The Council of Heralds is the final arbiter over all disputes involving titles in Orlais.
Though the titles and heraldry of the Orlesian nobility were banned by Emperor Kordillus Drakon I, the nobles of Orlais would not give up centuries of culture and tradition so easily, and instead found themselves mired in conflicting claims of birthright and inheritance. Emperor Reville's habit of handing out new titles to his supporters only made the situation worse. When Emperor Judicael I inherited the political turmoil left by his father, which had already cost the life of his brother Emperor Etienne II, he created the Council of Heralds in an attempt to win over the nobles of his court. The Council would be the final arbiter over all disputes involving titles, including that of emperor.
When Emperor Florian died without naming an heir in 9:19 Dragon, the Council was called upon to choose who would inherit the throne between Celene Valmont and Gaspard de Chalons. Though Gaspard was the eldest of Emperor Judicael I's surviving grandchildren and Celene the youngest, they gave the throne to Celene.
The Council of Heralds is present during the peace talks in the Winter Palace. The Inquisitor can speak to several of its members, including Marquise Mantillon and Duke Germain de Chalons. Other members of the Council can be found behind the Lower Garden door accessible from the Guest Garden in the Winter Palace.
If the Inquisitor asks the Dowager Mantillon for a dance (an option that only becomes available with sufficient court approval and the Nobility Knowledge perk), it opens a series of War Table missions in which the Council can grant the Ylenn Basin to the Inquisition.Vivienne's lover, Duke Bastien de Ghislain, was head of the Council of Heralds before his death. His son Laurent de Ghislain later took his position on the Council.
The Council of Heralds is comprised of seven members, who belong to some of the oldest and most powerful noble families in Orlais. The title seems to be hereditary. The current members of the Council of Heralds are:
- Marquise Mantillon
- Duke Cyril de Montfort
- Marquis Etienne de Chevin
- Comte Lothair Doucy
- Comtesse Solange Montbelliard
- Duke Laurent de Ghislain
- Duke Germain de Chalons
- According to Marquise Mantillon, Duke Cyril is the youngest and most persuadable of the Council members while Duke Germain is the oldest.