[ANSTHRLD] Star weighs in...

Etienne de St. Amaranth star at ansteorra.org
Mon Sep 13 19:36:59 PDT 2004

Other than answering a few technical points, I've mostly remained quiet 
during this conversation of the new award, awards in general, Crown's 
actions (real, imagined, other), the awards structure, and people's 
feelings.  I firmly believe that when people are passionate about 
something, it is because they care.  This discussion, and its offshoots, 
did not degenerate into any personal attacks and the few "tirades" were 
about systems, procedures, or opinions of the way things ought to be (in 
different opinions).

I sat this out mostly waiting for something I knew would come because I 
know most of you and I knew it was inevitable.  After the emotion, heralds 
(on this list anyway) would start asking questions and heralds would start 
offering suggestions or educational tidbits.  I'm really proud of the 
heralds and scribes of this kingdom because you took a lot less time to get 
there than most lists I've seen explode.  Now comes the hard part; we have 
to take what occured, and we have to look at the suggestions and the ideas, 
and we have to make a plan and implement it.

For starters, I have asked a couple of heralds to work with me offlist on 
the naming of the Optio award.  As soon as we have come up with a workable, 
potentially registerable idea then we will post it for comment.  We will 
probably be involving others as we identify and need expertise.  Be on the 

Next, the list can conflict check the badge for this award.  It has been 
conflict checked before but we all know that it takes more than one set of 
eyes.  The blazon is:  Or, an eagle's leg erased à la quise within a 
bordure embattled gules.

Countess Sara's suggestion of a document for the Crown on what they need to 
know about heraldry and the college in the SCA is one near to my heart.  I 
had even discussed with our current Zodiacus (when I interviewed her) about 
my perception of the need for a class or at least a Q&A session about this 
type of issue.  A document which could lead to the new Crown asking for a 
Q&A session might be even better.  So, I am asking if there is a person on 
the list who would be interested in collecting the topics that the list 
might suggest which need to be communicated; perhaps a TopTen (or Twelve) 
list of critical need to knows or most common problems (from the heralds' 
perspective).  I don't need a whole write-up at this point, just a person 
willing to be a collector of topics; we'll add the write-ups 
later.  Volunteers?

Master Robin and Mistress Serena have not simply alluded, rather they have 
very clearly stated, that there is a defined structure to the Ansteorran 
awards system that is critical to how it works.  I'd like to get that 
documented.  Not the entire tome it would take to explain it, the why of 
it, and the history that resulted in it; what I am looking for is the 
executive summary that would appear at the beginning of such a tome and 
would likely conclude with something like:  "This is the system.  To 
understand the whys, and the history, is a task not unlike the passing on 
of a vocal tradition and history like the pre-written history of 
Ireland.  This document should raise questions; those questions are best 
answered by having a conversation with the heralds who know the history and 
who can provide the color to the black and white of the system itself.  To 
reach one of these heralds, contact your principal herald who can point you 
in their direction (and likely participate)."  I know Mistress Serena's 
workload in the college right now and Master Robin has other things on his 
plate.  But, first shot at producing a summary document needs to be 
theirs.  I'll talk to them about this offlist since reading this will be 
the first they have heard of it.

Some other awards updates, since we are on the topic.  The Order of the 
Golden Lance is out of kingdom and in commentary at the Laurel level.  The 
Arcus Majoris (which was its own thread awhile back) has a very possible 
solution now and I will be meeting with the circle very soon to verify that 
this solution is acceptable and to implement it.  Yes, once I have talked 
to the circle then I will be bringing that solution back to this list for 
commentary.  Including the Optio, these three should be the last three not 
complete in their registration process.  We are close.

Lastly, I will repeat a few things I said near the beginning of this thread 
on Sept. 7, 2004.  "Their Majesties approached the principal herald prior 
to their coronation to discuss this [award].... The real advantage to what 
this Crown has done is that, while they strove for secrecy, They did 
consult with their principal herald ahead of time and They have broken the 
secret early enough in Their reign to personally amend or modify anything 
needed for registration or the constitution.  More importantly, while They 
strove to keep this a secret until it was unveiled, Their Majesties want 
this to be correct heraldically and have actively involved the principal 
herald and They are willing to do what is needed to achieve 
registration."  While some might challenge the need or reason for the 
secrecy, the Crown wanted it and that was the fact of it.  But, TRM have 
done what has been done with the deliberate intent of getting this resolved 
and registered and with the knowledge that some adjustment might have to 
happen.  That is a large step away from the fears I heard earlier last week 
of theoretical Crowns who simply act with prior consult, and leave the 
situation to be dealt with by others.  It may not be everyone's version of 
utopian award creation (if such exists short of Glenn Abhann and you like 
their solution) but I'll take it over the purgatory of the fears expressed 
last week.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled list and hope that until more 
substantive material is posted (like a name submission for comment or a 
conflict check) that this topic can rest for a bit.  But not too long... we 
have work to do.

Seigneur Etienne
Star Principal Herald

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