How the East Kingdom got its Blue Tyger

The Blue Tyger (sometimes informally known as “Sparky”) serves as a sort of mascot for the East Kingdom, appearing in its populace badge as well as many of its award insignia.

Earlier this year I got curious about why this was, and asked some Eastern heralds, who provided a bunch of the context: the blue tyger had been selected by Alfgar the Sententious, first Brigantia Herald, as a figure from East-Asian mythology and a riff on the dragon of the Middle Kingdom. Continue reading “How the East Kingdom got its Blue Tyger”

An Unsubmitted Badge for the “Vicar-General” of Østgarðr

For the first eight or nine years of Society activity on the East Coast, the Kings and Queens of the East lived within driving distance of New York City, and the Crown Province of Østgarðr was governed directly by the royalty.

However, in the winter of AS X the Crown Tourney was won by Sir Alaric of the Southern Region (now Atlantia) and this situation became untenable — in the spring, rule would pass to a king who lived too far away to visit the city regularly.

To prepare for this situation, at Twelfth Night in January 1976, King Aonghais (yes, that Aonghais)  named Count Vardak Mirceavitch Basarabov of Iloi (yes, the only Court Count) to be a royal representative, tasked with overseeing the province on behalf of the Crown. Continue reading “An Unsubmitted Badge for the “Vicar-General” of Østgarðr”

Memories of Hal Ravn, Former Morsulus Herald

[I recently got in touch with Hal Ravn, who first transferred the Ordinary of the Society into electronic format, and asked him about that experience. Following a few rounds of correspondence, he granted permission for me to post an excerpted version of his recollections here, for which I am extremely grateful. I have attempted to place the narrative into chronological order below, eliding mundane names and non-heraldic elements. Points where I’ve stitched material together out of the order in which it was written are marked with […] and editorial interjections are marked with square brackets. — Mathghamhain]

Continue reading “Memories of Hal Ravn, Former Morsulus Herald”

The Strange Case of the Codex Herald Advocate

In today’s College of Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism, the title of Codex Herald is given to the member of Laurel’s staff responsible for maintaining the College’s web site.

But it turns out that there was an earlier office, the “Codex Herald Advocate,” which existed for a couple of years in the late nineteen-seventies, and I found the story of its creation and abolition peculiar enough to share.

Continue reading “The Strange Case of the Codex Herald Advocate”

Memories of Iathus of Scara, Former Morsulus Herald

[This autumn, I contacted Iathus of Scara, who served as the Morsulus Herald of the SCA from 1989 through 1992, and asked him some questions about that experience. He graciously wrote up two lengthy documents narrating that history, which I have integrated below in what I believe is chronological order. The spots where I’ve stitched material from those two documents together are marked with “[…]”. I’ve also added a few missing words or bits of context in square brackets, redacted a few mundane names, and tweaked the punctuation and formatting for ease of reading. I am so grateful to Iathus for writing up this history and giving me permission to share it here. — Mathghamhain] Continue reading “Memories of Iathus of Scara, Former Morsulus Herald”

Heraldic Authority In the Earliest Bylaws of the SCA

The Society for Creative Anachronism started as a party in 1966 and was named as a joke, but over the subsequent years elaborated a set of governing policies which today control an international not-for-profit organization with over a hundred thousand participants.

It’s interesting to look back at the early practices of the organization to see the seeds that grew into the structure we know today, and so I was pleased to discover a copy of the earliest bylaws archived on the web site of Master Justin du Coeur, a former historian of the East Kingdom. Continue reading “Heraldic Authority In the Earliest Bylaws of the SCA”

The Lineage of Morsulus Heralds

The Morsulus Herald is a deputy to the Laurel Sovereign of Arms of the SCA, responsible for maintaining the Society’s record of heraldic registrations, as embodied in various forms of the Ordinary and Armorial.

The title of Morsulus was created by Karina of the Far West as her last official act before stepping down as third Laurel Sovereign, taking her inspiration from Latin: “Morsulus, a small byte.” [Cover Letter, Jun 1979] Continue reading “The Lineage of Morsulus Heralds”

An SCA Ordinary from AS XXXIV

Following my recent conversation with Iulstan Sigwealding, he poked around through his archived files and dug up a copy of the Society’s Ordinary produced in early 2000, covering all armory registrations through the end of 1999.

Although this is obviously out of date and no longer of use as working reference, I thought a few folks might enjoy seeing this snapshot from history. Continue reading “An SCA Ordinary from AS XXXIV”

Memories of Iulstan Sigwealding, Former Morsulus Herald

[Recently, I reached out to Iulstan Sigwealding, who served as the Morsulus Herald of the SCA from 1992 through the end of 1999, and asked him some questions about that experience. His answers provided a glimpse into a different era of the Society’s development, and afterwards he was kind enough to volunteer to rewrite the transcript of our conversation to produce a recollection which he has allowed me to publish here. — Mathghamhain] Continue reading “Memories of Iulstan Sigwealding, Former Morsulus Herald”

A Brief History of Free Trumpet Press

Free Trumpet Press was the name for a small organization that existed in several forms from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s to publish materials for the College of Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

The story of Free Trumpet Press doesn’t seem to be clearly documented anywhere, so I gathered up some traces from publicly-available sources in an attempt to get an overview of its history.

Continue reading “A Brief History of Free Trumpet Press”