Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

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

For the January 2013 meetings, printed Sunday, March 3, 2013

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 January Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, January 19, 2013 and at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, January 20, 2013. These meetings considered 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 have been entered into OSCAR by Monday, December 31, 2012.

The February Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, February 10, 2013 and at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, February 16, 2013. These meetings considered 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), Drachenwald (30 Nov, 2012), Gleann Abhann (30 Nov, 2012), Lochac (30 Nov, 2012), and Meridies (30 Nov, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, January 31, 2013.

The March Laurel decisions will be made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 and at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, March 10, 2013. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Atenveldt (30 Nov, 2012) (pushed due to lack of packet), Laurel LoPaD (04 Dec, 2012), Trimaris (08 Dec, 2012), Caid (09 Dec, 2012), Middle (13 Dec, 2012), Palimpsest Rules Letter (15 Dec, 2012), Northshield (17 Dec, 2012), East (21 Dec, 2012), Laurel (21 Dec, 2012), Lochac (27 Dec, 2012), Ansteorra (29 Dec, 2012), Ăthelmearc (31 Dec, 2012), An Tir (31 Dec, 2012), Artemisia (31 Dec, 2012), Atlantia (31 Dec, 2012), Ealdormere (31 Dec, 2012), Laurel LoPaD (31 Dec, 2012), Outlands (31 Dec, 2012), and West (31 Dec, 2012). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Thursday, February 28, 2013.

The April Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in April 2013. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Meridies (30 Dec, 2012) (pushed due to lack of packet upload), East (17 Jan, 2013), Calontir (20 Jan, 2013), Palimpsest Rules Letter (20 Jan, 2013), Atenveldt (25 Jan, 2013), Palimpsest Rules Letter (25 Jan, 2013), Lochac (28 Jan, 2013), Outlands (29 Jan, 2013), Ăthelmearc (31 Jan, 2013), An Tir (31 Jan, 2013), [Ansteorra (31 Jan, 2013)], Atlantia (31 Jan, 2013), Caid (31 Jan, 2013), [Drachenwald (31 Jan, 2013)], Ealdormere (31 Jan, 2013), Meridies (31 Jan, 2013), and Middle (31 Jan, 2013). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Sunday, March 31, 2013.

The May Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in May 2013. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Northshield (03 Feb, 2013), An Tir (05 Feb, 2013), [Gleann Abhann (06 Feb, 2013)], Laurel LoPaD (09 Feb, 2013), Middle (11 Feb, 2013), [Ăthelmearc (20 Feb, 2013)], East (21 Feb, 2013), [Calontir (24 Feb, 2013)], [Atenveldt (25 Feb, 2013)], [Ealdormere (25 Feb, 2013)], [Lochac (25 Feb, 2013)], [Atenveldt (26 Feb, 2013)], [An Tir (28 Feb, 2013)], [An Tir (28 Feb, 2013)], [Ansteorra (28 Feb, 2013)], [Artemisia (28 Feb, 2013)], [Atlantia (28 Feb, 2013)], [Meridies (28 Feb, 2013)], [Outlands (28 Feb, 2013)], [Palimpsest Rules Letter (28 Feb, 2013)], [Trimaris (28 Feb, 2013)], [West (28 Feb, 2013)], and [West (28 Feb, 2013)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, April 30, 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: Can You Hear A Siren?

The College of Arms has a rank of Herald Extraordinary that has a long and honored history. The rank was formally created and defined in the July 1981 cover letter by Wilhelm Laurel. The intent of the rank is to recognize and reward "... those heralds who have greatly served the College of Heralds and/or the College of Arms and have achieved the highest level of competence in heraldry." Further, each Herald Extraordinary shall have a personal title.

Juliana de Luna has given long and extraordinary service to the College of Arms in many capacities, including her work as the current Pelican Queen of Arms. As such, I hereby bestow upon Juliana de Luna the rank of Herald Extraordinary. She may at her convenience choose and submit a personal heraldic title to be registered to her.

* From Pelican: Some Name Resources (an ongoing series)

Household names fall into a variety of categories. This month, we're going to talk about the names used for groups of people in Gaelic. As Sharon Krossa's "Medieval Gaelic Clan, Household, and Other Group Names" ( points out, Gaelic groups of people were inevitably named after an individual. We have no evidence in Gaelic of groups named after animals or items. Inn signs, as are found in English, seem not to have existed in Gaelic, and thus cannot be registered. So, what kinds of groups can be found in Gaelic?

Clans, one common type of group, were named after a single male ancestor. Grammar requires that his name be in the genitive (possessive) case, because it's the clan of that person. The most common pattern is to use simply the given name, making names like Clann Domhnaill or Clann Ghriogair. Occasionally we find more complex constructions, using a man's simple patronymic byname (as in Clann Mhic Dhuibhne) or a given name and descriptive byname (as in Clann Eoin Duibh).

Scots forms of these names exist as well. Some documentary forms include the 1384 Clenmcduffe, 1617 Clangregour, and 1633 Clane Eane (all from the Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 at These appear to be simple transliterations of the Gaelic Clann Mhic Dhuibhne, Clann Ghriogair, and Clann Eoin, and are not evidence that clan names were created from names found in Scots but not Gaelic.

Krossa's article also describes Gaelic household names, using the terms luchd taighe (literally "house-people") or teaghlach ("household") followed by the full name or the patronymic byname of the household head in the genitive case. The article has several examples following this pattern. This pattern is quite rare in the SCA; it would be great to see some submissions following this pattern!

* From Pelican: Adjacent Letters or Sounds and Conflict under SENA

SENA PN3C1, which describes how changes to two syllables make two names clear of conflict says "If the changes only affect adjacent letters or sounds, they must affect more than two letters or sounds to be considered under this allowance." This appears to have created a great deal of confusion among commenters comparing the submission Marie de Blois to the registered Marie du Bois.

The confusion resides in how we consider consonant clusters at the beginning (or end) of a syllable. Some commenters implicitly or explicitly argued that the "sound" at the start of the word Blois was "adjacent" to the change in the previous syllable and thus the names were not different under PN3C1. This is not a reasonable reading of the rule given how sounds work.

In French (and indeed in most other languages), one may have multiple letters representing a single sound like ch. This is often called a digraph. Some English digraphs include th, sh, and ng; vowel pairs like ow, au, and ay can also be considered digraphs (a lot of these are actually diphthongs, but are understood by listeners as a single sound). These digraphs are treated as single sounds under SENA and are adjacent to the sounds before and after them.

Alternately, one may also have multiple letters representing a group of sounds that are pronounced sequentially in a cluster, like \bw\ and \blw\ in this case (written as Boi and Bloi respectively). Some English consonant clusters are gl, tr, spl, and str. These consonant clusters consist of multiple sounds. Under SENA, each sound is considered to be adjacent to at least one other sound within the consonant cluster. Thus, a change that affects the middle of a three-consonant cluster (like adding the l in French \blw\) affects a sound that is adjacent to the other sounds in the consonant cluster. It is not adjacent to a vowel sound that precedes or follows that consonant cluster.

In English, there are also vowel pairings that represent two different sounds, though most create two separate syllables: words like hiatus, na´ve, and cooperate all have adjacent vowels that are two separate sounds. Thus, the sound represented by the a in hiatus is not adjacent to the sound represented by the h.

* From Pelican: What Searle is Good for and What Searle is not Good for

This month, a name was submitted with documentation from Searle. In August of 2008, Pelican ruled that "Searle in general should not be relied upon as the sole source of documentation for an Old English name." The kingdom, unable to confirm the spelling of the name in PASE or other sources, changed it to a similar name they could document.

The use of Searle was discouraged for good reason. Searle took names from a variety of times and places and normalized them all to late period West Saxon spellings. This includes names from elsewhere in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, but also includes continental names. Sometimes the standardized forms are quite different from the documentary forms. As such, the spellings in this source are often forms that are not attested or even plausible given our knowledge of Anglo-Saxon sources.

While the spellings are often deceptive, the citations themselves are mostly correct. When Searle claims that a man named Albrius was recorded in 1080, we can't be sure that his name was recorded as Albrius, but we can be relatively sure that a man of some spelling of that name did exist. In this case, PASE used the Middle English form Aubrey rather than the Latinized Albrius and did not include dated citations. Metron Ariston was able to locate the name (in an inflected form) in the late 11th century.

In general, then, a dated citation in Searle should not be understood to be evidence that the specific spelling is dated to that time (or to any time at all). However, it is evidence that a person with some related name (sometimes a cognate in a different language) was recorded in an Anglo-Saxon record at that time. As such, every effort should be made to find the dated form of that name.

* From Wreath: Pairs and Sheaves

Two items were pended this month for further discussion of how we handle arrangements of charges within a charge group.

SENA A3D2c requires charges in a group to be in identical postures/orientations or in an arrangement that includes posture/orientation. Precedent says:

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. [May 2012 Cover Letter]

However, A3D2c goes on to also say, "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." The charges here do not have comparable postures or orientations, but they also are not in a unified standard arrangement, as the two chisels in saltire must be blazoned separately from the crab in order to adequately describe their positioning. [William the Myllwright, R-Atenveldt, Dec 2012 LoAR]

It is possible we have overloaded the term "posture" in this case, as the rule does not explicitly say "posture/orientation" like the rest of the rule. Specifically, this month we are looking at the patterns of "two charges in saltire" and "sheaves of charges", when combined with other charges in the same charge group.

The two items pended this month had charge groups consisting of three pairs of axes in saltire and two sheaves of arrows and an axe. By current precedent, both are not registerable under A3D2c, as all require different charges within the group to be blazoned individually. However, none of these are postures, they are orientations.

It is tempting to treat the pairs of axes and the sheaves of arrows as single units; however, for purposes of considering number of charges, we count each charge: a sheaf of arrows is three charges, not one charge, and a pair of axes in saltire is two charges, not one charge. However, may we be able to treat them as a single unit for the purpose of arrangement within the charge group?

We could claim that a charge group consisting entirely of pairs of X in saltire or entirely of sheaves of X is an arrangement that includes posture/orientation, as it is an arrangement of pairs or sheaves. However, how would we treat a charge group consisting of some charges in saltire or a sheaf, plus another charge or charges? Treating the two cases separately seems to be splitting hairs way too fine. We would prefer something simple and easy to explain and apply across the board, even if it is not completely compliant with what we see in period armory.

Should we treat two charges in saltire and a sheaf of charges as a single unit only for purposes of arrangement under A3D2c:

The latter two options seem either contrary to period practice, or to be putting too great a burden of documentation on our submitters and submission heralds alike, but they are listed for the sake of completion.

Commenters are encouraged to consider these options, and any that Wreath may have overlooked, and to comment on the upcoming Letter of Discussion that will be posted soon on OSCAR. A more in-depth look at how period armory treated these patterns would be most useful.

* From The Sovereigns: A Death in the Family

We were saddened to hear that Jaelle of Armida, Argent Snail Herald Extraordinary, left our company over the night of Thursday, February 28, 2013. While she was a strong-willed and controversial figure, her influence on and contribution to SCA heraldry had much to do with making us what we are today.

While others have also been both kingdom principal herald and Laurel Sovereign, her contributions went far beyond that. She was responsible for the distribution, in the late 80's and early 90's, of many otherwise unavailable name resources - all that was easily available to many kingdoms for some for a long time. She also was responsible for furthering the heraldic training of at least three people who went on to be SCA Sovereigns of Arms.

She was not just a simple country herald. She was an accomplished cook with influence not confined to the realm of the SCA. The menu of a medieval restaurant in Estonia bears her stamp to this day. The legacy of things she touched is immense.

We are all much poorer for her passing.

* Society Pages

On Saturday, January 26, Andrewe Bawldwyn, Star Principal Herald of Ansteorra, in the presence of Their Majesties Jean Paul and Gilyan elevated Etienne de Saint Amaranth, current Golden Staff Herald and former Star Principal Herald, to the rank of Herald Extraordinary, and charged him forthwith to register a personal title.

On Saturday, February 2, Antonio Alexandre Dias de Navarra, Pennon Herald, was made a member of the Order of the Bough of Meridies. This is the kingdom's highest non-peerage service award.

On Saturday, February 16, Their Majesties Vlad and Kalisa of the Kingdom of Atlantia did induct Rosanella Vespucci and Orlaith Carey into the Order of the Golden Dolphin. This is the kingdom's highest non-peerage service award.

Also on Saturday, Their Majesties Vlad and Kalisa did make Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane a member of the Order of the Nonpareil. This Order has the lowest precedence but the highest honor in Atlantia, and may be given only once per reign to that person who best exemplifies what it means to be an Atlantian.

Please send information about happenings to major heralds and major happenings to all heralds to Laurel, so that it can be published here.

* 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 2013-03-03T22:36:30