The family of Crulbagh took over the keep sevencenturies ago, and while they were of the very lowest rank of settled nobility, their charge had a certain panache that comes with such long existence. By comparison, the Barleybane crest achieved wider fame and good repute, but is capped by a kind of ceiling on its status (barring events) due to the relatively recent ascension of the family (merely Qerlak’s great-grandfather, less than three hundred years, not a long time in Elven minds).
The Mon-Crulbagh coat of arms dates, then, to the very first years of the establishment of this backwater foef (in the early 15th century ADR, nearly six centuries ago). It has always been consistent, simple, and perhaps a bit disturbing. The lotus flower which grows best in very wet conditions is the centerpiece of the charge, with the motto in that has several potential meanings. Here is a common example of the heraldry:
Certain lords of Mon-Crulbagh have varied the color of the flower (orange is most common, but purple is more exotic, some have used white or green or even black versions). The motto is usually in Ancient, but sometimes it was rendered into Elvish (perhaps by lords who wanted to be able to read their own charge). The most literal translation is “Delve Deeply”, which in view of the culture must be considered to have several unfortunate connotations.
The Barleybane crest, which Qerlak used since his arrival in mid-2001, is very different. A gauntleted fist grips a sheaf of grain, surmounted by a patch on the back showing the flames of Argens. In keeping with the relative youth of his house, the motto has always been expressed in Elvish.
The obvious relationship between the family name and history, with its motto’s entendre for feats of martial skill as well as brewery, lends this charge a charming air among the nobility, and helps to foster the amiable and less dangerous manner which Qerlak’s father particularly was able to cultivate. Qerlak has provisionally used his family’s crest surmounted with a Q to indicate his independence to date, but must someday decide whether to incorporate the Mon-Crulbagh crest, switch to it or to retire it altogether. Elias Fennet, the castellan, shows a preference for the latter course, but also suggested a number of ways to incorporate the main charge of Crulbagh to the Barleybane crest (this would be the accepted standard when an outside family takes over another foef). For example, the lotus could be substituted for the flame in the midst of the gauntlet, or for the Q on the cuff. More daringly, the gauntlet could clench a lotus flower instead of grain.
Since Qerlak no longer occupies the house of his grandfather, his formal title becomes Qerlak sit Barleybane, with the article “sit” denoting his movement to a new house and the relative youth of his line.