Volume 6, Issue 4 -- July/August 2009 (A.S. XLIV)
Artwork credit: Maestra Julianna Fiorentini
Greetings from your fearless leader!
Now that summer is in full swing, it also means Pennsic approaches, and so too, do our plans for the great war! Lots of heraldic activities, education and fun are available at Pennsic. For example:
Pennsic is full of the use of heraldry. So, go and enjoy it! I’ll see you there!!!
Remember to keep well-hydrated and use your sunscreen during these warm, sunny months! Being an active herald means getting out there and participating. Take care of yourself and your health, so you can do it more often!
I am still working on an Atlantian heralds' T-shirt design and will post it on the heralds' list when I have it all worked out. Watch for news!
And while we’re talking about it, if you aren’t on the heralds e-list, why the heck not??? Not only do I impart important info there and discuss matters of policy, we have great heraldic discussions, fun activities, and lots of heraldic education happens! From the online quizzes, to the heraldic definition rounds, to sharing new links and where to find good reference books, it’s the place to be, if you want to be the best herald you can. And I hope you all desire to be that. It’s good to be a herald in Atlantia!
Folks sometimes ask me why I expect to see several months of consistent commentary out of potential Golden Dolphin candidates. Really, it’s simple. Golden Dolphin, at its most basic, is an office of paperwork deadlines. Yes, having some skills in understanding armory/name construction and documentation is handy, but even more important is being able to keep up with the monthly deadlines for processing of those submissions. So, to me, not only do I get to see where you lie in the knowledge base, but I also get to see how dedicated you can be towards meeting deadlines. Yes, perhaps you meet your daily paperwork deadlines, but how do I have any proof of that? How do I know that when time gets tight, that you won’t blow off the submissions deadlines, or even worse, stuff part of the submissions into the mattress, thinking "oh, I’ll put out a small letter and just process the rest of them next month"? You know what happens when you start doing that? You get behind, and begin down the path to malfeasance. We have a fiduciary duty to process the submissions (and fees) in a timely fashion, and if you cannot display to me six months of consistently meeting commentary deadlines, then how do I have any surety and peace of mind that you can meet two years of LOI deadlines? We are ALL busy. Now, perhaps more than at any time I can remember over the last 20 years. The person I want for the next Golden Dolphin, I want to be someone whose heart is dedicated to processing submissions for Atlantia to the best of their ability; the person who identifies themselves first and foremost, as a herald, and has a true love of heraldry. You don’t have to be the top book herald, but you do have to be able to say "o.k., I have to set aside this time, JUST for heraldry, for Atlantia’s submitters" and actually do it. I’m looking for dedication, dependability, and love. That’s who the next Golden Dolphin is. So, look inside and see if you are that guy/girl. And if you are, drop me a line so I can be watching, as you crank out commentary for the next six months. I’m looking forward to it! ;-)
Finally, I wrote this in the July Acorn, but it bears repeating here in case you don’t read the officer letters in the Acorn (although I don’t know why you wouldn’t?)...
On a more somber note, I’d like to take a moment to discuss something that seems to be becoming more and more common, but that I feel is inappropriate and rather impolite, and that is the heckling or yelling back at court heralds when they make a mistake in court. Being a court herald is not an easy job, and even the best of us make mistakes. We sure don’t want to. Sometimes, you are so busy trying to read ahead, that your mouth says something other than what your brain told it to. And sometimes, you can develop a mental block on a name, or perhaps, you were given the wrong pronunciation, or maybe, nobody was available to tell you Lord Joe Bob got knighted last week… Most heralds do the very best they can, and an honest mistake is just that. They know the second they make a mistake, and just like any performer, are instantly abashed for having not been "perfect". To yell the correction at them in court is rude and unfair. It also reduces what ought to be a wonderful ceremonial occasion into a cheap comedy club. We all have better manners than that. When we don’t display them we teach our newcomers poor habits, which they then perpetuate until there is nothing medieval or special left in this game we play. Next time the court herald bobbles a name, think to yourself, "Bless his/her heart. That was a tough one." And let it go…It really can be a tough thing to perform in court.
Now, on the other side of that coin, if you are a court herald, I expect you to make your best effort to get things right, to give the Crown the proper deference and provide the correct attitude and atmosphere. If…no, WHEN you make a mistake, the proper reaction is "I am very sorry," then move on. If the crowd yells at you, do NOT return slight for slight and yell back. I expect Atlantian heralds to be professional. Do not create the very situation that I consider so inappropriate by exhibiting improper behaviour. Don’t be the guy I remove mid-court.
Remember, you are Atlantian heralds! Be courteous, be helpful, be happy!
Mistress Rhiannon ui Neill
Triton Principal Herald
House Corvus, Atlantia
A Word from the Newsletter Editor
Lady Patricia, Editor
Soundings of the Conch: Client Relations
By Master Donal Mac Ruiseart, Conch Herald
You’re at a heralds’ consult table, or a branch meeting, or some other place, recognizable as a herald either by what you’re wearing or just because people know. Someone comes up to you to ask about their prospective name or device. How do you respond?
Why do so many Scadians think heralds are arrogant? Why are they reluctant to talk with us? Well, maybe without even knowing or intending it, we are rather arrogant.
Consider: We are the repositors of a wealth of rather esoteric knowledge. We know the arcane rules and jargon of a rather mysterious art. This makes us experts. (In the view of some, it makes us geeks.) Even one of us with only a smattering of The Knowledge is an expert to those around him/her. Expertise consists of knowing more than those around you. An expert isn’t necessarily a person from out of town with a briefcase. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
This knowledge may tend to make us feel superior somehow. And if we associate and socialize amongst others like ourselves (as people tend to do), we also may get the sense that it’s normal to have at least a modicum of heraldic knowledge. But our expertise does not give us the right to act high and mighty (except in court, when that is part of the show). Rather, it is contingent on us to be patient, courteous, and respectful of our clients – even when they come up with things that to our experienced eyes may seem pretty dumb! But who amongst us has not done or said something dumb at one point or another? Let one without sin cast the first stone!
There are a lot of people out there who don’t have very much heraldic knowledge, if any at all. It is good that Mistress Rhiannon is conducting her ongoing campaign of heraldic education not only for those on the Heralds’ mailing list but for the populace at large. But even so, the average Scadian, while they may understand the idea of heraldry, is likely to be ignorant of the finer points of the subject.
Ignorant. Not stupid. There is a tendency among people to confuse ignorance with stupidity (and conversely, knowledge with intelligence). But they’re not the same. "One who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child. Teach him."
In a society such as ours, the tradition is maintained, that those who have specific knowledge are honour-bound to share and spread it. The only cost to us in doing so is our time and effort . . . and sometimes making up course guides or handouts, if we teach at a collegium or university. The greatest part of our teaching as heralds is small-scale – one on one, sitting at someone’s kitchen table, or at a heralds’ consult table.
Most of our clients are of above-average intelligence – they’re in the SCA, after all – and are willing to learn, if those with the knowledge are willing to teach. And that often means dispelling the preconceived notions some people have about heraldry. A lot of misinformation gets passed around in the modern world disguised as education.
The biggest problem that we have is the need to tell a client that a name or design into which they’ve poured a lot of attention and energy and . . . well, heart . . . won’t work as presented. The temptation to say, "No, you can’t do that" is strong, but it’s important to couch it in a regretful sort of way . . . "I’m afraid that design needs some work . . . let’s see how we can modify it while keeping your ideas . . ." Make it clear that you’re on the client’s side, trying to be an enabler, not an inhibitor.
It’s been said that the local herald’s job is to say yes, to pass the unacceptable designs up to the "head office" and let the senior heralds – who don’t have to live with the client day-to-day – be the bad guys. There’s some merit to that, especially if as a branch herald your technical knowledge isn’t that great. But you’ll still be the one who has to break the news to the client. It requires salesmanship and diplomacy. Diplomacy is another skill traditionally ascribed to heralds. One bit of strategy is to always give a client an either-or choice rather than a yes-or-no.
And of course, you can fall back on the rules - show him the section cited to prove that the rules are as they are. But again, don’t just lay it on the client bluntly. Make it as gentle as you can without sounding hokey.
We are, as Laurel recently said directly to me, in a customer-service avocation. And while the customer may not be always right, they ARE the customer. What a herald says to a client, and the WAY they say it, can sometimes sour a person on the whole idea of heraldry and on heralds. Now, there are some people who are SO sensitive that they'll be impossible to please, and some that are so stubborn that they refuse to accept the rules, but I think the majority of our clients are pretty reasonable people and will accept the rules if we take the time to explain them courteously and without condescension.
Alric Berard. Name and device. Per bend sinister purpure and argent, a wolf rampant to sinister argent and a bear passant gules.
Bell Phoebe de Givet. Badge. (Fieldless) A demi-bear azure crowned with a pearled coronet gules.
Bika Janus. Name and device. Per pale argent and vert, a bull passant and a chief invected counterchanged.
Brun Corbin.Name and device. Gules, on a fess Or between three trees blasted argent three ravens rising gules.
Catalina dell’Acqua.Change of device. Argent, on a bend vert between two mullets of four points azure three fountains palewise. Her previous device (“Vert, three rapiers inverted in pile on a chief wavy argent three gouttes de larmes”) has been released.
Catalina dell’Acqua.Badge. (Fieldless) On a goutte d’eau a mullet of four points azure.
Christofre de Clyn.Name and device. Vert semy of sheep statant contourny argent.
Demetria Kupria.Name. In registering the name the Laurel staff modified the byname of the submitted Demetria of Cyprus because they felt it was not a valid English translation of a period Greek byname. Kupria is a classical Greek adjective that means “of Cyprus”.
Edward Bonagarde. Name and device. Per bend sinister argent and azure, on a bend sinister sable between a dragon couchant contourny azure and an ankh, a sword argent.
Elena Modarova vnuka.Device. Azure fretty, flaunches argent.
Etain of Sutherland.Device. Gules, a compass rose and on a chief nebuly Or two ravens sable.
Friderich Weber.Badge. Per bend sinister sable and argent, on a roundel a rose slipped and leaved bendwise inverted, all counterchanged.
Gísli Óttarsson. Name and device. Per fess sable and azure, a wolf’s head cabossed and a drakkar argent.
Griffin Warwick.Device. Per chevron argent and quarterly sable and gules, two Continental panthers combatant sable incensed gules and a wolf’s head cabossed argent.
Hróðný Rognvaldsdóttir. Badge. (Fieldless) A penguin statant erect proper wearing a spangenhelm argent strapped Or sustaining a spear argent headed Or.
Humfrey Matthew Lovett.Change of device. Per fess gules and azure, three seadogs rampant Or. His previous device (“Per fess gules and azure, three fish-tailed demi-dogs Or.”) has been released.
Humfrey Matthew Lovett.Badge. Per pale azure and gules, a sword between in chief two phoenixes argent.
Ilbert Mornunwech.Name and device. Per bend wavy azure and argent, a turtle argent and an hourglass gules.
Irmgard Hasenschlaf. Name and device. Azure, a brown demi-hare proper.
Isolda de Crosthwaite.Device. Argent vêtu invected vert, an eagle sable between in pale two triskeles azure.
Karl Frank.Name (see RETURNS for device).
Kateryne Ferneley.Name (see RETURNS for device).
Lucia Velasquez de Trujillo.Change of device. Per pale vert and sable, a goat clymant argent charged on the shoulder with a crescent sable. Her previous device (“Per pale gules and sable, a goat rampant reguardant between six trefoils, two, two, and two, argent.”) has been released.
Lynet Semere. Name and device. Or, a peacock in its pride proper and in base two needles inverted in saltire purpure. The name was submitted as Lynnette Semere. The Laurel staff modified the given name because they felt that the standard reference from which that spelling was documented and so changed the spelling to that used for the Arthurian character in the Caxton edition of Malory’s Morte d’Arthur. (Note that the pronunciation of the name is not affected!)
Marcellus Capoziello da Napoli.Badge. (Fieldless) A demi-bear contourny Or gorged of a pearled coronet gules.
Margarethe Mandler.Name and device. Per bend azure and vert all bezanty, on a bend sinister argent a goat clymant to sinister palewise sable.
Marina Caminante.Device. Azure, two minks combatant and on a chief indented argent, a rapier fesswise reversed sable.
Matheu Herrero de Cádiz.Name and device. Gules, two bullheaded nude men respectant genuant and on a chief embattled Or a crescent sable.
Michael of Black Diamond.Name and device. Per fess sable and Or, a lozenge counterchanged and in base an anvil sable.
Michel von Schönsee. Change of badge. Azure, a Greek sphinx sejant wearing a Phrygian cap argent. His previous badge (“Per bend sinister vert and sable, a duck naiant to sinister and a turtle fesswise contourny Or.”) has been released.
Od Þorgestsson Skallagrimssonar.Device. Azure, a gurges argent within a bordure Or.
Pierre Xavier de Lyon.Device. Vert, a monkey sejant erect affronty collared and chained and on a chief embattled argent an anvil reversed sable.
Rónán Ó Gobhann.Name and device. Gules, a padlock and a chief argent.
Rumann mac Duib Sidhe.Device. Per bend sinister argent and azure, a bend sinister counterchanged between a hawk’s head erased sable and an increscent argent.
Safiya bint Hakim al-Khwarizmi. Name and badge. Vert, an astrolabe Or between four compass stars two and two argent.
Salomea Lochnerin.Name and device. Gules, on a pile bendwise inverted throughout argent a horse rampant sable.
Taban Unegen.Name and device. Per pale sable and azure, a plate between six ermine tails in annulo argent.
Tristan Arthur.Name and device. Azure, a bear rampant between four anchors two and two Or.
Vladimir Krisa Tirgovishtets.Device. Quarterly sable and azure, two rats passant counterpassant argent.
William de Mont d’Or.Name.
Ysabella Cacemoine.Name and device. Per fess wavy vert and azure, three escallops inverted and an otter sejant erect argent.
Ysabella Cacemoine.Badge. (Fieldless) On an otter sejant erect argent an escallop inverted azure.
The following items were returned for the stated reasons:
Kateryne Ferneley.Device. Per chevron vert and argent, two cats sejant guardant contourny and a fern frond counterchanged. Unfortunately, the Laurel staff returned this device for conflict with Myfanwy ferch Briana (“Per chevron throughout vert and argent, two compass stars and a pine tree counterchanged.”) ruling that because of the wide range of period stylizations of trees, they would not consider the change of type from a pine tree to this depiction of a fern frond to be substantial enough to carry the two devices clear. (In other words, there was only one difference for change of type of primary charge as all the charges were not “substantially” changed.)
Rose Galen. Badge. (Fieldless) On a rose Or barbed vert a compass star purpure. Unfortunately, the Laurel staff returned this badge for conflict with the badge of Ragnell Gry (“Purpure ermined argent, a double rose Or and purpure, barbed and seeded proper.”), citing a precedent that states that the second layer on a double rose is to be considered against tertiary charges on a rose.
Alester MacClansy. Device. Per bend sinister gules and azure, a bend sinister argent between a drawn bow with an arrow nocked and three pheons in pall inverted conjoined at the points Or.
Ardgal Ó Faoláin. Name and device. Or, a seawolf sable and a base vert.
Atlantia, Kingdom of. Order name for the Award of Arielle.
Atlantia, Kingdom of. Badge for the Award of the Fountain. (Fieldless) A natural fountain azure.
Catalina Riquel de Luna. Badge. Or, four pallets gules and on a chief vert three melusines argent.
Étaín ingen Maine. Name. The Laurel staff modified the submitted spelling of Étain inghean Maine because the submitter had requested authenticity and the name as submitted mingled middle Irish and early modern Irish which is registerable but a step from period practice.
Finnech inghean Labhrainn. Name. The Laurel staff modified the submitted Finnech mac Labhrainn because they felt that the given name could not be documented a masculine name after around 700 and the spelling of the name used to form the patronym dated from the fifteenth century. This meant that by Laurel precedent there was more than three hundred years between the names as documented which is one step from period practice and also that the given name was early Gaelic while the patronymic was Gaelic which was another step from period practice. As two steps from period practice in a name are grounds for return and the Laurel staff could
document the given name as a saint’s name in a later period, they modified the name to a feminine form in order to register it.
Gwenllian of Yarnvid. Name.
Iseulte of the Red Cliffs and Wolfgang Monnich von Luppin. (Fieldless) On a cross formy argent a unicorn rampant gules.
Kimberly Bedo. Device. Per chevron purpure and Or, in chief an increscent and a decrescent argent.
Lochlainn hua Rigbarddáin. Name and device. Quarterly embattled sable and argent, two dogwood blossoms argent and two Maltese crosses sable.
Marinus, Barony of. Change of device. Argent chaussé ployé per pale vert and azure, a trident sable its head environed of a laurel wreath vert.
Marinus, Barony of. Badge for the Baronial Guard. Azure, in pale two tridents in saltire argent and a majuscule blackletter “M” Or.
Marinus, Barony of. Badge for the populace. (Fieldless) A trident sable.
Marinus, Barony of. Order name for the Order of the Golden Nutmeg.
Millicent Chandler. Badge. Ermine, an uncial letter “M” within a bordure azure.
Takaishi no Hida Saburou Yoshimori. Device. Per bend sinister sable and gules, a winged enfield rampant and in dexter chief a decrescent argent.
William de Mont d’Or. Device. Quarterly Or and gules, a cross pomelly counterchanged.
No submissions from Atlantia were returned in March, 2009.
Point of Fact
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!
Patricia of Trakai
This is Herald's Point, 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 the Editor: Patricia of Trakai (Patty Daukantas), 7740 Lakecrest Drive, Greenbelt, MD 20770.