Herald’s Point
Newsletter for the Heralds of the Kingdom of Atlantia
January AS XXXV, being the 2001st year of Our Lord

From the Outgoing Triton

Love you guys, but I'm outta here!


Greetings to the heralds of Atlantia from Michael Batcok, your new Triton.

In answer to a steady trickle of inquiries: everyone keeps their jobs.

A large part of my application for the position was that everything is working fine and there is no need to shake things up. I have great confidence in the people who have been assigned specific tasks by Mistress Rhiannon during her tenure as Triton, from Canton Coronet to Golden Dolphin Herald and everyone between and sideways. So, until you come to me and request a change, please keep doing the wonderful job each and everyone of you do every day. (Note: this is not license to slack off, I will come down hard on anyone who does not perform their duties!)

To answer another frequently asked question: yes, I will accept quarterly reports by e-mail. I would prefer that they follow the format of the hard copied reports, but if you have nothing to report then a simple two line message will do ('Hi this is me, I'm still alive'). *Remember baronial heralds, you cannot miss two consecutive reports or you will put your group at risk of suspension.

For those who missed my message on the Merry Rose and Atlantian Heralds List, my address was printed incorrectly in the Acorn. The correct address is: 612 Jewell Ave., Portsmouth, VA 23701.

Until Later,



What exactly is the process after a name and/or device is submitted? When does it go where and how long will it take and when does it show up in the Acorn?


Month 1: item submitted.

Month 2: item considered at kingdom meeting and sent to Laurel.

Month 3: kingdom results announced.

Months 3-5: Laurel discussion takes place by regular mail.

Month 6: item considered at Laurel meeting.

Month 7-9: Laurel results announced.

Arguments in Favor of the Use of Staffs by Heralds
By Baron Donal Mac Ruiseart, Pursuviant at Large

At the recent Crown Tourney, at which Prince Havordh won the crown for and with Princess Mary Grace, to whom may all good fortune attend in honor both in peace and in conflict; I believe that I was the only herald there who used a staff. The use of staffs by heralds in Atlantia used to be a common practice, in fact it was almost required. I am not sure why the practice has fallen off, though I imagine it has to do with the general trend towards simplification. Although a staff is one more item to add to your packing list and may take a bit of time to construct, a good staff has several advantages, which I will list.

First, it adds dignity to the herald’s appearance. Remembering that one of our prime functions is to add dignity, any practice within reasonable bounds that adds dignity to what we do is a Good Thing.

Second, it gives the herald something to do with his/her hands while officiating. This is an extension of the first, really. Only rarely do a herald’s duties require the use of both hands (and with a bit of practice the staff can be cradled in the elbow or managed in some similar way), and it is much easier to maintain a dignified demeanor when holding a staff. Quite reasonably, there are times, especially in Courts, when the herald does need both hands free, and at such times the staff can be laid aside.

Third, in cases where more than one court is held, such as inter-kingdom courts or Royal and Baronial courts held in the same session, a different herald generally officiates at each different court. In such cases, the staff provides a visual cue as to which herald is officiating. A literal passing of the baton can be performed, adding a bit of extra pageantry to the proceedings. Thus, if I am officiating at a Baronial court and Duke Gyrth at the Royal, His Grace would pass the staff to me on announcing the closure of Royal court, and I would then announce the opening of the Baronial. Or vice versa.

Fourth, it can assist in getting the people’s attention, at least in a hall. Rapping on the floor with a staff is an old way of calling for attention, and can save the herald a little bit of shouting. It’s good for leading cheers, also. Thrust into the air like a drum-major’s baton (which is at least partly a descendant of the herald’s staff), it gives excellent cues for the unison "VIVAT"s that are favored in Atlantia.

Fifth, in the Lists, it is useful for indicating who is who when announcing contestants. "Duke Galmr (point the staff at the Duke) meets Earl Thorbrandr" (point the staff at the Earl) makes it much clearer who is who, especially since the contestants may be equipped differently through a day, and may or may not be wearing their arms.

Sixth, it can ease fatigue. Having something to lean on helps a great deal when one is standing for long periods. Even for such a one as I, who am also a fighter, it is a relief.

Finally, it offers a bit of protection. As heralds, we are usually stationed near the Lists when a fight is in progress. Several times during the recent Crown Tourney, weapons were let go unintentionally with some force and went flying out of the Lists. Though none came close to me, I might have been able to fend one off if it had. Similarly, if a fighter stumbles or backs into where you are, the staff can be held crosswise to hold him away. Unlike marshals, we should never use a staff to intervene in a combat; that is not our duty. Still, I feel much more at ease near a fight with something solid to hold!

The descriptions that follow are based on the sort of sumptuary of regalia that used to be provided to heralds. The staff of a herald should be of a length about equal to the owner’s height, perhaps a bit less. It should be of a good solid wood. Closet rods are not generally a good choice, since they can splinter and are not very strong, in fact. If you can find a good straight piece of rattan, that would be a good choice, if sanded or planed to a smooth surface and painted. An alternative would be to use the sort of "pultruded" fiberglass used for spear shafts. One of my staffs was made from a broom handle, the other from the handle of a garden tool. The staff should have some sort of decorative finial at the top, and should be decorated with one or two gold/yellow and green ribbons. The ribbons should hang down somewhere between a foot and a foot and a half. The staff should be painted green, the color of heralds in the SCA. The finial might be decorated with one’s own colors or the colors of one’s branch or, for a titled pursuviant or herald, elements of one’s title badge. The staff should be held in one hand and used in a dignified way to point out those being addressed, signal cheers, rap for attention, and the like. It should not be spun like a twirler’s baton or used to pantomime combat. Heralds are non-combatants, even those like me who are also fighters.

Atlantian 20 Year: Help Wanted!

At the upcoming Atlantian 20th Celebration, scheduled for either Memorial Day weekend or sometime in June the Barony of Caer Mear has been invited to, and will be holding it's annual Sapphire Joust (formerly Emerald Joust). We are expecting record sized turnouts for both the heavy and rapier list fields, requiring as many as 10-12 concurrent bouts in the early rounds. This is planned to be a *full* heraldic tourney, with full litany, etc for the first round (as well as the quarter, semi, and absolute finals), so it is very vocally intensive. And with so many fighters, just the "Joe is fighting Fred on field 4, Bill and Ted arm and make ready" will be a challenge. As such, I need help, and lots of it. I'm assuming a total of 12 lists between heavy and light, each needs a herald, a runner, and at least 2 reliefs (by my math, if we have a 128 person double elimination list, that will require 14 rounds before the quarterfinals). This is by no means the only heraldic activity going on that weekend, I know nothing about any of that, I presume the person in charge of the overall event will be making their own plea when appropriate. I'm just starting early because the coordination of this is gonna take some effort (and maybe it's just me, but I'd like to be able to conserve my voice for the last few bouts, so the more help I get early on, the easier it's gonna be). If you are willing to assist in this somewhat Herculean undertaking, please contact me at gorm@caermear.org.

Thank you in advance,


(Disclaimer: As with all things in life, changes can occur without notice. The scheduled dates are a result of the letter appearing in the most recent Acorn, their Majesties and/or Highnesses have the right to make changes to the time, place, or anything else, so there.)

Now Hiring
Herald's Point Editor

Greetings to the heralds and chroniclers of Atlantia and all others who read these words.

With Lady Mordeyrn Tremayne taking the position of Clerk of Precedence, I find myself in need of a chronicler to handle the Herald's Point newsletter. The job is challenging (dealing with a diverse group of unique individuals) and rewarding (knowing that your efforts have increased another's information level). What I'm looking for is either a herald who wants to break into newsletter publication (only four quarterly issues a year) or a chronicler who's looking to explore the heraldic arts. Experience (herald and/or chronicler) is preferred, but not necessary - enthusiasm and a desire to put out a quality product is what I'm looking for. Some basic requirements for the position include:

  1. Access to a computer and reliable e-mail. Essential in this modern age of communication.
  2. Desk top publishing skills and the ability to edit. This is a chronicler job.
  3. Some understanding of the heraldic arts. This is also a herald job - but we will give on the job training.
  4. The ability to manually spell check. We do use some terms that do not appear in normal spell-check dictionaries.
  5. Confidence to ask for articles. From the college at large, specific individuals at need, and to remind everyone - including Triton - that it's time to turn them in.
  6. Impartiality as to who is the author of a submitted article. The only bad article is the one that gives dis-information.

If you're still interested, applications will be accepted until the end of February with a decision announced by mid-March. An application package should include your resume of experience (SCA and applicable modern types) and a sample of your work (past and/or mock up for Herald's Point). Although the current publication is web-based, a paper-based newsletter will receive equal consideration.

A final note: this is a dual warranted position, both myself and the Kingdom Chronicler (Baroness Gwendolyn) have to find the applicant worthy for the position.

Until Later,

Lord Michael Batcok
Triton Principal Herald

From the Editor

Greetings all from Lady Mordeyrn Tremayne!

The newsletter is available electronically at: http://herald.atlantia.sca.org.

All members who have email addresses are informed via email when the issue is available. Those who do not have web access will be mailed a copy.

The full College of Heralds of Atlantia Roster is available at http://herald.atlantia.sca.org.

If you have articles you wish printed in the March edition, please send them via email to angelanc@lucent.com as a text file or in Word.

In service to Crown and Kingdom,

The Legal Stuff

Herald’s Point is the newsletter for the members of the College of Heralds of Atlantia. This is the January 2001issue. This newsletter is published quarterly and is available from Lady Mordeyrn Tremayne (Angela Pincha-Neel) 125 Oakridge Ave, Fayetteville, NC 28305. 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 Heraldic policies as they relate to the Kingdom of Atlantia. Corrections and updates should be sent to the Triton Principal Herald, Lord Michael Batcok.