College of Heralds

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For centuries, The Ankh-Morpork Royal College of Heralds held the responsibility for the creation and maintenance of arms, devices and insignia of the nobility and gentry of Ankh-Morpork. In an increasingly egalitarian (if not democratic) age, the College recorded, created and approved the official arms of the affluent of Ankh-Morpork and the gentry around. It recorded it mostly in the brain of the Dragon King of Arms, who was a vampire who had been on the job for over five hundred years.

The practical side of heraldry is producing the shields or other devices for sale to the entitled. These had to be painted from real models, so the college grounds were a barnyard of natural and fabulous birds and beasts, most of them very old and smelly. The actual work was done by two elderly heralds, Pardessus Chatain Pursuivant and Croissant Rouge Pursuivant (no relation). The college was in Mollymog Street (near the Gibbet...real models again).

The ancient College was destroyed in a fire at the time of the Dragon King's arrest for murder by Commander Sam Vimes. While the occupants and the heraldic animals were evacuated safely, all of the college's paper records were lost. Some of the animals, like Roderick and Keith the hippos, stayed at the Ramkin House for a while, but arrangements have evidently been made for them. No one accuses Commander Vimes of any involvement in the fire. (It is interesting to note that, totally coincidentally, at the same time a very large axe was mysteriously embedded in the conference table in the Rats Chamber. Nobody accuses Sam Vimes of this, either).