An ode in honor of the SCA College of Arms, for their labors on the Virtual Herald’s Point endeavor of AS LV/

by Lord Gavin Kent (mka Greg Tremblay), February 2021, for presentation as candidate for the office of Sylvan Bard of Æthelmearc. Note: Lord Gavin was chosen as King’s Bardic Champion on March 20, A.S. LV. A video of his performance may be viewed here

O there were days, some years ago
When folk did rightly tremble
To brave the Laurel, Pelican
And Wreath when they’d assemble

“AH NO” they’d cry with wrung-ed hands
“They’ll tell you you can’t have that”
“The Heralds are a prickly lot,
“Your dreams are sure to fall flat!”

Perhaps, alas, there were betimes
Decisions not so noble
In teens and twenties there was snark
Positions quite immobile

But nowadays my friends, take heed
Accept the hand they proffer
Pray, strike “Rejected” from your lips
You really are no bother!

In baronies and shires vast
They work in good will, earnest.
Guides in lands quite labyrinthine
That is their sacred purpose

Then came nigh the year of plague
Events to the wayside fell
Feast halls silent, no battle raged
Heralds were idle as well.

And so, it came in Fifty Five
As Pennsic was in question
That in the space Ethereal
There was a bold suggestion:

“Let us create a Herald’s point”
They said, their eyes a-shining
“Virtual! For, without wars
There are desires pining”

They set to work and called upon
Heralds wide and far
From Æthelmearc to Western Lands
All the kingdoms that are

A grand estate they built inside
These our ethereal lands
The college lent their time and skills
The work of many hands

A grand pavilion, digital
Did welcome all who sought
For names, devices, badges too
They gathered at that spot

As partners to a dance they paired
With heralds eager and keen
To take up inspiration
And see what was to be seen

Clerks there were who lent their toil
To craft submissions, ready
For coin to transfer swift and true
The flow of packets steady

And for the artists of renown,
What words could ‘ere be spoken?
A thousand each for labors good
Would merely be a token

Tomes pored over, entries found
For names and deeds and places
So all could speak the praise of kin
And we would know their faces

While many hands did lend their toil
To bring forth such a feat
Lacking names of the tireless few
No ode could be called complete

Non Scripta, Istvan brought to life
Ethereal manor’s stones
Crampette Lillia led the Van
That none should toil alone

Marie de Blois she lent her gaze
To the order of the day
Thorkel son of Pal assured
That all who came could pay

Owen Tegg of the Artistry
Siren Julianna too
Iago and Ollivier
And Joscelin labored true.

Four score and a few did toil
Through the day and through the night
Until the fortnight and a half
Was done, deeds brought to light

Although that great phantasmic field
Lies quiet in its slumber
The submissions who crossed its glades
Were thrice two hundred numbered

Eighteen score of our populace
Did realize their dreams
For names and arms to hold and have
By which to know our esteem

SO, tho that labor is ended
Know you my friends one and all
The College of Arms stands ready
To rise and answer our call

AND SO, lift up your voices high
Heralds are not as you thought
For their knowledge, skill and artistry
Let us cry them… VIVAT!

Notes on the Composition:

The SCA College of heralds brought about an astonishing feat in 2021, holding a never-before-attempted, wholly online version of a War Herald’s Point. In her preface to the January 2021 Letter of Acceptance and Returns, Laurel Soverign of Arms Emma Featherstan had this to say, which provided the entirety of the factual content of this ode:

“As I write this, we are finalizing the last consulations(sic) from the Virtual Heralds Point. Signups ran for three weeks, and by the end we’re looking at 616 items from 359 different individuals, from all twenty kingdoms! This is an amazing result, far better than we’d hoped for…—
…In total, I believe we had something over eighty heralds working in various capacities. I cannot express how floored I am by the amount of work done in a relatively short amount of time, and wish to commend each and every one of you for truly participating in this thing we call the Society College of Arms. Well done!“