Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

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

For the November 2012 meetings, printed Monday, December 31, 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 will be made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, November 3, 2012, at the Pelican road show in An Tir held on Sunday, November 4, 2012, and the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, November 11, 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Trimaris (25 Jul, 2012) (pushed due to lack of payment), Laurel LoPaD (05 Aug, 2012), Northshield (07 Aug, 2012), Outlands (17 Aug, 2012), Calontir (24 Aug, 2012), East (26 Aug, 2012), Gleann Abhann (27 Aug, 2012), Caid (28 Aug, 2012), Atlantia (29 Aug, 2012), Drachenwald (29 Aug, 2012), Ansteorra (30 Aug, 2012), Atenveldt (30 Aug, 2012), Lochac (30 Aug, 2012), Middle (30 Aug, 2012), An Tir (31 Aug, 2012), Meridies (31 Aug, 2012), and West (31 Aug, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, October 31, 2012.

The December Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in December 2012. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Ăthelmearc (02 Sep, 2012), Laurel LoPaD (08 Sep, 2012), Northshield (16 Sep, 2012), Caid (17 Sep, 2012), Middle (19 Sep, 2012), Outlands (23 Sep, 2012), Atenveldt (25 Sep, 2012), East (27 Sep, 2012), Gleann Abhann (27 Sep, 2012), Trimaris (28 Sep, 2012), Atlantia (29 Sep, 2012), Ealdormere (29 Sep, 2012), Lochac (29 Sep, 2012), An Tir (30 Sep, 2012), Ansteorra (30 Sep, 2012), Calontir (30 Sep, 2012), Meridies (30 Sep, 2012), West (30 Sep, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Friday, November 30, 2012.

The January Laurel decisions will be made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, January 19, 2013 and at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, January 20, 2013. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Middle (10 Oct, 2012), Middle (12 Oct, 2012), Northshield (21 Oct, 2012), Gleann Abhann (24 Oct, 2012), Atenveldt (25 Oct, 2012), East (26 Oct, 2012), Caid (27 Oct, 2012), Middle (27 Oct, 2012), Meridies (30 Oct, 2012), An Tir (31 Oct, 2012), Ansteorra (31 Oct, 2012), Atlantia (31 Oct, 2012), Drachenwald (31 Oct, 2012), Lochac (31 Oct, 2012), and Outlands (31 Oct, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Monday, December 31, 2012.

The February Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in February 2013. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Ăthelmearc (25 Oct, 2012) (pushed due to lack of packet), Artemisia (30 Oct, 2012) (pushed due to lack of packet), Ăthelmearc (31 Oct, 2012) (pushed due to lack of packet), Laurel LoPaD (03 Nov, 2012), Northshield (07 Nov, 2012), Middle (08 Nov, 2012), Atlantia (09 Nov, 2012), Caid (11 Nov, 2012), Calontir (12 Nov, 2012), [An Tir (20 Nov, 2012)], Ansteorra (21 Nov, 2012), Outlands (25 Nov, 2012), Ealdormere (26 Nov, 2012), [Ăthelmearc (30 Nov, 2012)], [Atenveldt (30 Nov, 2012)], [Drachenwald (30 Nov, 2012)], [Gleann Abhann (30 Nov, 2012)], Lochac (30 Nov, 2012), and [Meridies (30 Nov, 2012)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Thursday, January 31, 2013.

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 2014 Bids Requested

For those considering bidding on the 2014 Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium, the deadline to have your bid entered into OSCAR is March 31, 2013. This will give the College of Arms time for consideration so that we can announce the bid's award at the 2013 KWHSS in the barony of Bjornsborg, Ansteorra, on June 30 at the Road Show.

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 Pelican: Da'ud Notation

In this Letter of Acceptances and Returns, we are using a long defined but never used character in Da'ud notation: {eu} is an e marked with a breve (a short mark).

* From Pelican: Some Name Resources (an Ongoing Series)

The Standards for Evaluation have multiple appendices that are useful in documenting a name. Appendix A has a summary of name construction for important languages, focusing on patterns that are relatively common and on patterns that are not found in a language. The patterns given in this appendix do not need to be documented beyond at most a mention that the pattern is found in the appendix. Other patterns exist that are not included in this appendix: blank spaces suggest that a pattern could be registered with documentation. "Rare" means that the pattern is found, but that registration of a constructed, as opposed to attested, version of such a byname generally requires the help of an expert in that language to determine if it is plausible. This appendix also suggests some articles that can be used for documentation of construction patterns.

If you need additional information about terms we use and types of bynames, you can find that in Appendix B.

Appendix C is a table of languages that can be combined without further documentation. Other lingual mixes are registerable, but only with evidence that they were combined in medieval names. The appendix intentionally is limited to European and Middle Eastern names, as those are the core of our reconstruction. It does not include languages from cultures with limited contact with Europe. Persian and Mongolian are included in the tables: Persian because it is an important part of the Islamic world (which extends well into Europe) in the Middle Ages and Mongolian because Mongol control spread well into Europe.

There are a few other name-related appendices. Appendix D addresses how we register names for languages that do not use the Roman/Latin alphabet. For registration, we require them to be transliterated into the Latin alphabet. This is simply for the ease of the heralds who have to conflict check names and cannot be expected to read all alphabets. We encourage submitters to use their name in its original writing system.

Appendix E addresses the designators for non-personal names. Many designators are not addressed one way or another in that appendix; that just means that they need to be documented with a submission.

* From Wreath: On the Cross of Caid, Yet Again

A submission this month from the Kingdom of Caid requested that the portion of their augmentation of arms, four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward, be blazoned as a cross of Caid.

I can do no better than to quote the May 2007 Cover Letter on this very topic, which reads:

Over the years, Laurel has declined to use the term cross of Caid or Caidan cross, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly (by changing the blazon that appeared on the LoI without comment). The first return was when Jaelle Laurel in July 1986 [sic, should be 1996] wrote

To quote Baldwin in his April 1986 LoAR: "Spring is in the air, and the fit is upon me - let me name but one Cross before I die!" While it is indeed quite tempting to call the four crescents conjoined in saltire a "Cross of Caid", we feel that named SCA motifs make reconstruction of blazons more difficult for heralds and scribes.

The letter continues on to discuss the issue, and emphasizes the decision to follow period practice in blazon whenever possible:

The usage of the terms cross of Caid and Caidan cross is perfectly acceptable, outside of blazons. These terms will not be used in blazons unless we find support in period blazonry for named crosses (and not just a single instance). If such evidence is presented, this issue may be revisited.

The College of Heralds of Caid appealed to the College of Arms for new evidence of named crosses in period blazonry, given the number of period armorials and rolls that have become available in the past several years. Unfortunately, no such new evidence was found. Therefore, we reaffirm the past decisions, and will continue to bar the use of the terms cross of Caid or Caidan cross in blazon.

* From Wreath: No More Standing Balances

In June 2011 we ruled the use of a standing balance to be a step from period practice. All evidence provided so far supports hanging balances, but standing balances appear to be post-period. Given that the hanging balance is an appropriate and very similar period charge that can be used instead of the standing balance, we will no longer register a standing balance after the May 2013 decision meeting.

* From Wreath: Blazoning Fun -- Non-Eagles Displayed

We have long held that the use of any bird other than an eagle in the displayed posture is a step from period practice. The January 2000 Cover Letter stated that "with vanishingly rare exceptions the eagle is the only bird found displayed in period heraldry. Therefore any other bird displayed will arguably be visually similar to an eagle..." This visual similarity affects how much difference we can grant when considering conflict between a non-eagle displayed and an eagle displayed. In the case of a raven displayed, a fairly popular charge lately, versus an eagle displayed, there is neither a substantial nor a distinct change.

There is, however, a blazonable difference between a non-eagle displayed and an eagle displayed. It is important to remember that we register the picture, the emblazon, not the words, the blazon. The blazon must be able to accurately describe the submitted emblazon. If we cannot tell from the submitted emblazon that a displayed bird is not an eagle, it will be reblazoned as an eagle. Ravens will typically have a long straight beak, no crest on the head, and occasionally shaggy or hairy feathers. In order for a raven displayed to be identified as such, it is suggested that as many non-eagle attributes as possible be used.

* From Wreath: Blazoning Fun -- Kitchen Pots and Pans

Turning now to the subject of kitchen wares, a submission this month required us to look more closely at cauldrons and similar pots. In period armorials, the cauldron is the most common cooking pot type of charge. It is typically depicted without legs, although occasionally with three legs, but always with a transverse bail handle (a single arched handle). Another cooking pot found in period armory is the so-called flesh-pot, a similarly shaped pot with three legs and two rounded or angular handles at the rim.

We have received several submissions in the recent past that resemble a cauldron, only without the bail handle. As we have not yet found this depiction of a pot in period armory, we must turn to period artifacts to see if it is attested and thus registerable. A quick perusal of period woodcuts and paintings showing kitchen equipment shows that most cooking pots were cauldrons, with or without feet, either hanging from the bail handle or set directly into the fire.

As for pots without the transverse bail handle, Saint Vitus is commonly depicted with a pot, or in a pot, as a reference to his manner of death. Most typically this is a three-legged pot with handles, or a flesh-pot ( One period woodcut showed several cauldrons, with three legs, bail handles, and lids, set next to an identically-shaped pot with three legs but no obvious handle ( Band 13 of the manuscripts of the Baden State Library in Karlsruhe (URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:31-8660), on page 175 ( has a figure drawn in the margin of a mid-12th Century fragment of someone retrieving food from a three-legged pot with no visible handles.

As all three forms of cooking pot are attested in period, all are registerable in armory. We will henceforth blazon pots with transverse bail handles, regardless of legs, as cauldrons. Pots with no bail handle, but with obvious handles at the rim, we will blazon as flesh-pots. Pots without handles but with legs will be blazoned three-legged pots. Pots with no handles or legs will be send back for redraw, unless evidence is presented of that form of cooking pot in period. There is no difference between any form of cooking pot.

* From Wreath: Marshalling Loophole

A submission this month was ruled to not be in violation of the prohibition on marshalling by impaling. The design in question had two charge groups in one section of the field, and nothing in the other section of the field. Under the Rules for Submission, this was illegal: "No section of the field may contain...more than one charge unless those charges are part of a group...." Precedent set on the December 2007 Cover Letter did allow for maintained charges in a section, but not sustained charges.

However, while section A6F of the Standards for Evaluation, which governs marshalling, is far more detailed than the Rules for Submissions were, it does currently allow for designs in which one section of the field has multiple charge groups. A6F2c concerns multiple types of primary charges, but not multiple charge groups in a single section. A6F2d concerns multiple charges in a section, but specifies only multiple charges of the same type, not multiple charge groups.

Palimpsest will be issuing a rules letter in the near future to address changing A6F2d to include a prohibition on multiple charge groups in a section.

* From Wreath: Unified Posture and Orientation, Take 2

Section A3D2c of the Standards for Evaluation states:

c. Unity of Posture and Orientation: The charges within a charge group should be in either identical postures/orientations or an arrangement that includes posture/orientation (in cross, combatant, or in pall points outward, for example). A charge group in which postures for different charges must be blazoned individually will not be allowed without period examples of that combination of postures. Arrangements of charges which cannot be blazoned will not be allowed. Some standard arrangements for period charge groups are discussed in Appendix K.

The examples given concern groups of identical charges, but do not directly address how to handle mixed-type charge groups. Precedent set on the May 2012 Cover Letter stated:

It seems to us best to apply the concept of "comparable postures", as described in section A5G7, which references Appendix L. In short, if the charges in a single charge group do not have comparable postures, they are not in violation of the "identical postures/orientations" part of the rule. The charge group as a whole must still be in a standard arrangement.

The phrase "in which postures for different charges must be blazoned individually" seems to be tripping people up. To clarify, we emphasize that when charges in a group are in different categories according to SENA A5G7 and SENA Appendix L, they do not have comparable postures/orientations and may be blazoned independently. The charge group as a whole must still be in a standard arrangement.

We looked at several period armorials to find out what sorts of posture/orientation combinations and arrangements we find in period armory for mixed-type charge groups. Keeping in mind that our core style is based on Anglo-Norman armory, there is an emphasis on those armorials; the full list of sources is below.

In period armory, when there are two or three dissimilar charges in the same group, they typically have identical postures only in some cases. Examples:

Most frequently, a mixed-type group consists of both animate and inanimate charges, occasionally two different types of inanimate charges, and less commonly two different types of animate charge. The vast majority of dissimilar charges in a group are all in their typical default posture/orientation, which in most cases is essentially palewise. Judging from the few examples listed above where that is not the case, our precedent appears to be consistent with period practice. While we found no examples of mixing inanimate compact charges with inanimate long charges in different orientations, for example in pale a fleur-de-lys and a sword bendwise, we feel that allowing such a combination is acceptable at this point in time.

A3D2c mentions combattant as "an arrangement that includes posture/orientation". What other sorts of arrangements are possible?

Period armory draws charges to take up the most space possible. With two charges, typically we find both charges placed side by side in fess, with their long axes vertical. There are therefore three posture/orientation cases possible, all of which we see in period armory: both charges facing the same direction, charges addorsed, or charges respectant/combatant. There is also the far less common case of two horizontal charges placed in pale: both charges facing the same direction, or charges facing in opposite directions. Examples:

With three charges in a group on the field, the default arrangement is "two and one". The vast majority of these arrangements all face in the same direction, but the upper two charges may be addorsed or respectant/combatant. No examples were found where the bottommost charge did not face in the same direction as at least one of the uppermost charges. Examples:

Other posture/orientation combinations of comparable charges will need to be documented before they are registerable.

* From Wreath: Arrangements -- Charge Groups Doing the Splits

Now that we've covered the posture/orientation of individual charges in a group, we turn to their placement upon the field. SENA A3D2c only peripherally covers this topic when it references SENA Appendix K, which lists some standard arrangements. However, Appendix K is primarily intended for determining if a DC for change of arrangement exists when comparing two groups from two pieces of armory. It does not list all of the possible standard period arrangements for charges in a single group on the field.

When considering a group of charges split over a divided field or separated by a central ordinary, period armory typically draws and places such charges in whatever way allows them to best fit and take up the most space possible. Examples:

Therefore, charges in a single group split in two by a field division or a central ordinary that are placed to reasonably fill the space available to them and that are similar to period patterns will be considered to be in a default arrangement, and they do not require their exact positioning to be blazoned. This is similar to our policy of allowing and not distinguishing various period-style arrangements of strewn charges, and in general not blazoning period-style artistic variations. Note that this applies only to arrangement, not to posture or orientation.

Many thanks to Yehuda ben Moshe for bringing many of these examples to light in a short timeframe, and to Daniel de Lincoln for pointing out the excellent Luttrell Psalter example. Sources cited:

* Society Pages

On Saturday, November 17, 2012, Andrewe Bawldwyn, current Star Principal Herald, was made a Companion of the Order of the Star of Merit of Ansteorra. The Star of Merit is a grant-level service award.

On Saturday, December 8, 2012, at Adamestor's Yule Tournament, Garsiyya ibn Ibrahim ibn Sulaiman al-Qurtubi, Drachenwald's Post Horn Herald, was made a member of the Order of the Pelican by TRM Paul and Aryanhwy.

On a more mundane note, some of you will remember Michael Peter Desmond O'Donoghue, who was Bluemantle Pursuivant when the SCA CoA visited the UK CoA during KWHSS 2008. On May 31 of this year, the Queen appointed him to the office of York Herald.

* 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, 3101 Lee Hwy Ste 18/19 #178, Bristol VA 24202.

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 2012-12-31T12:45:49