SCA - College of Arms |
600 Cedar Street, NW
Washington, DC 20012
August 31, 1996
Unto the members of the College of Arms and all others who may
read this missive do Mistress Jaelle of Armida, Laurel
Queen of Arms, and Mistress Sionyn Muirgen níDhomnall,
Pelican Queen of Arms, send Greetings!
The August 1996 Laurel meeting was held on Sunday, August 25,
1996, and considered the following Letters of Intent:
Drachenwald (March 24), Outlands (April 4), Caid (April 5), An
Tir (April 11), Atlantia (April 13), Laurel (April 14), East
(April 18), West (April 24), and Trimaris (April 25). The Laurel
roadshow meeting at Pennsic scheduled for Thursday,
August 16, was rained out and held on Friday August 17, where
Middle (April 8) was considered.
The September 1996 Laurel meeting is scheduled for Sunday,
September 1 and will consider the following letters of intent:
Caid (May 1), Outlands (May 6), Atlantia (May 11), Drachenwald
(May 7), Middle (May 10), Atenveldt (May 13), An Tir
(May 17), West (May 24), East (May 28) and Meridies (May 30).
Original commentary on these Lois must be in the
College's hands no later than July 31, 1996. Responses and
rebuttals to commentary must be in the College's hands
no later than August 31, 1996.
The October 1996 Laurel meeting is scheduled for Saturday,
October 5, with two Laurel roadshows later in the month in
Lochac, and will consider the following letters of intent:
Drachenwald (June 5), Meridies (June 5), Middle (June 8),
(June 12) Calontir (June 14), An Tir (June 17), East (June 21),
Caid (June 22) and Trimaris (June 25). Original commentary
on these LoIs must be in the College's hands no later than August
31, 1996. Responses and rebuttals to commentary
must be in the College's hands no later than September 30,
The November 1996 Laurel meeting is scheduled for Sunday,
November 10, 1996 and will consider the following letters
of intent: Meridies (July 6), Caid (July 12), Drachenwald (July
12),An Tir (July 15), Atlantia (July 18), Meridies (July 20),
West (July 21), Calontir (July 25), East (July 25), and Middle
The December 1996 Laurel meeting is scheduled for Sunday,
December 15, 1996.
Not all Letters of Intent may be considered when they are
originally scheduled on this Cover Letter. Date of mailing of
the LoI, date of receipt of the Laurel packet, or other factors
may delay consideration of certain Letters of Intent.
Additionally, not all Letters of Intent received have been
scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the
forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, etc.) have not yet
Congratulations to Elsbeth Anne Roth, Blue Tyger Herald of the
East, who was inducted into the Order of the Pelican in
Eastern Court, Friday, August 17th at Pennsic, and to Talan
Gwynek, Fause Losenge who was inducted into the order of
the Laurel for his work on names at Midrealm court on Wednesday,
August 15th, also at Pennsic. Laurel is pleased to
relate that she was able to beg the initial boon for Talan to
Their Majesties of the Middle.
This is a reminder that for most of the month of October I will
be in Lochac. I will try and check my e-mail from there,
but do not count on it. Mistress Sionyn will be available via
phone or letter should the need arise.
I will also be going to Trimaris the end of January 1997 for a
heraldic collegium. I will provide more information to the
College closer to the date of the collegium.
MANY IMPORTANT SUBJECTS
We have a number of items to raise with the College. We advise
you to read this part carefully.
Before we get into specifics, we want to make some general issues
of philosophy clear. The College of Arms is a service
organization. Our primary purpose is to assist the people of the
SCA in all matters of SCA heraldry (names, armory, court,
regalia, titles, field, precedence, etc.). The people of the
Known World are counting on us to do things for them, especially
in our role of processing submissions.
When we take their money and time and say that we will take care
of their submission, and don't -- we are not only letting
them down, we are letting down the entire heraldic structure as
well as our various crowns. We are not referring to
returning items for whatever problem they may have. We are
referring to not processing submissions, taking too long to
process them, etc. This will not be tolerated.
There is no shame in not being able to do the job - but every
shame in not resigning when you realize you can't do it. If
you need help, contact us, that is one of the many things the
Laurel office is here for. We are here to help you as well as
run the College. But, if you can't do the job, if the work isn't
being done, then you need to find someone else to do it.
You are only hurting yourself and others when you take a job and
don't do it.
Each kingdom must produce a letter of intent at least every
other month. Note the word must. It does
not mean it is a good idea, or a goal to aim for, but you
must. There is a distressing number of kingdoms
which are not complying with this section of the
administrative handbook. This is not acceptable, and
it will no longer be tolerated.
Secondly, not only must you produce a letter of intent
every other month, the submissions must be
processed in a timely fashion. One of the packets I
received had the majority of the submissions dated
prior to 1996, with some submissions going back to 1994,
and even 1993! This is also not acceptable.
Thirdly, if submissions are returned in kingdom, a letter
of return must be sent to the submitter within
two months after the kingdom level decision has been made.
Publication in the kingdom newsletter is a
good thing, but not sufficient. After Laurel rules on the
submission, a letter of acceptance/return must
be sent to the submitter within two months of receipt of
the LoAR. Again, publication in the kingdom
newsletter is something that we encourage, but it does not
fulfill the requirement to notify the submitter.
We have been receiving complaints from throughout the Known
World from people who have never
received their letters of acceptance and/or return.
Furthermore, after talking to senior heralds in a number
of kingdoms, it is clear to us that these letters are not
being sent. Therefore, if we continue to receive
these complaints, Laurel and/or Pelican staff will start
making phone calls to random submitters in 12 out
of the 13 kingdoms to ensure compliance with this policy.
(At least for now we are not planning on
calling Drachenwald, though if we have to, we
We have a special reminder for kingdoms that have split
submissions to a deputy to the principal herald.
While this is a good thing, and we encourage it, the final
responsibility to make sure that the job is being
done is with the principal herald. It is up to you to put
mechanisms in place to ensure that the your
submissions herald is doing his job.
Finally, please check your packets to make sure all of the
forms are there. We have been contacting
submissions heralds and requesting the missing forms when
we catch the problem, but there is no
guarantee that we will catch the problem in time. On the
other hand, if we do contact you, please send
them immediately. There are two items on this letter which
were first returned at the meeting for lack
of forms, even though we contacted the submissions herald
approximately 8 weeks before the meeting.
The forms showed up in the mail the Monday after the
meeting, and since to return the submissions would
be to penalize the submitter, we accepted them. Do not,
however, count on such leniency in the future.
First, we have received formal complaints from several
people who have not received either e-mail or
regular mail commentary from certain members of the College
of Arms. Therefore, effective November
1, 1996, e-mail commentary may only be sent to people who
have said they will accept it, and regular
mail commentary must be sent to everyone else. Publication
of an e-mail address is not to be construed
as willingness to accept e-mail commentary; only if the
commenter has explicitly stated their willingness
to accept e-mail commentary is it acceptable.
Secondly, commenters must comment at least once every third
month. If you do not, you will be dropped.
Pelican is tracking letters of intent and commenters and
giving people warnings.
al'Jamal has officially protested Kraken's return to the
COA Mailing List. He points out that previous
Laurels have dismissed commenters who have submitted
letters exhibiting unacceptable behavior. al'Jamal
feels that Krakenžs letter of February 1995 is an example
of inappropriate conduct of such significant
magnitude that Kraken should not be included in any COA
Before we added Kraken back to the mailing list we did two
things. First, we reviewed the file of the
most recent person who was dismissed from the College of
Arms based on actions in letters of comment.
His file contained several letters of complaint from
various members of the College requesting official
removal of the individual from the Roster. We also found
one letter of warning from Laurel to the
commenter explaining that this constituted his final chance
to alter his behavior before being dropped from
However, we could find no such correspondence in Krakenžs
file. We found only one letter from the then
Laurel to Triton, written in response to Tritonžs requests
for restoring Kraken to the COA Mailing List.
Laurel's first written communication to Triton was dated
approximately nine months after the incident that
prompted the removal of Kraken's name from the list. Kraken
did not receive official notification of the
reason for his dismissal until approximately twelve months
after the incident.
We do not feel that the two cases are in any way analogous.
If anyone, including Laurel, were upset with
Kraken's behavior, they should have written to both Kraken
and Triton with specific complaints. We have
found nothing in the files suggesting any such letters of
complaint were offered to either Kraken or Triton.
We have also been assured by both Kraken and Triton that no
such letters were received.
Second, we went over Mistress Æflæ's procedure
for expressing complaints in the SCA. We are
enclosing it with this letter for the benefit of the
College. We advise the College to read it and follow its
We have been approached by several people about e-mailing
them their LoARs. We are willing to do
this for anyone on the roster with the following
For everyone except people who send me letters of
intent by e-mail, you may elect to receive
your LoAR electronically instead of in hard copy.
People electing to receive e-mail LoARs may
choose between getting an ASCII text version, or a
uuencoded WordPerfect 4.2 (which will keep
most of the accents). Heralds who send e-mail letters
of intent, who request e-mail LoARS, will
still get hard copy LoARs as well. To repeat this in
another way, everyone except heralds who
send me letters of intent via e-mail, will get their
LoAR by either regular mail or e-mail, but not
both. Default will be regular mail, unless otherwise
If you wish an e-mail LoAR, please send us an e-mail
to that effect, stating which form you would prefer.
FORMAT OF LoIS
Several submissions heralds have asked us what format would
be the easiest. This is the way we would
prefer to receive LoIS. Note: this is a preference, and not
in any way, shape, or manner to be construed
as a requirement.
First, and foremost, we want them electronically. Having
to retype LoIS just increases the chances of
typos. While the Laurel office does have a scanner, some
of the ones we have received are in done in
such a way, and are photocopied so badly, that it takes
more time to scan and clean them up than it does
to retype them.
We do not want graphics with the electronic copy.
We greatly prefer receiving them on disk versus by e-mail,
unless they are encoded so we get the accents
and the rest of the formatting.
The closer they are to the LoAR format, the easier it is.
Best case would be something like this.
Adam Adams. Name and device. Gules, an aardvark
(male) (group name). Name docs, other comments.
When items other than the submitter's name, what the
submission is and the blazon are in the head of the
submission, it takes time for us to move it around.
If the name has already been registered, make sure you
include the registration date as well as checking
to make sure you have correctly spelled the registered
name. If it is a resubmission, give the date of
return and at least an abbreviated reason for the
Note: items such as gender and SCA group name are not
needed on the LoI as far as Laurel is concerned.
If the submissions herald wishes to include them, that is
fine, but they are not necessary.
FORMAT OF LOCS
For LoCs I want them electronically. I really would prefer
not retyping the letters of comment. Again,
I prefer getting them on disk to e-mail, but I would much
rather get them by e-mail than have to retype
The only other thing that would help is that after each
comment the commenters title should be in square
brackets. Note: this is for electronic commentary only, not
in printed copies.
So, for example, commentary might look like this.
1. Adam Adams. Gules, an aardvark Or. This is in conflict
with the arms of Richard Richards, "Gules,
an aardvark argent.", with one CD for the change to the
tincture of the primary charge. [Argent Snail]
Effective at the January 1997 Laurel meeting, all submissions for
royal armory must follow the same procedures that all
group armory must follow.
Effective at the January 1997 Laurel meeting, goutes are no
longer voidable or eligible for X.4.j.ii. While it is true that
goutes in period were occasionally drawn like a modern teardrop,
that form was the exception, not the rule. The more
standard period form looks like a thin drop with a long wavy tail
which is not a "simple geometric form". We will accept
them in the "modern" form, but they will not be eligible for
Until next month, pray believe that I am, and remain,
Your faithful servant,
Jaelle of Armida
Laurel Queen of Arms
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