Monthly Archives: June 2014

The beginnings and the tales of Birna, Edward, Isabella, and Heather

So, it begins, about 6 months after training under to become deputy Herald, I found myself in a position to take over the job at the next elections.  To say I was nervous was an understatement to say the least.  Wondering on things that I was never told, how to promote heraldry for the local group, and being a good herald overall.

After  a good amount of emails, and face book messages about the status of people’s names, and / or device submissions, it started to dawn on me that too many this is really important to them.  Two sites became vital for me to keep the outstanding people informed on their progression.  First is the OSCAR, which is the Online System for Commentary and Response. (in the past was now is another for that was the Search Forms for the SCA Armorial (

(ok Rule number three when you help someone make a submission follow them all the way threw so they can see the process from their end)

With these two sites I am able track each submission i work on from beginning to end.

Now I must make a note that two things have changed from the time frame of any herald before me, and from when I took over.  First a major rules change, the standards heralds would use in the past were to use as a guidelines in their process had been reworked to The Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory (also known as the SENA ) (  and the other, in days past heralds were responsible for helping complete the form, collecting the money of the clients and send that and their paperwork to the Kingdom to start their journey, well not any more, we are to assist with the forms, print out what is needed, and then return the packages to the clients and instruct them on where to send the forms to.

Now to see there was some growing pains in getting the correct information down, is an understatement, and there were many forms that the kingdom level heralds I am sure where scratching their heads however that will be explained in greater details as these get posted.

Some of my work at that time frame include:

Birna Svensdotter:   birna svensdotter

First experiment into the Viking naming system.  The Viking Answer Lady ( was a valuable resource in constructing these.  All the information that I could name as far as names, documentation, patronymics system instead of surnames.  This particular client had done her research beforehand so this was completely simple.  Her device of red (gules) with a white band in chief, with a white bear rampant  with three sticks within the white band.  The story about this is basically “Do not poke the angry bear” in which we get a blazon (written description of the device ) ” Gules, a bear rampant on a chief argent three wooden staves bendwise sinister proper.”


Edward and Isabella de Bosco:  Edward de Bosco Isabella de Bosco

This was really easy to construct as the family in question did all their back ground work before hand.  an interesting story about Edward’s device.  One of his original designs was to have an Oak tree with three crescent moons in chief.  (mmmm that sounds way to familiar) so after showing him my device we worked on a rework, and came up with a pair that worked well for them Edward’s “Azure, a tree Or and on a chief embattled argent three Latin crosses flory sable.” and Isabella’s “Azure, a horse rampant and on a chief embattled argent, three shamrocks vert.”


Heather MacDowell:  heather mac dowell

This was the first person that wished to talk to me about being a deputy for me.  Her name was a good practice in tying her real name with a documented Scottish name.  Her device featured her favorite things at that time, of archery, oak leaves, and a quill to become “Vert, on a bend between a bow reversed and a quill pen bendwise argent, three oak leaves palewise azure.”

For now the beginnings are work, but the rewards of seeing my first projects completed are the big reward.


Yours in most wonderful services

Conall an Doire

The Tale of being a deputy and the OP

I started working with Marcus Blackheart about being his deputy herald, when I moved from Lewiston back to Portland.  I was actually excited about this process, to learn what it takes to be a successful herald, learn about things from those that came before me, and to assist those that wish to get their names and devices registered (because like Lay’s Potato chips you shouldn’t really only have one).    Within a couple of meetings working with him I was given my first project.  “Hey the Chronicler is going to need the Order of Precedence (OP for short) update so they can publish the POMP for an upcoming Moonstone newsletter.”  He says to me.

“Hmm ok I can do that.” I reply thinking that I should just take last years, update for the current year, and all is grand.

“Ok, here is the POMP from four years ago, all the Pike Staffs from this last year, and what I am looking for is an excel sheet that we can add as needed, move things around easier,  like that.”

“Ok, so what you are saying is that this hasn’t been worked on for a bit.”


“How long do I have?”

Wait for it, cause trust me you can almost hear the trumpets in the background playing that solemn tone of impending doom.  “Four weeks.”

So my mind is racing, the OP has not been updated in a while, he has taken the office back in January, or back then whichever time frame it is, has sat on this request, and at the eleventh hour handed this off to his deputy to make happen or see him sink in progress.  Ok let the motor run cause I soooo got this.

So after looking over the last Pomp and disregarded all the devices to be used for later use, I quickly saw how the OP was set up like.  (Royalty, peers, high merit) etc.  With this I set up the excel sheet to reflect the lineup of the information I have.  Once that was in place, go through all the pike staff, try to pick from the current OP and other articles who currently a part of the Province, who I recognize so I can add them, update for their current honors, and then reorganize the whole thing to everyone’s current at that time frame current positions.  (Oh did I happen to mention I am doing all this while between calls at the call center that I am currently working at)

When the process started to find a rhythm to it than the mountain of information has turned into a nice grassy hill.  After three days of organizing, updating, shifting, and double checking (using the East Kingdom version where all the court reports are reflected) came up with a home run of an Order of Precedence that I still update to this day.

(Feel free to check it out here)



Journey from the beginning



Every journey starts with a single step I have heard in the past, well with me that is so true.  There were many years I was thinking of how I would be liked to be called within the SCA, as well at the same time the exact look of my device.

I was taught at an early step that you have to come up with your name first, without the name the device cannot move forward, without a name you have no substance (as well as when I was quailing for Heavy combat “if you don’t find a name we will find one for you” ok so yea I need a name.  I knew this wasn’t as simple as turning to my favorite Tolkien book, Dungeons and Dragons hand book, or name generation script box as done as times in the past to bail me out of this one, so I asked myself “ok how one goes about finding a name?”  The herald at that time was able to point me into the right direction.  There is a website ( ) that you can go to and find many names that were in use within period that I can browse, mix and match, and see what works, what feels good, and play around with it.

Ok, so now I am at the website, I click on “The Medieval Names Archive” and I scroll down and wow look at all the information that is in here on names.  English, to Romanian, Spanish, to Arabic.  The sky is indeed the limit here.  So first question “Who am I?”  And even better “Where am I from”

Very good questions considering this is going to be the foundation of whom I am going to be, and the foundation of my full amount of research.  Hmmm ok, so I arrive to a fighter practice one day, and my arthritis is bad that day so I forgo the practice and I can stand back and watch and take in, at the same time that I can look at everyone’s armor, style, and as I am learning everyone’s names and see what flavors the local area has.

We have a mix that is for sure.  English, French, Italian, Roman, Russian, just to name a few.  As I am looking at the fine gentles that we have the first thing that struck a chord with me.  We have at that time only one other person was doing an Irish persona.  Ok, sold. (Clicking on Irish and Manx Names on the website) and start the path of running down names and time periods and seeing what sticks and then go from there.

For the longest time I have a pull toward Connar, (sounding like a ripping from Highlander), ok well while looking down the site what sounds close to Connar, Conall, hmm hey that has a nice ring to it, and is easy to pronounce (which I have found that with many field or court heralds can say, when it is great that your name just flows and sounds so regal, if it is hard to pronounce correctly is problematic right off the bat).  Ok so we have the first name, now what family am I attached to.  First name I came across that seemed to roll right for a bit was Dungal.  I actually played with this for a little bit of time while I was living in Lewiston, and I never really like the flow of my name, something did not fit right.  So before I moved back to the Portland area (Malagentia proper) I was browsing the Irish Annals portion of the website I came across (an Doire), hey this has a nice ring, I do not need a O or a Mac to join the two of them together, which frankly I was not sold on those, and the bonus was the translation (of the oaken grove) oh I was hooked at that moment.

Ok the name is set, now to lock into a device.  Without boring people with the details of all the devices that never made the thought process, never left the drawing board, stood around for a bit and then get discarded, or the Dead on arrival runes for a bit giggle.  When my name was locked in, I wanted to have a device that says “Conall an Doire” at sight.  First attempt had me looking into a Celtic tree of life and that to me looked good, till after consulting with other heralds that stated that the “Celtic tree of life was not shown as a period charge” (ok note number 1 whatever charges I decide with has to be documented as used within period or could have been used in period) ok well my surname means Oaken grove, or from the Oaken grove, an Oak tree should be the primary charge. (or the largest charge in the shield), with a half black and half blue field (my favorite colors), up in chief (or the upper part of the shield) I really wished to have the goddess symbol (crescent full moon crescent) again the look and the format of them from consulting heralds let me to feel that would not be easy to pass.  Ok, how about three crescent moons (also my tribute to Mist of Avalon).

The first attempt at this was sent off, and ran into a conflict with someone in another kingdom (ok rule number 2 great minds thinking alike is good however will be returned to conflict).  Simple solution even though the Herald at the time thought that was the “easy out” was to make a white boarder around it.

And here we are the start of the road and the process that it took to bring me to life.  In the posts along, I plan posting other work I have assisted in, my thoughts, my feelings, and the process to get me to help the client to achieve what they were looking for.


Yours in Service