July 16, 1979 AS XIV

To: All Members of the College of Arms

From: Wilhelm von Schlussel, Laurel King of Arms, O.L., O.P., O.L.M.


As this is my first letter as Laurel King of Arms, allow me to introduce myself. In my mundane life I am a Senior Research Technician at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. (For those who also have it, the lab is on the FTS Net.) I am also a Science Fiction Fan and a wargamer and enjoy seeing folk singers, Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, symphonies and ballets. These plus the job of Laurel fill my time. If anyone must contact me by phone, it would be easier to find me during the week at my work number (415) 486-5246. My wife is Annette of Faire Monte, Baroness, O.L., O.P., O.L.M. (Criss Annette Kindred), who is assisting me with my job as Laurel as my Secretary. We have one child, Eden of Lionsguard (Edin Rain Keyes), who will shortly be 13 years old. On August 18 we all leave for England, returning September 9, so I will be unavailable during that time.

The enormous letter of acceptances and rejections from the College of Arms conference is being computer generated by Master Hal Ravn and Mistress Dorthea of Caer Myrddin. It should hopefully be mailed by the end of the week, after it is proofread by Mistress Karina of the Far West, who is sending it out as her last act as Laurel Queen of Arms. I now have the Laurel Files, and I am beginning a regular monthly schedule. Included in this letter is the first of my monthly letters of acceptance and rejection, comprising various submissions which were overlooked at the June meeting. This brings the backlog down to two months, which is about the minimum expectable.

In order to make my job easier, and to promote more exchange of opinion and information in the College of Arms, and in accordance with the will of the Board of Directors, I hereby order all Kingdom Principal Heralds to comment on each letter of intent from each each kingdom within thirty days of its receipt. If you have no objections, just send a short note to that effect. Failure to do so for three consecutive months shall be grounds for immediate removal from office. I hope there will be no need for such action, but the College has got to get its act together. All Associate Members are urged, but not required to comment on the letters of intent. It helps me and can be very helpful and informative to all. All Kingdom Principal Heralds are charged to make sure all warranted heralds in their kingdoms are also members of the SCA Mailing List, as decreed by the Board of Directors.

As the rules were modified during the June CoA meeting, a number of submissions were rejected that would not now violate the rules. Please be on the watch for these. Any submissions which were rejected and which you feel should not have been, should be appealed back to this office for reconsideration. Also, during the next six months, until the first of January, 1980, I will entertain appeals on any past decisions by any of the past Laurels. Thereafter all past decisions will be considered to be approved by me and upheld. This does not mean I will overturn large numbers of past decisions, but it does mean I will listen with an open mind to any gripes about past decisions, in an attempt to allay any bad feelings the office may have accumulated.

Included with this letter is the first draft of my proposed article for T.I. on the Procedures and Rules of SCA Heraldry. I would like everyone to examine it and to send as soon as possible any comments, criticisms, proposals, and suggestions on wording, style, or content. I already plan to streamline and compact it a little. Now is your chance to have a last say. The completed article will be sent to all newsletters, T.I., and all members of the College of Arms, and will be the official rules of SCA Heraldry.

The membership of the College has changed in the last few months. I have placed the three past Laurels among the Associate Members of the College as Laurels Emerita, so that they may receive copies of all CoA correspondence and comment on them. It would be a shame to lose the amount of experience and knowledge they have. I understand both the Beacon and Brigantia Principal Heralds offices will be changing hands, but I do not know the names and addresses of their successors. I want each Principal Herald to prepare and send to the College of Arms members copies of a roster of the warranted heralds in their kingdom, with names, titles, mundane names, and addresses and phone numbers. I include below the current membership of the College of Arms:

Full Members:

Laurel King of Arms: Wilhelm von Schlussel

William R, Keyes, 2326 McGee St., Berkeley, Cal. 94704 (415) 548-1794, 486-5246

Clarion King of Arms: Vacant

Vesper Principal Herald: Aelfwynn Gyrthesdohtor

Cynara Branden, 2532-A Regent St., Berkeley, Cal. 94704 (415) 549-1437

Brigantia Principal Herald: Gyrth Oldcastle of Ravenspur

Gerald O'Leary, 13206 Midway Ave., Rockville, Maryland 20851

Dragon Principal Herald: Daemon de Folo

F.L. Watkins, 805 E, Green #1, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (207) 384-7333

Aten Principal Herald: Baldwin of Erebor

Derek G, Foster, 825 Valencia Dr. SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108

Beacon Principal Herald: Taliesynne, Nychemwrh

Kem Cason, 1006 1/2 Drew /st., Apt. E, Clearwater, Florida 33515

Crescent Principal Herald: Conrad von Regensburg

Carl Cipra, 22416 Ocean Ave. #110, Torrence, Cal. 90505 (213) 375-2073

Star Principal Herald: Aurelian Rigel O'Cadal

Jeanne-Marie Efferding, 1408 Shelmar Dr., Arlington, Texas 76014

Associate Members:

Laurel Emeritus: Harold Breakstone

Clint Bigglestone, 386 Alcatraz Ave., Oakland, Cal. 94618 (415) 655-7168

Laurel Emeritus: Ioseph of Locksley, The Rhymer

W.J. Bethancourt III, PO Box 35190, Phoenix, Arizona 85069

Laurel Emeritus: Karina of the Far West

Karen Anderson, 3 las Palomas, Orinda, Cal. 94563 (415) 254-0691

Virgule Herald: Alfgar the Sententious

William Linden, 83-33 Austin St. (4-S), Kew Gardena, New York 11415 (212) 441-2729

Black Lion Herald: Catherine Winifred of Tor Bitterroot (An Tir)

Sherry Laing, 1755 NW 62nd, Seattle, Wash. 98107 (206) 782-2743

Triton Herald: Moira us Seamus (Atlantia)

Sherna Comerford, 5400 Gallatin St., Hyatsville, Maryland 20781

Sun Herald: Matsya Candra (The Sun)

Alice Littel, Box 3207, Luke AFB, Glendale, Arizona, 85309

Outlands Herald: Rhonwen y Llysieuydd (Outlands)

Julia Howarth, 3240 S. 600 E, Salt Lake City, Utah 84106 (801) 485-9039

A Principal Herald can delegate the duties of correspondence with the College of Arms, but not the responsibility. The Dragon Principal Herald has delegated his correspondence duties to the Dragon Herald Surrogate, and the Crescent Principal Herald has delegated his correspondence duties to the El Munadi Herald. The letters of intent and comments should be sent to these subordinates.

Dragon Herald Surrogate: Emeric Wendel the Diversified

Steve Schwall, 303 Perrin Ave., Lafayette, Indiana 47904

El Munadi Herald: John ap Griffin

John Trimble, 696 S. Bronson Ave., Los Angeles, Cal. 90005, (415) 386-1454

Included with this letter are copies of the official heraldic forms that I wish everyone to use from now on. If a kingdom or principality wishes to, they may use a form which has more information on it, but I do not want anything less than these forms. Each kingdom should make up copies of these forms and distribute them to the local heralds. I suggest making up three Emblazon sheets, with the other two having a lozenge and roundel, respectively, instead of a heater. The final blazon as written in the letter of intent should be the one used in the official blazon section on the emblazon sheet. I greatly encourage each kingdom to print up minutes of each meeting, and to distribute these. I want copies of any minutes. I would like quarterly reports from each Principal Herald as to the state of the kingdom college and information on any current problems. I want to be kept informed, so I do not become an isolated office. I will expect a financial statement from each Principal Herald by the end of January, 1980.

I wish to standardize the heraldic ranks in the SCA. At the top is the Laurel Sovereign of Arms and Laurel's chief deputy, the Clarion King of Arms. Next are the Principle Heralds of each kingdom. Next are the titled Heralds of the Principalities and the Kingdoms. Each Principal Herald can create as many titled Heralds as necessary to fill the positions on the roster, but the number should be kept small. There should be no untitled Heralds. The next level is that of the titled Pursuivants. These should be in charge of a branch's heraldic functions or of a specific heraldic function, such as the order of precedence. A title is an office, and an office carries with it a title. Herald and Pursuivant are ranks. Herald is a brevet rank, held while in office so as to outrank Pursuivants. Once a Herald leaves the office, if he or she stays in the College then he or she should retain the rank of Pursuivant, without title. Titled Pursuivants outrank untitled Pursuivants. The rank of Pursuivant should be given to those mebers of the College who have proven themselves to be a competent, responsible and active herald.

When a Titled Pursuivant leaves the office the title is lost but the rank should remain, so long as the Pursuivant was not removed for cause and remains active in the College. Under the rank of Pursuivant is the rank of Pursuivant Extraordinary. This is the lowest warranted rank in the College. It is given to those persons who have shown reasonable competence at field heraldry and/or book heraldry, who continue to be active, and who can be trusted to handle a device submission or field heraldry without supervision. All warranted heralds must be a member of the SCA Mailing List, either subscribing, associate or family member, as they are officers of the College and thereby of the SCA.

Below the Pursuivants Extraordinary is the lowest rank of heralds, that of Cornet. This is a non-warranted rank given to heralds-in-training. They should be under the supervision of the local herald in charge. Household heralds can fall under this rank. Cornets do not have to be members of the SCA Mailing Lists, as they are not warranted and therefore not officers.

When the situation arises that a Pursuivant Extraordinary must assume the duties of a Titled Pursuivancy, such as a Baronial Pursuivancy, but the P.E. has not yet, in the eyes of the superior heralds, qualified for the rank of Pursuivant, then the herald retains the rank of Pursuivant Extraordinary and is given the title with the word acting in front. As an example, if Joh of Trent, Pursuivant Extraordinary in the Barony of the Great Marshes, was to be suddenly drafted to fill th epost of Swamp Pursuivant for the Barony because the previous holder had to move away and there was nobody of Pursuivant rank available to take the post, and John himself was not yet ready for the rank of Pursuivant, then his superior would nominate him for the post and send his name to the Principal Herald, who would warrant him as Joh of Trent, Pursuivant Extraordinary, Acting Swamp Pursuivant. This could be shortened to Swamp Pursuivant Extraordinary, although that isn't quite kosher grammatically. I do not need copies of warrants. The kingdom rosters will suffice.

Please make any checks sent to me as Laurel Kings of Arms out to the College of Arms. I have opened a checking account under that name and will obtain a stamp with which to endorse such checks. The fees are $2 for a device or badge, $1 for a name alone, and the same for any changes. Please send only one check per batch of submissions. Do not send cash.

After the large letter of acceptances and rejections goes out we will begin working on putting out a new edition of the SCA Ordinary and Armorial incorporating it all. This should hopefully be out in about a month, depending on how much work is needed at the computer terminal to get it ready. I would like each Principal Herald to send out copies of the kingdom's Order of Precedence at least once a year to the members of the College of Arms. The West Kingdom has instituted an Alphabetical List of Armigers, with all awards. I highly recommend this to other kingdoms. In order to reduce the financial burden on the Kingdom Colleges by the large batch of submissions processed at the June College meeting, I am rebating to the kingdom colleges 25 cents per submission to cover the costs of sending individual letters of acceptance or rejection to each person who had a submission acted on. This is a one time action only. Every Kingdom College should have a copy of Papworth's Ordinary.

This concludes this letter. I shall try to keep up my end of the bargain and keep this office running smoothly and on schedule. I will be happy to reply to any questions and will consider any proposals. Pray believe, My Lords and My Ladies, that I remain

Your Servant.

Wilhelm von Schlussel, Laurel King of Arms