Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why

Heralds and Heraldry

Precedence Of Kingdoms
And Related Subjects

The order of the founding of the kingdoms is this:

  • West
  • East
  • Middle
  • Atenveldt
  • Meridies
  • Caid
  • Ansteorra
  • Atlantia
  • An Tir
  • Calontir
  • Trimaris
  • Outlands

Knowing this order is an aid to understanding the history of the Society. If two kings are visiting your kingdom, one outranks the other not by how many times he was king before, or by how long he's been king, but by which kingdom he rules. This is true of officers of different kingdoms, as well. The Brigantia Principal Herald always outranks the Aten Principal Herald, no matter who's holding each position. The Gold Falcon Principal Herald will never catch up with either of them. Barons and Baronesses are seated or presented in the order of precedence of their barony, based on the time it became a barony. The new baron of the oldest group outranks the old baron of the newest group. When you need to know someone's rank relative to another's, for cases of seating or introductions (including processionals), you need to have this concept.

Now that you've learned that, be sure not to apply it to peers. A knight of the West only outranks a knight of Trimaris if he was knighted first. The Orders of Chivalry, the Laurel, and the Pelican are all corporate-level orders. This means that the members are all pooled, and precedence goes by dates. If two knights meet who were knighted the same day, have no other awards, and they don't feel like comparing times ("I've been a knight longer by an hour," "Aha, but it was Pacific time! You lose!"), then maybe you can fall back on the kingdom precedence, or age, or height.

Dukes are not dukes of a kingdom, but of the Society. Corpora says someone who's completed two reigns as king (of any kingdom of the Society) is a duke. This means a couple of things. A king and queen don't make someone a duke, duchess, count or countess; they acknowledge that they have earned that rank on their own. Having been king of the same kingdom twice is no better than having been king of two different kingdoms. There are no "Dukes of the Outlands." At one time a kingdom I won't name tried to differentiate between the first duke made in their kingdom, who had already been king once of their parent kingdom (and so only "their" king once) and their first "native duke" - who had been king of the newer kingdom twice. This is not an acceptable differentiation.

Christopher of Hoghton has been king of three different kingdoms, and of none of them twice. He became a count in the West, a duke in Atenveldt, and after he was king of the Outlands there was a ceremony naming him the first duke of the Outlands, but there shouldn't have been. He was no more a duke after his third reign than he had been before. When we had our first native duke, Artan, he was no more a duke of the Outlands than Christopher was. They both are dukes from the Outlands. People do refer to "the knights of Ansteorra" or "the laurels of the Midrealm" and so in that way there are times when it's good and proper to refer to "the dukes of the Outlands," just so you understand that it means those dukes who live in the Outlands, rather than any attempted more particular meaning. The precedence of royal peers, like those of members of the three orders of peerage, go first by dates and then, if necessary, maybe by kingdom. (If both became dukes the same day and one needs to be seated ahead of the other, alphabetical order, age, or a coin toss might be used, but kingdom precedence might be, in that instance, the most proper thing to use. The chance of it happening is rare.)

Principal Heralds

(answers to the quiz earlier in this chapter)

Vesper Herald
Brigantia Herald
Dragon Herald
Aten Herald
Beacon Herald
Crescent Herald
Star Herald
Triton Herald
Black Lion Herald
An Tir
Gold Falcon Herald
Triskele Herald
White Stag Herald

If you read the whole chapter, you know they're in precedence order, meaning in the order of the kingdoms' founding. The technical true name of each kingdom herald is "Whatever Principal Herald." Those kingdoms who had a while to get used to the title as the title of a principality herald just may prefer the title without "Principal," because they're really used to it. If a kingdom uses just "Star Herald" or such, it doesn't negate the fact that the position is entitled to that other, important word. There are only as many principal heralds as there are kingdoms. On the other hand, if you refer in conversation to "The White Stag Herald" and someone corrects you, I'll bet cash it's a rude person. There is no other White Stag Herald, so it's not as though you need a distinguishing middle name. My answer is that "Beacon Principal Herald" is the formal proper way to refer to the position in writing or on formal occasions (in processionals, in court), and "Beacon Herald" is generally quite sufficient in everyday speech.

The time the names are used with no "Principal" and no "Herald" is in letters within the College of Arms, and in passing reference in conversations among serious heralds. If a couple of people are sitting around saying things like, "Crescent rejected it," or "Beacon and Black Lion won't like it," or "Star and White Stag won't be there" it makes them sound like spies using code names, or heralds discussing devices, policies or an upcoming symposium.



Copyright © by Sandra Dodd, 1991
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