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Chapter 5

Rules of Heraldry

There are two meanings for this phrase. One is the common intent of the words, the other is an official register for the Kingdom of Terraguard that lists the accepted and approved hearldric implements for the kingdom. The rules in this section include those all over the world, and the Rules of Heraldry for Terraguard contains examples of the approved list.

Parts of this section are from an article by Bryon Wischtadt and Barbara Barian that appeared in Dragon Magazine 275.

What is Heraldry

When the painted shields of warriors began to be recorded into long parchment documents known as "rolls of arms" or aides-mémoires, heralds established rigid guidelines to govern their recording. When arms are transcribed into words, this is known as a blazon. A blazon is held to be more official than the graphically rendered arms themselves. So when a dispute between two arms might arise, the blazon is referred to.

A Blazon can contain:

Quick Glossary


  • A change to a coat of arms indicating a shameful act or crime.


  • A change to a coat of arms granted to mark a notable or heroic deed


  • A band that occupies the border of a shield


  • Changes made to a family's coat of arms to indicate different descendants


  • A shape, character, creature, or object on the field of a shield


  • The upper third of the shield


  • A block that occupies a third of the area of the chief, normally placed in the dexter

chief comer


  • The left side of a coat of arms


  • A Term used to refer to the various forms of cadency


  • The background of a coat of arms, depicted as white to represent the metal of a shield


  • Combining the coals of arms of two families after a marriage


  • A shape on the field of arms, a Type of charge

Here are some hints to Creating a Heraldic Symbol without a full Blazon.