As a result of a change in how the College of Arms handles paperwork, we no longer need to send any physical copies to the US for processing. Instead, paper copies are sent to Rocket Herald to be scanned into the world-wide heraldic database, after which, in the words of Terry Pratchett, “there’s a cry here of ‘Tough [luck], literary researchers of the future, try getting a proper job!’ and the rest are wiped.”
But remember another quotation: with great power comes great responsibility. Now that you don’t need to send a dozen copies to be distributed hither and yon, it’s up to you to remember to keep your own backups. Whenever you have copies of heraldic submissions, keep one copy for yourself and give one to your local branch herald for safekeeping. If the official copy goes astray, Rocket will contact you for another copy. Go easy on your future self: keep backups.
Registering a Name
To register a name, you or your consulting herald need to submit one fully filled-out name form (available here) and all documentation, including the title page of each book referenced.
Registering a Device or Badge
To register a device or badge, you or your consulting herald need to fill out the device or badge form (device available here, badge available here, fieldless badge available here) with your device drawn in as an outline. Make a good quality black and white photocopy of this, and colour it in. Then submit both copies.
How To Produce Your Pictures
We have a rule that says: we register the emblazon, not the blazon. That is, what goes into the Ordinary and Armorial under your name is the picture, not the description. If you get the blazoned description wrong, we adjust it to suit. If you get the picture wrong, we still adjust the blazoned description to suit. This is because you don’t paint a blazon on your shield. So therefore, you need to get the colours right. Unambiguous colours are essential.
It’s OK to use textas (“markers” if you’re American), but pick ones with bright, clear, unambiguous colours. The absolute best textas are the Crayola Classic markers you can find at most good stationery stores. Read this summary of Lady Teceangl Bach’s masterful study explaining why we care. You’ll believe a herald can do science!
It’s also OK to use colour printers, inkjet or laser, and colour photocopiers. Again, make sure the colours are clear. Also, make sure the ink is bone dry before you put the pages in a stack, or they’ll stick together in the envelope and end up tearing or smudging.
Don’t use pencil, crayon, gel pen, paint, sparkly inks, chalk, pastels, blood, nail polish, lipstick or pasta sauce.
Don’t use glue, because it melts and re-sets and turns entire packages of heraldic artwork into oversized hockey pucks. The same is true of gold and silver pens: don’t use them, because they’re not colour fast and they make a mess.
Don’t do the hatching you sometimes see in mundane heraldry books; this defeats the whole purpose of the outline copy.
Don’t use staples, because they just need to be removed, and tetanus is no fun even for heralds.
Do your black and white outline copy first, using solid but not excessively thick lines. Don’t fill in any of the colours, even the black parts, although colouring in the individual ermine spots is OK. Make a good copy, and colour in the copy. Make multiple colour copies (or colour in multiple black and white copies) for backup purposes too!
If you do the drawing on a computer, make sure you use the right size escutcheon (that’s the shield shape on the form) and don’t forget to print a black and white version before you colour it in.
What About Electronic Submissions? (aka the question usually phrased as “You Know This Isn’t Really The Middle Ages, Right?”)
There is now an approved but experimental procedure for electronic submissions, open for use by rostered heralds. If you aren’t a herald (and don’t wish to become so), then please contact your local branch herald, who should be able to assist you, or direct you to someone who can.
Where To Send It
Send your forms to the Rocket Herald, who is the Crux Australis deputy in charge of submissions. Her address is:
PO Box 345,
Geeveston Tas 7116
Rocket will send you an emailed acknowledgement when your package arrives.
What Happens Next?
Rocket will add your submission to her next Kingdom Letter of Intent. The heralds of Lochac will discuss it for a month, then she will release it for the whole world-wide College of Arms to look at for another month. A couple of weeks after that process finishes, the Laurel King of Arms and his staff will gather up all the comments from every submission in the entire Known World and make a firm ruling about each one. The Laurel Clerk will collect all these rulings, cross-check them, extract out the relevant information, and publish it; this usually takes about two months. When it’s announced on the College of Arms channels, Crux Australis will take the announcement and publish it on the Lochac Announce mailing list, the Blazons mailing for Lochac Heralds, and the Lochac Heraldry Chat group on Facebook. He will also send it to the Kingdom Chronicler for inclusion in the next issue of Pegasus.
Typically, a submission mailed to Rocket before the end of January will be ruled on by Laurel in April and publicly announced by Crux around the second week of July.
Author: Karl Faustus von Aachen, with suggestions from Tamsyn Northover, Eleyne de Comnocke and Wakeline de Foxeley. Last updated: 17 November 2013 (AS XLVIII).