From the Editor:
Unto all who read this missive, now and in the future, from Pedro de Alcazar, the editor of Heralds' Point, greetings!
Now that the sunny skies have grown grey with the snows of winter, it is time for us to look to the festivities of 12th Night. I would like to ask any and all heralds who will be at Atlantian 12th Night to consider stopping by the consulting table, as a way of meeting colleagues and helping our fellow Atlantians.
I would also like to take this opportunity to greet the newest member of Triton's staff, Cassandra Arabella Giordani. She is our new Clerk of Precedence, having recently assumed the office from Mistress Mordeyrn Tremayne. I asked her to write a few words for Heralds' Point:
Greetings to the Atlantian College of Heralds from your new Clerk of Precedence!
I realize that many of you do not know me, as I have not often travelled in the heraldic circles in my time in the SCA. So I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.
In the SCA, I am known as Cassandra Arabella Giordani. I attended my first SCA activities in October of 2001, brought in simultaneously on two fronts, singing and fencing, by two separate parties. In the end, I yielded to the two-pronged attack, and the SCA has become a significant part of my life. Although it has been some time since I fenced, I am still actively involved in Alle Psallite, Ponte Alto's choral group.
Since then, I have bridged some of my modern day interests into my SCA play. Among other things, I am a juggler. I've been teaching juggling at the Maryland Renaissance Festival for several years, and am a member of the Fairfax Juggling Club in Fairfax County, VA. I have been known to juggle (and sometimes sing while juggling) for bardic competitions, and have taught juggling classes at several Performer's Symposiums. All my musical and bardic-related involvement eventually led to my apprenticing to Mistress Anne of Carthew in the summer of 2004. (And if there are any juggling club passers out there, introduce yourselves!! It's always more fun to throw things at other people than at yourself....) Speaking of things flying through the air, I am also an authorized Siege Engineer, and have crewed Atlantian Siege Engines at the last two Pennsic Wars.
In the real world, I am a software developer, developing applications and databases for a Department of Defense contractor. I have been working with databases for 10 years, and web applications for 7 years. In March 2004, I stepped up as the Web Minister for the Barony of Ponte Alto, where I converted the entirely static HTML web site into a more database-driven one. Since one of my predecessors in this position was also a herald, a Baronial Order of Precedence and Roll of Arms were some of the items I converted to dynamically generate from a database. In so doing (and little did I know, then!), I laid a foundation for taking on the Clerk of Precedence job today. Other SCA web sites I have created include the feast reservation systems for 12th Night (2005 and 2006) and Coronation (Spring 2005). Also, web sites for the Order of the Laurel and Order of the Pearl (integrated with the new Order of Precedence web site) are scheduled for launch at 12th Night 2006. Working on all these web sites in the last year and a half, I have developed a good working relationship with our Kingdom Web Minister, Meistr Gruffudd ap Cadfael, which should serve me well as I begin my term as Clerk of Precedence.
You may have noticed the lack of heraldic activities in my list of SCA accomplishments. This is quite true. I bring web and database experience to this position, but I am counting on the collective wisdom of the College of Heralds to assist me as I get started in this new role. I ask for your patience and understanding as I work with Triton and his staff to get up to speed on things heraldic.
In the meantime, keep sending in those Court Reports, both Royal and Baronial, along with corrections and updates, and I will see about keeping the database up to date!
Signora Cassandra Arabella Giordani
Clerk of Precedence, Kingdom of Atlantia
Signora Cassandra was present at Unevent earlier this month. She was kind enough to provide me with notes of the proceedings, which have been vetted by Triton. As this is the official quarterly of the College of Heralds of Atlantia, it was felt that these proceedings ought to be put in this issue, so that every herald could see them. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Cassandra for providing Heralds' Point with these notes-Pedro
Unevent - Heralds Meeting
All Atlantian Heralds should subscribe to the email list either via the Yahoo Group web site: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AtlantianHeralds/ or by sending email to AtlantianHeraldsfirstname.lastname@example.org or Triton (email@example.com).
Since Mistress Alisoun stepped up as Golden Dolphin Herald, Atlantia has had a 92% success rate on submission items passing Laurel. This is definitely a better than average rate.
The Internal Letter of Intent (ILOI) process for Kingdom Level submissions has passed its trial period and is now firmly part of the Atlantian submissions process. Consulting via email has removed the geographic barriers preventing many heralds from participating in meetings, as well as allowing newer heralds to learn by asking questions "on the side" without disturbing the flow of commentary by more senior heralds.
The Laurel College of Arms has been talking about changing the submissions forms to clear up some of the authenticity confusion. Once these new forms have been finalized, the Golden Dolphin Herald will work with the Atlantian College of Heralds (CoH) web minister to create PDFs of the submissions forms that can be filled in online and printed (except for the drawing of devices/badges). Then at least the text should be legible more often.
Heralds accepting submissions are reminded of the following
- Only warranted heralds may send in submissions. Warrants can be verified on the CoH Roster web site: http://herald.atlantia.sca.org/roster/index.htm If roster information is incorrect, send corrections to Triton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Don't forget to put your name on the forms in the "Consulting herald" lines so that Golden Dolphin may keep you in the loop on your clients' submissions!
- Checks must be made out to "College of Heralds of Atlantia/SCA Inc." NOT the College of Arms.
- Once money is received from a client, the submission MUST be sent to Golden Dolphin within 14 days. Do NOT accept a check until the submission packet is ready to send.
- If items from your clients have been returned, keep on top of the timelines. Remind the client that they have 12 months to resubmit without extra cost, but after that they will have to send more money to register their items. If six months or nine months have passed and they have not resubmitted, remind them.
- Set a good example! If you have a registered name, USE IT. If you don't like your registered name and are using something else, get the new name registered! If you, as a herald, blow off your registered name, clients are not likely to take the submissions process seriously.
- Make sure your email ISP/software accepts emails from the Golden Dolphin Herald (email@example.com) so you can receive email updates on the status of your clients' submissions.
Although post office rates will be increasing next year, with our high submissions success rate and the financially good shape of the CoH, no submissions rate increase is expected.
Current submissions timelines:
Month 1: Complete submissions packet (forms, documentation, check) received by Golden Dolphin
Month 2: Kingdom ILOI - If the item passes Kingdom, it will be submitted to Laurel College of Arms (CoA) at the end of Month 2.
Months 3-5: Comment/reply period for Laurel CoA
Month 6: Laurel makes decision
Month 9: Decisions reported to Kingdom Submissions heralds and letters mailed to clients
Laurel decision letters should be sent at Month 7. There is currently a letter backlog: the August 2005 Laurel decisions were reported to Golden Dolphin in November 2005. The Laurel office is catching up with the backlog, though, since last year the May 2004 decisions were what was reported in November 2004.
Signora Cassandra Arabella Giordani stepped up as Atlantian Clerk of Precedence. Please send all court reports, within two weeks of heralding court, to the Clerk of Precedence (firstname.lastname@example.org), Triton (email@example.com) and the presiding crowns/coronets. Triton would like to remind all court heralds that this is not just a guideline, but a requirement of Atlantian Policy: http://law.atlantia.sca.org/Policy.html#2.9 Baronial heralds are asked to review the baronial award listings on the new OP web site at http://op.atlantia.sca.org and send updated lists to the Clerk of Precedence. Please send other updates and corrections to the OP via the Corrections form on the new OP web site.
Signora Cassandra Arabella Giordani
Clerk of Precedence, Kingdom of Atlantia
Soundings of the Conch
Donal sent me his article just in time for me to slip it into this issue. I very much look forward to his future articles-Pedro
Soundings of the Conch, Donal Mac Ruiseart, Conch Pursuivant
On the Importance of Announcing
Upon accepting the job of training and instruction for voice heralds and taking the traditional title of Conch, I reflected on what goals I had for this office.
One is to encourage the practice of heralding and improve its quality and prestige.
From what I've heard so far, there are many good voice heralds in Atlantia, but there can NEVER be too many; so I hope to be able to recruit more as time goes by.
I've already had conversations with gentles who feel that voice heralds, especially those who don't do much "book heraldry," are not given much attention by the members of this august College. I suspect there may be a sense among many th at heralding (the vocal side of our craft) is less important than heraldry (the "book" side).
While I will not try to rank heralding in relation to heraldry, I will very strongly point out that heralding is a very important art. Voice heralds are among the most visible (and certainly the most audible) of officers. Their importance should n ot be overlooked.
No other officer has the implicit and explicit responsibility to be the voice of the Crown or Coronet.
No other officer has the right to wear Royal or Baronial arms undifferenced. (More about that later.)
A good voice herald can make the difference between a brawl in the backyard and a chivalric tourney.
A good herald can make a Court move more smoothly, enable those in attendance to understand at least some of the proceedings, and add the element of pageantry which is a good part of the Dream.
In Britain, the practice of law involves two professions: The solicitor who does research and prepares a case, and the barrister who presents the case in court. Some may consider the barrister's job easier than the solicitor's, but their fees are comparable. The professions are complementary, mutually supporting. In the US, the single profession of attorney handles both phases of the craft, and there are those who specialize in one or the other phase, and there are those who do it all.
So it is in the College of Heralds. There are specialists in many of the areas of this office. There are those who specialize in names, those who specialize in armory, and those who specialize in heralding. There are those who do some of all, or some of some and all of others. Like the SCA itself, the College is a big tent held up by many different supports, all of which contribute to its functions.
Don't sell the vocal heralds short. They-we-are the ones everyone sees and hears.
On the Proper Garb of Heralds
Now, this is the "later" to which I alluded above.
Until fairly recently, few heralds in Atlantia wore actual heraldic tabards. The standard for many years was the green tabard with the heralds' badge, the crossed gold trumpets. A dozen or so years ago, Baroness Clare de Crecy created heraldic tabards for the heralds of the Baronies then extant in the Kingdom. I believe that worthy lady also made one for Triton. Thus began the adoption of proper tabards in this noble realm.
However, there is a sort of custom that has existed for some time, that only THE herald of a branch can wear a heraldic tabard bearing that branch’s arms. There is nothing in law or history, though, to support this.
Rene' of Anjou's Book of the Tournament shows several heralds wearing matching tabards (Figure 1). The king of arms (in the hat) wears a sort of cloak over his, a temporary item for that tourney.
Figure 1: Heralds in Matching Tabards, from Rene' of Anjou's Tournament Book
Several other examples can be seen of heralds in the service of the same monarch wearing matching tabards. Figure 2 shows a procession of the English Officers of Arms. Their tabards all bear the same emblazon.
Figure 2: English Heralds from a Tournament Book, Reign of Henry VII
It is my hope that EVERY branch in Atlantia would have at least one, and preferably more, herald's tabards bearing the branch arms. Any warranted herald serving the group at an event could legitimately wear such a tabard. And, for that matter, all the heralds on the Triton staff could legitimately wear the Atlantian arms. The events where this would be most dramatically shown are Crown Tourneys, where four or more heralds are calling the Lists.
For the sake of those who are disinclined to wear actual tabards, I'm working on some alternative, and historical, ideas. Watch this space.
Your servant aye,
Point of Fact
Heralds were the first people to have diplomatic immunity. Even now, attacking an English herald in England while the herald is wearing his tabard is considered treason.
Heraldry is an art as old as Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and as young as the newest submission. I welcome you to join in exploring it with your colleagues, the heralds of Atlantia-this is your journal. If you have always wanted to write an article that would be read by every Atlantian herald, if you have a question you would like to ask of all the heralds of Atlantia, send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org! I would prefer that any articles or other messages come as plain text (ASCII), as opposed to HTML or some other format. Thank you!
Pedro de Alcazar
Herald's Point is the newsletter for the members of the College of Heralds of Atlantia. Herald's Point is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA) and does not delineate SCA policies. Herald's Point does delineate policies specific to the Kingdom of Atlantia. Copies of this newsletter are available from: Pedro de Alcazar (Craig Levin), 6700 Belcrest Road #1105, Hyattsville, MD 20782.