Design Games

The Crucible

If you don’t know what Collabris is yet you can read this primer and see what I’ve been drawing here. If you have no idea what the hell any of this means, start here.

The Dwarven kingdom of Korim is governed by the Crucible, the voting council that contains the three most powerful houses (thus preventing ties in the legislature). The three most powerful houses are House Aurum, House Argentum, and House Cuprum.

We know a little about these houses:

Great House Aurum, ruled by Thane Ygnal the oldest house and first among equals on the Council. Voted against the alliance with Ardenia.

Great House Cuprum ruled by Thane Gilmarad. Sided with House Argentum in the vote on an alliance with Ardenia.

Great House Argentum ruled by Thane Helmoral, the youngest of the three great houses on the council, brokered the alliance with Ardenia. This peace has brought her house great wealth, and power and this threatens Thane Ygnal and house Aurum.

The obvious go to here for their arms is the metals, House Aurum = Gold, Argentum = Silver, Cuprum = Copper. Gold and silver exist as heraldic metals, strictly speaking copper doesn’t but tawny is a tincture that’s pretty close (also this a fantasy world not a system that started in 12th Century Medieval Europe still described using Norman French, so…).

One problem with the metal approach is this doesn’t extend very well to any potential minor houses, how easy is it going to be to distinguish houses Plumbum, Ferrum, and Stannum? So what else can we use?

These are the most powerful houses so something must have made them powerful.

House Argentum

We know House Argentum’s rise to power has culminated in the alliance so perhaps eloquence is the key to House Argentum’s position. Honey dripped in the right ears, knowing when to bend and when to stand firm.


The knotwork is a mix of gentle curves and hard corners, it also harks back to the knotwork on the arms of Korim and the knotwork itself is a pair of tongs… in silver :D

To those who say I’d pick a pocket: heralds don’t pun; they cant. (I’m a herald now, right?)

Back to the other houses: what made them so powerful? We know Korim is a small kingdom but punches above its weight thanks to their mastery of constructs. Presumably one house is especially adept at golemancy and construct magic, that works – it’s key to their power and success and someone has to be the best.

But such magics require raw materials, and he who controls the spice controls the universe, so lets say the other house owns the richest mines and commands control over the most valuable resources.

House Aurum

I think Aurum make a good fit for the wealthiest house, gold is synonymous with wealth and whether in peace or war their wealth would have long made them powerful. The alliance with Ardenia could also threaten House Aurum’s wealth: new trade with the human kingdom would remove their control over the flow of resources.

(This also makes the siding of House Cuprum with House Argentum logical: trade with Ardenia means they would no longer be beholden to House Aurum to access what they need.)

I like the idea of something simple and bold for House Aurum. They’ve been number one for a long time, they don’t need to try hard, everyone knows who they are.


Gold and black works, they control the wealth within the rock. It’s important we avoid anything that’s too similar to Ardenia’s arms though, a callback to Korim’s arms would be nice too:


House Cuprum

For the masters of constructs there are a few things I like:

  • A hammer. I mentioned that the hammers in the arms of Korim were there to represent both war and craft, it makes sense for House Cuprum to incorporate it somehow
  • A face or mask, something that looks like it could be carved face of a construct
  • Something distinct from the other two

I really like the three hammers making the eyes and the nose (I also love how the handles for the eyes look like tears). I also like the idea of something beardy (this is supposed to be a dwarven face).


The Crucible

(Love the name)

I figured the crucible should have a symbol of his own (I was also thinking about tongs after House Argentum) and like the idea of a red hot crucible containing white hot metal clasped in a pair of tongs:


I can see this worked into the arms and and armour of the elite guard at the Crucible.


So all in all Korim has arms for its nation, its government, and its three most powerful houses.


I genuinely think I might need to take a vacation if I’m going to work up heraldry for everything in this world (heck, it’s not even the world, it’s just one damn part of a world!). Loving every minute of it though.