Unto: All Scribes
From: Alarice Beatrix von Thal, Lochac Provost of Scribes
Greetings to you all,
Thank you all for the tremendous response to last month's Scribe notes. Virtually all of the recalled assignments have now been reassigned, and some of them even completed! It was suggested to me that I publish a tally of completed scrolls each Scribenotes, and I thought this was a good idea. Maybe after a couple of counts, we could have a quota to work towards. So, since my last Scribenotes (which was at Twelfth Night), I have received the following:
Pre-Printed AAs: 9
Original Leaves: 2
Original Peerage: 1
I will also give you a tally of current outstanding assignments (backlog), so we can really see how we are going. At present, this stands at:
Pre-Printed AAs: 68(A) 29(U)
Original Leaves: 2(U)
Original Peerage: 16(A) 15(U)
Total: 86(A) 44(U)
So, as you can see, despite a great effort these past couple of months, we have a long way to go! Obviously, the backlog tally will continue to vary a great deal, as I take off completed assignments and add new assignments. However, if we can continue to increase the number of scrolls being completed, we are bound to stay on top of it all.
Which brings me to two points. When I first came into office, I wrote to everyone to check on what assignments they had. Many people responded by telling me they had almost finished what they had, or that they were going to get started on them soon. All that enthusiasm, and yet I have seen hardly anything forthcoming from many of those scribes. Now, I don't mean to sound like I'm hassling you, but many of those assignments have been around for years. We are now getting scrolls completed for very recent awards, and some award recipients are getting a little on edge, thinking they have been forgotten. There is no point hanging onto assignments if you simply don't have the time to complete them. Particularly the pre- printeds, which really should only take between 2-10 hours to complete. We cannot afford to have them stay in the hands of one scribe for over 18 months. If you half finished it, return it and I will have someone else finish it. Or really try to finish off what you've got. Get the hint?
OK, now my second point. Lochac has many highly talented scribes who are very capable of doing original scrolls, and who are continuing to spend all their scribing time on A As. My originals backlog is growing. If you think you may be one of the scribes I am referring to, please consider doing an original.
LeavesLast time I asked you all whether armigerous leaf scrolls (that is Rose Leaves and Leaves of Merit whose recipients' did not previously hold AAs) should be done as originals or not. The overwhelming response was that they should be originals, although kept to A3 size. As you can see on the previous page's tally, two have already been done (by my industrious husband) and two are still available. If you would like to do an original but don't feel ready for a peerage scroll, then this may be your opportunity. But contact me soon, because they won't last long.
RequestsSeveral people have put in advance requests to do scrolls for people whose devices or names haven't passed yet. I can try to make a mental note of these, but it may take years for some people to get around to getting their heraldry through. I can't remember them all. The way my system works is this: Gereint (Lochac Herald), sends me a list every couple of months of all the current awards and registered armoury. From this I withdraw anybody who has just received an award who has registered armoury, and all those whose armoury has just passed, and they have previous awards. I add these to my list. I tend to try to assign from the stuff that's been on my lists the longest (ie. the award may have been given five years' ago, but if the armoury only just got passed, it will be at the end of my list, and a low priority.)
I don't mind going out of priority order to meet people's requests. If you want to do a scroll for someone whose armoury hasn't passed, keep in touch with your local herald (or that person), and as soon as it is passed, then give me the request. By then it should be on my list, and is assignable. But not before. OK?
MailSome of the scrolls which I have just received have come to me through the mail system. If you want to take that chance, that's fine with me. But a word of advice: the people at my post office speak barely any English. Communication is difficult. After consistently receiving reminder cards only to have the Post Office deny a particular parcel's existence, I finally found the parcel listed in their book under the name "Beatrix". Please don't use my SCA name on parcels. One name is confusing enough to them.
Completed ScrollsSome scribes have been concerned that scrolls which were done many moons ago have still not been handed out at court. There may be two reasons for this. The first is that it may have had to go to the West for signing and sealing, and unfortunately I have no control on how long that takes. Usually it is only a matter of a few months. I have just been notified, however, of a large batch of AA scrolls (14 to be precise) of scrolls which were missing, and were found in a folder "on top of a closet, where it had no business being". These should be coming back in time to hand out at the Festival, or Coronet Tourney.
The other reason is that there are a few completed scrolls which are genuinely missing - somewhere in Lochac. It is possible that they have been handed out to the recipients without my knowing. Or that someone was given them to convey and then lost them on top of a cupboard or something. If anyone knows the whereabouts of the following scrolls, I would appreciate being told immediately. If they do not show up soon (in a couple of months), then I'm afraid they will have to be redone.
Award - Recipient - Date Completed - Orig/Pre-Pr
Grant - Selivia de l'Estoile - April 89 - Orig
AA - Veronique le Gris - April 89 - PP
AA - Deorwulf Rathbrand - May 89 - PP
AA - Maredudd Goch ... - April 89 - PP
AA - Eleanor Lyttlehayles - ? - PP
AA - Thrain Jargrimsson - July 89 - PP
There may be others. Please contact me if you have a scroll in your possession which needs to be handed out in court.
College RanksIn my first Scribenotes, I mentioned the subject of College ranks. I received advice about current rank requirements from my Kingdom superior, and with his advice and some of my own thoughts, the Lochac standards will be as follows:
Apprentice: Complete an acceptable exemplar.
Journeyman: Complete two original scrolls or five preprinted scrolls.
Scribe: Complete four original scrolls or ten preprinted scrolls.
If you only do calligraphy,then the title will be "journeyman calligrapher"and so on, and the same for illumination. Each reign, the Prince and Princess will choose a Royal Scribe/s, probably from among the "Scribes". It is their duty to prepare any legal documents (such as fealty scrolls) or other documents as royalty requires. Any fealty scrolls, ambassadorial scrolls, guild charters and so on will be counted as "original scrolls" for the purposes of the ranking system.
I will attempt to reorganise my records and establish current rankings for all scribes, hopefully in time to publish for next Scribe notes. While my priority is to just get scrolls done, I realise that rankings in the College are important to some people, and provide a certain incentive to complete assignments.
CouriersJust a reminder that I am always looking for couriers going either to or from the West to convey scrolls. And please, if you bring back scrolls from the West, let me know. There have been some handed out which I did not even know were in the country. William usually lets me know what he is sending, and with whom, but it would be nice to have a cross-check.
Submission FormsAs you probably all know, when you submit a device, you colour in several copies of the device, and one of these eventually goes to the Scribes office when your device is finally registered. This is so that when a scroll is done for you, the scribe can take note of any particular foibles you have about the way your device is drawn or coloured (ie. gold instead of yellow, and so on). When I send you an assignment, I should also send you the Scribes copy of the submission form for this very purpose, and I have not been doing so. Some people have been asking me why, and the answer is simple. During the change of office, this was the single file which has- gone missing. Both Rowan and I have searched for it extensively to no avail. Perhaps when one of us moves house we will come across it or something. Until that happens my hands are tied.
Fortunately, most scrolls are done by people who personally know the recipients, in which case they are likely to already know, or are easily able to find out, how they like their devices depicted. If I happen to know, I usually make a note of it. I'm afraid it is a situation we will simply have to live with for a while - I have a new file of the recently passed devices, so you will be getting the copies in the near future.
WorkshopsThere may be a AA workshop at the Festival (or perhaps at Coronet) - depending a little on the timetable and the weather (and of course on interest) so bring your equipment and listen for announcements. I am quite happy for local workshops to be done, during collegiums or perhaps informally, as I find that they are often very productive and generate interest from potential new scribes.
So, thus ends another Scribe notes. On the following pages you will find a guide to "The Most Common Mistakes". One of the most heartbreaking parts of this job is having to return a completed scroll because it is unacceptable to the College for some reason. Not all of the errors listed over leaf will result in the scroll being returned. Sometimes we can fix the mistake from here, or the West will fix it before it is sealed. Or sometimes the mistake is minor enough to be ignored. But sometimes I have to return it, so take note, and make sure you are not guilty of these errors.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the Rowany Festival, or Coronet Tourney, and will write again in late April.
I remain, Yours in Service,
PS. If you've written to me recently and are expecting a reply, be patient, it is forthcoming. I tend to do my correspondence on my monthly Rosterd Day Off, so hang on in there. Thank you!