(I’m a sucker for completeness)
We don’t know much about the old Kingdoms of the Southern Sanction. We know the names of their capitals (Saldon, Holgast, Tirrell) but the names of the kingdoms themselves are lost… (or not on the map at least!)
We know that the lich performed the rite of desecration to halt the destruction of the forest so we could try to symbolise how the landscape changed as the kingdoms of men spread.
(And we can always just do something cool for no good reason because why the hell not.)
The First Kingdom
Starting in the East we have our first kingdom. This one is closest to Titan’s Gate, on the fringes of the forest. I imagine this kingdom would have had the best chance of clearing the most land before the kingdoms fell, it’s also served by three rivers.
The gold and green check represents the verdant pastures (green) and abundant crops (gold). It’s also distinct from the other kingdoms so far, we haven’t use chequy anywhere else.
The Second Kingdom
Next up we have the kingdom to the South. My initial idea for one of the kingdoms was inspired by something I saw in York Minster a couple of weeks ago:
I loved the idea of arrows or daggers intertwined with tree trunks. It could represent conflict with the forest itself as the people of the kingdom carved out their domain, or their prowess as hunters.
Or maybe there’s an old folk tale of the first king of these lands who blooded three arrows and fired each to mark the bounds of his kingdom, the land feared his reach would be too far and give him dominion over the whole world so a great forest sprung up and trapped his arrows and that’s where the forest first came from.
But, ultimately I decided this was too fiddly a device for one of the main kingdoms. I liked the idea of including a weapon (as none of the human kingdoms do yet) so I figured three swords worked. As the southern kingdom’s capital is near(ish) to the coast the blue field works, and with the marsh to the North and the goliath to the East I figure they would have had plenty of groups to fight.
The Third Kingdom
Finally we have the kingdom to the North. These guys are closest to the lich’s island, I reckon they would have had to carve their lands from the thickest, darkest forest. My first thought was an axe but we’ve already got blades for the kingdom to the south and axes evoke some of our dwarven kingdoms so my next thought was fire.
We haven’t used rayonny anywhere else and they’re the only human kingdom using red so they’re still distinct. I went for the flames moving across rather than burning up or down to give them feel that they are crawling across the shield much as the flames of men would’ve burned across the land.