UNTO: All Scribes
FROM: Alarice Beatrix von Thal, Lochac Provost of Scribes


Welcome to my sixth Scribenotes, and it's going to be a big one. So without any further ado I'll get straight on to business.

Recalling Old Assignments

Now, despite hints in every Scribenotes since I've been in office, there are still quite a few scrolls assigned which have been in the hands of scribes for over eighteen months (or even two years!). Now, I'm still prepared to be lenient about original scrolls. However, the pre-printed AA blanks were designed so that scrolls could be completed in 5-15 hours. It makes no sense that scribes should hang on to assignments for two years. While there is nothing shameful in admitting that you simply do not have the time to complete your assignments, the response to my request for feedback have been non-existent. Therefore, the time has come to be tough about this.

The following scrolls will be recalled as of 30 September 1990. Therefore, if one of these scrolls is assigned to you, you have approximately one month to contact me and convince me that it should not be recalled (ie. it's almost ready and will be in my hands by October, it's finished and you just have to send it, etc, etc.) If you've done half of it, please return it so that someone else can complete it - there is not point in doing work twice. I apologise if this sounds mean, but I cannot wait forever, particularly when there are scribes waiting for assignments.

James the Sinister
Robert of Starmount
Catherine Digbie of Sherborne
Gwynhavyr of River Haven
John of the Hills
Leofric of Mona
Mellony de Charteris
Morgan ap Idris
Amyntas di Alessandro d'Argentiera
Colin de Charteris
Dafydd ap Donal ap Gwilim
Eleanor Lyttlehayles
Eric of Stormwind
Astrid Towers
Esla of Ifeld
Isolde de Chasteaulin
Jacques du Bar sur le Loup
Lachlan Bradoc
Miriam Galbraith of the Green Flame
Tako Jiro
Selfran the Singer
Gareth of Greymarch
Hugh Louis
James of Lochiel
Jessica of Fearn Abbey
Elfarch Myddfai

Quite a few isn't there? Because the records on the above are so old, there may be some inaccuracies (already completed, never assigned etc). If you notice any, tell me.

Now, as to all of the active scribes who are poring over this list in anticipation - DO NOT ASK FOR THESE ASSIGNMENTS UNTIL AFTER 30 SEPTEMBER. I will not take requests until after that date. OK? But after 30 September feel free to call/write.

Completed Assignments

If you have anything that is nearly finished that needs to be signed by the King and Queen, I would appreciate having it handed in by 20 October, so that I may take it with me to be signed and sealed. It would appear that my next available courier is not until February, so the sooner you hand it in, the sooner it can be given in court and your proud recipient can have it on their wall.

While on the subject of couriers, many thanks to Lady Elspeth Penrheiner, who kindly transported a large number of scrolls across the entire world and on ten separate flights, before finally safely delivering them into my hands. Look out for them being handed out in upcoming courts.

If you have something that needs to be signed by the Prince and Princess, feel free to hand that in also. If you live in the same city as the appropriate royalty, then I don't mind if you get them to sign it before returning it to me. However, everything should be handed back to me before it gets handed out in court. There are several reasons for this:
  1. I can make note of its completion so the scroll doesn't get done twice.
  2. I may have other scrolls that need to be sealed, and the Principality Herald is too busy to be given them one or two at a time.
  3. It is part of my duty to check that the scroll is correct in heraldic detail, has no spelling mistakes, and is of a quality suitable to the standards of the College. I haven't had to return much so far, but we won't keep our reputation for high quality if there's no one to check on what the scribes are doing.
  4. I need to know how your work is progressing, so that you can be recommended for Royal Scribe, or I can encourage you to do original scrolls, or I can send new scribes to you for aid.
Any offenders please take note. It is very hard to run an office if you don't know what's happening in it.

Scribal Libraries

I am sure most of you collect reference and education books on the subjects of calligraphy, illumination and heraldry. Facsimiles of original works, books on mediaeval manuscripts and art books are all worthwhile in your library. Certainly my household has accumulated quite a collection over the years.

Original sources can be invaluable for finding ideas for your scrolls, or guiding you as to the colours or techniques you should be using to create a period feel in your work. There is no shame in stealing idea from the works of the period (or even tracing them or copying them verbatim) - as a matter of fact, period scribes did the same thing! However, it can be expensive building up a source library, and often the good books are simply impossible to find.

Master Thorfinn kindly sent me a list of his personal scribal library (it is apparently out of date as he has since added to the collection). He requested that I circulate it among scribes, and make known his offer to provide black and white copies on request, and colour copies at around $4 per page. You will therefore find it reprinted later in this Scribenotes. You will find Master Thorfinn's address and phone number in the regnum of Pegasus under Keeper of the Regalia, or contact me for details.

Scribe of the Month

Hold on to your hats. I know you are all excited to find out who the winner is. In fact you've probably flicked through the pages looking for this section. Well, the Scribe of the Month this time is:

Well, no-one actually. No scrolls were handed in. Still, I'm going to keep my chin up because I've had lots of promises about scrolls which are on their way. So watch this space in October.

College Ranks

Somewhere in this Scribenotes you will find a page listing all registered Scribes and their respective ranks. If you are not on this list and you should be, please tell me. If you know someone who is not on this list and should be, let me know that too. If you think your rank is wrong, let me know why. (I have based these ranks on the records of Lochac scrolls done, and on the very sketchy records of West scrolls done in Lochac many moons ago - they are therefore quite possibly inaccurate).

At one time the College used to give you a pretty certificate to prove you were a warranted scribe. Unfortunately, in recent times the emphasis in the college (both here and in the West) has been to get the backlog under control. Details such as warrants have taken a back seat, and for the time being I simply intend to work on maintaining an up-to-date list of scribes and their ranks. Maybe in the future we'll get back to issuing pretty warrants. Keep in mind that to remain a warranted scribe you should be completing one assignment each year. While at present this is not being monitored, this is the standard you should be working to, and certainly with the advent of pre-printed scrolls, is easily achievable. If everyone on my list completed one scroll a year or more, we would be well on our way to having no backlog.

For your information, the ranks of the College of Scribes are as follows: Your rank does not change until you achieve the minimum requirements for the next rank. For instance, even though you may have done more than just an exemplar, you will not become a journeyman until you have done 5 pre-printed or 2 original scrolls. Get the idea?

If you only do calligraphy, then the title will be "journeyman calligrapher" and so on, and the same for illumination. Guild Charters, fealty scrolls and so on will be counted as original scrolls, however, as I don't really have any record of them, not many have been counted in so far.

Outstanding Assignments

I won't print the statistics on outstanding scrolls this month, because they haven't changed much from last time, apart from the scrolls being recalled (see above) and a small number of new assignments obtained from the updated listings of recently passed names/devices. If anything, the figures will be a little depressing, so I leave them until next time when I'm sure they will improve.

In Conclusion

That's about it for now. I look forward to seeing some of you at the Ball d'Argent and Spring Coronet, when I'm sure I will receive lots of completed assignments. Until next time, keep safe, and I remain, Yours in Service, to