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Heraldic Crests

by John Calvin

Originally moved from Thorf's Atlas project:

Another idea, though I'm not really sure that it fits in an atlas (but I'll post it anyway). In a medievil world like Mystara it might also be important to know all the heraldic crests from each nation. Not only the national level symbols, but the crests for many of the important nobles across the Known World.

First of all let me say that I am by no means an expert on heraldry... far from it, but the subject does interest me greatly and I think I have at least a passing knowledge of it. So if there are any experts out there your input will not only be appreciated but welcomed as well. It would be my preference to bring as much real world heraldry (rules wise) into our project as is feasable. It's a great Mystaran tradition to take something from the RW and fantasize it, and that is something I would like to continue when working on Mystaran heraldry.

Some random thoughts:
1) Breaking the work up into chunks is a must, and using the Gazs seems like a logical choice. Again, as a first pass I'd like to stay in the year 1000AC.

2) In some cases we may find heraldic descriptions in canon and when found, we should use those descriptions. In many cases I suspect that we will find passing information at most. My preference would be to gather up as much information we can from various sources (and documenting them) and then use that information to make some kind of educated guess as to what the heraldic symbols should be. In some cases I'm fairly certian that we will have no information at all (and be able to excercise our full creativity).

3) I'd like to have verbal descriptions of coats of arms as well as visuals. There are some excellent resources on the web for learning about heraldry and blazoning (verbally describing coats of arms).

4) I'm more concerned with the escutcheon (shield) portion of the coat of arms than the others (crests, supporters, mottos, etc), at least during the initial pass. I'm sure that this has a lot to do with the fact that I have a utility tool that lets me generate the shields (but not the other elements) and adding those other elements will require a significant portion of work. That's not to say we can't add them... it's just not at the top of my own priority list.

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