Heralds' Point
The Occasional Journal for the College of Heralds of Atlantia

Volume 4, Issue 2 -- March/April 2007 (A.S. XLI)

Artwork credit: Maestra Julianna Fiorentini

Greetings from Triton, fellow heralds!

I was in such a rush last time to get the first issue of the new year's Herald's Point, that I neglected to thank Baron Eogan MacAilpein for his dedicated and selfless work as Triton. Triton is not an easy position to fill, requiring lots of time and sacrifice, and anyone who undertakes it must truly have a love of heraldry. Many is the time during my previous term that I went to an event, planning to spend time with distant friends and household, only to not get to even speak to them. It is at those times, that knowing what you do is making a difference for someone else, is all that gets you through. This is the sacrifice of the Royal Heralds. And it for this sacrifice, that was made on behalf of the rest of us, that I wish to offer sincerest and heartfelt thanks. Eogan, your efforts are appreciated.

Recapping items of interest from the past month:

1.  I have created 4 regional herald positions for the purpose of furthering education and training. These regional deputies are here to be of assistance to you (both group and at-large heralds), in helping you get training where you need it. Please avail yourselves of this tool and respond to their inquiries. hey are helping me make a stronger, more effective College.

2.  Warrants are now good for 2 years. Primary group heralds may serve no more than 2 consecutive 2-year terms (for a total of 4 years). At-larges may renew indefinitely, however, you must notify Triton of your desire to renew. This falls in line with the warrant terms of other offices and is being done to prevent stagnation and provide opportunity for others to hold office.

3.  If you have been a group herald for 4 years or more, it is time to pass the offce on. You have until September 1st to find a replacement and let me know
if you wish to transfer your warrant to an at-large warrant.

I am sure you are all as winter-weary as I, especially those in our northern regions, but please, let me bring you hope. Outside my window as I type, there
are small purple and yellow faces peeking up out of the soil (crocuses and daffodils), and winter's touch eases slightly daily. While winter may not have
given up its grip quite yet, I have every faith that by month's end, Beauteous Spring will have reclaimed her place and we will all be joyously crying tourneys
and announcements in Fair Atlantia. So, with that in mind, it is time to resurrect an old friend, a motto perhaps long forgotten, but quickly remembered
by Evan and the boys...


I am a strong believer in hydration, made so by an attack of heat stroke one Pennsic. Once you've gone that far, you are thereafter prone to dehydration
issues forever, so I learned my lesson the hard way. I would not have any of you follow suit.


Please, please, when you go to herald in the warm months, make sure that you take sufficient water with you to the tourney field. Dehydration can creep upon you quickly, especially in all the layers of clothing we tend to wear. Fighters are not the only ones who really must take care. Heralds often work beside the field, in the direct sun and for hours on end. Don't get so single-minded in your task that you forget to drink water and put on sunscreen. Those two items MUST be in the forefront of your vocal heraldry planning. I don't want to add "incidents" to the herald's reporting form!


We continue to tweak and improve the web page, adding new features and sources of information. This is done for your benefit. Please try to visit the web
page periodically to see what's there that you might find of interest.
Hopefully, by the end of this month, we will have the online reporting system ready for its maiden voyage, with first quarter reports due to me no later than April 30th. I will make sure to post reminders to keep you all compliant. ;-)


Finally, I am about to unveil a recruiting campaign to hopefully bring in new blood. Please, if you are a group herald, show your group just how much fun
heraldry really can be. There are a few areas in our kingdom which are woefully lacking in heralds.  If we all act as ambassadors of heraldry, maybe we can
inspire others to join us. If you are trying to recruit in your area, let us all know via the egroup (atlantianheralds.yahoogroups.com) what you are trying
and how it's working for you. I look forward to sharing ideas.


To sharpen your mental skills, this month's issue includes a heraldic crossword, courtesy of Master Bran Trefonnen. Enjoy!


At this time, I have plans to be at Coronation, Hawkwood's Baronial Birthday (I'd better, I'm autocratting), Crown Tourney, Feast of St. Hermengild and
perhaps, Sapphire Joust. This schedule is subject to change, but I am never any farther away than an email or phone call.


Be courteous, be helpful, be happy!


Rhiannon, Triton


A Word from the Newsletter Editor


Greetings unto all to whom these presents come from Lady Patricia of Trakai!


What, another issue of Herald's Point already? Certainly! In the previous issue we announced our intention tp switch from quarterly to bimonthly publication. By the time we got the January/February issue out, it was already February. We decided to be a bit more prompt with the March/April issue. You'll just have to wait another two months for the May/June issue.


In the past month, I've gone out of kingdom to attend Noisemakers, a heraldry and music schola in the Bailiwick of Ivyeinrust, Barony of Bhakail, East Kingdom. For some of us in northern Atlantia, Bhakail is actually closer than some of the southern Atlantian events, and several of the Noisemakers heraldry classes focused on the general concepts of SCA heraldry, not kingdom-specific practices. I would like to write up a short summary of one class I took at Noisemakers -- on Jewish heraldry and onomastics -- but I'll save it for May/June. In the meantime, the following article by Gisela vom Kreuzbach is based on Gisela's "how to be a group herald" class at the February session of the University of Atlantia. I hope it is both informative and entertaining -- and I hope that future University of Atlantia teachers will contribute their knowledge to future newsletters.



So, You're an SCA Herald. Now What?

By Herrin Gisela vom Kreuzbach (Kate Rauhauser-Smith)


People come to SCA heraldry many different ways. Some have loved the art of heraldic display, the pomp of ceremony or the specifics of names for many years. Others take an office because someone has to . . .


However you came to be an SCA herald, welcome!  Heraldry, as practiced by this Society, is and should be fun and interesting.  It should be a help to the rest of the people who play this game and should make it a more attractive and complete experience for everyone involved.


If it's not fun for you…if it isn't interesting for you…you shouldn't be doing it.


Branch Heralds are officers of the kingdom and bear responsibilities in their offices. How you conduct yourself reflects not only on you but on your shire, canton or barony and the College of Heralds as a whole. How you meet your responsibilities affects the ability of others to fulfill their responsibilities, not to mention whether people get the proper credit for the awards they receive.

  1.             You must be a Paid Member of the SCA. This is Society Law.
  2.             Be 18 years of age in order to handle money (submissions)
  3.             You must be a Warranted herald in Atlantia

This is a simple process of contacting Triton Principal Herald or the correct deputy with your information. Specifics can be found on the Atlantian Heralds Web page at http://law.atlantia.sca.org/Policy.html#2.4.




This is the most diverse position in SCA heraldry, as duties include helping local members find, design and submit names and armory, tracking submissions in process, being prepared to organize courts and tourneys and answer questions about various aspects of heraldic display. This doesn't mean the Branch Herald has to DO all those things or KNOW all those things, but should be prepared to contact people, find answers and help make them happen. Resources are available to you in many forms; the most important of these being your fellow heralds. Don't be afraid to contact other heralds of any rank for support and help with your duties. Most importantly, DO NOT GUESS at an answer. If you don't know the answer to a question, tell the person asking that you don't know . . . but that you will find the answer and get back with them. 


Who can you turn to for help?

1)         Your Baronial Herald whom you should be able to identify on your Baronial Website

2)         The appropriate herald on the Atlantian Heraldic Roster at www.herald.atlantia.sca.org/roster/index.htm

3)         Triton Principal Herald: herald@atlantia.sca.org

4)         Me at Gisela.vomkreuzbach@gmail.com


Ask your question or explain the situation clearly.  Keep your communication reasonably brief and use regular English, not flowery court-speak. This is the business end of your job.  Then, give the person a few days to respond.  If you haven't gotten an answer in 3 or so days, try again.  Then move up the chain.


Things you should know, do and have . . .

            Chain of command – Who do you answer to?  If you're a canton herald, is there a baronial herald to whom you ought to report?  Who is Triton Herald?  Who are your coronets?  Your king and queen?

            Communication - Make contact with other heralds in your region and with Triton.  I mean this.  Talking to other heralds is very important and contacting your superiors (so to speak) is essential.  Triton doesn't bite, the College won't laugh at you and they need to hear from you. Get on any appropriate e-lists such as Yahoo Groups AtlantianHeralds at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AtlantianHeralds/.

            Assemble Your Tools - Find the Kingdom heralds page (http://herald.atlantia.sca.org). Find Laurel's Web Page (www.sca.org/heraldry). Read the Rules for Submission, the Administrative Handbook and your Kingdom's policies regarding heralds and heraldry.

            Buy yourself a notebook or some filing system to keep track of submissions or other official business you handle. For submissions, buy yourself a set of Classic Colors Crayola Markers. These are the officially accepted coloring tools of the SCA College of Arms. Period. End of sentence. These are what to have. No. Really. I mean it.


Submission Process Explained: See http://herald.atlantia.sca.org/forms/Guide_to_Successful_Submissions.pdf.


            Based on Commenters' remarks and documentation, she makes decisions about which submissions might reasonably be registered by Laurel and which do not meet the SCA standards and rules or have other issues. This in-kingdom commentary period generally takes a month.

            *** Returned items will come with a letter explaining the problems found and generally making suggestions on how to fix the problems.

            *** Items deemed likely to pass registration are placed in an External Letter of Intent (XLoI) and sent on to Laurel Sovereign of Arms for further consideration.


Tell your clients that the process often takes about a year, give or take. If it comes back sooner then that, bonus! If it takes a little longer, understand that there's a lot of work involved and every single person in the process has a life full of other priorities. Some patience is a good thing. As you function in your office, you'll come up against questions and situations you don't know how to handle. ASK FOR HELP. Really. I mean that. I do.



Tips for Court Heralds

I want to thank everyone in working so hard to get those delinquent court reports in. We lack only a couple more. Some issues involved crashing systems; others involved transmitted, but unreceived reports. So, I thought I'd take a moment to offer some tips to make this process easier in the future.
Any potential court herald, should consider buying a notebook (I use a 5 1/2 x 8) that becomes part of your standard event kit, whether you expect to herald that event or not. Take it to every event you attend. Then, if you are approached to herald, you already have your "herald's notebook" available and ready, and will provide you with a record of the courts you heralded for as long as you keep the notebook (which I would recommend being at least a year).
At the top of each page, you should list the event, date and who you are heralding for. For example, my notebook said "12th Night - morning court - January 13, 2007 - Ragnarr and Anneke." Then, list the court business in order of occurrence.
Try to schedule enough time before court that you can write as much info down as you think you will need to do your report and neatly enough, that you will be able to reconstruct from those notes if 2 months later, you find out that the report went out into the ether.
If you can go back after court and revisit the names with the recipients, do. But often that isn't possible, so utilize your local group elists and the Merry Rose to ask people to contact you privately with information. Also, don't wait long to ask the Crown/Landeds for help with what info they had. By the time one court is done, they are already preparing for the next and may not be able to access the info you need.
Once you've submitted your report, if you don't get a "Thanks!  I got it!" in 3 days (_three_ days, now...be patient), resend or check back (especially with the CoP). Your report may not have reached its intended destination(s). And even if your computer crashes in the meantime, with your handy-dandy little herald's notebook, you will be able to easily reconstruct the report!
For those who aren't familiar with Roman numerals, or those who are new at heralding courts, the current SCAdian year runs from May 1st to April 30th. This is year 41. On May 1st, it will be Anno Societatis 42. There's a groovy Roman numeral calculator at http://www.guernsey.net/~sgibbs/roman.html
You herald court for the person who is sitting on the throne. They set the tone of the court. You are merely the emcee, not the show. Your job is to make THEM look good, so take your cues from them and always defer to them, offering quiet suggestions when things do not go as planned. (And boy, howdy, they will!)

-- Mistress Rhiannon ui Neill
Triton Principal Herald
House Corvus, Atlantia



Consult Tables

If you have a few minutes, maybe even 60 minutes, please consider helping out at a heraldic consult table at an Atlantian event. The list of events that will have consult tables is now on the Web at http://herald.atlantia.sca.org/submissions/consult.htm.

Watch the Atlantian Heralds mailing list for announcements of other consult tables in our Kingdom. The herald(s) in charge of each table would probably welcome knowing in advance who is bringing reference books and a copy of the O&A. Also, when arranging a consult table, please remember to use the new Atlantian submissions forms, downloadable from http://herald.atlantia.sca.org/forms/index.htm.


And Now for Some Fun -- A Heraldic Crossword Puzzle

For the enjoyment and possible edification of all who read this newsletter, we present a crossword puzzle by Master Bran Trefonnin. Solutions to this puzzle will be published in approximately one week, so please stay tuned!



1.     The Order of __________ (or OP)

6.     A roundel Or

8.     The verbal or written description of a piece of armory

10.   A level of visual distinction between different tinctures

13.   Atlantia's Principal Herald

15.   The Y ordinary

16.   A roundel Sable

18.   A heraldic design that uniquely represents a person or group

19.   Position of an animal sitting

21.   Position of an animal standing with four legs planted

23.   Man who has been King two or more times

24.   A charge in its natural hues is __________

28.   A person who has been awarded the right to arms

29.   Lowest armigerous award

33.   Black spots on yellow

35.   Another name for a shield

37.   Position of an eagle spread-eagled

38.   Straight down the middle ordinary

40.   Title a man receives after ruling a Principality

41.   Highest level of Arms

43.   A border set in from the edge of a shield

44.   Man who has been King once

46.   The top area of the shield

50.   White or Silver

53.   Black spots on white

54.   Crown Tourney winners

55.   An animal (or volcano) sleeping

56.   An item placed on a piece of armory

59.   Position of an animal lying down

60.   A roundel Gules

61.   Number of elements in a name

62.   Strewn with identical charges

63.   Queen (lat.)

64.   The moon shaped like a U

65.   Standing, wings closed (or 'not far')


1.     Purple

2.     A lozenge voided

3.     Green

4.     The center area of the shield

5.     Position of an animal leaping

7.     A roundel Purpure

9.     Red

11.   Heraldic colors

12.   An heraldic drop

14.   Position of a fish swimming

17.   Letter of Acceptances and Returns (abbrev.)

18.   Woman who has been Queen two or more times

20.   Mistress Alisoun MacCoul of __________

22.   It's like dancetty

25.   Used for a badge (shape)

26.   An object that is held by a charge is __________

27.   Two predators 'respectant'

28.   Blue

30.   Black

31.   Alternate Japanese title for Master

32.   Position of a bird in flight

34.   Heraldic creature that exists only in the imagination

36.   Position of an animal rampaging!

39.   The X ordinary

42.   A decision by Laurel about a submission that may be applied to other similar submissions

43.   A list of pieces of armory, organized by charge types

45.   Yellow or Gold

47.   Field divisions are made with lines of __________

48.   Yellow spots on black

49.   Laurels, Knights, and Pelicans are all __________

51.   A list of armory organized by the bearers' names

52.   A roundel Azure

57.   Charges arranged in a circle: in __________

58.   The bottom area of the shield

63.   King (lat.)


Answers to Crossword Puzzle

Point of Fact

William Shakespeare (born and died on April 23, in 1564 and 1616 respectively) used the word herald more than 30 times in his plays and sonnets. An example from King Henry VIII (Act 4, Scene 2):


After my death I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.

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, or if you have a question you would like to ask of all the heralds of Atlantia, send me a message at Patoodle AT aol.com! I prefer that any articles or other messages come as plain text (ASCII), as opposed to HTML or some other format. Thank you!


In Service, 

Patricia of Trakai

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 College of Heralds of the Kingdom of Atlantia. Copies of this newsletter are available from: Patricia of Trakai (Patty Daukantas), 7740 Lakecrest Drive, Greenbelt, MD 20770.