarzkreuz View Post
    I had not spend so much thoughs on the background of Heraldry in my former designs, but with the recent increase of Coats of Arms on maps like thoses of Vorro and -Max-, my interest was back to try understanding rules and structures of what I paint. I hadnt heard of Blazon before and am very fascinated about this language and am reading the Book you have linked.

    What interests me most is not simply copying some Coat of Arms, but to create a growing and realistic range of visual references for my own world of Arden.
    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!

    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 02:35 PM.

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor - Max -'s Avatar
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    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.

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    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Schwarzkreuz's Avatar
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    In my case, I can be quiet obsesses with rules and systems, so I try to read through the book you linked to do it realistic.

    @Adolon: Do you ahve more Shields to show?

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    Guild Artisan Gracious Donor Chashio's Avatar
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    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.

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    Guild Apprentice Adolon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by - Max - View Post
    Then I'll mix them together to show heraldry changes along the time and the political events.
    Like quartering?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schwarzkreuz View Post
    @Adolon: Do you ahve more Shields to show?
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chashio View Post
    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?
    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

    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.

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor - Max -'s Avatar
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    Yes, quartering for some but other changes to some others.It will depend of the event that made the heraldry changes (alliance, war etc.)

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    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Schwarzkreuz's Avatar
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    The Heraldry mapping slowly progresses.

    How about using this thread to present some examples of selfmade Heraldry and Blazon?

  10. #10

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    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:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is the link to the book:
    Wall of Althasia: Harry Pasto: 9781482777864: Amazon.com: Books

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