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What Me Think

By Lord Mudgeon McGrumpypants

"Heraldry Unleashed!"

As Florida is overrun by old people and Canadians, so too is Trimaris overrun — but in our case, we're plagued by heralds. No, really: check out the College of Heralds Administrative Policies on the kingdom Web site. There are eighteen kingdom-level heralds. Eighteen! The East Kingdom has seven! The West Kingdom, oldest in the SCA, only has twelve!

Apparently, though, eighteen isn't nearly enough for a kingdom that doesn't even take up a whole state; the Board of Directors recently squashed the Trimarian College of Heralds' attempt to register even more kingdom heraldic titles, calling it an "abuse of power".

Why do we need that many heralds? What do they all do?

Well, there's the Jack Herald. This is the successor deputy to the Triskele Herald, and is the person who actually "handles the local heralds and their reports", and performs other duties at Triskele's direction (washing his car, picking up dry cleaning, making coffee, and so on).

Next, the Seacat Herald is the secretary to the Triskele Herald. This is probably the busiest position in the kingdom, because heralds are immensely fond of paperwork and records. In quintuplicate.

Then we have Lymphad Herald, who's in charge of losing all the name, device and badge submissions. He also gets to help come up with reasons why the submissions from other kingdoms should be rejected, in case his analogues in other kingdoms weren't able to lose their paperwork.

After that, we have Sextant Herald, who keeps track of all the awards given in court, provided the court herald tells him what was given. If you don't stay on Sextant's good side, your awards might mysteriously disappear from the Order of Precedence.

Next is the Chart Signet Pursuivant, who's in charge of making scrolls. In times past, this person made all of the scrolls for court, with only a couple of hours' notice; but considering that they used to be mere photocopies colored in with Magic Marker, that wasn't too difficult.

Similar to Chart is Barque Signet Pursuivant, who provides scrolls for people who didn't get them (or who only got promissories) in court. In other words, Barque steps in when Chart falls down on the job.

Caravel Herald makes delicious ice-cream cakes, such as Cookie Puss and Whaley the Whale. He or she also does the things that the Crown is too busy to do, like finding out if someone already has the award the Crown wants to give out, or if they're a member. He is rewarded for this otherwise thankless task by letting him mispronounce people's names in court.

Sea Panther Herald is the "schoolmarm" who makes sure people only use titles that they're entitled to (are you paying attention, "Duke of Waterford"?) and who documents the traditions of Trimaris. I can only assume that there's a notebook somewhere with entries like "Friday night, Gulf War XII. Asgard took another squire, who performed the traditional rite of drinking until he puked."

The Coracle Herald is in charge of educating the other heralds, and keeping the master list of heralds (also known as the Pelican Watch List). He or she also organizes the Heraldic Road Show, a gala event wherein people bring in their family coats of arms, and the heralds tell them how much they're worth.

Next, the Trireme Herald is in charge of Lyst Heraldry of the Kingdom, which is a fancy way of saying "mispronouncing people's names on the field."

The Sundial Herald is in charge of the Kingdom Heraldry Web site. Yes, there's an official heraldic title for a Webmaster. The Trimarian College of Heralds registered a title for that, folks!

The Ensign Herald is responsible for rejecting both Trimarian and out-of-kingdom name submissions. If he does really good at this job, he gets promoted to Lieutenant Herald.

Next, we have the Archive Herald. The name might lead you to expect that this is the person who keeps records. Wrong! That's the Seacat Herald! The Archive Herald is the person who rejects device and badge submissions, much like Ensign rejects names. What, you expected the name to have anything to do with the duty?

After that, we've got the Dhow Herald. Unlike most kingdoms, where independent artisans make the award tokens for court, Trimaris selects some hapless artisan and forces a heraldic title upon him, thus dooming him to a life of ostracization.

The Hulk Herald is basically a way for the Lymphad Herald to keep an official title for a couple of years after giving up the Lymphad position. Just don't get him angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

The Mast Herald is "liaison between the Chart-Signet and the Crown for award scrolls." Apparently, the College of Heralds feels that the Crown couldn't possibly call up the Chart Pursuivant and ask for scrolls directly; they've got to put a middleman in there. Could there possibly be a more useless position?

Why, yes, there could! The Keel Herald is the moderator of the CoHTrimaris egroup. It's not bad enough they registered a title for the Webmaster, they also registered one for the guy who runs a mailing list.

And finally, we have Triskele Herald. What does Triskele do? All the real work has already been described above! Well, according to the College of Heralds Administrative Policies, his task is to "establish as many deputies as s/he feels necessary to accomplish the tasks of the Trimarian College of Heralds". Obviously, there've been no slackers in this position!

Heralds! Tired of The Quarter picking on you? Write a (clever, witty, funny) rebuttal to Lord Mudgeon's column! The winner will have his or her letter printed in the next issue of The Quarter, and receive a free Quarter logo wall clock! e-mail the editor at

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