Party quarterly gold and gules, a buglehorn stringed of the first, argent and purpure.
The herald’s guild is closely associated with the nobility, which it principally serves. All young nobles are required to learn the rudiments of the herald’s art between the ages of ten and thirteen, and heralds are generally employed to do the teaching. Most heralds are bonded to landholding nobles where they are responsible for the keeping of family records, heraldic arms, genealogies, and the like.
Heralds also play an important role as ambassadors skilled in etiquette, diplomacy, and the forms of warfare. In this role they are afforded a high degree of neutrality. When a major battle is to be joined, heralds from either side will meet to exchange formalities, to make arrangements concerning the time the battle is to start, the treatment and care of prisoners, and possibly to conduct last minute negotiations. Opposing heralds might well be personal friends and will often watch the battle together from some safe vantage point.
The institutions in which heralds receive advanced training are called colleges; they are vitally important repositories for genealogical records. The grounds of the colleges are inviolate by law – even kings and emperors are forbidden unless invited.
Only nobles, fighting-orders, and standing legions may receive a grant of arms; only the College of heralds may make such a grant. There are severe penalties everywhere for bearing false arms. An application for a grant of arms requires that a unique design be submitted to the nearest college, which will then pass it along to the principal college of that region for registration. It will usually take at least four months for a grant to be approved, and much longer if design conflicts arise. Registration fees are high, typically about 5000gp.
The People of Shimmering Kingdoms