Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

2212 S. 64th Plaza, #418
Omaha, NE, 68106
+1 952 412 4112

For the March 2012 meetings, printed Sunday, May 6, 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 March Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held Sunday, March 4, 2012 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, March 24, 2012. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: East (04 Dec, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (05 Dec, 2011), Caid (11 Dec, 2011), Ęthelmearc (16 Dec, 2011), Ęthelmearc (17 Dec, 2011), Meridies (17 Dec, 2011), Ansteorra (18 Dec, 2011), Atenveldt (20 Dec, 2011), Atlantia (21 Dec, 2011), Lochac (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 have been entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

The April Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, April 7, 2012 and the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, April 8, 2012. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Ęthelmearc (01 Jan, 2012), Laurel LoPaD (07 Jan, 2012), Gleann Abhann (14 Jan, 2012), Atenveldt (15 Jan, 2012), Caid (15 Jan, 2012), Lochac (16 Jan, 2012), East (19 Jan, 2012), Northshield (20 Jan, 2012), Atlantia (22 Jan, 2012), Middle (22 Jan, 2012), Calontir (23 Jan, 2012), Lochac (26 Jan, 2012), Ealdormere (30 Jan, 2012), West (30 Jan, 2012), An Tir (31 Jan, 2012), Ansteorra (31 Jan, 2012), Artemisia (31 Jan, 2012), Drachenwald (31 Jan, 2012), Laurel LoPaD (31 Jan, 2012), Lochac (31 Jan, 2012), Meridies (31 Jan, 2012), Outlands (31 Jan, 2012), and Trimaris (31 Jan, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Saturday, March 31, 2012.

The May Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, May 6, 2012 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, May 12, 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Middle (21 Dec, 2011) (pushed due to lack of packet and scans) , West (06 Feb, 2012), Atlantia (08 Feb, 2012), Ęthelmearc (09 Feb, 2012), Caid (12 Feb, 2012), Atenveldt (20 Feb, 2012), East (26 Feb, 2012), Lochac (26 Feb, 2012), An Tir (28 Feb, 2012), Trimaris (28 Feb, 2012), Ansteorra (29 Feb, 2012), Drachenwald (29 Feb, 2012), Meridies (29 Feb, 2012), and Outlands (29 Feb, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Monday, April 30, 2012.

The June Laurel decisions will be made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, June 9, 2012 and the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, June 10, 2012, and the joint Laurel Road Show at KWHSS on Sunday, June 24, 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Laurel LoPaD (29 Feb, 2012) (issued in March), Ęthelmearc (02 Mar, 2012), Northshield (02 Mar, 2012), Caid (11 Mar, 2012), Ansteorra Other Letter (15 Mar, 2012), Atenveldt (20 Mar, 2012), West (24 Mar, 2012), East (26 Mar, 2012), Ansteorra (28 Mar, 2012), Atlantia (29 Mar, 2012), Lochac (29 Mar, 2012), [Drachenwald (30 Mar, 2012)], Meridies (30 Mar, 2012), [Artemisia (31 Mar, 2012)], Ealdormere (31 Mar, 2012), [Outlands (31 Mar, 2012)], and [Caid (01 Apr, 2012)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Thursday, May 31, 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: New Rules At Last!

It is our pleasure to announce that the new rules for submissions document, which we are renaming "Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory" (SENA), was approved by the Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc. at their April meeting.

Starting with the May 2012 decision meetings, we will begin a six month transition period. Items appearing on Letters of Intent scheduled for decision between May 2012 and October 2012 will be accepted if they are registerable (that is, they meet the style, conflict, presumption, and offense requirements) of the old rules or the new standards. During this period, an item will not be registered if it partially meets the standards for each set of rules (for example, it has a conflict under the old rules and a style problem under the new rules). An item must be completely legal under one set of rules or the other. Starting with the November 2012 meeting, items will be considered only under the new standards. Any Letters of Intent originally scheduled to be considered in October or before will be considered under the rules in force for that meeting, even if they have to be rescheduled because of issues with payment or paperwork. Any items (even entire letters) which are returned for administrative reasons will not be given that consideration.

We want to thank the many people, heralds and others, who have contributed to these rules since we started this project over two and a half years ago. This project could not have happened without the time and energy of many members of the College of Arms. We particularly want to thank Juliana de Luna and Marie de Blois, who served as Palimpsests during this project. Without their work directing the project, it would never have come to fruition. We want to thank our predecessors as Laurel, Olwynn and Elisabeth, who oversaw this work. We also want to thank the many heralds who served on committees that developed and proofread drafts.

From Palimpsest: Updates to the Administrative Handbook

At the April Board meeting, in addition to the new Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory, the Board approved a number of changes to the Administrative Handbook.

Many of these changes fixed minor inconsistencies, modified the letters in Appendix D, and brought the Administrative Handbook in alignment with already published changes in policy (such as the scanning of packets). Other changes affect the reporting and record-keeping requirements for Laurel and principal heralds/

Of general interest, the changes also clarify unclear sections, such as who signs letters, which items have fees, and the information needed in transfers. Additionally, Hitching and Hitching was added to Appendix H.

We are considering a more substantial change to the Administrative Handbook to improve its usability. Palimpsest will have more details and begin those discussions in the next few months.

From Laurel: Title Shuffling

Elsbeth Anne Roth, formerly Clarion Herald, has registered her own heraldic title, Wulffeld. She has also stepped up as Garnet Herald of Ęthelmearc, their submissions herald. With this combination of circumstances, she has admitted that she no longer needs the Clarion title from Laurel.

Since the title is available, and since the job really should have a title, we are assigning the Clarion title to our Education Deputy, currently Marie de Blois. The job is not changing, but we hope that advancing this to a titled position demonstrates the importance of the job which this deputy does.

From Laurel: Packets in OSCAR

There have been questions about what should be marked private in the packet docs feature in OSCAR.

Name and armory forms are easy - they should always be marked as forms and should be marked private. Other documentation shouldn't be marked as a form. So what should be marked private? Anything that contains modern information that can be used to identify a person should be private. If it has a legal name, legal signature, address, or private e-mail address it should be marked private. (An office address, such as, isn't a private e-mail address.) If an item is marked private there is a very limited list of people on Laurel staff who can see the document. Documentation such as scans from armorials, name articles, maps, etc. should not be marked private. This allows the documents to be read and evaluated by commenters, which helps Pelican and Wreath.

From Pelican: Some Names Resources (a series): Marital Names Part 1

One issue that often comes up with submissions is how husbands and wives share (or fail to share) bynames. While it's typical in the modern world for a married couple to share a surname, this was not true in many areas of Europe in the Middle Ages.

In some languages, bynames are quite literal. Some such languages include Gaelic, Old Norse, Old English (Anglo-Saxon), Welsh, Russian, and Arabic. In these languages, patronymic bynames, which say you're someone's son or daughter, are literal. Thus, sharing a byname with your spouse suggests that you have the same father, or at least that your fathers had the same name. So in these languages, husbands and wives normally have unrelated bynames.

In some languages (including Gaelic, Russian, Old Norse, and Hungarian), there are constructions that name a woman as her husband's wife. In Gaelic, the pre-1200 word meaning "wife" is ben, while the post-1200 word is bean. It is followed by the name of her husband in the genitive (possessive) form. Names have been found using the husband's complete name, his given name, and his byname. In Russian, the word for "wife" is zhena; it normally comes after her husband's given name and before his patronymic byname, both in the "patronymic" form. More details can be found in Paul Wickenden of Thanet's A Dictionary of Period Russian Names ( In Old Norse, the word for wife is kona; a byname consists of the husband's given name in the genitive (possessive) form, followed by the word kona. In Hungarian, this type of byname is formed by using the husband's entire name (surname first), with -ne attached to his given name. This byname comes first and is followed by her given name, as is typical in Hungarian.

In addition, Latinized bynames in multiple languages use uxor "wife" followed by the husband's name (usually given name only, but sometimes his complete name) in Latinized form. This grammar requires the genitive (possessive) form of the husband's name (as it's naming her as John's wife, for example). More information about marital bynames in other languages will follow next month.

From Pelican: Making Heraldic Titles from Order Names

On the October 2011 Cover Letter, I asked whether we should allow heraldic titles to be created from any order names, or only some order names. We now know that there were a variety of patterns that led to period order names. Some were derived from the badges of the orders, and were derived from heraldic charges (sometimes unmodified, sometimes with a color attached, sometimes two charges together). Some were derived from regalia attached to the orders. Both of these types of order names were used to create heraldic titles in period. We therefore will continue to allow heraldic titles to be created following these patterns.

Order names are also derived from other patterns, including the names of saints, of abstract qualities, and other complex constructions (like Michael Archangel, Saint Georges Shield, Green Shield with the White Lady, or Our Lady of the Noble House). These other patterns do not seem to have been used to create heraldic titles. Heraldic titles that follow these patterns will not be registered without further evidence that they follow a specific pattern for heraldic titles, not only order names.

From Pelican: Summaries and Why they Matter

We ask that submissions heralds pay more attention to the summaries of the forms in OSCAR. Recently, there have been a rash of submissions in which changes made at kingdom were not summarized. It's important that even very small changes to the name (changes to accents or to capitalization) be summarized in OSCAR. If changes are made to the name on the form before it is received by kingdom, that should be noted either in the summary or in a note to the sovereigns. Otherwise, the Laurel office will have to contact you to find out when and how those changes were made. As we have relaxed the requirement that all changes be made on the forms, this is even more important. Now, that summary is the only way we can know that changes are intentional and not just a typo on the letter of intent.

In addition, it's important that authenticity requests and the changes that submitters allow be accurately included in OSCAR. While we try not to return or pend items unnecessarily, we depend on commenters to help us figure out what authentic forms would be and what possible forms of a name might be registerable given the changes the submitter allows. If commenters don't know about these requests, they can't respond to them. And that leads to Pelican having to do extra research or having to pend items for the commenters to do more research. Either of these makes for a cranky Pelican. So, keep us happy and check your summaries.

From Wreath: Krakens and Squids and Octopuses, Oh My!

The term kraken, especially as applied to a giant squid, appears to date no earlier than the eighteenth century. Research provided by Ursula Green Staff states: looks like neither <squid> nor <octopus> was used in our period: the first instance of <squid> in the OED is dated to 1613 (the etymology is "of obscure origin"), and the first use of <octopus> is eighteenth-century.

Words for types of squid found in English in our period are <calamarie> (dated to 1567 under <calamary>, n.) and <cuttle> or <cuttle fish> (dated in this spelling s.v. <cuttle> n. to 1598 and 1591, but in other forms as early as c. 1000). I also found this interesting quotation from 1635:

The Calamarie is sometimes called the Sea-clerk, having as it were a knife and a pen. Some call him the Ink-horn-fish.

As regards octopuses, it seems that in English at least there was no distinction drawn in period between octopuses, with eight tentacles, and squid and cuttlefish, with ten tentacles. The word <polypus>, meaning a cephalopod having either eight or ten tentacles, is dated in that spelling to 1578, and in other forms to at least 1527.

As we desire to use period terms whenever possible, based on this research we will no longer use the blazon term kraken, but will instead use calamarie or cuttle-fish to describe squid. Due to the similarity with the modern word, we will use the blazon term polypus to describe the octopus. The SCA default orientations remain the same, with polypus defaulting to tentacles to base, and calamarie defaulting to tentacles to chief. There is no difference granted for type, only for orientation.

We may, on a case by case basis, retain the use of the modern terms for items already registered in order to preserve a cant.

From Wreath: Testicles

This month we were asked to consider two badges which used testicles as a charge. These items generated a great amount of discussion on whether or not the charge runs afoul of our ban on vulgar armory. Testicles are a period charge, used in the arms of Bartolomeo Colleoni (c. 1395/1400-1475). However, we have refused to register some period heraldic charges due to perception of modern offensiveness. As rulings on offensive armory are quite rare, we want to reassure readers that both Wreath and Laurel read the arguments both for and against, and the decision was a joint one.

The General Principles section of the Rules for Submissions, I.2 Offense, reads, "No name or armory will be registered that may be offensive to a significant segment of the Society or the general population." Section IX.1, Vulgar Armory, goes further to state, "Pornographic or scatological items or designs will not be registered. Obscene images, sexually explicit material, bathroom or toilet humor, etc. are considered inherently offensive by a large segment of the Society and general population."

Commenters argued that we have registered such charges as a woman's breast previously without claims of offense, and this is so. While we do not habitually blazon such details, we do not hesitate to register animals obviously pizzled, either. However, pizzling is typically a subtle, but natural and expected detail on an animal, and the heraldic styling of a single breast is far from offensive, particularly when we also register without hesitation bare-chested mermaids. Commenters argued that most non-heralds would identify this charge as a leaf of some sort, or possibly a heart inverted. This charge was shown, without comment, to several large groupings of non-heralds in the SCA, and the vast majority, if not all, immediately identified it correctly.

We must keep in mind that our rules against offensiveness and vulgarity include "the general population". While there is nothing that describes heraldic testicles as being human as opposed to animal, the general population still tends to draw a line at openly displaying anything "south of the border". Members of the SCA may understand that this is a period heraldic charge, but we are inclined to pay attention to the rest of General Principle I.2, which reads "No submission will be registered that is detrimental to the educational purposes or good name of the Society, or the enjoyment of its participants because of offense that may be caused, intentionally or unintentionally, by its use." Until a significant segment of the general population would not be offended by seeing testicles in armory, we will not register this charge.

From Wreath: Even More: Roundels and Penguins and Roses

Three other precedents of note were set this month.

Firstly, due to the potential confusion with other charges, roundels with complex lines will not be registered after the September 2012 meeting without evidence of period practice.

Secondly, when considering the categories of birds set forth on the November 2003 Cover Letter, we have decided that penguin-shaped birds, by which we mean penguins and auks, when depicted in their default upright close posture are substantially different from all other birds. The use of a penguin is still a step from period practice.

Thirdly, a submission provoked a discussion of various period depictions of roses. A heraldic rose has typically five petals, occasionally six, or even four in Italian heraldry as seen in Stemmario Trivulziano. Documentation proved that long stems and leaves are completely unremarkable with an otherwise heraldic rose.

Certainly multi-petaled natural roses existed in period, most notably the Damask rose and the Apothecary's rose; however, the cabbage rose is modern. Roses in period heraldry, even when depicted more naturalistically, are always shown affronty, not in profile, and even the more naturalistic multi-petaled depictions use five main petals around the outside edge, with the other petals as internal detail.

Therefore, the use of a depiction of a modern rose in profile is now a step from period practice. There is no difference granted between a modern rose in profile and a heraldic rose, and the difference will not be blazoned as we would prefer to encourage the use of heraldic roses instead.

From Wreath: Policy on Redraws

With the advent of OSCAR and quicker feedback about a submission, artwork concerns are coming to light much faster. A concerned submissions herald might be tempted to act upon the feedback and do a redraw of the armory, submitting new forms before the close of commentary. However, this is not the best way to handle the issue. The emblazon on the Letter of Intent on OSCAR must match the submitted paperwork, and commenters need to be sure they are commenting on the correct item, not a potentially-redrawn item. It is also worth remembering that images posted in commentary are not publicly viewable, only the original emblazon.

Therefore, if an item needs to be redrawn while still in commentary, it should be withdrawn by noting such as a correction. The redrawn item, approved by the submitter, should then be resubmitted on a new letter. Keep in mind that a kingdom may have multiple letters in a given month.

Occasionally errors happen when a Letter of Intent is published. If an image is completely incorrect, it may be replaced within seven days of publication of the Letter of Intent. Past that, it should be withdrawn and resubmitted.

If the emblazon on OSCAR and the submitted paperwork differ, the item may be administratively returned. Wreath has discretion to waive this policy as needed on a case by case basis.

Society Pages

We would like to extend hearty congratulations to Aryanhwy merch Catmael, who on Saturday, March 30, 2012, at Drachenwald's Crown Tournament, became crown princess of Drachenwald. Aryanhwy is the consort of Paul de Gorey.

On the 14th of April, 2012, Talorgen nepos Wrguist, Sea Dragon Herald of Atlantia, was inducted into the Order of the Pelican.

On the same day, April 14, 2012, Kenrick of Warwick and Avelina Keyes, both former Brigantia Principal Herald of the East, were crowned as king and queen of the East.

On a sadder note Master Tirloch of Tallaght, Albus Ursus Herald of Atlantia, passed away very unexpectedly last month. Known to many throughout the Known Worlde not only for his heraldic contributions, but for his superb cookery and service as Society treasurer during some very "interesting" times, he will be sorely missed by many within and without the heraldic community.

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 17207, Bristol VA 24209.

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 2012-05-06T23:32:45