Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

427 W Ave
Spokane, WA 99203
+1 509 570 4189
laurel@heraldry.sca.org

For the November 2020 meetings, printed December 31, 2020

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

* From Laurel: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

It's hard to believe it's been three years, but it has -- a little longer, in fact. I've enjoyed more than I can say being the head of the College of Arms for this time. But I'm also looking forward to the next phase: getting back to commenting, being "just" Siren Herald again.

When you do a job like this, you accumulate a list of debts that it's hard to put into words. So if I miss anyone here, please know it's just the list is so long. First and foremost, I'd like to thank Emma de Fetherstan, my predecessor (briefly) and my successor (not so briefly). She's been post-meeting clerk for us through all of this, the one who keeps the business of LoARs on track, as well as part of my brain trust. I can't imagine a better set of hands in which to leave the College.

Second, I'd like to thank again my subordinate sovereigns, Alys and Cormac, Oddr and Elizabeth. I can't tell you how much fun it was working with you. The same is true with the staff, whether the eternal Herveus d'Ormonde, stalwarts like Ursula Georges, or newer heralds like Seraphina Delphino and Lilie Dubh inghean uí Mórdha.

I've been blessed with a great bunch of principal heralds, who've helped heraldry survive and thrive in what might be the biggest crisis that the Society has ever lived through. Keep strong until we can be together once again. I've also been lucky enough to have a great Board ombudsman, Bartholomew Hightower (Dan Watson). My deepest appreciation also to the commenters, the proofreaders, and those who come to decision meetings: we depend on you and your hard work month after month. Thanks to all of you.

Finally, I want to thank my wife, Richenda du Jardin, Sphynx Herald. You've managed so much while I've been doing this work. I love you and look forward to seeing what both of us do next.

* From Laurel: New Sign Herald Deputy

I want to thank Marie le Mains for her time in office -- she stepped up before I did and has done great things as she carried on the work that Nesscia so ably began. The community of sign heralds has grown and matured under her watch.

I'm pleased to announce her successor, Suzanne de la Ferté. Suzanne has worked as a kingdom sign herald in multiple kingdoms; we're thrilled that she's willing to move on to the Society stage. She introduces herself below, so I'll leave the rest to her.

* From Society Silent Herald Deputy: Introduction

Unto the heralds of the Known World and all those who read these words, especially the silent heralds and the deaf and hard of hearing community they serve, may the peace of this joyous holiday season surround you.

Greetings! You may know me as Maestra Suzanne de la Ferté. I officially assume the position of Society Sign/Silent Herald Deputy to Laurel Queen of Arms, Baroness Emma de Fetherstan, OP, on January 1, 2021. My deepest thanks to her and our outgoing Laurel Queen of Arms, Mistress Juliana de Luna, for their belief in me.

For those who do not know me, I reside in Atlantia, in the Canton of Charlesbury Crossing which is within the Barony of Sacred Stone (Marshville, North Carolina - just southeast of Charlotte). I moved to Atlantia this past November to join a wonderful local IT consulting firm. As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), I have been signing all my life, over 50 years, and was a professional interpreter for the deaf for several years after graduating from school. My grandparents, parents, and siblings are all Deaf. My husband, HL Angus de Botha, lost his hearing due to his military service. I have been doing sign heraldry and heraldic art for my entire SCA career (just shy of 25 years). I started out as Ansteorra's first Silent Herald, then went on to be Calontir's first Goodhand Herald (kingdom sign herald). I continued silent heralding when we moved to Northshield and am now a sign/silent herald for the Kingdom of Atlantia. I am easiest to reach by email or Facebook messenger.

I am excited by this opportunity to further knowledge of Sign/Silent Heraldry and how we can support the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities around the world. I look forward to serving in the College of Heralds and to meeting more of you in person (soon, I hope) or at virtual online events. If you are interested, please join us at our Zoom practice session every Thursday evening.

* From Laurel: Other New Officers

Several other deputies have quietly stepped into place over the last month or two, and we'd like to note them and their predecessors now.

The new Palimpsest Herald, popularly known as our "rules" deputy, is Jeanne Marie Lacroix. Herself a past Wreath Queen of Arms, Jeanne Marie has long been involved in the College of Arms and will be able to ably pick up where Ursula Georges left off. Ursula has done a phenominal job of keeping track of changes we've proposed and made to SENA and our other policies; we certainly wouldn't be half as organized without her.

With our previous postmeeting clerk, Emma de Fetherstan, finding her hands full with her new office, we've returned to a previous postmeeting clerk, Reis ap Tuder ap Wyn, to take over the job once more. This time around, we're adding a heraldic title to the office: Silver Staple Herald.

And last but certainly not least, our own Cormac Mór, most recently Wreath King of Arms, is taking up the new job of handling redraws under the "pend for redraw" process. The title for this new office will be Quarterstaff Herald, and is reachable at redraw@heraldry.sca.org.

* From Wreath: On Named Motifs

This month, we were faced with an appeal from the Kingdom of Caid regarding their motif, four crescents conjoined in saltire, horns outward, and their desire that it be blazoned a cross of Caid.

The history of this request spans decades, and we need not recite its history here. For the present case, Caid presented a lengthy research paper written by Ariana Crescent, discussing names of crosses in period and their construction, as well as the treatment of the saltire. This is an excellent paper on the topic, and the author is to be commended for their work.

The paper presents evidence that saltires as charges were sometimes referred to as crosses (e.g., "C'est une sorte de croix"), but it does not completely resolve one of the historical complaints: whether four crescents in saltire horns outward would be viewed as a cross in period. Though evidence is provided showing a number of charges arranged in cross being blazoned as some variation of a cross of [charge], we note that the examples provided involve non-compact charges: a pale and a fess; four ermine spots; two trees couped with boughs also couped as the cross raguly; or four filbert nuts as depicted in Guillim, called the Cross Avelane or Crux avelana.

However, evidence for compact charges such as the crescent was lacking. The examples cited for bezants, lozenges, and mascles each entail more than four charges arranged to form a cross by noticably extending arms from a central charge as we might see in Society armory today. We do not feel we can justify equating four compact charges conjoined in saltire to a saltire of charges, let alone a cross thereof.

Thankfully, we need not consider that question nor any implication for conflict in Society submissions. It is the matter of blazon, not conflict, that is at the core of Caid's appeal, and the paper provides excellent support for the general topic of named motifs as blazon shorthand -- a period practice we may emulate in the Society without concerning ourselves with classification. It is this practice that allows us to take the charge arrangement of a cross potent between in saltire four crosses couped and call it a Cross of Jerusalem, the charged field Argent, a cross gules as a Cross of Saint George, and similarly a saltire, also termed a Cross of Saint Andrew, each after long-held associations with kingdoms and revered persons. Named motifs are part of the shared language of blazon even today in the Society, and represent a class of mnemonics based on cultural associations rather than literal interpretations. Ultimately, this is the resolution that we have chosen.

Starting with the cross of Caid (with lowercase "cross", but see the note regarding capitalization, below), defined elsewhere on this Cover Letter, we will allow kingdoms the opportunity to each propose a single motif relevant to themselves.

There are, of course, one or two small considerations which must be discussed.

Philosophical approach:

Names of motifs:

Design of motifs:

Use by submitters:

Kingdoms interested in proceeding down this path should carefully consider what they wish to enshrine as an undeniable reference to their identity and place in our Society. Kingdoms are encouraged to work with the College of Arms to determine how best to balance the needs of submitters with the design of their intended motif.

* From Wreath: Named motif: "cross of Caid"

Effective immediately, a cross of Caid as proposed by the Kingdom of Caid is defined as the tinctureless arrangement of charges, four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward.

* From Wreath: Kudos

While she will no doubt be the target of more close-to-home thanks, I extend kudos to Ariana Crescent. It is one thing to appeal a decision you disagree with, even one with as long and impassioned history of being declined as the cross of Caid. It is quite another to do so backed by data which addresses the reason for prior return, and to do so in such a way that enables not just one person, or even a entire kingdom, but all kingdoms and people across the Society to enjoy the fruits of one's labor. In working with the College, rather than at odds with it, she turned what had been a dubious and unfortunate tradition into an opportunity to enrich our practice. This is a level of collegiality and fellowship we can all strive for, and I look forward to working with her in the future.

* From Wreath: On Oriental

For several decades, the use of the term "Oriental" has been increasingly seen as tainted by a history of racism against the people of east Asia, their culture, and their artifacts: I myself encountered this fact as a student in the mid-1990s. And while it is true that every person's experience is their own, it is also true that the problems of racism and bigotry remain, and that a term that once simply meant "Eastern" now encompasses other baggage which we do not intend to carry.

Therefore, effective immediately, we are discontinuing use of the term "Oriental" to disambiguate charge variants. New blazon will be determined and appropriate reblazons will occur as we proceed.

Affected charges to be reblazoned soon include:

There are other variants of charges, such as the dragon, the griffin, the sea-dog, and the bat, which are also to be considered, and we will be determining their disposition shortly.

* From Wreath: On Flames

This month, Iago Coquille takes us on an excursion through the depictions of flames in period heraldry. His article is currently available at the Laurel website at https://heraldry.sca.org/armory/flames/, and discusses:

Iago's research affects two items this month. Specifically, we are now overturning precedent: the so-called "crab-claw" depiction, previously viewed as modern as declared on the September 2019 Cover Letter, is now shown to be period and, therefore, usable in Society armory. It is worth noting that not all the sources are Italian -- English, French, and German sources are also represented among others.

Additionally, the ways in which multi-color flames have been depicted in period are much more varied than is typical of our practice. In particular, we now have sufficient evidence to support a variety of ways in which flames may incorporate both red and yellow and still be considered proper, extending beyond our long-held standard of alternating tongues of Or and gules, and future submissions will benefit from this evidence.

All are encouraged to give the article a look.

* From Wreath: On Appendix K and Sheaves of Charges

This month we were presented with a submission involving a comparison in arrangement between a design with three pairs of charges in saltire, and another design with strewn charges. This is not the first time we had to consider such a case.

In April 2018, it was ruled that an SC existed between eight arrows in annulo and nine arrows grouped into three sheaves themselves arranged two and one:

[Argent, eight arrows in annulo points to center sable] is not in conflict with the device of Aidan of Kilkenny, Argent, three sheaves of arrows sable flighted vert. There is a substantial change in arrangement from two and one to in in annulo [sic]. [Kingdom of Æthelmearc, A-Æthelmearc, Apr 2018]

This decision is based on SENA A5E4, granting an SC for difference in arrangement, which is applicable because the charge groups being compared are the primary charge groups of each item. This month, however, we are presented with deriving DCs between secondary groups, which is covered in SENA A5G6.

SENA A5G6 relies on Appendix K for determining comparability for differences in arrangement. Appendix K states for its part, "If the arrangement of either group is not listed below, then they are not in a standard arrangement and no DC can generally be given for arrangement between the two designs.". In the Æthelmearc decision we considered two groups of four or more charges, one in annulo (and listed in Appendix K), the other in three sheaves arranged two and one (not listed for four or more charges). By a strict reading, we would not be able to declare a DC between eight arrows in annulo and three sheaves of arrows, but such a decision is unsatisfying: We see, plainly, that no reasonably-depicted semy arrangement would appear as three well-placed sheaves, or vice versa, and it would be awkward for a difference which is rated substantial enough to completely clear two items of conflict in the primary case would not also be distinct enough to grant any difference in the secondary case. To resolve this disagreement, we must recognize that the sheaves are themselves in a standard arrangement when considered as unitary sheaves, and infer that arrangement of sheaves to also be a standard arrangement for the constituent charges. That is, nine charges arranged in three sheaves two and one is a standard arrangement because, for three charges, two and one is a standard arrangement.

For purposes of applying this principle, a pair of charges is considered similar to a sheaf in this regard.

We hereby direct Palimpsest to provide suitable wording to update Appendix K.

* From Wreath: On Clouds

In the February 1994 return of Damales Redbeard's badge for Maison du Cheval Volant, Azure, on a cloud argent, a horseshoe inverted sable, it was stated:

[...] the cloud here is not drawn in a period manner, but is the modern "cotton candy" form of cloud.

This precedent has been directly quoted a number of times over the years, as recently as the July 2016 LoAR, which was itself cited earlier this year in the May 2020 pend for redraw of Thórey Knýtir Thórkelsdóttir's badge, (Fieldless) A natural rainbow proper its clouds transfixed by an arrow fesswise reversed purpure.

This month we were asked to consider a design involving another "cotton candy" cloud, maintained by a beast with its mouth in like manner as we might see a zephyr's exhalation. Commenters were able to identify a number of clouds in period armory to support this design, the clouds ranging from the traditional scallop-edged form in use in the Society to the "cotton candy" form denied by the February 1994 precedent:

With this evidence, we are overturning the previous precedent, and now allow a more naturalistic depiction of clouds. In light of the regional nature of the evidence, we choose not to blazon them natural, and instead leave the style as artistic license in the same way we choose not to blazon the differences between German unicorns and English unicorns.

As always, identifiability of the cloud must be maintained, no matter the style.

* From Pelican: Alternate Arabic and English Titles

In her August 18, 2020 Letter, Palimpsest proposed a series of spelling changes to Arabic alternate titles based on research work done by Lord Basil Dragonstrike of An Tir. We hereby accept the following spelling changes and direct Palimpsest to update the List of Alternate Titles accordingly:

We thank Lord Basil for his hard work and contributions.

In addition, she proposed the gender-neutral title Laureate as an English alternate title for members of the Order of the Laurel and the gender-neutral title Magister as an English alternate title for any of the polling peerage orders. These proposals are hereby accepted, and we direct Palimpsest to update the List of Alternate Titles accordingly.

We thank Dame Ursula for her hard work and contributions.

* From Pelican: Medieval Swedish Titles

Birgitta Lulli, Töllöö Herald, proposed changes to the list of alternate titles at https://heraldry.sca.org/titles.html on the Drachenwald Letter of Intent dated August 31, 2020. This proposal modifies all of the titles in the Medieval Swedish table. These changes encompass research done by Birgitta and Memorantia van de Linde, Albion Herald, and reflect spellings that are closer to the titles used by modern speakers of the Swedish language.

Many alternate spellings have been released. This is to make the table easier to navigate and also to provide some consistency. There are multiple spellings of all of the English titles in the Alternate Titles table, but we do not take the time to list them all. Rather, the ones that are most recognizable are in the table, providing a springboard for those interested to begin research into other spellings that may fit a certain period of time or culture that they are trying to portray. Accents can be dropped if needed to be consistent with an individual's name. The Alternate Titles list is not intended to be the final authority on spelling.

We are therefore making the following changes:

All other alternate titles for Medieval Swedish are hereby released.

As the Society's hierarchy does not fit a particular historic model, some of its ranks do not have period-appropriate equivalents in all languages. Such is the case with Medieval Swedish. Modern Swedish has words for the Viscounty rank even though the rank still does not exist in Sweden; these are masculine Viscomte and feminine Viscomtessa. We thereby direct Palimpsest to create a new table called Lingua Societatis Swedish, to include the following:

All of the other categories of this table should be marked as "same as period form", since all of the other Medieval Swedish titles are still in use in Modern Swedish.

We wish to thank Friherrinna Birgitta and Mistress Memorantia for their extensive work and contributions.

* Society Pages

In belated news, Mira Fastova, Keythong Herald of Northshield, was created an Herald Extraordinary at the Ethereal Court of Northshield for Warriors and Warlords on July 11. It was given by Katerinka Polaris with the approval of Their Royal Majesties Ciaran and Elis.

On December 5, 2020, in the court of Theuderic and Engelin of Lochac, Amanda Martel was granted a Silver Pegasus for her service as Crux Australis Principal Herald. The Silver Pegasus is Lochac's grant-level service award.

We'd like to resume a previous tradition of noting the change in office of kingdom principal heralds and submission heralds. To that end, Anwyn Davies is the new Crux Australis for the kingdom of Lochac.

In similar news, on December 13, 2020, in the court of Tindal and Alberic of the East, Yehuda ben Moshe stepped up as Brigantia Principal Herald of the East, taking over from Malcolm Bowman.

Also on December 13, 2020, in consideration of Malcolm Bowman's long, excellent, and diligent heraldic service to the kingdom, Yehuda Brigantia did at that time create him a Herald Extraordinary. We'd like to add our thanks to Malcolm for his service as Brigantia.

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. All submission forms plus documentation, including petitions, must be posted to the OSCAR online system. While black-and-white emblazons must be included in the Letter of Intent, only colored armory forms need to be posted in the forms area.

Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent to Trent Le Clair, 928 Frazier Dr, Walla Walla WA 99362

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 http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/lists.html#lists for more instructions.

For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.

* Scheduling

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 http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=137.

The November Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, November 8, 2020 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, November 7, 2020. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Meridies (01 Aug, 2020), Trimaris (01 Aug, 2020), Middle (04 Aug, 2020), Calontir (08 Aug, 2020), An Tir (10 Aug, 2020), Artemisia (15 Aug, 2020), Palimpsest Other Letter (18 Aug, 2020), Æthelmearc (23 Aug, 2020), Ealdormere (24 Aug, 2020), Lochac (24 Aug, 2020), Atlantia (26 Aug, 2020), Avacal (29 Aug, 2020), Ansteorra (30 Aug, 2020), Atenveldt (30 Aug, 2020), Caid (30 Aug, 2020), Caid (31 Aug, 2020), Drachenwald Other Letter (31 Aug, 2020), Drachenwald (31 Aug, 2020), East (31 Aug, 2020), and Laurel LoPaD (29 Sep, 2020) (redraws). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Saturday, October 31, 2020.

The December Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, December 13, 2020 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, December 5, 2020. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Lochac (01 Sep, 2020), Meridies (01 Sep, 2020), Middle (03 Sep, 2020), Palimpsest Rules Letter (08 Sep, 2020), An Tir (10 Sep, 2020), Laurel Other Letter (10 Sep, 2020), Trimaris (19 Sep, 2020), Avacal (23 Sep, 2020), Ealdormere (24 Sep, 2020), Calontir (25 Sep, 2020), Atlantia (28 Sep, 2020), Laurel LoPaD (28 Sep, 2020), West (28 Sep, 2020), Æthelmearc (29 Sep, 2020), Artemisia (29 Sep, 2020), Outlands (29 Sep, 2020), Ansteorra (30 Sep, 2020), Atenveldt (30 Sep, 2020), Caid (30 Sep, 2020), Drachenwald (30 Sep, 2020), East (30 Sep, 2020), Northshield (30 Sep, 2020), West Other Letter (30 Sep, 2020), and Laurel LoPaD (21 Oct, 2020) (redraws). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Monday, November 30, 2020.

The January Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, January 10, 2021 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, January 16, 2021. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Trimaris (01 Oct, 2020), Meridies (02 Oct, 2020), Calontir (04 Oct, 2020), An Tir (09 Oct, 2020), Palimpsest Other Letter (13 Oct, 2020), Laurel LoPaD (22 Oct, 2020), Ealdormere (24 Oct, 2020), Æthelmearc (26 Oct, 2020), Outlands (26 Oct, 2020), Atlantia (27 Oct, 2020), Avacal (28 Oct, 2020), Caid (29 Oct, 2020), Atenveldt (30 Oct, 2020), Ansteorra (31 Oct, 2020), Drachenwald (31 Oct, 2020), East (31 Oct, 2020), Northshield (31 Oct, 2020), Laurel LoPaD (05 Nov, 2020) (redraws), and Laurel LoPaD (02 Dec, 2020) (redraws). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Thursday, December 31, 2020.

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.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Juliana de Luna
Laurel Queen of Arms


Created at 2020-12-30T22:21:59