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

Volume 5, Issue 2 -- March/April 2008 (A.S. XLII)



Artwork credit: Maestra Julianna Fiorentini



Unto the College of Heralds of Atlantia, does your fearless, albeit exhausted, leader send greetings!


This is supposed to be my slack time, where I get to catch up, but modern life conspires against me. However, it's still early in March and we shall see…


FIRST! If you are reading this, send me an email at triton@atlantia.sca.org to tell me so. I am very interested in knowing how many folks we are reaching with this medium.


Second, we have two immediate position openings, that of Webminister for the College of Heralds and Webminister for Clerk Signet. If you are interested in the requirements for either (and have the necessary skills to manage a webpage), please contact me directly. You don't have to be a herald or a scribe to apply for the webminister positions, but you do have to be acceptable for warranting to the kingdom webminister (and suffer two-three bosses).


Also keep in mind that we also are looking for trainees for the positions of Golden Dolphin, Clerk of Precedence and Triton. While these positions are not going empty immediately, each requires some advance training, and identifying potential candidates is vital to the successful continuation of heraldic services.


On that note, please be aware that due to financial concerns, issues, constraints, etc. with the publication of the Acorn, we are no longer able to publish submission results, either kingdom or Laurel level, so please tell your submitters to retain their notification letters and check the webpage for updates.


Last, but most certainly not least, I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for all the time and effort you put in on behalf of Atlantia's people and heraldry. Heraldry is a big part of the atmosphere of our current Middle Ages and without Atlantia's heralds, her people would miss out. I know it's a sacrifice of love, and I appreciate every minute you put into it. Thank you.


Look forward to seeing more of you over the warmer months at various events.


Be courteous, be helpful, be happy!

-- Rhiannon


Mistress Rhiannon ui Neill

Triton Principal Herald

House Corvus, Atlantia



 A Word from the Newsletter Editor


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


As I write this, March winds are blowing, fighters are gearing up for the tournament season, and heraldry is thriving in the Kingdom of Atlantia.


This issue brings a helpful article on Atlantian heraldic achievements, a topic that kind of falls under the "advanced" category of the College of Heralds' bag of tricks. (At least that's the way it might seem to a novice herald still learning onomastics and blazon....) I would like to commission more articles like this when we have a stimulating, informative discussion on the mailing list for Atlantian heralds. Such articles will help preserve our collective knowledge and pass it along to the next generation of heraldry groupies.


To those of you who are traveling to Gulf Wars this month, I wish you a safe and pleasant journey. Gulf Wars has a Herald's Point -- Lady Lyneya de Aston is the coordinator of that Point, and Mistress Sarah McGregor is the overall herald in charge of the war. Go to GulfWars.org and click on "Contacts" to reach either of these folks, or simply show up at the Point -- they probably won't turn you away.


And it's not too early to think about Pennsic. Our own Herrin Gisela vom Kreuzbach is in charge of Herald's Point for Pennsic War 37, which goes from July 25 to August 10. She's already a bit concerned that experienced heralds are going to pass up Pennsic to save their pennies for the Known World Heraldic Symposium in Drachenwald, where the dollar goes less far than it used to. So, please work the Point into your Pennsic planning!


Finally, I invite you to reflect on your own attitudes toward customer service. Last week I was talking to a guy at my barony's fighter practice. He doesn't live in Atlantia; he was only visiting for a week or so while traveling for the U.S. military. He had some very well-thought ideas for what he wanted to name and device to be, but neither one of his local heralds (he lived near two SCA branches) would respond to his e-mails. I suggested that he write to the principal herald of his home kingdom to find out what was going on, in case these branch heralds just happened to be having simultaneous attacks of illness or Life or something. But really ... do you want our Triton Principal Herald to get such messages about YOU? Customer service is written into the Atlantian Book of Policy: "The Atlantian College of Heralds exists to provide heraldic services to the Crown and the people of Atlantia...." Keep this in mind as you practice heraldry.


In service, 

Lady Patricia, Editor

The Full Heraldic Achievement: Atlantian Customs
By Hersir Talorgen nepos Wrguist, Clan Roanwoulfe, tal AT roanwoulfe DOT com

A question was recently posed on the AtlantianHeralds e-mail list regarding Achievements and how they are treated in this kingdom. Incidentally, this list is a great resource and one that I can recommend highly to any herald who might be reading this. If you're not on it, you should join! After sharing much useful information, we decided that it would make a good article for Herald's Point. What follows is a summary of the discussion.


First, a definition from the Scribe's Handbook:

A full achievement is a complete pictorial representation of a person's Arms, awards and sundry recognitions. For the novice, this will simply be his or her emblazoned Arms. In time, it may come to be surmounted by helm, coronet, crown and/or crest; surrounded by wreath, belt and/or chain; and supported by various ghastly beasties. Various medallions may depend from it and a motto may rest in a compartment below.

Also from that document, there is a description of how supporters and crests may be used in the achievement:

Within the Kingdom of Atlantia, the use of supporters and crests in the achievement is reserved to members of the Peerage or they are given as a gift of the Crown to non-Peers.

Non-Peers who have had supporters granted by the crown are not entitled to a crest on their achievement, as the supporter and the crest are separate parts of the complete achievement.


James Parker's glossary defines supporters thus:

(fr. supports and tenants, the former applied to animals, the latter to human beings): the figures placed on each side of the shield to support it. There is much difference of opinion concerning their origin. They are found attached to the arms of Edward III. and Richard II., but the only examples (e.g. in glass, &c.) are of later date, and cannot be accepted as authorities. Perhaps the earliest for which there is contemporary evidence are those supporting the arms of Henry VI. Not many supporters are found even for peers much before the reign of Henry VIII.

That definition implies that they should be either (a) animals (including aquatic) or (b) humans. Estienne has been able to find one case of an individual that has garbs (wheat sheaves) as supporters and a case of  an USN ship that uses missiles.


This leads to the question of whether there is any restriction or limit as to what can be used as a supporter within the Society or Atlantia. Two restrictions apply:


  1. A supporter "supports," or holds up, the shield. So, the most common forms of supporters are going to be legged (which includes man), winged or aquatic beasts. However, the SCA is a lot more lenient about what you utilize as supporters than period or even modern real world heralds might be, and you do get to make your own choice about what you utilize (except in the case of scrolls made for a surprise elevation where no preference is known).
  2. Some charges are restricted by custom. A partial list of these is found in the Scribe's Handbook. Notable among the restricted charges are dolphins Or, sea stags, escallops azure, and pelicans (all of which are restricted to members of the respective Orders) as well as unicornate seahorses, which must be granted specifically by the Crown.


In summary, you may include crests and supporters as part of the Heraldic Achievement in Atlantia if you are a Peer or if the Crown has granted them to you.  If you are entitled to use them, you have a wide range of choices.  A few of the possibilities are restricted, and the guidelines can be found in the Scribe's Handbook.


The conversation from which this article was drawn had contributions from Marie Hélène of the New Forest, Mistress Rhiannon ui Neill, Mistress Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane, Barcsi Janos, Master Donal Mac Ruiseart, and Estienne de Condé.



The Atlantian Scribe's Handbook: http://scribe.atlantia.sca.org/handbook/index.htm

Don Pedro de Alcazar's article about period usage of the Full Achievement: http://herald.atlantia.sca.org/point/HeraldsPoint2007JulAug.html

The glossary for the SCA College of Arms: http://www.sca.org/heraldry/coagloss.html

Middle Kingdom customs regarding Achievements: http://members.tripod.com/nicolaa5/articles/Hector/soc/HAchiev.htm

Heraldry for the Scribe, from the West Kingdom: http://www.phmoms.com/Scribal/L2_HeraldryForTheScribe.htm

Heraldry in U.S. Law:  http://www.heraldica.org/topics/usa/usheroff.htm#protection




Point of Fact

The Valence Casket is a small copper alloy box decorated with enamel and gilding. Believed to have been created in the early 14th century, the casket is decorated with a repeating pattern of six devices: the royal arms of England and the arms of the Valence, Brittany, Angouleme, Brabant and Lacy families. It probably belonged to Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, who died in 1324, and depicted the families' close association with the royalty. The casket is now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England.



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 DOT 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.