Outlands College of Heralds
From the White Stag Principal Herald
Lady Marie de Blois - Lillith Lesanges - 526 Georgene Drive NE, Unit D - Albuquerque, NM 87123
[ whitestag@outlands.org ]

20 June 2007

To Their Majesties Mordygan and Madigan, Conte Giovanni, Outlands Seneschal, the Outlands College of Heralds, the Outlands College of Scribes, and to all and singular who may find themselves in receipt of these present letters, warm greetings from Lady Marie de Blois, White Stag Principal Herald.

Here is my monthly report to the Crown and the College.

Before discussing this year's Known World Heralds and Scribes Symposium (at length, sorry!), I would note that KWHSS 2008 will be held in September (not June) and be in London. This is an incredible opportunity heraldically, scribally, and historical-mindedly, and I encourage everyone to start saving their pennies and renewing their passports (wait times for passports are very long right now).

KWHSS this year was interesting and informative, as usual, and much of the heraldic focus was on OSCAR and how it is changing the College of Arms. For anyone who doesn't know, OSCAR is a website for commenting by the SCA CoA which is largely replacing the paper Letters of Intent and commentary. It is not replacing paper submission forms any time in the forseeable future, but the savings in postage, paper, and time are substantial (the estimate I heard was $10,000 per year).

Last month I reported on the new guidelines for adding commenters to OSCAR. I would remind everyone that the rules for commentary have not changed - only College of Arms commenters will see comments. There is a public submissions status page ("Sub Status") if you want to know where in the Laurel portion of the submissions process an item is.

I would also remind everyone that Rampart needs commentary – this is an ideal place to help out our College while learning the commenting skills to comment at the CoA level on OSCAR. I recently forwarded some ideas on how to help as a beginning commenter to the outlands-heralds email list, and would be happy to forward it to anyone who missed it.

The ongoing implications of OSCAR, especially relating to certain portions of the Administrative Handbook, have prompted Laurel to begin a comprehensive overhaul of these regulations. If you have discovered issues with the Administrative Handbook or the Glossary of Terms, please contact Laurel with requests and bugfixes. She expects this process to take several months before a draft is available for commentary, so continue under the current rules and precedents for now.

Laurel and her staff requested that everyone be diligent in checking for accuracy of submissions (and I'm certain that Castle and Rampart would echo this request). Please provide the most accurate information you can regarding spellings, previous submissions (and returns if any), etc. The Ordinary and Armorial and the Rampart website can help – copy and paste where possible (for the win!).

I have let the topic of an Outlands Heralds & Scribes Symposium lapse for a month or so, but have started pursuing it again. I may have a group who wants to host it, but I would be very interested in having a southern group host another one in the spring or early summer of next year, and am interested in pursuing educational opportunities generally.

I will also be revisiting the roster soon, due to various changes, additions, and expiring warrants. If you are interested in heraldry and are not on the roster, please send me your information. If you are a group herald and have deputies, please have them send me their information so that they may be added to the roster and properly warranted.

Finances remain in the hands of the Kingdom Exchequer. Castle sends itemized reports to the Exchequer each month on checks received, and Rampart requests payment to Laurel for submissions likewise itemized. I will be working with Rampart, Castle, and the Kingdom Exchequer to audit our costs in processing submissions (due to OSCAR-related changes), and our possible needs for additional supplies or equipment.

I have started keeping track of reports a bit more and been in touch with the few who haven't reported recently. Kingdom staff and branch herald reports will be summarized in my quarterly reports, but a listing of reports received during the last three months will be included at the end of my monthly reports. (I didn't track baronial reports prior to June, but will be doing so in the future.)

serving Crown and heraldry,

Marie de Blois
White Stag