Monday, July 16, 2012

Alphatian Coats of Arms -- Part II (Updated July 19th)

It took me a while to find a piece of art I liked to represent Ambur.  I placed the "Eye" of Ambur at the center, which refers to the Great Observatory.  Thanks to Andrew's help, I was able to add some white around the eye's pupil, using Gimp. Arogansa, on the other hand, was a cake walk. The dolphin connects with Arogansa's capital, Bluenose, a place with great beaches and lots of dolphins.  I could not resist!

Naturally, places like Bettellyn cause a slight problem since I haven't redesigned them and no information was presented in Dawn of the Emperors. I have a general clue what to do with Bettellyn, based on the small part I worked on while dressing up the map for neighboring Theranderol, last week.  I'll let you guess.  Of course, Blackheart came together quite nicely.  Wizard towers in a forest, a black heart, and sort of a hazard pattern to warn off trespassers: no peddlers allowed.

Eadrin is another unknown here.  It's a neat pattern that reminds me of the arms of Pole (from the old Kingmaker game.)  Either I'll come up with something related to these arms when I get around to fleshing out Eadrin, or I'll redesign a new coat of arms.  Of course, the old favorite, Floating Ar, features a straightforward and conventional design with, as can be expected, skyships and a flying beast.

Frisland sent me scratching my head for ideas.  I thought of some ghastly monsters or carnivorous plants.  What I found on the internet was hilarious and, after wiping off a few tears of laughter, I followed a more subtle approach.  Yum!  Tiny clovers, and lots of them.  What could possibly happen?   Greenspur was another one that came right through.  Green + Spur (of course) and a lozenge pattern just 'cause I like it!  So there.  Designer's prerogative!

Which bring us to Limn.  I'd introduced a very discreet connection to dragons and lindwurms.  Since I didn't expect to find heraldic versions of D&D trolls (carrot-noses and all) I went for the true and tried beast, a wyvern if I recall correctly.  If anyone finds orcs, ogres, trolls, and other such game classics done somewhere in heraldic fashion, please let me know!  Randel was another illustrious stranger, with no entry in Dawn of the Emperors.  So, I went with elegant and very classic.

Another very obvious design, for Stonewall, actually incorporates three castles superimposed.  Looks like a wall.  Good enough, says I.  Onward. The next one was an experiment I saved because it looked truly bizarre.  Perhaps we'll find a spot for a culture focused on mechanical devices.  Feel free to suggest.  Naturally, there should be coats of arms for cities and aristocratic clans, such as the House of Thera detailed in the previous post, major guilds, the Great Council of Wizards, etc.

Moving right along, here's Stoutfellow: a great mountain whose heart a foreigner does not enter, and whose slopes are guarded by cold, dwarven steel.  If not particularly artistic, it remains not nonetheless eloquent.  Another scheme which, alas, fails from a visual standpoint, speaks clearly of Haven's nature: six forms or beauty in a lake, and at their center, the art of war.  A rainbow runs across, above the mark of fashion.  It was the last winner at the Aasla Festival.  Thankfully, the design may change at a later festival.

We'll conclude the collection of coats of arms with two great sylvan realms.  On the left, Foresthome suggests a population of centaurs dwelling in the great woods of mainland Alphatia.  On the right, the elves' colors feature a horn to hunt, to rally for war, or perhaps to call upon the unicorns and all other woodland beings living in the legendary and mysterious Shiye-Lawr.

Wait, wait!  There's more.  There we have it--the Crimson Guard, the skyship force supposedly guarding Sundsvall, or was it Ampulia?  Either way, it wouldn't take them long to cover the distance between the two.  I thought of using a darker tone of red but it invariably looked more brown than crimson.  Next comes the Great Countil, or the Council of Thousand Wizards.  The vair pattern denotes the councilors' aristocratic status.  The ravens refer to magical constructs once used as heralds to bring news of council resolutions.  Many people quip that they represent the nobles tweeting and chirping all day, leaving behind nothing but bird droppings.

Of course, the list wouldn't be complete without the Imperial Guard--battlements gules and sable, and swords to defend them.  Pretty straightforward.  One that is far less so is the Department of Smoke and Mirrors, the folks responsible for maintaining the masquerade in Ampulia and of protecting the capital's secrecy.  Naturally, very few people have actually seen this coat of arms.  I'll let you judge if it is appropriate enough. 

I almost forgot our friends from way up north, the Island of Qeodhar.  I originally wanted a polar bear, but could not find a decent piece of line art.  If I did (I may eventually), I'd probably reverse the black and white pattern, and place the bear's white face within the black section in the middle.  I threw in Imperial Rangers, by popular demand of a loyal and devoted supporter!  Leaves represent heraldic holly scattered by the wind, the azure band a river through a forest (the Greenlake or Elfripple Rivers), and the critter in the middle. . . well, I'm sure you'll come up with something.

As promised earlier, here is Aquas.  This was a fun design to put together.  It was a bit tricky but I like the result, and it's fitting for an underwater realm.  The only trouble is the black area within the tail's coil, which I could not eliminate.  If anyone has any ideas about this, please let me know.  Tylion's coat of arms was another experiment. Since the application does not support borders, I managed a slight trick to get around the limitation.  The design for His Imperial Highness (since he's no longer a "Majesty," having abdicated in favor of Eriadna) displays the House of Thera's colors along with ermine to connect him with his imperial stature.  

Now I give you the colors for the Yannivey Islands.  Simple and striking.  This one took all of three minutes to compose.  Most of the time needed to design these coats of arms comes from experimenting and thinking up new approaches.  The one that took the most time (drafting rather than thinking) was Frisland's for obvious reasons.  On the right stands Torenal's coat of arms, a pretty little thing that gets around the application's limitations with borders.  Where there's a will there's a shield!  I think I've pretty much covered mainland Alphatia.  Let me know if I've forgotten anything.