9 November 1985,
Unto the members of the College of Arms,
from Baldwin of Erebor, Laurel King of Arms. My lords and ladies,
I'm sorry this letter is so late. They've
been dumping projects on me at work faster than I can finish them,
which has been eating into my weeknights (there are disadvantages
to working for a hightech startup); and the yard work could
no longer be postponed, which has taken a heavy toll on my weekends.
Things are starting to lighten up, however, and with five weeks
between the November and December meetings, I hope to be back
on my regular schedule by then.
Enclosed herewith is the letter of acceptances
and returns for the Laurel meeting of 15 September. Submissions
were processed for Ansteorra (6/10), Calontir (6/11), Meridies
(6/15), West (6/16), Caid (6/20), and East (6/27). There were
127 approvals and 19 returns, for an 87% approval rate.
The October meeting was held on the 20th.
Submissions were processed at this meeting for the Middle (7/4)
[heraldic titles], Atenveldt (7/5) [two letters], West (7/10)
[appeal], Caid (7/11), Atlantia (7/26), East (7/27), East (7/28),
West (7/28), and East (7/29). The Middle letter of 7/15 was postponed,
pending receipt of the forms.
The November meeting has been scheduled
for the 10th. Letters of intent will be reviewed from Laurel
(9/26), Ansteorra (8/1), Ansteorra (8/5), Caid (8/7), West (8/18),
and Ansteorra (8/31).
The December meeting has been scheduled
for the 15th. The letters to be processed at this meeting are
Caid (9/11), West (9/16), Atenveldt (9/17), Atenveldt (9/18),
Trimaris (9/19), and Middle (9/30). Letters of comment for this
meeting should arrive no later than December 7.
The letters of intent I have received for
the January meeting are Ansteorra (10/10), East (10/17), West
(10/24), East (10/26), and East (10/27).
Please add Master Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme,
Silver Trumpet Herald for Caid, to the list of commenting heralds:
Bruce Miller, 135301/2 CeriseAvenue, Hawthorne, CA 90250;
One of this month's submissions drew a number
of comments to the effect that "the trefoil should be blazoned
as slipped," to which one of the heralds at the meeting
replied, "But trefoils are always slipped." After
studying my references and the Laurel files, I have concluded
1) Trefoils are "always" shown
slipped, and they are almost always blazoned as either slipped
2) According to Parker, if the stalk is
not represented as torn off, ie must be described as couped.
3) FoxDavies (A Complete Guide
to Heraldry) and the LynchRobinsons (Intelligible
Heraldry) say that it is unnecessary to blazon the stalk,
since it is always present.
1) Trefoils are always slipped.
2) The stalk is usually not blazoned.
It appears that the conventional representation
of the trefoil, in SCA as well, as mundane heraldry, includes
the stalk. Mundane idiom is to mention this fact in the blazon,
even though it is always present. FoxDavies and the LynchRobinsons
(who have reputations as reformers) consider slipped or
stalked to be redundant, and feel this should be omitted
from the blazon. SCA heralds seem for the most part to have followed
I consider both forms of blazon to be correct,
and will register whichever form is submitted.
The plural of Pegasus
In my cover letter of 8 May 1985, I asked
the College of Arms for the correct plural of pegasus.
The following is courtesy of the aforementioned Bruce Draconarius
The original word for the winged horse of
myth is the Greek Peggsos. Its diminutive is Peggsion,
its adjectival or genitive form is Pegasidos; so the pristine
dreek plural would be Pegisides. 
The Greek Pegisos was subsumed directly
into Latin, and into Middle English via Old French. In each case
the spelling was changed to conform to local grammatical usage.
In Latin, it became Pegasus, whose plural is Peggasi.
I know this because of a stater [a type of coin) of Corinth,
stamped with an image of the winged horse and taking its name
from it; and the plural of the coin pegasus is definitely
In English, the word became Pegase, Pegasee;
and the plural became Pegases.  In later centuries the
Latin form was itself subsumed into English, and was made to conform
to its usage; a 1761 treatise on heraldry gives Pegasusses
as the plural. [3)
To sum up, then, there are many words that
might be used to denote a group of winged horses. But to answer
the question you asked, the plural of pegasus is pegasi
or pegasusses., depending on your linguistic purity.
I prefer pegasi, myself, he said
Agreement of prepositions
While working on the submission of RENEE
MERCI DU TARO (p. 4), I realized that there is a problem in the
policy that says a preposition should agree in language
with the noun that follows it. The problem is that proper nouns
are often assimilated directly into other languages though
we may pronounce them differently, to an English speaker, the
Louvre is still in Paris. The policy, as worded, does not take
this practice into account, and this is wrong.
The ruling of Master Wilhelm's from which
I drew the policy (ANDELEON OF AXEGARTH, 31 Oct 82) was intended
to prevent a French particle (du) from being used with
an English place name (Axegarth). Similar circumstances
applied when I ruled that the German preposition von should not
be used with Ratisbon, the English name of Regensburg.
In the case of Ratisbon, there was definitely
a German form of the place name,. so it did no't seem unreasonable
to insist that the appropriate form be used. It also seems appropriate
to ask that the preposition have something in common with the
rest of the name "Abdul von Llydaw" seems a bit
much. But what do you do when you don't know of an equivalent
form in a given language, or if there isn't one, especially when
the remainder of the name is linguistically consistent?
Unfortunately, this means that the policy
in question is not strictly a matter of grammar. It appears to
involve some subjective judgements as well, and I am not certain
how defensible it is on these grounds. I have relaxed the ruling
already, by acknowledging the role of English as the lingua
franca of the Society, and am relaxing it further to recognize
the principle of assimilation. I don't know how best to proceed
from here. Any suggestions?
Notes and queries
1) Virgule has asked if anyone knows of
any period examples of "genuine use of 'dormant'." He
has been unable to find any instances in the Armorial General.
2) There has been some controversy in the
correspondence recently over the use of the gore. The
references are of little help; they all seem to be repeating definitions
gleaned from other works. Can anyone actually produce a mundane
example of a coat containing two gores? For that matter, what
instances are there of the gore being used as a charge at all?
Genevra Gerhart. The Russian's World:
Life and Language. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974. [donated
by HHOF; excerpts]
John H. Nicholls. The label. The Journal
of Heraldic Studies, Heraldry Society of the U.S.A., 1617
West 261st Street, Harbor City, CA 90710. I:513, 1985.
[donated by EA)
N.A. Petrovski. Dictionary of Russian
First Names AZ. 1984. Translated and abridged by Tatiana
Nikolaevna Tumanova (B. J. Gerth).
Guy Cadogan Rothery. Concise Encyclopedia
of Heraldry. Bracken Books, 1985. Originally published as
ABC of Heraldry. Reprint of 1915 edition.
I cleaned out my "indefinite pending"
file this month, and am returning several submissions that were
being held for documentation. These will need to be
resubmitted through normal channels once the requisite documentation
has been obtained.
Please take note of the discussions of the
use of prehistoric animals as charges (GARTH ALLMANN, pp. 910)
and of the demotion of points of difference (Appendix, pp. 1417)
in this month's LOAR.
The first draft of the revised Rules for
Submissions is complete. Review copies will be mailed to the
commenting members of the College of Arms in about two weeks.
Work has begun on the usage book. We have
compiled a list of terms used in registered blazons, and another
of charges, and are presently classifying these. I have also
(unexpectedly) made some progress on the update to Precedents
I pray you believe me to be, my lords and
Baldwin of Erebor
Laurel King of Arms
 Liddell and Scott's GreekEnglish Lexicon,
Oxford, rep. 1963.
 Webster's Second Unabridged.
 Oxford English Dictionary.