Why should I go through my local herald when I register my name or device?

This is fairly simple, and kinda-sorta optional. In theory, you can design, research and document your name and device and send it straight up the line to the Rocket Herald for registration. A lot of people do that, and when your local herald is busy on other things it might be the only way. But I’d like to encourage you to include your local herald in the loop, if you can. Here’s why:

  1. Your local herald may be more experienced than you at conflict checking and interpreting the rules. He or she may see something you’ve missed, that would otherwise lead to Rocket returning your submission for further work. Even if the local herald is a rank newbie compared to you, it doesn’t hurt to have them look the submission over before you send it off. As another Eric once said “Given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow”.
  2. When things go haywire in the SCA, it usually helps to have backups. Knowing that your entire submission is on file with your local herald is useful when your filing cabinet burns down, or the package of submissions gets attacked by narwhals on the way overseas, or Rocket gets kidnapped by aliens. Geeks call this an “offsite backup”; it’s one of the rare uncontroversial Good Things.
  3. The Crux Australis Principal Herald expects her local heralds to do their job. If there are a lot of submissions coming from a particular group but the local herald has nothing to do with them, Crux gets suspicious, and then annoyed. You don’t want to see what she looks like when she gets annoyed.

Unhelpful local heralds

It occasionally happens that people avoid their local herald because he or she is, not to put too fine a point on it, completely useless.  Not every volunteer who volunteers for a volunteer office in our volunteer society (got that?) is perfectly suited for every aspect of the job.  This shows up especially starkly with heralds, who are expected to have a computer geek’s love of nitpicky detail combined with a theatrical actor’s talent for public speaking.  Know many people who combine both those skills?  Do you recall ever seeing Bill Gates in the title role of Hamlet?  Thought not.  So there are gaps, and sometimes your local herald isn’t much good at their job.

When this happens, by all means find another herald to help you, but please: make sure that Crux, the boss herald in Lochac, knows why you did this.  Send her an email giving feedback on your local heralds, so she knows where the strengths and weaknesses are.  One of Crux’s priorities is to maintain and improve the educational standards of the College.  Without feedback, this won’t happen.

Author: Karl Faustus von Aachen (with input and suggestions by Giles Leabrook, Eleyne de Comnocke, Massaria da Cortona and others). Last updated: 17 June 2009 (AS XLIV).

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