Making A Scroll With Arms

The top image is the Cross of Calontir being given in the scroll. The recipients arms are on the left.

Putting arms on the SCA scroll you’re making is just a nice thing to do. I don’t really mean appendages with hands. What I mean are heraldic devices.

Heraldic devices – or arms – are the best way to personalize an award. Whether they’re a recipient’s heraldry, an order’s device or the Calontir banner I use them somewhere.

Heraldic art is important for scroll creation. It enhances any scroll’s splash and beauty. And most scribes know their stuff when using its patterns and terms.

But not all awards give the right to display personal heraldic devices. In Calontir the honors giving that right are any Awards of Arms (AoA). Other kingdoms have different rules. So if you’re not Calontiri check with your local Herald if you want specifics on this.

Heraldry Placment

There are no set scroll heraldry placement “rules”. You can put a device on a scroll anywhere you want. I generally include them within the overall design, but I’ve seen them done as a row down one side.

Of course you want to distinctly display the award being received. So make it sizable. Then if you include their other awards or badges make them smaller, thumb-size images. If you create a 2″ current award motif you might make any additional ones 1/2″.

And if you’re making a scroll for someone getting a simple AoA along with another award make both images the same size. In Calontir that might be a person getting a Leather Mallet at the same time they receive an AoA. You won’t see this happen often. When it does it even confuses the receiver.

Using SCA Heraldic Resources

You can find a person’s registered device on the SCA College of Heralds online database. You’ll see the blazon in heraldeze words. I sorta cheat. I look at Calontir’s online Populace Armorial. Unless the recipient just got their arms it has its picture. Kudos to the person posting those so quickly.

If you don’t understand the blazon description ask your local group’s Herald. I bug mine all the time. He usually loves discussing anything heraldic so I’m an excuse.

OSCAR is another good resource for registered device images. OSCAR isn’t a person. It’s the SCA Laurel Sovereign of Arms Online System for Commentary and Response. That’s a mouthful, so do what we all do and just call it OSCAR.

OSCAR contains device images registered since 2006. To use it simply type in the registered name as it appears in the SCA Armorial database. You will need an OSCAR account for this. There’s an online form for that as well. And you can find information on how to search it too.

If you want to include the recipient’s other awards you can look them up in your kingdom’s online Order of Precedence database. It is great place to check names and find all the person’s awards. This is Calontir’s OP.

Creating The Arms

This is the easy part. The fun part.

Once I find the device’s image – the emblazon – I down load it to my computer. I then copy and paste it in several sizes to a single page and print it off to trace later. And of course I paint it on the scroll.

You can find assorted lessons in SCA Heraldry online. But be careful. Heraldry is a deep rabbit hole. There’s a ton more to learn if you’re interested.

Related Prior Post: How To Use Heraldry On SCA Scrolls

Related SCA Sources:

Categories: Illumination

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