The Bellowing Breeze
THL Njall Olaf Hagerson
As some of you may know, I have once again taken up the heraldic duties of Bellows Pursuivant Herald. I have taken this position within the Collage of Heralds with two goals foremost in my mind. The first is to train my successor. The second and most important is to do something about the lack of working field heralds in this Kingdom.
At our last Queens Champion Tournament, we had 16 fields in use. We did not have enough heralds to do the job. At last year’s Great Western War, we needed three to four heralds for each set of camp cries. Most shifts we were lucky to have two heralds. At most baronial and shire anniversaries, we are also short of heralds. This problem has plagued Caid for the last few years.
In part, the herald shortage is created by a growth in the combat arts. At many events, heralds are needed for Heavy Weapons, Light Weapons and Period Rapier lists. And done right, each additional list fields needs two heralds, so as not to place too great a strain on one voice alone. However, part of the shortage comes from the retirement of many of our most active field Heralds.
In short, we need more Heralds. Besides being part of the pageantry that makes the SCA what it is, Heralds are needed for more practical reasons. Heralds help move the tournament along faster by letting the fighters know where they need to be and when. They also perform the function of a recorder of results for the lists officer. And at times, they are an extra set of eyes for the marshals. When we are short of heralds, lists run much longer then they have to. This can be a very important issue, especially at an event like fall Queen’s Champion, where we have a very large lists and very little daylight to finish it in.
So I ask you to consider giving field heraldry a try. The Heralds office will be more then happy to provide on the job training. We will also be offering classes in field heraldry at upcoming collegiums. Field heraldry is fun and a great way to get to know all the people that you see out on the field. I also ask, that if you are a field herald that has not been active of late, please come back out and help teach the new batch of field heralds.