Tale of the blue Paw favors


One of the things in becoming northern region herald (from now on just saying Blue Talbot) is that I had wanted to show heralds that might go otherwise unseen at least a good way of saying thank you for their hard work and continue wishes to continue their hard work in Heraldry for their area.  Upon conversation with the Elmet Herald, our East Kingdom Educational herald;

“We have a bunch of senior heralds, a bunch of very much newb heralds, and nothing in between for an intermediate herald pool”

Hmmm ok noted so time to start recognizing those that are not newer heralds but yet not senior heralds (however they classify that)

And during the announcement of the regional offices someone inquired about my title of Blue Talbot.  It was referred to in the past as the “blue’s clues” herald.

Wait what was that?

Hmmmm ok I can sooooo run with that

Running on that idea I had a couple of favors made, simple white field with blue paw print within a blue bordure. See below.

Dog_paw_print_black original idea

and then with help of a wonderful Laurel



Two heralds one not within my region however I have been in many classes with her, and she has shown herself a herald of great ability, willingness and joy to work with.

The other I have recently started to learn about, I attended a recent class with, she organized heralds point, and has shown herself to be a wonderful herald, and the recommendation from her Pursuivant was the seal of approval.

Lady Muirenn ingen Dúnadaig



Lady Matilda Wynter


Thank you for your wonderful service, looking forward for working with you some more, and please if you see any herald in need of the paw, let me know :)

Yours in Service always



Blue Talbot Herald


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The tale of new position, new challenges


I know it has been a while since I have posted within these pages.  Within the last couple of months I have to step away from being Malagentia’s Herald, as I have been asked, and accepted to be a Northern Regional Herald (Blue Talbot Herald) for the East Kingdom.  Needless to say I was one part surprised, one part honored, and one part going “Holy sh*t, what have I gotten myself into”.  So with that I wanted to take a bit of time and compose my thoughts correctly so that way I can articulate the change from my own eyes.

For many the promotion from local to regional may not seem that big of deal to them, or then again may seem to them. “Well now that I am regional I can relax a bit.” For me it was a bigger set of responsibilities, and like times of the past.  Give me something I can run with, I will do what I can to run as hard, and as fast as I can.

Ok, so we have an idea what is to be expected, and we have an idea of what is to be looked into.  Yep, I can do this.

So, to go on was to reach out to all Pursuivant Heralds, get contact information, membership numbers. The works to get a northern region data base up and running.  Not too bad with the exception of Kingdom Law changes about shires either would have a knight marshal, or a herald.  And let’s face it I know well to, sticks are sexy.  So I roll the dice when I search out on their websites and emails to the various lists I am on whether what kind of reply I would get.

The one province I have and the two Baronies answered wonderfully and came for the moment of truth, out of the twelve cantons or shires that are out in the northern region, would I hear a reply back.  My honor and surprise was that a good portion of them do have heralds.  My joy could not be more wonderful as to as an office, a herald can be a wonderful factor to have in any local group, for name and device submission, to keep track of the local rolls and honors of their local group, and so on.  So to see so many that are not required to have someone in the office, to have not only heralds within their local group, however enthusiastic heralds at that.

I am looking forward to my time as Blue Talbot Herald, as this will be an adventure in a totally different light, As well as the occasional name and device submission I can lend a hand in, after all that is my first love, and after all who would want a registered name and pretty device to call their own.


Till next time

Conall an Doire

Blue Talbot Herald

blue talbot

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The tale of the Frog, the Owl, and the bacon

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything, however the fall actually brought some delightful changes and as I am working on developing into a new roll.  More on that at a later installment, this time I wish to speak about some of my last entries before the change.

Lasair is a good friend from thunder clan, she pops up one day requesting to get her name submitted and device as well, I considered this an honor where as 90% of that clan is all Norse, so to work on something one had wanted and it’s not Norse but Celtic?? Ohhh heaven.

First this is also where I want to say, if you have the chance to pick up Irish Names by Donnchadh O Corrian.  Do so, there is so much information that is in there that the Academy or many online search forms may not have, then I highly recommended.  With that said guess where her name was found.  Yep.  Right here.

After hours of searching online, including a failure using family search online, had to ask where she found it.  “Well Cailte loaned me his Celtic book”… “Wait nuf said.”  Open up separate PM.

“Hey dude can you do me a favor and tell me what page Lasair name is on”

“You really need that book.”

“Yep I know it is on my wish list”

So after a bit of a conversation and digital pic of the book later.  Her surname was a bit easier, after all there was some browsing and compromise to work it just right, and she loved ‘an dunaidh’ right away.

Her device was easier to set up, she showed me something that she had been working on for her lord.  The device itself is a bit easy all together, and those are ones I like to work on the most, for they are want the client wishes, they are simple, and they are quick to put together.  The trick with these devices is that it’s also easy to run into conflict.  So far so good as it goes into work we shall see.

Lasair an Dunaidh I give you

“Sable, a frog tergaint argent, in chief a sun OR”

Lasair color

Ahhh the family grows yet again another member of the Oak, has decided to get her name and device through the works, now granted since this is written her original device had bounced for color on color, which I will admit I should of foresaw beforehand, however as many different things that we have to do and all the rules that we have to chew through, sometimes the easiest ones can just pass by, at that point I made a vow, put every device on the FB heraldry page, and baby heralds page, for the multiple eyes can help before the client send it out.

Name first, and I must say easy peazy.  First of all surname, done deal and archived, grab the same info as the last time done.  (Got to love it when that comes together) next stage is her given name, thank you for being you and doing the research herself.  Sent her the site to go start, she kicks back with a period spelling of her real name.  SWEET, how I enjoy those.

As far as her device is concerned, it was

Gules, a owl displayed argent in chief sable three crescents argent


All we did to make things easier is to make the line division in half to a per fess, and adding a bordure gives another point of difference just to play it safe, and look sharp as well.  So my fair oak, I am honoured to get your owl off the ground and start the journey.


Sarra an Doire

“”Per fess gules and sable, a owl displayed and in chief three crescents argent, all within a bordure argent”

Sarra an Doire color

Finally today is one I found a great giggle in making reality,  Nevel is one of the primary people in baconpalooza here at the Great Northeastern War.  And all the side comments her wished for his badge were right up that ally, I did a rough idea, posted it in the heraldry FB group and weeded out all the bacon proper comments lol I was able to see there was no conflicts nor issues we can see presented it to him and hopes all go well

Nevel Sudlow

“Argent, three barlets wavy palewise gules.”


till next time


Conall an Doire

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The tale of the Rose, and the Clover

There are times with devices that I can see just by the conversation with the client, on what they are looking for, so the challenge for me becomes, looking for the right line division, if any, add the charges in the locations that they client is looking for, and add the color and case closed.  There are a few devices that are not so cut and dry.  For those I help the client try to see as I do and lead them toward a way that would be a combination of what they are looking for, and what I feel would be met with approval with The College of Heralds.

Both of these individuals I have known for a while and where it was a joy to get their documentation all in order.  At times I need to remember I am learning another language and a set of guidelines that are not too familiar with it.  So it’s not the manner of them not understanding so much on the way I am describing, however it is more so me reminding myself to play translator and see it from their point of view.

Both their names were either a cross of looking up them under any of the various English links in The Academy of St Gabriel.  The other part (usually their surnames) came from one source.  And this is a source that I would use as a stable in constructing a consultation table, or a traveling consultation kit.

Withycombe, E.G. Oxford A Dictionary of English Surnames

I sooo love this book.  For where there are many that would like to have English name, within the period that we play, chances are that this book is where I am going to find it.  As well as with it on the “no need to photocopy “list makes it more so whereas saves time and worry at many events.

There devices were a lot of work. And this is where I will go on about the process.

First of all for Ms. Steele:  She at first was looking for a quarterly (or a shield broken up in four parts) with a color and different charge in each quadrant.  Rule one for this would been the marshalling issue that I have become more and more familiar with as of late.  The issue becomes, each quadrant becomes a bit more complicated when you start looking into the colors and different charges and over all becomes harder and harder to pass.  How do you give what she is looking for and at the same time, make this somewhat a bit easier for the college to accept.

First started with the background; Instead of quarterly, take a page of her lord’s shield.  The both liked the colors red and white, so divide it at an angle top right to bottom left, make it red (gules) and then white (argent).  Now I know what you must be saying “Conall isn’t that going to make a conflict between the two?”

Under normal circumstances yes, if that was the only part of the device. Here is where the charges are going to come into play.

For Mr. Midnight what we did for him was take a tower make it Or (gold) place it on the red (Gules) section, and on the white (Argent) side, then place a four leaf clover.

For Ms. Steele we have the same colors and line divide however in this particular case we take a white (argent) rose and on the white (argent) section make a black (sable) cat.  On top of that fix a black (sable) bordure with a semi of acorns in white (argent) and between the charges, the border, the semi of acorns we get many ways to clear any conflict.

So I give to you

Rose Steele

Per bend sinister gules and argent, a rose slipped and leaved argent and a domestic cat rampant, a bordure sable semi of acorns argent.

rose color 2



Edward Midnight

Per bend sinister gules and argent, a tower Or and a four leaf clover vert

edwarde midnight color

What did I learn from this, what the client originally may not work, and if that is the case do not get discouraged, however act like that tour guide and guide your client into a way that works for them and the college at the same time.

As well as because you are a herald that is learning the rules, remember that you are on the other side of the table before and with that, remember you need to play translator in turning heraldieze into English so that they see things as you do and will never get frustrated in you because they do not understand exactly what you are talking about.

Till next time


Conall an Doire

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

The tale of the Owl, the Seahorse, and the Oaks

For this entry, I really want to talk about doing a proper conflict check before handing the submission back before the client back to them.  One of the greatest recourses in this I use often is the sca heraldry page, or if I think it can be lesson to others as well as to myself, then I will set it up in the SCA baby heralds page.

Conflict checking even a preliminary one, can avoid having to go back to the client over and over, for resubmissions.  Many of the conflicts that I have seen to this date, can be headed off by checking with other heralds on either one of those two places (for let’s face it, with device, you can miss something, and other eyes help) or going to the search the arms and armorial, and doing the extensive back ground check there and see if there is any conflict at all.

The next two submissions I will talk about follows along this case, whereas when I did the conflict check myself these seemed to be ok at first, then I went to the sight to help with double checking my blazon, and with the process had found a conflict with them that had to be worked out at the same time.

First one was with Ellice de Valles.  Her name had passed back in October of 2010 so all I had to work on was the device she wished.  She has been using for a long time was Azure, with an owl as the primary charge and a heart up in chief for the other part.

A really nice easy device to design until the initial conflict check happened.  This particular device conflicted with two different people a badge and a device in process.  The best way to clear the conflict was to make it counterchanged.  For that gave me two Direct Changes for the background tincture and the charges counterchanged as well.

So final product is

Per pale azure and argent, an owl and in chief a heart counterchanged

Ellice de Valles

The next one I wish to talk about with Adrienne d’Evreus.  Her name was a bit of a tricky one to document, where as she was using a place name for her surname.  The trick of it was with it, that the town that she wished to be from is a modern spelling of a period place.  With this I needed to find a period spelling to make her name registered.

Her device was a lesson for me in not only conflict checking, however the way that Direct Changes worked, in regards with counterchanges.  What I have learned that you can have two almost identical devices, as which we have at this time, however because the colors are different (or in this particular case the same colors just in different order) gives us one DC for the background, and one DC for the reversal of the charge colors.

This is good to know for as where there could be clients that really want a setup of a device, however as long as you can alter the colors in aspect then at that case you then can make two devices both become registered through the college.

The final product for her is

Per fess wavy azure and argent, a seahorse counterchanged

Adrienne 1 color

The final one I wish to talk about in regards of conflict checking. Is The House of the Thirteen Oaks.  I am extremely proud of this one, whereas this is not just my house hold submission, however the pride in this one, is I identified the conflict, tried to ask for a permission to conflict.  Then come up with alternative ways to get the house badge into existence.

First the name was a bit tricky.  We have decided to be an Irish household, however we did not wish to have a patronymic set up, which a lot of households in period Ireland did.  The way we worked around this is to set up the name under an English household naming set up.  Mind you this did bring up many raised eyebrows with the entire house hold.  Once we found a set up that worked for use, then we turned around and though of how it was going to be named.  With 13 of us in the initial set up, and with a lot of us with the “an Doire” surname, which means “of the oaken grove”, we decided “Thirteen Oakes” would be appropriated.

With the name in place we tried to come up with an oaken style badge to signify us.  Originally we looked into Quarterly, with Green and white. With four acorns.  Nice, sweet, and simple.  The problem occurred when I did the conflict check with our badge and found with the exception of the colors, we conflicted with a Duchess in the East.

I found contact information for Her Grace from a local person that knows many of the Royal Peers in the East; I reached out to her in hopes that she would be ok with us conflicting with her device.  Sadly after a period of time and no response in kind, I decided it would be wiser to find another way to approach this.

After many designs that made it either made it confusing between an acorn and a roundel.  Enough separation, or even the lay out just not working, finally deciding to go with a badge that instead of acorns, however oak leaves, and crecents moons in the border.

A couple of conflict checks later looking clear of conflict, we come up with

Argent, five oak leaves in a cross vert within a border a semy of crescents counterchanged.

House of the Thirteen Oaks 3

(Yes we are some happy little trees)

What I have learned with this take your time with conflict checking, it will help the clients in the long run.

At first you do not succeed take a step back, as questions to the client, and try again.

Counterchanges are not an easy way out, however they can make it easy to clear conflict, look into the possibility and if the client likes it go for it.


Till next time


Conall an Doire

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

The tale of the two Scots and a the Healer an Doire

A friend of mine that I have known for the longest time, finally decided to join the SCA after years of hearing the stories from many mutual friends of ours.  He was looking to submit a Scottish Gaelic name for himself and for his son.  Now I have done Gaelic names before, Irish and Scottish naming structures mixed and match do the trade relations of the time, is nothing common, the trick is to identify a Scottish name from an Irish name.

He did a lot of the leg work for me, as his own history did follow back to Scotland.  He found the surname within the Academy of Saint Gabriel list I sent to him.  He chose the given name of Nicol, (for which we nicknamed him Nickel).   For his son that was easier, for Walter is a very common name. So I just needed to find documentation for the time period that they were looking for.

His surname gave me a bit of trouble.  There was a story he told me what he was looking for was a direct line to his family back in then, the name itself Donnchadh has various different spellings for the documentation we have found.  His original spelling that he was looking for, and the documentation for what I was seeing, didn’t really mesh well at first, and after a bit of communications from “phone a herald” and him as the client where able to give him something that worked well, and at this point has passed Kingdom level and on its way to society so I’ll be excited for him for when it gets through.

His device was I have to admit, a challenge in a small aspect, for the style of line division that he wished I have not worked before, he wished to incorporate a fess urdy, into his device.   What a fess urdy is a complex line division that are not strait and take some sort of decorative pattern (see below for the example of Sable a fess urdy argent.)


Now after setting up the line division, the charge style he originally wished was for a gauntlet holding in its clenched fist a golden apple.  The trick with this is that you would not really see the apple as the hand holding it, would make it hard to distinguish the apple from the gauntlet.  How do you fix this you may ask yourself?  A compromise, by placing two apples in the chief and the gauntlet in base.

Now let me take a moment to explain about color plans, when deciding on your personal device, you may want to look at it from many forms before we get to print, and color.  Whatever do I mean about this?  Well let me explain about our good friend Nicol here.  Originally he wished to have the background gold, and the urdy sable (so gold background and black urdy) before we could even get to the placement of the gauntlet and the apples, I start laughing hard.  Nicol dumbfounded looked at me and asked what was so funny.  So what I did was a simple google image search and showed him this (see below) “oh nothing Charlie Brown”


A bit of modification came to adjust the color scheme, however as you can see, line division, color patterns, and placement can make you see everyday things be heraldry.

So for my good friend Nicol mac Donnachaidh I give you

“Gules, a fess urdy between two apples Or and a clenched gauntlet issuant from base argent.”

Nicol mac Donnachaidh

As well for Walter mac Donnachaidh I look forward to work on your device when the time comes.


Another family member chooses her name.  A so love working on someone from the household, normally it shows growth from us as well half the documentation is already set.  By what is becoming a growing tradition with many within the family is by taking the “an Doire” surname for themselves.  I will say I love this with all my heart.  Not because I am the local herald and documenting them just became an easy factor, or because the fact I am the head of the house and it gives me a thick ego.  I love this because we are all good friends outside the society, so for them wanting to take my name means I taught them well, and they love how we are together and for that it’s an honor for me to have my “line” continue on.

In this case a later bloomer joined up with us, and we have gone through many different variations of a given name that she would like, she would like something, then think about it for a minute, and change her mind, go back and forth.  I would try something, it would stick and then some time later we would be back at the drawing board again.

Her given name was found when I was looking through the Index of Names in Irish Annals.  I so love this source when dealing with a modern irish Gaelic name, for then the meaning within the name is there as well and usually quite helpful when working with someone not too sure which way to go (besides being Gaelic).

As she is a healer in the medical field in her mundane life, and bouncing around some sights to translate the meaning of some of the names we had, I saw Sláine, with the meaning of “health”.  Well that worked.  She naturally latched on this and embraced it.   So I present to you Sláine an Doire.


Till next time

Conall an Doire

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Tale of the book and the website

When I first started with this office, I had a vision, a vision where anyone in the local group can go and look up the heraldry for anyone in the local group, read the blazon, and keep an official roll of arms.  The idea was planted and now I had to make grow.

This I knew that this would be an undertaking to say the least.  How would I set this up? How would it be presented? How would this look.  How could I do this?

That is never easy questions to answer.  First idea was to start an excel sheet of all the devices and their names attached with them.  I went over the Order of Precedence, and I took down the names, and then went over to the Search Forms for the SCA Armorial. (Located at http://oanda.sca.org/) and using the Name Pattern Search Form.  With that go down each name step by step, and see who has arms passed, and get everyone’s blazon.

Once the list was constructed then it was the task to construct everyone’s emblazoning everyone’s device (or make the pictorial representation of each one).  This task alone was one of the longest parts in the whole thing.   Taking a blank shield from the forms, and then designing every single device that is within the local group.  Using pictures, of those individuals that have their arms displayed, and using that to see how each charge is layed out helped tremendously.  For those that I could not see, whether it’s on their various pages, or any search online, or the forms that I have on file, then it becomes a trial by error.

Let me say on this regard that doing devices that way, is a good lesson on how the blazon and the emblazon can be interesting to work together for the final product.   Seeing the background, to the charges, and any border that anyone could have, is like looking at a wedding cake coming together and each layer being a challenge, but rewarding at the same time.

Ok, so after setting that up, what next? Well that begins on the pros and cons of finding a way to set this up.  First the Province has navigated to a new fancy dandy website, so I saw a great place for it.  Now, what tools can I use for this?  Well, the spreadsheet was not going to work; format was not compatible, word document?  Well that works well, however I brained stormed another idea to go along with this, (thanks to one of our wonderful Laurels).  What was that idea? Well check this out.

One day either at fighter practice, or archery practice.  Mistress Honig, mentioned where I was in close ear shot. “I wish there was something on the website that if you click on something, it takes you to that person’s EK wiki page.”  See how she plants that seed?  Well, I took it loud and clear.  So… scratch the word document, which left one option only.  Set the whole thing up in HTML.


Let me say coding is not my thing, so this was a learning curve to begin with.  I have all the information, now, need to upload the pics to a site, write the HTML, find everyone that has a wiki page, and link them all together.  I love it when plans start coming together.  With HTML not my thing, I used an editor to help start all the code together (and one of the web ministers cleaned up all that code to something much better that I can use as well.)

Now what order did I wish to display this?  OP format? Or another way? Simple Alphabetical order based on given name.  Why? Cause it will be easier to update in the long term.

Ok, once the names, devices, and blazon was all set, then I had to go back down the list one more time, with a search engine in the east kingdom wiki page and check every name and see who had pages created, and who has not.  Once the pages were linked to each device, each name has a device, and the format is all set.  Next thing to do is submit it to the web minister for approval.  After some quick changes that needed to be made the approval went through.  I have to say this has been a wonderful tool, for me, scribes in our group, and the group at large.  Check it out for yourself:



After I got this project done, I was not finished with this alone.  Combining that page and the OP I really wished for a hard copy of something like a rolls of office, to be used at any demo we may have, or at heralds point, or to have handy if lack of internet connection made it difficult to retrieve what someone’s device look like, or what awards and honors an individual may receive.

Ok well both of these have already researched for the previous website, so all I need is to add blank shields for those that did not have approved arms, and add those that whose current names may not have gone through the College of Heralds.

Using the OP as a reference point I started off with the name first, then a spot for the heraldry, and at first set up on the proceeding page the list of all their awards.  Easy Peasy right?  Well in some aspects yes, for the information is right there, just need to line it up, and in this case how do I format this?  Well in this case OP format seemed to me to be the more logical part at this point.  Sweet, got it all prepped and printed and presented a rough draft to the local group, who ate it up.

Now we took the information from them as far a better way to make this look better.  Step one change the font to look more period.  Step two, instead of separate sides of pages arranges the awards and honors to the side so that it can look like rolls.  This I will let you know is no easy task, for those in the High Merit section, or even just the AOA portion of the OP not much room is needed, those on the higher section, that have gone above and beyond so many times, getting all their honors on one page proved to be a daunting task without it being squashed.

Trial and error and patience was key in getting this developed (pictures to come within an update)


Always in most wonderful Service


Conall an Doire

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment