Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

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For the November 2011 meetings, printed January 7, 2012

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Gabriel Laurel, Juliana Pelican, and Emma Wreath, greetings.

Items listed below in square brackets have not been scheduled yet. For information about future scheduling, please review the status table located on the Web at

The November Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican Roadshow held on Saturday, November 5, 2011, at the Wreath Roadshow held on Saturday, November 12, 2011, at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, November 13, 2011 and at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, November 19, 2011. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: An Tir (05 Aug, 2011), Ăthelmearc (19 Aug, 2011), Calontir (19 Aug, 2011), Atenveldt (20 Aug, 2011), Calontir (25 Aug, 2011), Middle (27 Aug, 2011), Trimaris (27 Aug, 2011), Caid (28 Aug, 2011), Middle (28 Aug, 2011), An Tir (30 Aug, 2011), Gleann Abhann (30 Aug, 2011), Lochac (30 Aug, 2011), Meridies (30 Aug, 2011), Ansteorra (31 Aug, 2011), Artemisia (31 Aug, 2011), Atlantia (31 Aug, 2011), East (31 Aug, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (31 Aug, 2011), and Outlands (31 Aug, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Monday, October 31, 2011.

The December Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, December 17, 2011 and at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, December 18, 2011. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: West (02 Sep, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (15 Sep, 2011), Caid (18 Sep, 2011), Atenveldt (25 Sep, 2011), Ealdormere (25 Sep, 2011), Calontir (26 Sep, 2011), Ealdormere (26 Sep, 2011), Middle (26 Sep, 2011), An Tir (27 Sep, 2011), Drachenwald (27 Sep, 2011), Ealdormere (27 Sep, 2011), Ansteorra (29 Sep, 2011), Lochac (29 Sep, 2011), Meridies (29 Sep, 2011), Outlands (29 Sep, 2011), Artemisia (30 Sep, 2011), Atlantia (30 Sep, 2011), Caid (30 Sep, 2011), and West (30 Sep, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, November 30, 2011.

The January Laurel decisions will be made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, January 14, 2012 and at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, January 15, 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Northshield (06 Aug, 2011) (pushed due to lack of packet and scans), Laurel LoPaD (08 Oct, 2011), Trimaris (09 Oct, 2011), East (12 Oct, 2011), Atenveldt (20 Oct, 2011), Drachenwald (22 Oct, 2011), Middle (23 Oct, 2011), Ansteorra (25 Oct, 2011), Lochac (25 Oct, 2011), Meridies (26 Oct, 2011), An Tir (29 Oct, 2011), Caid (30 Oct, 2011), Gleann Abhann (31 Oct, 2011), Northshield (31 Oct, 2011), Outlands (31 Oct, 2011), and West (31 Oct, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Saturday, December 31, 2011.

The February Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, February 5, 2012 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, February 18, 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Ăthelmearc (01 Nov, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (06 Nov, 2011), Atlantia (11 Nov, 2011), Caid (13 Nov, 2011), Ansteorra (15 Nov, 2011), Atenveldt (15 Nov, 2011), West (20 Nov, 2011), Drachenwald (22 Nov, 2011), Lochac (24 Nov, 2011), An Tir (27 Nov, 2011), Outlands (28 Nov, 2011), Artemisia (30 Nov, 2011), Ealdormere (30 Nov, 2011), Gleann Abhann (30 Nov, 2011), and Northshield (30 Nov, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, January 31, 2012.

The March Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in March 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: East (04 Dec, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (05 Dec, 2011), Caid (11 Dec, 2011), Ăthelmearc (16 Dec, 2011), Ăthelmearc (17 Dec, 2011), Meridies (17 Dec, 2011), [Ansteorra (18 Dec, 2011)], [Atenveldt (20 Dec, 2011)], [Atlantia (21 Dec, 2011)], Lochac (21 Dec, 2011), [Middle (21 Dec, 2011)], [Drachenwald (28 Dec, 2011)], [An Tir (29 Dec, 2011)], [Calontir (29 Dec, 2011)], [Gleann Abhann (30 Dec, 2011)], [Outlands (31 Dec, 2011)], and [Trimaris (31 Dec, 2011)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of posting 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: KWHSS 2013 Bids Requested

For those considering bidding on the 2013 Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium, the deadline to have your bid entered into OSCAR is March 31, 2012. This will give the College of Arms time for consideration so that we can announce the bid's award at the 2012 KWHSS in the Barony of the Bridge, East Kingdom.

Please remember that bids posted to OSCAR are publicly readable. Because of this, all personal information, such as legal names, addresses, phone numbers, and email, should not be included in these bids without signed, written permission. Such information as is necessary should be posted as a comment after the bid is finalized, so that only the College of Arms can read it. Please send a copy of the full unredacted bid to Laurel at

As a reminder, there is a KWHSS domain and web hosting space available on the SCA's servers. Please do not register your own.

Please see or contact Laurel if you have any questions.

From Laurel: New Codex

As happens from time to time, one of our staff members has left our employ for snowier pastures. I'm sure you'll all be sad to hear that Maol Mhichil mac Ghiolla Pheadair, our former Codex Herald, responsible for the care and feeding of the Laurel website, has stepped up once again as Polaris Principal Herald of Northshield. Combined with a new real-world job, he has not had the time to continue in the position of Codex and take on the role of Polaris. He has done a good job for us, and we look forward to good things out of Northshield.

Fortunately, we were quickly able to find a successor and have appointed Reis ap Tuder as our new Codex. Reis is notable as the original author of the ACE online commentary system, currently used by Ansteorra and Ăthelmearc to do kingdom internal commentary. We hope that you will make him feel welcome. We also hope that the welcome will not be dumping all of the outstanding issues for the Laurel website on his head at once, then expecting it to all be done by next week

From Laurel: Education Deputy

As many of you know, one of my goals in office was to put into place an education deputy whose role would be to assist the Kingdoms in growing their Colleges by providing a resource to Kingdom Heralds to help educate all about heraldry. I have found a person to fill that role. Marie de Blois has stepped into this job. She will be retaining the Palimpsest title as well, since it is expected that there will be quite a lot less work with the rules, now that the proposal has gone to the Board.

I would also like to thank Richenda du Jardin for her work in this office. She is going to stay on board as one of Marie's deputies and continue to help out in the office.

From the Incoming Education Deputy: Greetings and Salutations!

I think most of you know me by now ... I'm Marie de Blois, Palimpsest and the Marie that posts on your kingdom's heraldry email list (yes, your kingdom has a heraldry email list and yes, I'm on it). So I'll skip to the fun part. You are all ready to have FUN, right? Because heraldry is FUN, right? If not, well, I think it should be!

My goals as education deputy are to help make it easier (and more fun) for everyone to learn more about heraldry, at all levels. In order to do that, I'll be contacting education heralds and principal heralds and all kinds of heralds around the SCA to find out what you need to make education happen in your kingdoms and who we can get to help. I have a list of ideas a mile long, starting with training documentation for the New Rules, so stay tuned. I encourage all the education heralds (and any other heralds interested in making heraldic education happen) reading this to get on the Herald-Education email list at:

I'd also like to thank Richenda du Jardin, my predecessor, both for her work in this office and for staying on as my deputy. She'll be continuing to work on making full of amazing heraldic resources of all kinds.

From Pelican: Norse Capitalization

Current precedent requires that descriptive bynames in Norse be rendered in lowercase, while given names and patronyms be capitalized. When that standard was last considered in October 2002, Laurel ruled "to the best of our knowledge Gordon [who capitalized such bynames in his An Introduction to Old Norse] does not follow either period transliteration standards or modern transliteration standards." However, we register names in other languages, like Arabic, that follow transcription systems that are casual and not used by scholars.

In addition, the rise of Google Books has made many more sources available to us than were previously available. Therefore, we would ask commenters to revisit this issue answering two questions: does evidence continue to support the previous finding, that descriptive bynames in Old Norse are consistently lowercased by scholars? And even if the data says that scholarly standards render descriptive bynames in lowercase, should we register Old Norse names that follow relatively casual non-scholarly transcription standards? If so, should we allow forms that combine features of formal systems like accents and informal ones like capitalization for descriptive bynames?

From Pelican: Request for Comments on Patterns in Order Names and Heraldic Titles

In the Cover Letter of August 2005 (following a call for comments on the Cover Letter of February 2005), Pelican made a substantial ruling regarding the patterns for registration for order names and heraldic titles. Since that time, our knowledge of order names and heraldic titles has advanced considerably, in large part due articles like my "Heraldic Titles from the Middle Ages and Renaissance" (found at and my "Medieval Secular Order Names" (found at or at I also have unpublished data that I will share with those who would like additional information.

This month I want to ask questions about the use of heraldic terms in order names and heraldic titles. Current precedent says that order names and heraldic titles can be created from the name of a charge as well as from the name of a charge plus the everyday color term used in some language for the name of a heraldic tincture: Cigne Noir 'black swan,' Roden Ermeln 'red sleeve(s)'. I note quickly that there are no period examples of an English color word; the English heraldic titles that use colors are formed in Anglo-Norman French. There are also no examples of purple in any language.

In these titles and order names, we generally see only the everyday terms for charges for those that have an ordinary name (we see things like fuzil and restre 'rustre'). But we never see terms like mullet instead of the plain word for star, for example. We do not currently require submitters to use the everyday term for heraldic charge: we register either everyday terms or heraldic terms. There is a discrepancy between the way we treat the names of charges and color terms. Should we leave this standard as it is? Should we restrict further the use of the names of heraldic charges, requiring submissions to use only the everyday terms for the charges? Should we loosen further the use of the names of heraldic tinctures, allowing the use of the formal heraldic tincture name as well as the vernacular terms? I'd note that many older groups have this usage grandfathered to them and continue to register items using the heraldic terms.

There are a handful of other adjectives used in order names and heraldic titles derived from charges: Estoile Volant 'flying star' (a star with wings), Croyslett (crosses crosslet), Corona Doble 'double crown', Rosenkrentzen 'rose wreaths' and gekr÷nten Steinbocken 'crowned ibex.' All seem to be more or less straightforward descriptions of charges. The second question is then: what other adjectives should we allow to modify charges? I'd encourage commenters to look at the data in the articles cited above, as well as the "heraldic" inn signs found at and The inn signs are interesting as they add some posture/orientation terms: Cross keyes and Spread eagle (and a 1636 Two neck'd Swan). However, whether these late period and grey period inn-sign names are appropriate for heraldic titles and order names is yet another question.

From Pelican: Some Name Resources (A Series)

This month, we continue with French names by turning our attention to the langue d'oc, modern Occitan/Provencal. Unfortunately, there are really no books that are readily available that deal with Occitan. Our main sources, therefore, are online.

Occitan is closely related to another language (or group of languages) spoken in eastern Spain, called Catalan. The best source for Occitan and Catalan names is

A great source for early names is Ramons lo Montalbes' "French/Occitan Names from the XII and XIII Century" ( This article, and the author's name, demonstrate an important feature of Occitan: it generally used a nominative marker, which for men is -s. So, we see forms like Azemars, Aimerics, and of course Ramons. Note that the French names in this article are modern, but the Occitan names are original. The other early sources we have are Latinized, which means that the names are written in Latin and modified from the likely spoken form.

For the 14th century, there are articles from several locations. One of the largest is Aryanhwy merch Catmael's "Occitan names from Saint Flour, France, 1380-1385" ( For the late 16th century, I find myself using Talan Gwynek's "Late Period Feminine Names from the South of France" ( Unfortunately, many of the articles that deal with southern French names give the northern French versions of Occitan names.

From Wreath: Voided (and Interlaced) Charges

This month we ruled that charges that are voided as part of their definition, such as mascles and annulets, may be used in all types of charge groups. This clarifies section VIII.3 of the Rules for Submissions, which requires that "Voiding and fimbriation may only be used with simple geometric charges placed in the center of the design."

This rule was interpreted in February 2011 to mean that mullets of eight points voided and interlaced were too complex to be used as a charge not in the center of the design. More recent interpretations have included mullets of five and six points voided and interlaced in this ruling, preventing their use as non-primary charges. However, as mullets of five and six points voided and interlaced can be found in period armory and are simpler and more recognizable than a mullet of eight points voided and interlaced, we have declared their voiding and interlacing to be part of their definition of type, and so they may also be used as non-primary charges.

We will continue to not use the terms pentagram or pentacle, due to their possible confusion over whether or not an annulet is involved.

From Wreath: Marshalling and Chiefs

This month we considered whether or not a charged chief removes the appearance of marshalling with a quartered field. Past precedent states:

[Per pale, a harp and a cross of four lozenges, a chief embattled] The chief was a mark of primary cadency in period (Gayre's Heraldic Cadency, p.153), and it became part of the Stodart system of cadency used today in Scotland. Thus, the addition of a chief to quartered armory would not remove the appearance of marshalling. However, the chief's use as a brisure was never as widespread as the bordure's; where the bordure would be used to cadence all forms of marshalling, the chief would only be used to cadence quartering. In the case of impalement --- which implies a marital coat, not an inherited one --- the addition of the chief is sufficient to remove the appearance of marshalling. [Ăthelstan von Ransbergen, A-Ansteorra, Sep 1992]

Further research seems to indicate that the chief was not used as a mark of cadency in Anglo-Norman armory on a marshalled coat, either impaled or quartered, unlike the bordure and the label. The Stodart system of cadency used in Scotland concentrates primarily on the use of bordures. We are therefore overturning past precedent, and allowing chiefs both charged and uncharged to remove the appearance of marshalling on both impaled and quartered fields. Chiefs so used must not add to the appearance of marshalling by having a per pale division with tinctures or dissimilar charges so arranged as to create confusion.

From Wreath: Mullets and Estoiles, Take Two

Commenters were asked to discuss whether or not we should consider mullets and estoiles equivalent for purposes of conflict, or if we should continue to treat them as significantly different.

The Cover Letter to the June 1991 LoAR cited some evidence of their interchangeability in period armory, but chose to retain the distinction in Society armory. Further research has provided some evidence of distinction late in period, but the issue is more complicated than that.

The term estoile used in Society armory is taken from the English charge of a six pointed star with wavy rays. On the continent, estoile or etoile is a likewise a star, but depicted as what we would consider a plain straight-rayed mullet, with points ranging from six to eight, and occasionally more. The English mullet is generally always five pointed, generally with rather fat rays, and in its occasional piercing shows its resemblance to (and, no doubt, descent from) the spur rowel, another charge we consider significantly different.

The only heraldic jurisdiction which had both mullets and estoiles is England. Only later in period is there evidence that the charges were considered non-interchangeable. In every other heraldic jurisdiction, stars are stars. However, in English armory, a typical five-pointed mullet and a very star-like six-pointed estoile have more visual distinction than a typical five-pointed mullet and a typical pierced spur-rowel.

Therefore, I feel I can do no better than to quote from the June 1991 Cover Letter, in which Master Da'ud, then Laurel, writes:

While Lord Laurel (a secret sympathizer of the dreaded Authenticity Police) can see much educational and re-creative benefit to doing SCA heraldry in such a way as to most closely follow period heraldry, he honestly believes that there are very few heralds in the Known World who would be willing to look a person submitting a device in the face and tell them that a five pointed star and a six-rayed estoile are the same thing. (I am reminded of the line from "Young Frankenstein": "This could be dangerous. You go first.")

I believe that there are times when the visual reality (the "20th Century visual reality", if you will, but we are dealing with people untrained in any other century for the most part) is so strong as to overcome period heraldic practice, whether it be in granting difference or in permitting none. I also believe this to be one of those instances.

I feel the visual reality of the 21st Century to be little enough changed in this precise case, and so will decline to change precedent at this time. This issue should be revisited in the future, as we continue to move submitters towards more period style. For now, however, there still remains a CD between mullets and estoiles.

Commenters were also asked to consider whether we should continue granting difference for the number of points on a mullet. As this topic was not much explored, I am making the following proposal and asking commenters for feedback:

Mullets with eight or more points that are drawn with sufficiently short points may be reblazoned as suns. Properly drawn compass stars are mullets, and will be granted a CD from suns. Suns should have at least eight short rays, preferably more, and be drawn with a large central area.

This proposal may result in some reblazoning of mullets or estoiles to suns.

Commenters are asked to couch any suggested alternatives in a similarly explicit fashion.

From Wreath: Crescents and Things

This month we have two submissions that could both be blazoned (Fieldless) Within the horns of a crescent, a <charge>. Past practice has been that if the charge and the crescent are conjoined, the crescent is the primary charge and the other charge is a maintained charge. Rarely, the other charge has been deemed a sufficient size to be considered sustained, and thus co-primary with the crescent. If the two are not conjoined, the charge is usually considered the primary charge, with the crescent as a secondary charge, but occasionally the reverse is the case. Such variation in blazon leads to confusion.

Placing items between the horns of a crescent is a period heraldic motif. Richard I of England used it as a seal, currently listed in Society armory as the badge (Tinctureless) An estoile between the horns of a crescent, a style of badge that was likely brought back from the East during the Crusades. The family of Percy had as a badge within the horns of a crescent a pair of shacklebolts. There is no doubt other examples could be found.

As this seems to be not only a period heraldic motif, but a fairly popular one as well, it would reduce confusion and make conflict checking far easier if we were able to standardize on blazon and charge type grouping. Given that there does not seem to be any evidence that such badges in period were interchanged with plain crescents, we will not consider the thing between the horns to be a maintained charge, so long as it is of an ample size. We have a similar item-surrounding-another motif with charges within and conjoined to annulets, although crescents can take up more of the central visual space than an annulet. In those cases, generally (but not always!) the thing within the annulet is the primary charge, with the annulet the secondary charge. Using that as an example, I am asking for commentary on the following two options:

In either case, this would apply to all orientations of a crescent. The blazon between the horns has no difference from within.

Send What to Whom

Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera are to be posted to the OSCAR online system. No paper copies need be sent.

Submission packets (one copy of each name form plus documentation, including petitions; two colored copies of each armory form plus two copies of any associated documentation, including petitions) to the SCA College of Arms, PO Box 31755, Billings, MT 59107-1755.

Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent to David Duggar, Attn: Laurel Chancellor of Exchequer, 1705 Holiday Pl, Bossier City, LA 71112-3706.

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". The electronic copy of the LoAR is available free of charge. To subscribe to the mailings of the electronic copy, please see the bottom of for more instructions.

For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Gabriel Kjotvason
Laurel Principal King of Arms

Created at 2012-01-07T00:20:23