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Corliss Guide to the KW - Coats of Arms

by Damon Brown

This is in response to some very helpful suggestions from Hugin in the Narration Thread. I've tried to de-saturate some of the colors as well as add a cloth texture to each of them in hopes of making them appear more realistic (as opposed to CG).

Since I think the map format I'm using accomplishes the above effect, I've laid them over their respective maps for comparison. I'm only including the ones that have a canon source (sans The Broken Lands) for now. If anyone knows where there is a canon source for either Alphatia or Norwold, I would greatly appreciate it. I thought I had seen them somewhere once, but I may be mistaken. BTW, the version that I have used for years for Alphatia (gyronny of eight, azure and argent) is NOT canon... but I like it. ;) Also, note that there are two very different canon versions for Sind - one from K:KOA & the other from a Savage Coast article in Dragon. I have used the latter as it is, IMO, a much better design.

Anyway, here are the first sixteen - click on the thumbs for full resolution (1280x720). Let me know what you guys think.

OK, so here's three more: The Thyatian Hinterlands, Ochalea and The Pearl Islands. That just leaves Alphatia and Norwold for this project... I think.

As discussed in another thread, I had originally wanted to try something of a Scottish Clan Badge for The Hinterlands, but it didn't really work out. :| The crest here seems suitable, however.

I found some oriental style dragon vectors out there to try this out. Unfortunately, the full body representations were all too detailed to work with in my current format. By the time I got them to a reasonable resolution with the posterization effect they came out looking like smudged ink. As far as the calligraphy, I think that might be getting too far removed from a Western-style crest - IMO, anyway. I should also clarify that consistency is a priority for me on this project. I'd like things from each category to seem like they were created by the same artist (ie all maps by one cartographer, all crests by one herald, etc).

I did, however, find a few dragon head vectors that I liked and came up with a few variations. There are details about each that I like as well as dislike. So, since I can't really decide between the two, I thought I'd get more input, of course.

Well, I held off posting the last two in hopes that someone knew of a canon source for the Alphatia & Norwold coats-of-arms, but it appears they may not exist. I'll scour through my CM & M series modules over the next few days just in case, but I'm not optimistic that I'm going to find anything there. So, at least for now, I'm going with my own versions. Let me know what you guys think.

agathokles wrote:
I'd also go for the Shedu -- consider that the Thyatian Eagle is the other symbol used in DotE, so it's rather likely that the Shedu was meant to be Alphatia's symbol.

Perhaps, a compromise, then?

OK, so it looks like the Alphatia version with the Shedu on the Azure background seems acceptable, so I can move on from that one. I thought this meant I was done with heraldry for the purposes of the video. However, I neglected to realize that I hadn't posted for The Broken Lands or The Isle of Dawn. As far as the Broken Lands, I'll post it in another reply to this thread to make it easier to quote as I believe it may generate some opinions. I believe I mentioned earlier what I planned to do for IoD, but for the sake of argument, here it is (as always, click on it for full resolution).

There is a "canon" source for the coat-of-arms for The Broken Lands. I will not be using it. I know I have been fairly consistent about using official sources whenever possible, but in this case, I believe what was printed must certainly be a mistake and I will show you why:

Shown here is the symbol for The Shining One (Kurtulmak), the Immortal patron of kobolds, from p10 of GAZ10 in the DM's Booklet, followed by the official coat-of-arms for The Broken Lands from p111 of K:KoA in the Explorer's Guide, and finally the official coat-of-arms for Kol from the back cover of G:KoM, The Grimoire.

Keep it mind that even though the The Corliss Guide to The Known World is set in AC 1000 (the Gazetteer era), K:KoA & G:KoM are necessary for resolving this issue, IMO. As you can plainly see, the helmet in the Broken Lands crest is clearly the same as The Shining One's symbol. K:KoA & G:KoM are set in AC 1012 & 1013, respectively, after New Kolland has been established (AC 1011). So if The Broken Lands was to even have a traditional coat-of-arms (see below), it would not likely have the symbol for The Shining One in it, as any kobold influence would have shifted primarily to Glantri. This also makes me believe that the crest for The Broken Lands was really supposed to be for Kol/New Kolland, as the one in G:KoM seems more likely a generic one to be used for The Broken Lands or The Great Crater, if anything.

Of course, this begs the question, why would the Broken Lands even have a conventional coat-of-arms? At either time frame, The Broken Lands are not a single nation. Even if you consider that Thar controls the legions, there are still "sovereign nations" dominated by individual humanoid races. Also, there are no diplomatic relations with any human/demi-human nations (at least prior to Kol's maneuver, post-WotI). All of this leaves me to believe that having a conventional coat-of-arms for The Broken Lands is unnecessary/illogical. That said, I have chosen, at least for now, to represent The Broken Lands segment below. While I am fairly adamant that this is the best course, I am open to compelling arguments to the contrary.