Calontir Virtual Consult Table

This is the second of a series of educational articles about heraldry in Calontir.

Calontir has a fairly robust cadre of local heralds and a strong contingent of heralds-at-large who are ready to help with researching and registering names and devices.

But we recognize that sometimes you just can’t get to the consult table at an event with all the other great things going on.  And it can be a challenge to pigeon-hole your local herald at a meeting long enough to hammer out some good ideas.

So, we are offering a brand new service – the Calontir Virtual Consult Table.

The Virtual Consult Table is a place where Calontiri with questions about heraldry can request a herald to work with them on-line to research a name, design a device, and get through the submission paperwork.

If you would like to use the Calontir Virtual Consult Table, go to the Virtual Consult Request Form.

You should receive an email from your assigned consulting herald within two weeks.

After your consultation, please let us know how we did and if you have suggestions for improvement with the Virtual Consult Feedback Form.

Heralds who are interested in helping with Virtual Consults do not have to be “senior” heralds or even “experienced” heralds. You just have to have to be service-oriented, familiar with the key resources (especially SENA and the Calontir Heralds Handbook) and able to ask other heralds for help when you find yourself with a question you can’t answer. And, of course, you need to have reliable email service.  Virtual Consult Volunteer Form.

When you finish a Virtual Consult, please report back so the Herald-in-Charge knows you’re ready for a new client:  Virtual Consult Heralds Report Form.

The Calontir Virtual Consult Table is in beta testing at the moment, but if all goes well, it will find a permanent home on the Calontir Heralds website.  For now, you can find it here:

http://calontiri.wikispaces.com/Virtual+Consult+Table

Please try it out!

Demo Report: Kalmar Industries Company Picnic, Ottawa, KS 8-6-2016

Sir Cai arranged for his company to allow the SCA to hold a full-on demo at his annual company picnic. Kalmar Industries in Ottawa, KS hosted SCA folk from multiple nearby groups, including the Shire of Carlsby, the Shire of Cum an Iolair, the Shire of Crescent Moon, the Canton of Aston Tor and the Barony of Forgotten Sea. Visitors from distant groups, including the Barony of Vatavia and the Shire of Golden Seas even joined in the fun. This author is certain she has left out some groups, as well. Apologies for that. There were so many people, the demo was certainly the size of a decent event!

Look at all that Meanest Mother Melee fighting!

Look at all that Meanest Mother Melee fighting!

We had enough people for tourney fighting, cut-and-thrust and archery events side-by-side, multiple-fighter melees, several meanest-mother melees and even some old style Holmgang melees. This author heard laughing and great fun coming from the list field throughout the day. Epic deaths were seen. Even Ottawa residents came to the park, set up their lawn chairs and watched the sport throughout the day, enjoying the unusually mild August weather.

Ottawa's newest spectator sport

Ottawa’s newest spectator sport

The SCA personnel put on a fine showing of our best artisanry, too. We fully encircled the list fields with pavilions full of our best displays, from scribal arts through a fully functional forge thanks to Baron Lothar! Several people combined their talents to show how wool moves from sheep to fully woven fabric, including spindles, a spinning wheel, and two kinds of looms.  Mistress Dorcas provided an entire pavilion of heraldic goodies and information, too.

Amazing fiber arts demo - sheep to shawl!

Amazing fiber arts demo – sheep to shawl!

An all-day chainmail demo by HL Thomas the Black, armoring, sewing, displays of the Baronial coronets, finished garb hanging in the pavilions, and lots of people willing to talk about the SCA and our period of history provided a well-rounded, educational opportunity for the Kalmar employees, their families and others who visited. Many friends and family members of the SCA folks came by to see us, too!

H.L. Thomas the Black and his chain mail demo

H.L. Thomas the Black and his chain mail demo

Sir Cai graciously printed outstanding informational brochures and amazing laminated SCA bookmarks for us to give to visitors during our recruitment efforts. These proved very popular with the younger set, who also enjoyed the hands-on nature of most of the demo items. Being able to touch real, hand-woven fabric, chainmail, armored fighters and heraldic banners caused more than one young mouth to gape in amazement as they saw storybooks come alive before their eyes. Lady Maegwynn provided heraldic announcements before the fighting, including explanations of the SCA – who we are, what we do, and why the visitors should come around and check out the demos.

Baron Lothar explaining how he is forging his Holder Down Thing

Baron Lothar explaining how he is forging his Holder Down Thing

As a reward for our demo, the Kalmar folks provided the SCA demo-ers with a luscious BBQ lunch of pork, turkey, beef and all the sides. Bounce-houses and a bounce-obstacle course for the kids were available, although us adults were sadly not allowed. We debated the wisdom of obtaining ones rated for grownups for the next Tor Party at Lilies.

It was a beautiful day of temperate weather, gentle breezes, great fun fighting and some of the best fun many of us had in a long time. We wish the rest of you had been able to join us! Enjoy the photos – I’ve linked them to my Flickr page, because I took so many. These are just a few teasers.

Link to Photos:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/7579381@N02/albums/72157672317838635

In joyous fealty to the Crown and People of Calontir, I remain your loyal servant and Scribe-

Takashoka Spaekona Aidan Cocrinn, OL

Calontir Customs: Vigils

As practiced in A.S. 51, by HL Vǫlu-Ingibiǫrg

A vigil is a time set aside for a peerage candidate to listen and reflect.  (A peerage candidate is someone who has been announced in court as deserving a peerage, but not yet been through the elevation ceremony which usually takes place during a later court.)  

Royalty and all peers who wish to do so will gather to “put someone on vigil,” which involves taking the candidate to a tent or room and having some private, secret ceremony.  (Rumor has it that this involves shaved flaming baby ducks.  I do not know, and no one who does is allowed to talk about it.)  In reality, I’ve been told the secrecy is so that the ceremony feels special and thought-provoking to the candidate.  A laurel-candidate told me he felt this part brought “a connection to peers you didn’t know you were part of.”

After this initial mini-ceremony ends, the peers will disperse, and the second phase begins.  (This phase is sometimes jokingly called “trial by conversation.”)  The candidate will sit in the tent, usually for at least six hours (more if it’s an overnight vigil), and receive visitors.  (This has some root in the medieval idea of instruction during preparation for a knighting ceremony.)  The royals will generally be the first to visit; in the meantime other folks will begin arriving.  

You do not need to be high-ranking, or even friends with the candidate, to speak with him or her.  The only thing you need is to have something to say to the individual sitting vigil.  Some people will go to express appreciation for the candidate’s skill or hard work; some to offer congratulations, warning, or advice.  I was told by a candidate that for him, these visits further deepened the feeling of inclusiveness, of Calontir as an “us.”

If you wish to speak to the candidate, either by yourself or with someone who agrees to go in with you, head to the area near the vigil tent or room, find the person with the waiting list, and ask to be added.  Depending on how early you arrive, and how talkative the people ahead of you are, it may be quite some time before you are called.  If you’re a ways down the list or need to go do something, you can leave; traditionally, if your name comes up before you get back, you will go next after your return.  

If you can see into the vigil tent and no one else is there, someone is probably fetching the candidate water or food.  Do not go in without being called; there is always a waiting list, and it’s usually long.

While you’re waiting, try the tidbits at the nearby vigil table.  Hospitality was an important concept in the middle ages, so vigil foods (snacks) are prepared or obtained by the candidate’s friends, intended to honor the candidate by refreshing visitors.  Food that is tasty, period, and matches the candidate’s interests will impress visitors.  Also in this area, someone will likely have a book where you can write a message for the candidate, whether or not you plan to speak to her or him.  The great number of visitors can blur things together in a candidate’s mind, so leaving a note in the vigil book may be a good idea.

Once you are called in, there is no special ceremony or format to observe—nothing you’re particularly supposed to say or do.  A visit may take five to ten minutes, or less if you’d like.  Speech with someone sitting vigil is a short snippet, or distillation.  Follow the candidate’s lead, but keep in mind that you can always catch the individual later for an extended conversation.  Take more than fifteen minutes, and you’ll likely seem greedy.  (Remember: there is always a waiting list, and it’s usually long.)  When you leave, the candidate will thank you for the visit, and sometimes will give a personalized token.  (e.g. Francis, a metalworker, gave fire-starting flints.)

Afterward, go enjoy the rest of the event.  The candidate will usually be elevated at court at the end of the day he or she sat vigil.  Some participants in the elevation ceremony will speak softly, so you’ll want to sit close in order to be able to hear.  Get there early!