Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

16308 SE 165th St
Renton, WA 98058-8221

For the April 2006 meetings, printed July 8, 2006

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Elisabeth Laurel, Jeanne Marie Wreath, and Margaret Pelican, greetings.

The April Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on April 15, 2006; the Wreath Roadshow at An Tir Heraldic Symposium on Sunday, April 8, 2006; and the Wreath meeting Sunday, April 30, 2006. The meetings considered the following letters of intent: Ansteorra (22 Nov 2005), Ansteorra (23 Nov 2005), Laurel (06 Dec 2005), Middle (16 Dec 2005), Ĉthelmearc (18 Dec 2005), Ansteorra (19 Dec 2005), Meridies (19 Dec 2005), Artemisia (20 Dec 2005), Caid (21 Dec 2005), East (22 Dec 2005), Drachenwald (23 Dec 2005), Outlands (27 Dec 2005), Atlantia (28 Dec 2005), Northshield (30 Dec 2005), An Tir (31 Dec 2005), Calontir (31 Dec 2005), Siren (31 Dec 2005), and Trimaris (31 Dec 2005).

The May Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, May 6, 2006 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, May 14, 2006. The meetings considered the following letters of intent: Calontir (31 Dec 2005), Atenveldt (06 Jan 2006), Laurel (06 Jan 2006), Middle (15 Jan 2006), West (18 Jan 2006), Caid (25 Jan 2006), Drachenwald (25 Jan 2006), Gleann Abhann (25 Jan 2006), Meridies (25 Jan 2006), Northshield (25 Jan 2006), Atlantia (26 Jan 2006), Palimpsest LoItuP (26 Jan 2006), Outlands (27 Jan 2006), An Tir (31 Jan 2006), and Trimaris (31 Jan 2006).

The June Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, June 10, 2006, the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, June 11, 2006, and the Laurel Roadshow at Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium on Sunday, June 18, 2006. The meetings considered the following letters of Intent: Lochac (26 Jan 06), Northshield(25 Jan 06), Ealdormere(31 Jan 06) (redated to 7 Feb based on postmark), Middle (01 Feb 06), Atenveldt (10 Feb 06), Laurel (10 Feb 06), Artemisia (22 Feb 06), Drachenwald (22 Feb 06), West (22 Feb 06), Atlantia (23 Feb 06), East (23 Feb 06), Meridies (25 Feb 06), Lochac (27 Feb 06), An Tir (28 Feb 06), and Northshield (28 Feb 06).

For information about future scheduling, please review the status table located on the Web at

Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The 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, some letters of intent received may not have been scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, et cetera) have not yet been met.

REMINDER: Until all administrative requirements are met, the letter may not be scheduled.

From Laurel - Another Fine Symposium

I would like to express my appreciation of all those who, by hard autocrating work and by attendance, contributed to the success of this year's Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium in New Orleans. We had an excellent time, between good classes, excursions to the French Quarter and the wonderful hospitality of our hosts, the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann. I am already looking forward to my next visit there.

The bid for the 2007 Symposium was awarded to the Kingdom of Caid. It will be held in the Barony of Lyondemere on June 14-19. A great many classes, activities and excursions are already being planned, with special emphasis on scribal arts. As more details become available they will be posted on the Laurel web site.

From Laurel - Forms, At Last

By now all the Kingdoms have received an RTF copy of the latest version of the submission forms, based on discussions held during Master François' tenure. There are some specified changes each Kingdom is allowed to make in the content, and as soon as I have received and approved the desired changes from each Kingdom, they may begin to use them. If you have questions, contact your Principal Herald.

My thanks to Schwarzdrachen and his staff for their help in getting the forms to print out correctly on A4 paper.

When will use of the new forms be required? After I have received and approved all 19 Kingdoms' versions of the new forms, I can announce the schedule for phasing out the old ones, but not before. Timeliness is your friend.

From Laurel - Who's OSCAR?

OSCAR stands for Online System for Commentary and Response, and the status of this system was a big topic of discussion at the recent Symposium. It was for just this reason that I especially urged the principal heralds to try to attend this year, if at all possible.

When I applied for the Laurel office in February 2005, it seemed to me that the current process for handling submissions and commentary at the Laurel level could no longer support the needs of the membership at large, or of the Sovereigns of Arms in particular. Nothing has happened since to change my opinion about that. The amount of hands-on time and effort on the part of the Laurel staff needed to produce the LoAR is considerable. The Sovereigns have to rely on themselves and their staff to do a great deal of research, which adds to the already-frustrating lag time between meetings and publication of the LoAR. The commenting members of the College of Arms are doing their very best, but more and more are succumbing to time constraints, jobs and other interests. Something had to give, and our best bet looked to be OSCAR.

Tanzos Istvan, Blue Tyger Herald, and others had been working on this during Master François' tenure, and have persisted, through interesting times, to the present. The results may be viewed at

In the past months several Kingdoms' submissions heralds and various commenters have volunteered to help test the system by posting Letters of Intent and Letters of Comment to OSCAR, to see what it could do, and what needed to be fixed, added or improved. We're a long way from finished, but it is presently at a point where we need to start intensive testing.

All Kingdom submissions heralds are requested to start posting their Letters of Intent on OSCAR, and commenters are asked to post their commentary there. This is in addition to, not instead of, the usual distribution of LoIs and commentary as outlined in the Admin Handbook. I know this will mean more work than usual for a while, but the only way we can thoroughly test OSCAR is to use it. The sooner we can demonstrate that it is reliable and serves our needs, the sooner we can switch over to using it exclusively.

Anyone may get an OSCAR account and read the Letters of Intent. Only those on the College of Arms roster can read commentary, and those designated as commenters may post commentary or respond to same. Persons designated to prepare Letters of Intent may post them. Those who feel that they need a different level of permission than they presently have may contact me individually. Former CoA members who have expressed an interest in commenting again may be given commenter permission, but this is on a case-by-base basis for now.

At present, OSCAR can handle input of Letters of Intent with color and black-and-white emblazons, textual commentary with some HTML-style markup (italics, superscript, block quotes, etc.) and everything supports accented and other international characters.

Anyone in the CoA can display a print-format LoC from any commenter. There are a few minor issues that may need to be addressed before LoI/LoC functionality is complete, but it's nearly entirely there.

Some of the less visible ways that OSCAR will be of help to the Sovereigns and to the Laurel staff will be the production of collated commentary and XML outputs in the format Laurel uses for processing.

My first concern is simplifying and speeding up handling of submissions and commentary for the Sovereigns and Laurel staff. OSCAR has other possibilities, present and potential, that will be explored in months to come. Watch this space.

From Laurel - A Message from Ragged Staff

Baroness Shauna tells me that she is still receiving far too many packets that include photocopies of documentation from sources on the Appendix H no-photocopy list, where forms say 'see attached documentation' and none is attached, or they are attached with staples which should most definitely be removed from submission paperwork before it goes in the packet.

These may sound like small details, but recall that she processes a massive amount of paper every month, and every submission packet that needs extra handling slows down a process that is hard enough as it is. Submissions heralds, please take a few extra minutes, remove the staples, save your Kingdom some money and remove no-photocopy documentation, and make sure other documentation cited on the forms is actually present. If you have any questions about how the submissions packet should be put together, contact her at for help.

From Wreath: Augmentations of Arms

Several questions were raised this month regarding augmentations of arms.

Do augmentations of arms count against the four-item registration limit? No, an augmentation of arms does not count against this limit. We protect both the augmented and unaugmented form of a device; the fact that we keep the unaugmented version registered is to make this clear (and to make conflict checking easier). This will be clarified in the next edition of the Administrative Handbook.

What happens when an augmented device is retained as a badge? Badges cannot have an augmentation of arms, only devices can. When someone does a device change and retains the old device as a badge, only the underlying device becomes a badge. The augmented form of that armory is no longer protected. This is a clarification and extension of existing precedent:

It is important to note that if armory is changed with a previously existing augmentation, it is possible for that augmentation to become incompatible with the underlying armory due to the armory change. When this happens, the augmentation is not "automatically grandfathered", because (as noted in the Cover Letter to the October 2003 LoAR) "Augmentations do not have an existence separate from the arms that they augment, and therefore are not independently protectable entities."

As an example, consider the case of a submitter with the hypothetical armory Or, a pall inverted vert, for augmentation, in canton an estoile azure, who then submits a device change for the underlying device to Vert, a pall inverted Or, and for the augmented device to Vert, a pall inverted Or, for augmentation, in canton an estoile azure. The augmentation would violate RfS VIII.7, which states that "The augmentation must itself follow the armory rules", in conjunction with the ruling in the LoAR of August 1997, p. 26, which stated "Barring documentation of large numbers of period augmentations that break the rule of tincture, we are unwilling to register this practice."

Because the old augmentation is not compatible with the new device change, Laurel would be forced to (without extra direction from the submitter) register the new device change (unaugmented) and return the augmented device change. The "old augmented device" could not be retained as a badge and thus must be released. At the end of this series of actions, the submitter would no longer have a blue estoile augmentation on his list of registered items. In order to avoid this situation, the submitter could, as part of the original submission, add an administrative note to the submission indicating that, if the changed augmented arms were not registerable, the unaugmented device change is to be withdrawn, and the previous device (augmented or not) is to be retained. [Kathryn of Iveragh, 02/04, R-Outlands]

Does an existing augmentation of arms automatically apply to a new device? No. When doing a device change only the right to the augmentation carries over to the new device. A specific augmentation does not automatically apply to the new device; it is always possible that the existing augmentation couldn't be used on the new device. Thus if the new device is to be augmented, a new augmentation of arms must be submitted. That is, when changing the base device of augmented arms, the augmentation must be resubmitted as a separate action. If the augmentation is identical to the existing augmentation this is an administrative action (meaning there is no cost). If any part of the augmentation has changed, this is a change of augmentation and must be paid for.

Can you have more than one augmentation? Yes, sort of. The Crown grants the right to an augmentation, just as they grant the right to arms. The actual form of the augmentation is registered by the submitter, and like a device, they only get one augmented device (though it may have more than a single augmentation). Once registered, the only way to change it is to re-register: you can't have it be one thing one day and another thing another day. Thus you could not have both Argent, a unicorn sable and for augmentation a chief azure and Argent, a unicorn sable and for augmentation a canton azure registered to the same person at the same time. It is vanishingly rare for someone in the SCA. to receive more than one augmentation, and as rare (or rarer) in our period in the real world.

However, we have considered how to handle SCA registration policies for someone with more than one augmentation. An SCA person will register a single "unaugmented" device, and that individual may then register a single "augmented device". An individual may not register more than one "augmented device", even if he has received more than one augmentation. If someone was granted more than one augmentation, and wishes to reflect these augmentations in his registered armory, then all of the multiple augmentations need to be reflected in the single piece of augmented armory.

So, if someone had the hypothetical simple armory Vert, a ypotrill rampant to sinister argent and received one augmentation from a Crown (for heraldic efforts) that individual might elect to register an augmented version: Vert, a ypotrill rampant to sinister argent, for augmentation, the ypotrill maintaining and blowing a straight trumpet fesswise reversed Or

Then if this worthy individual receives another separate augmentation from a different reign (for work in the Seneschalate), the recipient might submit a change to the augmented version of the arms: Vert, a ypotrill rampant to sinister argent, for augmentation, the ypotrill maintaining and blowing a straight trumpet fesswise reversed Or, and also for augmentation, in chief a key fesswise argent

Note that, as infamously happened post-period to Admiral Nelson, it is possible for multiple augmentations to cause the underlying armory to be unidentifiable. A multiply augmented submission will not be registered if the underlying armory is unidentifiable with all augmentations displayed at once.

If someone had as their initial augmented device Or, three krakens gules and for augmentation, on a canton azure a crescent argent then the armory would be sufficiently identifiable even though one of the three krakens was obscured by the overlying canton. This is the sort of obscuration of a group of identical charges that we might expect in period armory. Similarly, one might be able to register a different kind of obscuring charge that maintained the overall identifiability of the underlying group: Or, three krakens gules and for augmentation, overall on a bend sinister vert three mullets argent.

However, a multiply augmented person could not register Or, three krakens gules and for augmentation, on a canton azure a crescent argent, and also for augmentation, overall on a bend sinister vert three mullets argent. This multiply augmented version leaves almost none of the underlying coat identifiable, and so must be returned.

From Wreath: On Pinecones

The SCA has been inconsistent over the years in whether stems to chief or stems to base is the default orientation of a pinecone. Given the confusion, we are now declaring that there is no default orientation. As it says in The Glossary of Terms, the orientation of a pinecone must be explicitly blazoned. All prior registrations of pine cones that did not explicitly blazon the orientation have been reblazoned.

From Wreath: On Rising

The term rising is used primarily with birds and phoenixes. When applied to phoenixes, rising means displayed emerging from (generally flames). When it comes to birds, current precedent states:

Please recall that the rising posture, according to a number of sources, needs to have the wings explicitly blazoned as either addorsed or displayed. The SCA has at times registered birds rising wings addorsed simply as rising, but this pattern has not yet been so clearly established that we wish to define it as a default at this time. [Erik von Winterthur, 10/03, A-An Tir]

This is in line with Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry, who goes to some length to discuss that "It may perhaps be as well to point out, with the exception of the two positions 'displayed' (Fig. 451) and 'close' (fig. 446), very little if any agreement at all exists amongst authorities either as to the terms to be employed or as to the position intended for the wings when a given term is used in a blazon... Until some agreement has been arrived at, I can only recommend my readers to follow the same plan which I have long adopted in blazoning arms of which the official blazon has not been available to me. That is, to use the term 'rising,' followed by the necessary description of the position of the wings (Figs. 447-450). This obviates both mistakes and uncertainty."

The blazon term rising was first found right at the beginning of the 17th C: it's found in Guillim, but not in the late 16th C treatises of Legh, de Bara or Bossewell. Birds in the postures currently blazoned as rising wings addorsed and rising wings displayed are both found in period heraldry, so they are definitely period postures. However, these postures were blazoned in period with other terms. When the term rising first entered blazon, it referred solely to the posture with the wings addorsed.

A blazon search of the O&A for rising finds 439 blazons with this term. About 15% of these were birds (or other winged creatures) blazoned simply as rising. The remainder were winged creatures with their wing position explicitly blazoned or phoenixes. The earliest of these blazons is from 1973, the latest is from 2005. Of these one referred to a non-winged creature (a unicorn), and ten did not have wings addorsed. Given this, and given that (late) period practice was for rising to refer only to the posture with wings addorsed, we are now declaring that the default for rising is wings (elevated and) addorsed.These eleven items not conforming to this default have been reblazoned in the LoAR. As with other defaults, a bird in the default rising posture may still be explicitly blazoned as rising wings addorsed or rising wings elevated and addorsed, or it may simply be blazoned rising.

My thanks to Mistress Shauna for spending a day looking at - and scanning many of - these emblazons.

Send What to Whom

For all Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera, send one paper copy directly to each of the Sovereigns of Arms, Laurel, Pelican and Wreath at their mailing addresses as shown on the College of Arms Roster.

Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related paper, including

to the SCA College of Arms, PO Box 31755, Billings, MT 59107-1755.

Send the required electronic copies of all submissions-related files to This applies to all LoIs, LoCs, LoRs, et cetera.

Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent directly to the Society Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is acting as Laurel's chancellor of the exchequer, at Laurel Chancellor of Exchequer, 4N400 Church Rd, Bensenville, IL 60106-2928.

Send roster changes and corrections to Laurel. College of Arms members may also request a copy of the current roster from Laurel.

For a paper copy of a LoAR, please contact Laurel, at the address above. The cost for one LoAR is $3. Please make all checks or money orders payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms". For subscriptions to the electronic copy of the LoAR, please contact Laurel at The electronic copy is available free of charge.

For all administrative matters, or for questions about whom to send to, please contact Laurel.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Elisabeth de Rossignol
Laurel Principal Queen of Arms

Created at 2006-07-14T01:55:07