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List-Heraldry-art - 2/20/09


"List Heraldry" by Lord Ivo Blackhawk.


NOTE: See also the files: F-Hldry-Trnmt-art, Field-Herldry-art, Voice-Herldry-art, voice-herldry-msg, heraldry-msg, p-heralds-msg, SCA-Titles-art, SCA-courts-nc-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



This article was first published as a class handout for a class at the Ansteorra King's College event in 2008.


List Heraldry

by Lord Ivo Blackhawk


1.   List Heraldry is perhaps the second most marketable skill in the SCA.

2.   The basic components of a SCA List

1.   The field

2.   The Marshal/s

3.   The List Mistress/List Master

4.   The audience

5.   The water Bearers

6.   The Herald

3.   The functioning of the SCA List

1.   The order of the events

i.     Fighters sign in

ii.   List Mistresses pare the fighters

iii. Parings for the first round are called and Fighters instructed for the round.

iv. Fighters are told when the round will begin

v.   The sequence starts

1.   First pair called to the field

2.   Second pair told to arm themselves

3.   Third pair told to make ready

4.   Current pair are told to conduct their salutes.

vi. The fights take place, wins and losses are recorded.

vii.                     Wash╔rinse╔ repeat.

2.   Each person has a job-smaller lists will see multi-tasking

i.     Marshals maintain safety

ii.   List Mistress/Master tracks win's and losses

iii. The audience cheers on the fighters

iv. The Herald calls the next pairs and usually announces the winners to the crowd

v.   Water barriers keep people hydrated

3.   The speed of the tournament will hinge directly on the speed of the fights.

4.   The Function of the herald

1.   The SCA Herald is actually one of the FEW documentably period elements on the SCA list field. As a list herald, YOU are one of the links to the past.

2.   The herald is the master of Ceremonies. While he does not actually make very many decisions, his voice will be the one people hear as the source of information for the duration of the Tourney.

3.   The herald upholds and preserves the medieval ambiance of the event through their words, attire and action.

4.   The Herald is the coordinator that most people will go to with questions about the current sequence of events.

5.   The specific duties of a herald:

1.   The call to arms

i.     The Herald announces the pairings for the rounds

1.   good heralds take this chance to make sure they are saying the names right, and to assure that they are using the correct titles and attributes for each person.

2.   The herald Calls the Rounds as they progress

i.     "[Fighter 1] and [Fighter 2] please take the field."

ii.   "[Fighter 3] and [Fighter 4] Arm yourselves."

iii. "[Fighter 5] and [Fighter 6] Please make ready."

iv. Get real used to these words, you'll be saying them a whole lot.

3.   The Herald also handles the Salutes of the fighters once they are on the field

i.     "Please salute the [insert noble title here]"

1.   Depending on who's Tournament you're heralding, the titles can vary.

2.   The most common is "Please salute the crown in the presence of their excellencies"

3.   If the crown is their, "Please salute the crown."

4.   Other circumstances can come up, usually the marshals or the list mistress will know the appropriate term for the situation.

5.   When in doubt ALWAYS ask!

ii.   "Please salute the one who's favor you do bear."

iii. "Please salute your most honorable and worthy opponent."

iv. Turn the field over to the marshals.


4.   Heralds can, but are not always required to call the victors of the rounds.

5.   As to who turns the winning and loosing cards into who and where╔ that is usually unique to the specific group.

6.   All activity on a list field is planned ahead of time. You should need to do as little on-the-fly script work as humanly possible.

7.   Always, always, always, talk to the List Mistress/List Master with questions, and if they don't explain something to you in a way you understand, ask them to try again.

8.   This isn't Rocket science, so if you don't understand, the chances are really good that the answer wasn't very clear.

6.   Tools

1.   Notecards

i.     The notecard or 3x5 index card is the backbone of most tournament setups.

ii.   Get used to handling them, reading them and writing on them without a table.

iii. Make sure you don't need gloves during cold weather, or if you do, that you can still manipulate individual cards.

iv. You usually wont need any of your own, but having an extra unopened bundle of them can make you very popular with frantic list mistresses.

2.   Cups/Mugs/Drinking appliances

i.     Make no mistake about it, you will be using your voice. If you don't have a cup that is specifically yours, or that you are comfortable carrying around, make sure you have some arrangement with someone to keep you hydrated and keep your throat wet.

1.   Water Bearers are your Friends!

3.   The sun

i.     Most list fields are not shaded, so make sure you are ready for the sun.

1.   Sun tan lotion

2.   A shaded headpiece

3.   a strategically located shadow.

ii.   DO NOT underestimate the how much sun it will take to ruin your day. Some tournaments can run hours long, and you can come out of those looking like a rare pork roast.

4.   A Pen

i.     Make no mistake about it.

1.   The list mistresses/List Masters should have everything you need to list herald. It is their job and most groups have fairly well stocked kits specifically for that task.

2.   So, of course╔ You are probably going to need a pen sometime.

3.   Just see if you can keep a Bic Ballpoint handy.



So, In summary:


"[Fighter 1] and [Fighter 2] please take the field."

"[Fighter 3] and [Fighter 4] Arm yourselves."

"[Fighter 5] and [Fighter 6] Please make ready."


"Please salute the crown in the presence of their excellencies"

"Please salute the one who's favor you do bear."

"Please salute your most honorable and worthy opponent."


You know you are a good herald if you wake up saying any of these phrases.


These are the bread and butter words for the SCA list herald, learn them to memory, and you will be 75% ready to herald almost any SCA tournament.



Copyright 2008 by Cisco Cividanes, <engtrktwo at gmail.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited.  Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org