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

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