of the College of Arms
of the
Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.

October 1991

P.O. Box 1646

Dallas, TX 75221-1646

Unto the members of the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive does Da'ud ibn Auda, Laurel King of Arms, send Greetings!

The October Laurel meeting was held on Saturday, October 26, and considered the following Letters of Intent: Outlands (7/12), East (7/12), Ansteorra (7/14), Trimaris (7/15), Atenveldt (7/19), Atlantia (7/22), Middle (7/23), Caid (7/30), and Calontir (7/31).

The November Laurel meeting is scheduled for Saturday, November 30, and will consider the following Letters of Intent dated in August: East (8/1), Ansteorra (8/1), West (8/9), Atenveldt (8/16), Outlands (8/18), Ansteorra (8/20), An Tir (8/20), Atlantia (8/21), Middle (8/26), and Meridies (8/29).

The December Laurel meeting is scheduled for Saturday, December 28, and will consider Letters of Intent dated in September.


The new Gold Falcon Principal Herald (Calontir) is Daibhaid Orcheard (David Bailey), 6427 Marty, Overland Park, KS 66202; (913) 384-3314.

Annys de Vernun, formerly Kestrel Herald for Calontir, is now Saker Herald.

Lady Aten asks that you change the Abacus Herald on your roster to: Petruccio de Catalonia (Patrick Cuccurello), 1714 West Coolidge, Phoneix, AZ 85015. He will not be commenting at this time.

The new Silver Buccle Herald (East) is Lady Juliana Richenda Trevain (Bonnie Foreman), 102 Ellen Street, Syracuse, NY 13208; (315) 455-6361. She will not be commenting at this time. Please retain Mastre Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig-Hamn on your mailing lists; he will be succeeding Lord Arval as Brigantia Principal Herald in January.

Mistress Zenobia Naphtali succeeds Master Akagawa Yoshio as Crescent Principal Herald on November 16. Her address remains the same. Please retain Akagawa-sensei on your mailing lists as El Munadi Herald. (He could have been "Excrescent", but that would be tacky now, wouldn't it?)

THE 1992 HERALDIC SYMPOSIUM (or, Ho! For the Pacific Northwest)

The 1992 Known World Heraldic Symposium will be held the weekend of June;27-28, 1992, in Seattle, Washington. The proposed site is the SeaTac Radisson Hotel, located next to SeaTac Airport. Rooms at the hotel are available for a flat rate of $65, and sleep up to four. Fees for the Symposium are $10 for site and $10 for the feast if paid 61 or more days in advance; prices increase after that time. Autocrat for the event is Cynthia Braithewaite of Seven Oaks (Cynthia Padget), 21413 125th Avenue S.E., Kent, WA 98031. Watch your mail (and this space) as more information becomes available.

ISSUES (and a Note on Commentary)

There were two issues which were to have been discussed and decided at the October Laurel meeting. While decisions were made (the results are below), the dearth of commentary on either of these issues made Laurel's job that much harder. One of the things I said when I took this job is that I do not know it all. I still don't. And when only five, or six, or seven people out of the entire College comment on an issue, I do not feel that I have an adequate sample on which to base an informed decision. When I ask for commentary on an issue, it is precisely because I want and need you input; not just as a formality before "doing whatever I have already decided". If you don't comment, then I have to make the decisions based upon my own opinions and those of the few commenters who chose to write. And the decisions made that way may not always be the best; only the best possible under the circumstances. Keeping that in mind, here are the decisions on the two "Issues of the Month":

Ordinaries of Mail. Commentary on this issue ran mostly between discouraging the practice to banning it. No one seemed to feel that the existence of ordinaries of chain in period were an adequate precedent for allowing ordinaries of mail. As a consequence, ordinaries of mail will no longer be registered by the College.

Maily. There was almost no discussion at all as to whether to continue or ban the registration of the SCA field treatment "maily". As a consequence, I am having to assume that the vast majority of commenters have no really strong negative feelings about this, and will continue to allow maily as a field treatment in SCA armory.

Engrailed, Invected, and Indented. The period evidence regarding whether or not heralds granted difference between these three lines of division is not entirely clear. It would appear that certainly in early heraldic history that indented and engrailed were used interchangeably. However, invected is a later period line of division, apparently considered different from engrailed and indented. There is also some evidence that in late period engrailed and indented had achieved separate identities. As a consequence, I feel it behooves us to continue granting a Difference between engrailed, invected and indented lines of division.

ELVISH (or, Once and For All)

There was much discussion on the submission of Glortathar of the Cleftlands (Midrealm, registered in the attached LoAR) regarding the propriety of continuing the registration of Elvish names of any kind. Mistress Alisoun, shortly before stepping down as Laurel, expanded the allowance of Elvish from Sindarin only to include Quenya as well. The overwhelming majority of recent commentary on this issue by the College, however, was in favor of banning the registration of any Elvish names in the future. I am therefore proposing such a ban, to become effective as of the February, 1992 Laurel meeting. Unless a significant number of the members of the College (or the Society as a whole) feel differently, and write to tell me about it, on and after that date we will no longer register Elvish names.

TRANSLITERATIONS (or, A "Thorn"y Issue)

There was a little commentary regarding a request for a "standard transliteration" for the benefit of those without all of the "fancy characters" in their word processors. It was noted that "the only ones who really need to have printers than can do all the strange stuff are Laurel and Free Trumpet Press West". [Laurel wants to know if that commenter plans on buying the Laurel office a printer that will do all those fancy characters, then, since his printer will not do them all?] Laurel does not feel any overwhelming need to dictate a "standard" transliteration for each non-standard character from Norse or any other language. We do not require a standardized transliteration system for Chinese, Japanese, Mongol, Persian, or Arabic; I fail to see why we should mandate one for Norse. As a general rule I will use the "fancy characters" if my word processor will do them, but for some, particularly thorns and edhs, will generally use "th" or "d", depending on the specific name.

DIFFERENCE AND PERIOD PERCEPTION (or, That Which We Call a CVD By Any Other Name ...)

Something which has struck me recently in the discussion regarding "visual" versus "period heraldic" difference: Did period heralds see difference in reversing charges? It is my understanding, based on a brief reading of a lot of heraldic texts, that they did not. Should we then close off this "loophole" which the SCA has long allowed for achieving difference in armory?

The real point that I am trying to make here is that the SCA has always "picked and chosen" from among what period heralds did to apply to our own "game".

I'm surprised that no one told you we follow pre-1485 English (i.e. Plantagenet) usage.... We are not restricted to Plantagenet usage; we accept other charges and conventions on an individual basis, and invent our own at need. Thus we will accept a Norse Jelling-beast, not to mention the Hrassvelg monster, while refusing to employ sanguine or bleu-celeste.

Letter from Karina of the Far West
Laurel Queen of Arms
15 August X

Nor do my readings of the history of period heralds and heraldry lead me to believe that they had an integrated, codified "system" of heraldry. The development of heraldry in period seems to me from my readings to have been every bit as haphazard as the development of heraldry in the SCA, and in some ways even more so. I do not see that our re-creation becomes any more "pure" by closing off certain avenues of difference solely on the basis that period heralds did not recognize such things to be different. One of the biggest examples of this that I can think of is the SCA practice of granting difference for reversing a charge. We currently grant a Difference between "Gules, a lion rampant" and "Gules, a lion rampant contourny". But that Difference would not have been granted in period. It would simply have been the "other side of the [barded] horse" or the other side of the banner. Should we then no longer grant difference for reversing charges? Solely in the interest of "purifying" our system of heraldry? If we are not ready to refuse difference for reversing charges, then why continue to cavil that "the College [read: Laurel] is adopting a visual standard" for determining difference while ignoring period determination of difference. This is, and will continue to be, true only in a few limited instances and only with what I believe to be good and adequate cause.


[Regarding incorrect blazons and/or emblazons] "Individual submitters, ignorant of heraldry, get told to 'draw the [charge] properly'; Baronies, who should know better, get a slap on the wrist. (And Principal Heralds are shot. Big holes. Right between the eyes.)"

Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme
Letter of Comment 13 May 1987

Until next month, I remain, as ever,

Your servant,

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