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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
These files are available on the Internet at:
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.
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.
by Lord Ivo Blackhawk
List Heraldry is perhaps the second most marketable skill in the SCA.
The basic components of a SCA List
The List Mistress/List Master
The water Bearers
The functioning of the SCA List
The order of the events
Fighters sign in
List Mistresses pare the fighters
Parings for the first round are called and Fighters instructed for the
Fighters are told when the round will begin
The sequence starts
First pair called to the field
Second pair told to arm themselves
Third pair told to make ready
Current pair are told to conduct their salutes.
The fights take place, wins and losses are recorded.
Each person has a job-smaller lists will see multi-tasking
Marshals maintain safety
List Mistress/Master tracks win's and losses
The audience cheers on the fighters
The Herald calls the next pairs and usually announces the winners to the
Water barriers keep people hydrated
The speed of the tournament will hinge directly on the speed of the
The Function of the herald
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.
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.
The herald upholds and preserves the medieval ambiance of the event
through their words, attire and action.
The Herald is the coordinator that most people will go to with questions
about the current sequence of events.
The specific duties of a herald:
The call to arms
The Herald announces the pairings for the rounds
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
The herald Calls the Rounds as they progress
"[Fighter 1] and [Fighter 2] please take the field."
"[Fighter 3] and [Fighter 4] Arm yourselves."
"[Fighter 5] and [Fighter 6] Please make ready."
Get real used to these words, you'll be saying them a whole lot.
The Herald also handles the Salutes of the fighters once they are on the
salute the [insert noble title here]"
1. Depending on who's
Tournament you're heralding, the titles can vary.
The most common is "Please salute the crown in the presence of
If the crown is their, "Please salute the crown."
Other circumstances can come up, usually the marshals or the list
mistress will know the appropriate term for the situation.
When in doubt ALWAYS ask!
"Please salute the one who's favor you do bear."
"Please salute your most honorable and worthy opponent."
Turn the field over to the marshals.
1. GET OFF THE FIELD!
Heralds can, but are not always required to call the victors of the
As to who turns the winning and loosing cards into who and where╔ that
is usually unique to the specific group.
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.
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.
This isn't Rocket science, so if you don't understand, the chances are
really good that the answer wasn't very clear.
notecard or 3x5 index card is the backbone of most tournament setups.
Get used to handling them, reading them and writing on them without a
Make sure you don't need gloves during cold weather, or if you do, that
you can still manipulate individual cards.
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.
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
1. Water Bearers are your
i. Most list
fields are not shaded, so make sure you are ready for the sun.
1. Sun tan lotion
A shaded headpiece
a strategically located shadow.
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.
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
So, of course╔ You are probably going to need a pen sometime.
Just see if you can keep a Bic Ballpoint handy.
So, In summary:
and [Fighter 2] please take the field."
3] and [Fighter 4] Arm yourselves."
5] and [Fighter 6] Please make ready."
salute the crown in the presence of their excellencies"
salute the one who's favor you do bear."
salute your most honorable and worthy opponent."
know you are a good herald if you wake up saying any of these phrases.
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.