Time for some new heraldry, and this time it is a mixture of my own creations for my own campaign, a new cool crest from casl entertainment and and some inspired from LG.
First is the Noble House colors I've been using as a base for my heraldry. In my greyhawk campaign each of the major aerdy noble houses have a color they claim as "theirs" and here are the samples.
First out the House Cranden.
They have black, which is most notable in the crest of Rel Deven which is their strongest seat of power. My working theory is that back a millennium ago when the Aerdy was still a young force in the Flanaess the Cranden's were big supporters of Hextor and choose black to be their color. Over the centuries this have changed and the Crandens are now one of the biggest forces against evil in the former Great Kingdom in my campaign, but the black crest is still there.
Below on the left is the Rel Deven Crest, with the star only allowed by the houses which have held the Malachite Throne and with an added crown showing they are a full principality with the status as a governing province under Rauxes. This is in my campaign now longer true but it still loves on in heraldic traditions.
Here is the crest for the Marchland of Almor, the southern part of the lands that got overrun and broken up in the Greyhawk Wars. It is an area administered from Rel Deven, and the crest is shows the old Almor under the rulership of Rel Deven with the Cranden Black. No crown since this is not a principality or Imperial Province.
Below is another example of a Cranden crest, Blacksplinter. Run by an evil member of the house, who are in conflict with practically everyone but still floats his colors and the fact that he is an Aerdy noble with both Cranden and Rax blood. Traditionally the diagonal is from low left to upper right among the aerdy nobles, but the lord of Blacksplinter want to show his defiance but having it in reverse.
Next example is Darmen, the house the rules the United Kingdom of Ahlissa and their color is green.
This is seen in the crest for the Capital Principality of Kalstrand. Again with the crown indicating the status (before the fall of the Great Kingdom) as a province under Rauxes, but a Darmen never sat on the Malachite Throne so just a regular aerdy star.
Another example of Darmen green is the crest of the United Kingdom of Ahlissa, that also includes the yellow of the South Province of Ahlissa and it was also the colors of the Old Ahlissan Kingdom that existed before the Great Kingdom. The colors have a long tradition and are being used in most of the heraldry of the area.
I haven't come up with a good backstory for the birds yet, but if anyone knows about them or have some suggestions, I would love to hear about it!
Next is an example of how heraldry can evolve over time. My next campaign will be set in the Shield Lands area after the wars and a large part of it is occupied by Iuz. A key area of the Shield Lands have always been Admundfort and the Walworth Isle. Controlled by the Walworth Family and run as an Earldom since the Great Kingdom days, which indicates its strategic importance in the middle of Nyr Dyv.
I imagine the Walworths as an enterprising family that jumped on the aerdy western expansion early on and settled on the island in the middle of Nyr Dyv and managed to to set up the first settlement there serving as a staging point for further westward expansion. They were not noble at the time, but became rich and influential and leveled up to the status of lowe landowning nobility which required a crest.
They choose a blue and red background symbolising the blue of the rulers in Rauxes to the right and the red of Ferrond to the left. The lower white symbolizes the white walls of Admundfort, and the chain the fact that they are the link between eastern and western aerdy. An aerdy star show their allegiance to Rauxes. When the Ferrond broke with Rauxes they wanted to remain neutral between the two centers of eardy power so they dropped the star. For quite some time this was the crest of Admundfort and the Walworths.
The th Shield Lands was formed and the creste needed to show this fact, and the black tower symbol was added. This crest is still the one used for the city and the earldom in 598 CY in my campaign.
Next example is the city of Critwall that started out as (in my view at least) as a aerdy outpost guarding the southern Veng and hosting a ferry service across it to the land of Ferron (or Feyron back then). A sturdy keep was built from the local white limestone, the same type that was also used to build the battlements of Admundfort earlier so the Walworth's who have financed most of it, named the town Critwall. The oldest crest of the town is the white crenelated wall and the red-blue background with a white tower and a small aerdy star.
The keep of Critwall was made of white limestone, so where is the back tower coming from? My theory is that this involves courtly tradition from Rauxes, rock from the Isle of Lost Souls, greed, local hubris and fiendish influence.
After having built the Malachite Throne out of that enchanted dark green rock from the infamous northern isle there was lots of leftover material. The idea of using it to spread some royal power out into the wider aerdy world took shape, and the Walworths was keen on increasing the status of their new town with its impressive keep. So they purchased a load of malachite plates to cover the exterior giving it both protection, a royal panache and a green shine.
The malachite turned very dark fairly quickly and the towers upper part appeared shiny black. This fate also happened to other buildings adorned with the malachite. This led to the change of the crest to include a black tower which was a fashion statement of the period, and can be seen in several other variants. The backgrounds red-blue was switched to pure white to reflect that the emerging status as part of a new realm able to stand on its own. The aerdy star was initially kept to show the roots of the realm and also to symbolise the light that's shining from the temple of Pelor.
Then the formation of the independent Shield Lands came to be and a new updated crest was needed. The black tower was still seen as the most knows symbol of the area so that was kept but change was needed, so the heralds and other important people who care about things like this started looking for another symbol and looked at the town of Gensal.
Gensal was a small town north east of Critwall that was a center for a blooming industry of apple and other fruit production with orchards which produce was loved far and wide. They had a crest which reflected this.
A special thanks to Bryan Blumklotz for some great improvement suggestions in its design. So the designers of the realm incorporated the red of the Gensal apples and the black tower, surrounded by a white board which became the new crest of the realm, and the heraldry we are so familiar with.
I hope these are some useful examples of how you can use heraldry to illustrate your campaign and create some interesting flavour to your gaming.
All of these shields, and many more, are now available in my heraldry folder: http://bit.ly/GHheraldryfolder
An additional shield is included from casl Entertainment! It is for the Thillonrian town of Jotsplat. Thank you so much Carlos for giving us this gem. Please head over to the casl entertainment website or patreon to get yourself some great Greyhawk content!