College of Heralds

The Royal College of Heralds is a Crown Branch that maintains the standards of training for heralds throughout the Kingdom of Valyria. Heraldry supplies an important function for the feudal society of the kingdom, as it is the way by which Houses, their family histories, their dynastic legacies, and most importantly, their relationships with other Houses in the present are recognized. Heraldry is of course the coat of arms that all families of at least the gentry level possess, but it also comprises the sacred ceremonies that surround feudal custom, with all the special taboos surrounding the network of homage and fealty that ties Valyrian society together. Heralds produced by the College therefore are masters of ceremony for the business of state, observing courtly etiquette with regard to forms of address, and ruling on the official pecking order that ranks every Valyrian subject from king to serf.

The Royal College of Heralds is headed by a Royal Cabinet executor called the Lord Extoller of Arms. The Lord Extoller is the personal herald of the King, and oversees the recording of grants of arms to new lords and gentlemen after new letters patent are issued by Chancery. Unlike other Crown Branches, the College of Heralds is not limited in its jurisdiction to strictly the royal court while other lesser courts maintain their own offices of heraldry. Instead, every herald in every duchy reports to the Lord Extoller, and the standards of heraldry set by the College of Heralds are uniform throughout the kingdom.