Unto the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, greetings from Kameshima Silver Buccle!
Those of you who were at Crown Tournament this past weekend may have seen a number of people in heraldic tabards. You may have even recognized the designs on some of those tabards as being the badges of the awards of Æthelmearc. Ever wonder what those mean, and what those people wearing those tabards do? Maybe you might even be interested in becoming a herald yourself, and having one of those to call your very own? Well, read on!
Silver Buccle Principal Herald: The Principal Herald is responsible for overseeing all heraldic activities within the Kingdom, including education, submission and registration of names and devices, keeping the Order of Precedence, etc. Unlike in most Kingdoms, in Æthelmearc the Principal Herald is also the primary Court Herald for the King and Queen, responsible for conducting the business of Their Majesties’ Courts. (In most Kingdoms, the Principal Herald has a deputy who is responsible for conducting Court, which means that skill in vocal heraldry is not a requirement for the job of Principal Herald. If a future Principal Herald does not want to conduct the business of Kingdom Court, such a deputy could certainly be named.) Once every three months, Silver Buccle must submit a report to the Laurel Sovereign of Arms (the head herald of the SCA) detailing the heraldic activities within Æthelmearc.
Silver Buccle’s tabard bears the arms of the Kingdom because when they are wearing that tabard, they are speaking as the Voice of the Royalty. Silver Buccle is the only person other than the King and Queen who is allowed to wear the Kingdom Arms.
Deputy Titles and Positions: When each new Principal Herald assumes the office, they have the option to change the duties or title of any deputy. However, the Æthelmearc College of Heralds has traditionally used the following titles for the following deputy offices, and why mess with what works?
Regional Deputies: Silver Buccle has a Regional Deputy in each of the 5 Regions of the Kingdom. (Not sure which region you live in? Look here.) These Regional Deputies are responsible for overseeing heraldic activity in their area, encouraging the interest and education of new heralds in their area, and reporting activity within their area to Silver Buccle to help create the quarterly report to Laurel. In addition, the Regional Deputies may be given “right of first refusal” to conduct Courts in their region when Silver Buccle cannot attend. The Regional Deputies are Millrind Herald (Region 1), Gage Herald (Region 2), Scarlet Guard Herald (Region 3), White Horn Herald (Region 4) and Fleur d’Æthelmearc Herald (Region 5).
Sigil Herald: Sigil Herald is the emergency deputy to Silver Buccle. If Silver Buccle is for some reason unable to fulfill the duties of the position, it will fall to Sigil to fill in until a suitable replacement can be named by the King and Queen. Usually, Sigil is either the previous Silver Buccle, or someone who is very strongly interested in being the next Silver Buccle.
Garnet Herald: Garnet Herald is responsible for managing the submission process for names and armory within the Kingdom. Garnet (with the help of their deputy,
Cornelian Herald – the job is usually too big for one person!) collects all the submissions made to Æthelmearc every month and creates an Internal Letter of Intent which is available for heralds within Æthelmearc to comment on. Garnet and Cornelian then decide whether items should get returned in-Kingdom for further work, or get listed on an External Letter of Intent which is sent to the Sovereigns of Arms for further commentary and, ultimately, registration or return.
Golden Alce Herald: Golden Alce Herald is responsible for keeping the Order of Precedence (or “OP,” available here.), which is the listing of all the awards that subjects of Æthelmearc have received from royalty here and abroad. This information is crucial for anyone who wants to recommend someone to Their Majesties for an award, and is available in several different orderings to help you find exactly who you’re looking for, what awards they’ve received and when they got them.
Keystone Herald: Keystone Herald is the Education Deputy, responsible for encouraging new people to come and learn the basics of heraldry, as well as offering opportunities to experienced heralds to broaden their knowledge of the heraldic arts. Keystone is responsible for organizing heraldic classes for the Æthelmearc Heralds & Scribes Symposium and Æthelmearc Æcademy.
Sycamore Herald: Sycamore Herald is the Tournament Deputy, responsible for organizing heralds to assist with the Crown Tournament, Queen’s Rapier Champion Tournament, and any other tournaments that would benefit from the pageantry of heraldic announcement.
Seedling Pursuivant: Seedling Herald is responsible for maintaining the Shield Trees that we use during Crown Tournament. This job involves regular maintenance to the physical tree hardware, as well as creating new shields for new entrants to Crown Tournament, or entrants who have recently registered arms with the College of Arms.
Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald: Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald (or “Jewel Herald” for short) is the Consultation Deputy. Depending on where Jewel and Garnet decide to draw the line, Jewel can be responsible for organizing and executing Heraldic Consultation Tables within the Kingdom, or if that is an obligation that Garnet would rather handle, Jewel will serve as the primary point of contact for those gentles who cannot attend a consultation table and would rather receive help in designing and documenting their name and armory through online means.
Silent Heraldry Deputy (no title at present): The Silent Heraldry Deputy is responsible for organizing Silent Heraldry (ASL interpretation) for Kingdom Courts, as well as educating other heralds who have an interest in learning this skill. After many years left vacant, the Silent Heraldry position was recently re-introduced in Æthelmearc, and we hope to see the program grow and flourish.
Golden Thorn Herald: Golden Thorn is the College Webminister, responsible for maintaining the College’s Web presence and working closely with Golden Alce Herald to maintain the online OP. Depending on how much of the work Golden Thorn wants to undertake directly and how much they want to delegate, very little heraldic knowledge is actually necessary to do this job, though it does require being a warranted Webminister.
College Exchequer (no title at present): The College Exchequer is responsible for maintaining the financial records of the College. This generally involves receiving and depositing checks from consultation tables, issuing a check to the Laurel Sovereign of Arms office periodically, issuing reimbursements to Æthelmearc heralds for expenses related to their heraldic duties, and issuing a report to Silver Buccle Herald and the College Financial Committee. Much like the College Webminister, this position does not actually involve any heraldic knowledge, though it does require being a warranted Exchequer.
At Crown Tournament, Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle renewed my term as Silver Buccle for another two years. With the beginning of this term, I would like to help people who have an interest in learning and growing into these positions to do so. If you have any questions about any of these positions, or you read one and thought “Hey, now, that’s the job for me!” contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Honor and Service,
Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc