The Bellowing Breeze
†THL Njall Olaf Hagerson
Court Presentations, or The Herald as Traffic Cop, All Over Again
††††††††††††††† As you are reading this, the Holiday season is in full swing. Many of you are running back and forth to the markets and bazaars, looking for exactly the right Twelfth Night gift for that special someone. And if you are truly lucky, your barony or shire has chosen you to pick out the Twelfth Night presentation gifts. So once you find these marvelous gifts and return with them to your barony or shire, your job is done. Right? Well, sorry to say, it isnít.
††††††††††††††† Letís fast-forward a bit to Twelfth Night. Your group gets on site wearing wonderful new garb with presents in hand. Everything is going perfect. You look for the Herald to find out where your group falls in the court business order. Thatís when the first problem crops up. Your group isnít on the list of court business. Ok, that didnít work, so letís rewind a little bit, to a point at least one week before Twelfth Night. Why go back to this point? Because, that is the point at which you are contacting the Crescent Herald to ask to have your presentation put on the list of court business.
††††††††††††††† So on we go again to Twelfth Night. Your group gets on site wearing wonderful new garb with presents in hand. Everything is going perfect. You look for the Herald to find out where your group falls in the court business order. However the Crescent Herald is closeted with Their Royal Majesties. Then you remember, thereís another Herald at the back of the hall. Thatís right the heraldic traffic cop (that would be me, the Bellows Pursuivant Herald) is standing there with list in hand.
††††††††††††††† Normally, the position of the Bellows Pursuivant Herald is to be a deputy to the Crescent Herald for field heraldry. However, as Caidís court events have grown in the last few years, something was needed to pick up the pace of court. So, a few years back, the Crescent Herald decided to add the back of court duty to the Bellows position. Itís the Bellowsí job to keep court moving by reducing the delays when presentations are called forward.
††††††††††††††† To that end, what does your group need to do to make court go smoother? Iím glad you asked. First, as you have already guessed, find out where in the order of business your presentation falls. Find out what two items of business come before your group. When you hear the first of these two items called up, start to quietly gather your people at the back of the hall. This way, when your group is called, youíll be standing by, ready to go.
††††††††††††††† Next, when your group is called, it wouldnít hurt to have brought your own herald to cry the group down the isle. This is a major court event after all, plus you all have spiffy new garb. A little pomp and ceremony go a long way. If you have a herald, he/she can announce what is being gifted. Or have a small list handy so the court herald can tell the populace what you brought, because unless you speak very loudly, the populace will have no idea what is happening.
††††††††††††††† Last, as you get up after giving your presentation, it would be useful to know which way to go. Every hall that we use has a different layout. This means we have to figure out the traffic pattern as we set-up the hall. The smoother you exit from in front of the crown, the smoother the entire court goes. So when you find out where you fall in the order of court business, also ask what the traffic pattern is.
††††††††††††††† Twelfth Night court is a long and complex affair. The more your group works with the heralds, the more both the crown and the other attendees will enjoy it.
††††††††††††††† Next month, war looms on the horizon. Thus, the Bellowing Breeze goes to war, to look at the different type of heraldry activities that take place at an SCA war.