Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Scroll Wording - Ducal Recognition of Trumbrand & Kaylah

After an awesome Coronation event and spending time knocking the rust off myself and my heraldry books at the consultation table, I wanted to revive my heraldry blog.

This time we are going to look at scroll wording.  It's easy to fall into the habit of "Let all know that King X and Queen Y do bestow upon Z the award of the Q ..."  I personally fall back on the formal declaration structure a lot.  But you need to create variety to make something unique and capture the attention of the folks attending court. 

There are some great inspirational primary sources that don't follow this formula.  Here is the scroll wording I did for Trumbrand and Kaylah's ducal scroll, and below that is the original text that inspired it.

It was well with Ealdormere when came the Prince and Princess of the North to serve in their turn, and seeing this King Trumbrand and Queen Kaylah, and a quantity of loyal people to them, made ready to travel to their private estates near Wesbellford. 

And then the throne was empty, and they, the celebrated Duke Trumbrand and Duchess Kaylah went to winter in peace, to hold golden coronets, high honours, and thanks to stand for the term of their life as the rights of Ealdormere accord their service.

Then, King Nigel and Queen Adrielle having taken the throne, wished them well, and with both the noble and common people raised their voices for Trumbrand and Kaylah, and swore to remember their deeds and kindnesses, and all present took peace on the events of the Coronation day which was the 28th day of September, in the 48th year of the Society, and this was written in the Chronicles of the Inland Seas.

This was the year that there was singing in the reign of favourite things.

Now let's look at the original wording.  It's really long, and filled with religious bits and dialog, but pay attention to the sentence structure:

AD 1254, AM 6762: It was well with the Christians
AD 1255, AM 6763: The men of Novgorod led out Yaroslav Yaroslavich from Pleskov and set hi on the throne, and they drove out Vasili.  And having heard this, Vasili's father, Olexander, went with an armed force against Novgorod; and Olexander as he was going along with a large force, and with the men of Novi-torg, Ratishka met him with treacherous information: "Advance, Knyaz, they brother Yaroslav has fled." And the men of Novgorod put a force in the quarter [of the church] of the Nativity of Christ; and those who were a-foot, took up a position opposite the Gorodishche beyond St. Ilya's; and at a Veche at St. Nicholas' the lesser men said: "Brothers, lo, how the Knyaz says: 'surrender me my enemies'" And the lesser men kissed the cross how that all should stand in life or death for the rights of Novgorod, for their patrimony.  And among the greater men there was an evil counsel, how to overcome the lesser and to bring in the Knyaz on their own terms.  And Mikhalko hastened out of the town to St. Georgi's how he might with his force strike our side and crush the people.  And Anani having learned of this, wishing him well, sent Yakun secretly after him.  And the common people, having learned of this, went in chase of him, and tried to get into his house; and Anani prevented them: "Brothers, if you had counselled an evil thought about him to seize him himself and and to give the Posadnik-ship to Mikhalko.  And the Knyaz sent Boris to the Veche: "Deliver Posadnik Anani to me; or if you do not, I am not your Knyaz, and shall come against the town in Arms."  And the men of Novgorod sent the Knyaz the Vladyka and Klim the Tysyatski: "Come, Knyaz, to they throne, and listen no to evil-doers, but forgive thy anger to Anani and to all the men of Novgorod."  And the Knyaz did not listen to the request of the Vladyka and Klim.  And the men of Novgorod said: "Brothers, inasmuch as our Knyaz has thus taken counsel with our transgressors of the Cross they have God and St. Sophia; but the Knyaz is without sin."  And the whole force stood three days for its rights, and on the fourth day the Knyaz sent saying thus: "If Anani is deprived of the Posadnik-ship I will forgive you my anger."  And Anani was deprived of the Posadnik-ship, and they took peace on all the terms of Novgorod.  And the Knyaz entered the town and Vladyka Dalmat met him at Prikupovich's Court with all the hierarchy, and with the crosses; and all were filled with joy,  and the evil-dowers were covered with darkness; because it was joy for Christians, and perdition for the devil, for that there was not great shedding of Christian blood.  And Knyaz Olexander took his seat on the throne.  And the same year they gave the Posadnik-ship to Mikhalko Stepanovich.
AD 1256, AM 6764: There came Svei and the Yem and Sum people, and Didman with his province, and a quantity of armed men, and they began to make a town on the Narova.  And the Knyaz was not then in Novgorod, and the men of Novgorod sent to the Low Country to the Knyaz for armed men, and themselves sent  throughout their province, thus gathering armed men.  And they, the accursed ones, having heard, fled beyond the sea.  Knyaz Olexander arrived in the winter of the same year, and the Metropolitan with him; and the Knyaz took the road together with the Metropolitan, and the men of the Novgorod did not know where he was going, some thought that he was going against the Chud People.  And having reached Koporya, Olexander went against the Yem People; but the Metropolitan returned to Novgorod, and many other men of Novgorod turned back from Koporya.  And the Knyaz went with his own force and with the men of Novgorod.  And the road was bad, so that they saw neither day nor night, and it was perdition to many of those on foot, but God spared the men of Novgorod.  And he came to the Yem land; some they killed, and others they captured.  And the men of Novgorod with Knyaz Olexander returned all well.  And then the Knyaz went to the Low Country, he took with him the Novgorod envoys, Eleuferi and Mikhail Pinishchinich, and set his son Vasili on the throne.

So we took some key phrases that would work in a Society scroll, and duplicated some sentence structure, and voila!  There are some great run-on sentences here chronicling important events, repetition of titles, and stilted language.  It needed to be seriously toned down to be pleasing to an SCA audience (and shortened so it could fit on a scroll), but there are some gems in the source text.

By the way, I highly recommend the Chronicles of Novgorod 1016-1471, Translated From the Russian by Robert Michell and Nevill Forbes.  It's a great source of Russian names, and I'll give ten points to anyone who can find the entry year that mentions the dragon sighting.

Comments, questions, or thoughts?

Cheerfully slaving for my feudal masters,
Brand, Barenwalde Herald

[Originally posted in The Barenwalde Herald blog]

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