Grandchest is unique amongst the Seraphim, in that it was able to manifest itself in two different aspects. What induced it to appear in one aspect or another is not known, but may have been a result of its peculiar connection to the Sword to which it belong.
The aspect known as "Shieldmane" was that of a protector and guardian. Today, when people use the Seraphim as benevolent figures in storytelling, they are most often invoking the image and reputation of Shieldmane.
The aspect known as "Axeclaw" seems to have been a Seraphim that was a trickster and destroyer. Interestingly, contemporary accounts rarely mention Axeclaw directly, but rather more often seem to refer to it indirectly as "one of Grandchest's darker moods" or "the riddlesome Grandchest." It is likely that common soldiers and other people in frequent contact with Seraphim rarely saw Grandchest in this state or, if they did, assumed it was Shieldmane.
Grandchest was much loved by the people of the Empire, largely for its tremendous grace and savagery in their defense. Many soldier’s accounts attributed their survival to Shieldmane’s magic, which it bestowed liberally on allied fighters. It was venerated by the Marmothoans as a guardian, reviled by their enemies as a destroyer.
Records seem to suggest a particularly contentious relationship between Elzibeth and Grandchest, especially the Axeclaw. Whether or not the Seraphim suspected Elzibeth of treachery before the tragic events of the Siege of Marduun, we will never know.