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 (http://www.s-gabriel.org/ ) 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