Updated: Feb 15
Within the world of the Griffin Legends, you will meet many knightly characters. Many of them come from noble houses or are part of military orders. Here are some depictions of the heraldry associated with these characters.
Many of Azgald's nobles can trace their ancestry back to a few legendary dragon-slayers (if only tenuously), and members of these houses have adopted the dragon in their heraldry. One such family is House Drois. Tancred, Duke of Pavik, is a powerful leading member of House Drois and will do anything to enhance his family's position.
The griffin has long been a symbol of this noble house. In ancient times, griffin cataphracts were a rare but not unknown military formation. Now that the Empire is no more, griffin riders have all but faded into legend. But members of House Cretus are descended from some of these elite griffin riders, and they remember their ancestors by using griffin charges on their shields and tabards. Godfrey de Bastogne is the last surviving child of Duke Ulric of House Cretus.
Ancient myths tell of how Adalbert Eist's pet eagle helped his people find food during a time of famine. Ever since then, House Eist has been known to provide for its people, and through the years this house has become known for its wealthy merchants. While Rodolf Eist often travels with the caravans, protecting them from brigands, orcs, and other monsters, his wife, Seda, has become the head of the Eist mercantile affairs.
The wolf is the symbol of House Talhout. Members of this noble family aspire to the virtues of cunning and resourcefulness, but many prominent members of this house have also been known to share some of the wolf's worse qualities as well. Conrad the Wolf, the new Duke of Errans and head of House Talhout, must be fierce if he is to earn the respect of his peers.
House Buise-Elst was formed during the last great orc invasion when the houses of Buise and Elst were devastated and forced to combine their strength in order to repel the monsters. Despite months of unrelenting assaults against the castle walls, the battered defenders were said to have held the fortress like lions. Since those days, Buise-Elst has remembered its shared heritage by combining the blue of House Elst with the burgundy of House Buise in its coat of arms. Baldwin de Ghend has joined the latest crusade in hopes of living up to his ancestors' reputation.
House Rogverd has long ruled the island of Kalscony. Its knights are charged with protecting their island and local merchant vessels from pirates, raiders, and monsters of the deep. Baron Oksar is famed for once killing a great sea serpent, defending his galley from the beast's attack while out at sea. However, the injuries he received in that clash would trouble him for the rest of his life.
House Zahrin has long held the throne of Styria. Though the burgs of Styria are mostly known for their wealth, the warrior-kings of House Zahrin do not sit idle in the comforts of palace life. King Orban, the latest in a long line of House Zahrin's monster hunters, single-handedly slew the dreaded hill giant, Dolum, at the Battle of Vulsburg early on in his reign, and his hefty war ax has tasted the blood of many a monster since then.
The winged lion, sometimes called a lamassu, is considered to be a sign of good fortune. A dangerous predator, it is fiercely territorial and will incidentally drive out beasts men consider to have a more evil temperament. When Ivo Loridan established the Duchy of Orblav in Azgald, he recognized he had too few knights to protect his realm, and he introduced the lamassu to his lands as a way to safeguard travelers from worse monsters.
House Sleus went all but extinct with the fall of the Empire. Its last surviving member, Lady Teske, was said to have fled the flaming ruins of Belg with a bloodied sword in one hand and her infant son in the other. She found herself deep in the black forests surrounded by bugbear raiders with foul intent gleaming in their eyes. She fought bravely and struck blows worthy of any bard's song, but she was outnumbered. Just as the bugbears pinned Lady Teske to the ground and had nearly pried her babe from her arms, a unicorn appeared. Legend tells of how a single white unicorn may come to the aid of the pure in heart when confronted by mortal danger in the woods, and this unicorn lived up to its reputation. With hoof, tooth, and horn, the unicorn's white coat was soon stained red with the blood of bugbears. House Sleus survived that day, and the heirs of Lady Teske went on to honor the blood-soaked unicorn in their heraldry ever after.
Though a rare beast, the tyger is one of the most feared predators in all of Cardigal. Armed with razor-sharp claws and a horned snout, tygers can outrun and slay even the fastest warhorses. House Kerri from the Kingdom of Ogledd adopted the tyger as its charge after infamously running down the knights of Dyfred at the Battle of Stonro Island. Torcul of Cumbria proudly bears a golden tyger on a green field in remembrance of his home and kin while off on crusade.
Though some may mistake the protrusion emanating from the griffin's mouth on the House Asquith coat of arms as a tongue, it is actually a gout of flame. It is said that the oldest griffin breeds at the creation of the world could breathe fire like dragons, however, no living griffin can do this today. House Asquith, one of the founding houses of the Kingdom of Dyfred, prides itself as being one of the oldest noble houses on the Island of Cardigal, even predating the Empire. It remembers its ancient heritage by depicting the noble griffin breathing fire on its foes.
The Order of the Silver Suns
One of the major monastic military orders, the Silver Suns fight under a banner bearing the four-pointed star. A voided star marks the senior knights of the order. The four-pointed star is the symbol of the celestial gods, symbolically pointing north, south, east, and west. Morgan the Bloodied is the current Grand Master of the order and is a veteran of many campaigns in the Nordslands.
The Order of Saint Pelegius
The Order of Saint Pelegius was once the most powerful of all the military orders. However, their long wars against the necromancers of the Blighted Lands have greatly reduced their numbers over time. Now they only control the island of Tisgy. Their Grand Master, Cailor of Navan, is rumored to be plotting a new offensive against the necromancers and their undead thralls, but do the dour Knights of Saint Pelegius still have the will to fight?
The Order of Paladins
As the elves' empire went into decline, chaos reigned in every territory the oligarchs ceded. Monsters, witches, and barbarian hordes were but a few of the terrors the legions could no longer hold in check, and it seemed certain that the end of the world was at hand. Yet a few brave knights rose to resist the evils plaguing their realms. Forsaking all lands and titles, these knights dedicated their lives to the gods and the eradication of the forces of darkness. Fighting singly or in small groups, these knights became known as paladins, and legend says they were blessed with divine protection for their courage and sacrifice. The paladins adopted the fleur de lis as their heraldic charge and gave people hope in an age of darkness. Though these divine warrior hermits are now far less common than their brethren in the monastic military orders, a lone paladin occasionally may still be found patrolling a dusty wind-swept road in the desert, protecting a sacred spring, or fighting in the vanguard of a crusade.