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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Khaasian Heraldry

The heraldry of Khaas is nowhere near as complex or as complicated as our own form on Earth. While there are many tie-ins and complimentary terms, the heraldry presented here in the World Book is not the same. Thus, those with a thorough understanding of Earth heraldry will find that there are bastardizations, changes, and outright (as far as Earthly heraldry goes) incorrect explanations for terms or their use. That’s fine. Khaas is a different world. While time was taken to put terms in Earthly explanations for clarity, their use as seen in Khaas was maintained wherever possible.

The following guidelines will help the reader to understand most instances of natural Khaasian heraldry. Still, the influx of ideas brought about because of the nexuses provide for exceptions to every one of these rules. You will find exact Earthly heraldry mixed with Khaasian ones, right alongside of those of aliens! This can make for a hodgepodge of clashing views, but it is all part of the exotic and varied world of Khaas.
The Field
The background of a shield, or the ‘Field’, is the color behind the heraldry. Color is extremely important, since the basic spur for defining heraldry grew out of the same roots as it did on Earth: easy recognition on the battlefield. This is one of the areas where Khaasians break the Earthly tradition of using only a few colors. Khaasians employ a variety of colors. They fully take from the vast depths of hues available in the world. Still, care is taken not to employ difficult to see or similar colors. The original purpose was quick and ready identification on the battlefield, and colors that detract from this are not generally seen. Thus, dark blue on black are not good colors, but a red Thorg on golden and black field would be just fine. The beautiful tapestry of patterns seen in Earthly heraldry is not as predominate in Khaasian heraldry. Still, some do exist, and are infrequently seen. Most are seen in countries like Dallasta or Chrysolia.
Division Of The Field
Khaasians do divide the field, though only in the simplest ways. They will divide the field in half, in 3 parts, and in 4 parts, but only rarely will they divide it further. Divisions can range the entire gamut of directions, and many suggest geometric shapes with their division. Khaasians do not use diapering (adding textual interest to a large amount of field).
Beasts And Creatures
Khaasians take great joy and interest in their heraldry. They make great use of geometric patterns, but definitely use beasts, animals, and monsters the most of any single thing. Khaasians strongly believe in using such things to convey their own sense of bravery, ingenuity, or any of the other myriad traits. A shield born by a knight out of Panduria blazoned with fanciful Thorgs might indicate the swiftness of the knight or his noble line. Another dominated by a Black Lion might display courage, bravery, or power; all attributes of each of the beasts.
Like Earthly heraldry, the inclinations of the heraldic beasts are called attitudes. Khaasians use a plentiful amount, and the ones below are a listing of the more common ones seen across Khaora.
Closed – wings are closed and down
Combatant – two beasts facing one another across the center of the shield
Couchant – on all fours with its head erect (like a sphinx)
Couped – a side view of the head with the neck shown
Displayed – wings or limbs outstretched to either side
Dormant – sleeping; essentially couchant with the head down: if there is a tail, it will be coiled around the creature
Embowed – any animal whose body is arched as if leaping (bent like a rounded arch)
Guardant – looking towards the viewer
Naiant – swimming (undulating)
Passant – walking with far foreleg raised and far hind leg moved slightly foreword
Rampant – upright on one hind leg with forelegs outstretched as if attacking
Reguardant – looking backwards (over the shoulder)
Rising – wings are open as if the creature is taking off
Salient – leaping or jumping with forelegs off the ground
Sejant – seated with forelegs down and together; tail is raised (if it has one)
Statant – standing on all four legs with all the legs visible
Striking – in flight with head down (or up) and talons stretched to grasp
Other Items
Khaasian heraldry makes full and unrestrained use of all objects, and some of the strangest things can appear from time to time somewhere in Khaasian coat of arms. Everything from birth to death in the events of one’s life can appear in a crest or coat of arms. Sir Kevel NeMerie, born in Midwich but raised in Melkalund (Arduin), later showed this fact by putting the darkened image of a smaller town in front of a stylized image of walls and towers (Melkalund). In Khorsar, the scions of Ghure-kole display a beheaded Phraint, harking back to a time of their clashing against that race. Everything from the means of transport to buildings also finds their way into heraldry.
A Few Examples Of Heraldic Items And Their Meaning
Here are a few examples of heraldic beasts and objects, and the meanings behind them.
Thorg – The Thorg, without fail, is used to typify quickness or speed. It is one of the more favored of animals to use to indicate this ability or prowess. Thorg are also used to show strength or endurance, though this is perhaps a lesser attribute.
Crown – This is used frequently to indicate the noble house or line is part of the royal family or was once a part of a royal line. Coronets, tiaras, and other like regalia also serve this purpose.
Phoenix – The phoenix is a terrible foe, armed with flame and ferocity, a match for most creatures. Those who bear this in their arms frequently seek to convey these thoughts.
Moon – The moons hold special significance to Khaasians, and they are frequent visitors to heraldry to display allegiance or affinity to one or another of the moons, their dominion on the world, and the gods that are associated with them.
In short, the heraldry of Khaas is no less confusing or contradictory than Earths. It is just different in some ways, a tribute to its differing heritage.

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