Sunday, December 28, 2008

Loyalities ?

Someone mentioned me to the other day that I spend a fair amount of time on this blog talking about how much I love Narmon and Northkeep.

Their was nothing pointed or accusitory about the comment, they were just making a note about how many times they recall me saying it on this blog.

Well let me just go ahead and throw this out so their is no confusion on the issue.

Mooneschadowe will always be my home, I started there, learned to fight there, learned to herald there, met my wife there and am raising my son there. My hear will always be in Mooneschadowe, and I love them for it every day.

Northkeep had the good graces to welcome me as a freind when i was an outsider, to give me fellowship, encouragement and support. They called me a friend when I didn't diserve it, and gave me freindhsip that I still treasure. I may never consider myself a true memeber of the barony, but their measure of honor, dignity and chivalry are of a caliber that I will always think of as awe inspiring. They will always have a place in my heart, and will always be thought of as family.

Wisenfeuer was the first local gorup for whoom I stood as a titled bard. Theirs is a people who have seen dark times and bright skies, and are tougher for it in the end. their leadership and their populace are capable of great generosity, and have welcomed me, called me neighbor and friend. They give me council, and ask my thoughts, and we share jokes and revelry on occation. Theirs is a place a comradrly, informality, and fun, but also of honor determination.

Namron, whom I dare say lives up to the spirt of its charge, that i s the spinning tornado. But in the occation chaos that seems to color their barony, I find humor, joy, comradary, and fun. I dont necissarily see them living specifically for the ideals of honor, but rather asking themselves how to have fun while increasing their honor at the same time. An interesting take on the SCA I must admit, but one that I have yet to find fault with. Honor is preserved, and more often than not I see Namron's people laughing longer and harder than most others at life's challanges.

So to those who ask where my heart lies; the answer will be Mooneschadowe.

But I ask you, what law of man or God should compell me to choose between four places such as these? All have welcomed me, and I, by the grace of God am called friend in all of them.

I Love Mooneschadowe, but I also Love Northkeep, and Wisenfeuer and Namron.

And I see no reason to change that.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bad joke, but good "Cant"

Note: "cants" are heraldic Puns.

Overheard at court at at Winterkingdom:

An award has just been give out, and when the baron turned the scroll over to read the name of the painter, he says, "And the artist who painted this wonderful scroll has signed their name in letters than I can not read"

IE, they used Runes, not an unheard of practice.

The herald, Kevin, evidently not one to miss an oportunity... let fly with the following.

"Oh no! they 'runed' it!"

So... while almost all of the audience was groaning and laughing, HL Etienne marching right up to Kevin in front of the whole court, and with a smile on his face and not a word out of his mouth, shook the man's hand heartily, and then turned and sat down.

God, I love Northkeep!

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God save the King!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

News of a Herald

Quick note...

The good lord Kevin Keary, Northkeep's herald, and
long time, stand-alone heraldic brain trust according to some, was one
of the people who welcomed me to the barony when I started attending
regularly and doing some court heraldry.

Well, yesterday at Winterkingdom, Kevin was awarded the Sable Crane for his work not only to the Barony, but for the kingdom.

Well earened and Vivat, Kevin.

Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Sleep is good....

not getting sleep is bad.

Hence why I felt like I had been run over by a heard of horses while at Winterkingdom, I was going on about  five hours of sleep from the night before. And the truth of the mater is that it was my own fault, but still, I really wish I could have had more energy to enjoy the event.

I went there scheduled to teach two classes, and to conduct two round table discussions. The Round tables were successful, and my List heraldry class was good. I only had one person, but that is about as much as I usually get, so I'm not complaining. Site heraldry was a bust, but considering what I was up against, I'm not really that surprised.

In terms of heraldry, the event was a dull day. I was asked to heralding twice, and had to decline as I was about to teach a class or run A round table (I promised them I would be there, so they had priority). I felt horrible not being able to help, but what can I do?

But overall, the event was wonderful. Not only did a lot of good people get awards, but the feast was great, and I had the chance to speak with a number of old friends, including some that I hadn't seen in a year or two, and some few ones.

I attended Her Grace Vanessa's "so you want to be King" class. That was a lot of fun, though she picked on me one time. One of her questions to the class was "So, who in here absolutely loves to stand up and speak in public?" Well, the "S" in speak wasn't out of her mouth before her hand was in motion and it landed on my arm soundly. As soon as she finished the question she goes "Be quit, Ivo!" The whole room, including me, was laughing hard at that one. And let me be clear, it was all said in good fun and their are NO hard feelings on that. Vanessa is an inspiration to the north, and if a little humor at my expence is needed to lighten a class up, I will gladly pay the price.

I also had a wonderful chat with her Excelency Deanna della Penna (past queen, if the name dosn't jog your memory). Their wasnt anything teribly substantive spoke of, but it was just a delightful converation, and I am almost always glad to have those.

I must say that it was also wonderful to see Mistriss Catrin again. She has been out of the society for a while now, mostly to health reasons as I understand it, but seems to be in a good positon to return and play again. And I must say, I am verymuch happy to see her out and about again. My early times in the SCA included her being here and there, and telling a funny story, or a  making some friendly comment. her mark wasn't momumental, but it was there, and its good to see her out again.

I think that next year I will likley not be teaching. I spent most of the day going "Wow, I really want to take that class", but I was busy either teaching or watching my son. So, maybe next time I will host a round table or two, and then spend the rest of the day letting somone else do all the work ;)

And who knows, maybe I can get some more court heraldry in, their might be a crown presence next year.

I can hope, can't I?

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cool Quote.

So, I am at the home of my Pelican, speaking with him on general business, nothing too dramatic, and the subject comes around to how much my voice carries when I herald, yell, or even talk. At this point, his wife, Lady Katrine chimed in with what she thought was a perfect quote to summarize my vocal projection powers.

"Ivo, your voice not only carries, it tows."
And yeah, that about sums it up.

I wonder what that would sound like in Latin?

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Monday, December 8, 2008


Not that this needs any additional help being broadcast, but I might as well add my voice to the list of people screaming it at the top of their lungs.

At Wiesenfeuer Yule Revel this past weekend, his Majesty announced that her Grace Vanessa de Verona was invited to join the order of the Pelican, making her Peer of the Realm.

Vanessa Accepted and later made it known that she wished to be elevated at 12th Night In January.

Of a small personal note Vanessa was the Royal who presented me with my Crane while I was on the field heralding at Northkeep's Castelan. Vanessa Has been an inspiration to myself and many in the north, expecially since since becoming Queen for the second time.

While not a "close personal friend" my heart leapt for joy at this announcement!

God bless her, and may all the best things come to her.

VIVAT Vanessa!

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hear yea, Hear yea!

Each year, it is the privilege of the Current Senechal of Mooneschadowe to determine the recipient of the award of the Provincial honor of Mooneschaodwe. This award, is traditionally presented to the person who, in the eyes of the seneshal, has best upheld and displayed the honor of the group over the past year's time. While the populace traditionally nominates people, it is ultimately up to the ranking officer of the group to make the final determination for this award.

I am pleased to say that this year the award was given to Lady Liliana Byrns, in recognition for her hard work with the children as MOC over the past year.

Vivat and well earned.

(I'm a herald, telling the world this stuff is part of my job)

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Something of a Holiday.

Well, I'm, going to do something I haven't done before, at least not on my terms. I'm going to take a holiday. Or Rather a couple of them, from the SCA.

January and February are going to be light months for me anyway. No events, and no major activities. So, Im going to cut all of the Mooneschadowe meetings out of them as well. Well, almost all of the meetings.

I'm still going to make populace meetings for Mooneschadowe, Northkeep, Namron and Wiesefeuer, and I hope to cut more podcasts too. All of that will stay the same.

I just need a little break, and I think a few weeks of no meetings will give that to me. It will give me time to write, work on some book heraldry stuff I've been wanting to do, and maybe even start on the textbooks I've been wanting to write for Site and List heraldry.

I'm not planning to reinvent myself or anyting, but after 11 years in the game, and time off usually coming when other stuff muscles in and takes what time I have outright, I'm, just feeling like maybe I need a break on my terms.

Don't worry, I'll be here posting and writing just like always.
Or so I hope, anyway.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fair of the Harvest

Well, its good to be back. I took my son and we day-tripped fair of the harvest yesterday, out at Will Rodger's Boy Scout Camp. My wife stayed home, she needed a break from life and I was glad to give it to her.

As far as Heraldry went, I didn't do a single, solitary thing. I wanted...and NEEDED... a break of my own. And much to my good fortune, the Event Steward, a good friend of mine, was totally on top of things and had a ready supply of heralds and herald type people to help her run the event. So thing's went over smashingly well.

I, on the other hand, spent most of the vent chasing my son (age 3) around and talking with friends. I must admit, the cold air seems to have done something of a number on my throat, but I'll live.

Overall, it was a good event, and according to the Steward, they beat their break-even, and sold all of their feasts, so it was a good event and it made money...

Always good things!

And on a side note, I was pleased to discover that the 9-year-old daughter of a good friend of mine is now the adult bardic champion of the Canton of Chemin Noir. The Bardic competition last night was evidently a challanging format that she met head on, and bested all others in a very well regulated, point-based judging system.

At court she got to stand in between between the rapier and the heavy champion so that she was standing between the two thrones and could see out to the audience. It was rather cute, I must admit.

Congradulations to her, and I hope she is now up to the challange of being a titled champion for the next year.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blackfeather News - November show.

Quick note for all my loyal readers on this blog.

The Blackfeather News is BACK!

I just posted a November show.

Thank you.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled web browsing.

Ivo Blackhawk.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sick and tired.

Well, I normally don't want to want to get into too much detail about my personal life on this blog, but at this rate, their is a point where you just say "What the hell".

About 18 months ago now, give or take I started to get really tired really easily. After that, it went from just being tired to starting to look jaundice. If you don't know what that is, Wikipedia it.

Well, after dealing with an idiot doctor (and I'm not kidding, this guy was 100% moron grade in how he dealt with me), I finally find another doctor who was willing to actually try and find out what was wrong with me.

Well, that was about a year ago now, and things aren't exactly better yet.

The layman's explanation is that my immune system has done haywire, and it is attacking my red blood cells. This means that my body isn't getting enough oxygen because Red blood cells are what move O2 from the Lungs to the body itself. This was why I was getting tired.

Anyway, the treatment for this is prednizone, a steroid that supresses the imuse system, and pritty much messes with your body overall while its at it.

The short version of the story is that on top of the personality issues (which really manifest themselves at home more than anywhere else) I am constantly hungry (even when i am actually full) and my legs are now constantly under threat of massive cramps, like the type that require me to get out of bed at 3 in the monrning and streatch out a full blown charly horse for twenty minutes. This all on top of the fact that my red blood cell count is low enouigh that if I stand up suddenly, I get really, light headed, and when you stand six foot four, light headed is not a good experience.

Overall, its not a fun existance.

Dont get me wrong, Im not saying this for sympathy. Beelvie me, I dont need sympathy. I just am sick and tired of smiling and telling people, "Oh it was just a long week at work" when I see them at events and I look like I got run vover by a heard of spampeeding horses.


The situation is not static, and their is a course of action, but like everything else about this damned situation...its taking its own sweet time to unfold.

Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

A few new things

I just added links to two new pages. They should be linked to the top left of the blog.

They cover SCA heraldry and Heraldry in general. Would love feedback on either one. And I am no copy-set editor, so any spelling or grammar corrections are appreciated too.

I am hoping to use these pages as a basic introduction to heraldry resource for people who dont know what SCA heraldry is. I got a lot of that when i started teaching, and I think its important that we have some basic "into 101" pages out there.


You know you're out there.

Well, after this weekend, I was finally taken by the impulse to try and see who actually reads my blog. Honestly, I would be surprised if I get ten names, but weirder things have happened.

On the left side of the Screen is a gadget that lets you sign up as a follower. If you don't mind, let me know who's out there. I'm curious.

Also, different topic. For all my heraldic interests, I don't eat sleep and breath SCA. I have a life...with many different facets. and I have several Blogs I maintain. Also on the left side of this page should be a newly added list of my blogs for people to check out and read if they want.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Inspiration at Axman

Okay, Its been a while since I made it to a little event. A long while actually. With me concentrating on the baronies so heavily over the past year, and their not being many shires left in the north, small events are actually rather rare up here.

Well, Skorragarðr put one on this weekend, and I must say, it was a lot of fun.

And their was something else about it that was good too.

I didn't do a lot.

Now, let me explain before that last sentence gets taken all out of context.

I showed up to help, with joy in my heart and eager to herald here and there.
And no sooner had I showed up than I was greeted by about seven different people, half of whom knew me by name, the others all just knew me at "the herald".

Needless to say, their is a warm fuzzy feeling that comes with that.

But something remarkable happened too. A lot of people wanted to help.
It started with Thora, an 11 year old girl who had site heralded with me for a few events before, and wanted to do it again at her event (she's local to
Skorragarðr, so I totally understand the draw).

Well, despite being a child, she acquitted herself well for a full round of heraldry, walking the full distance of sight with me and shouting the hour's announcements with good volume and good diction. I can't ask for more, not from a child, and not from an adult. She did her part, and did it well.

I covered two heralds during the day, nothing specail, but I had fun.

And then in the afternoon,
Sæmundr (thats supposedly how the vikings managed to spell the name "Simon") the -Pure, followed me out for his own on-the-job-training.

To his credit, he started with good intent, and an honest effort. Though after hearing him the first time, I decided to offer some inspiratoon.

"Okay... here's what I need you to do. Imagin that your son is 100 yards away, and about to accidently back off of a train platform with the 11:30 mentro express heading this way at top speed. You have to make sure you are heard the first time, cause you wont have a second chance."

Well, let me tell you, that got results :)

All kidding asside, he did a great job, covered the site well, and had excelent diction and good projection.

This may all sound dry and technical, but for Voice heralds, words like projection and diction are the tools of our trade, if you have them, your in the game, if you dont... well, your not.

Sarait heralded for both morning and afternoon courts, and did an excelent job of it. She's still new, and still green in many respects, but their excelencies Narmron are a good set of leaders, and hold a fun court, and Sarait is a good student of detail and attention their to. She's a credit to her group, and a hard worker. This weekend, as both a herald and an event Steward, she did Skorragarðr proud in my opinion.

And, after all that, I was Thrilled to see both Sarait and Saemundr get their Award's of Arms. Poor Sarait cried with hers, which I think is a touching sign of how muich she works, and how little she expectes in return. She's out there to have fun, and has it in spades. When I see people cry at an AOA, it warms my heart becauce it shows how much they value the award, and likely how much they will apreciate the friends who helped them be so recognized.

Sarait is the same person who at Namron walked off the field after her first time list heralding and said "I'm hooked, when can I go back on!". And let me tell you, she was absolutely glowing from the experience.

I must say... I have had a lot of people lately tell me that the work I am doing is inspiring to them.

And yes, part of me does enjoy that. Its a sign of acomplishment, A sign of progress, and just an overall good thing, and I dont apologize for feeling good about it.

But what I dont think a lot of people realize is that it these people also inspire me.

Some time ago, I saw an eager newcomer ask about heraldry and then sit in on my class at King's college. The next thing I know, she's signing up to be the herald of her canton, and diving into heraldry. She and I got Warranted together at the same class at Redtape this year, and now she's a fill fledged officer, pulling an officer's workload.

In her first year as a paid member of the SCA, she had done more than I did in mine, and will likely continue on that path.

THAT is inspiring, to me and it should be to others.

Today, I saw a husband who said that he was shy and had stage fright follow me out onto site and cry site heraldry for the first time. Nothing magical happened then, but when it was over, I saw a little more confidence in his eyes, and a little more enthusiasium for the art.

THAT is inspiration, that is progess.

These are good things.

Today I saw an eleven year old do a job that many adults wont even try their hands at.

THAT is inspiration.

And ALL of these are good things.

I am proud of what I have acomplished...but what I have done pales in comparison with what each of these people have decided to do with the rudimentary skills I have given them. I taught them the basics, but it takes more than knowledge to go out and do somehing with those skills. It takes character, courage, and honor...and everyone I have spoke of here demonstrated those in spades today.

Axman was a little event. But little events can produce great things, and this event did just that.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk

Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Night before...

Okay, Axman is tomorrow,and one of my students is the autocrat so I am going to make sure I make it there and help her cry the list and maybe offer to stunt herald court for her.

I'm starting to feel a little too comfortable with my situation at the monent. Its not that I am not happy heralding. Truth be told, nothing could be father from the truth. But still, I dont feel challenged, or even that rushed when i do these things any more.

Do I need to do more, or do I need to change my focus? Maybe both? maybe I'm just overreacting to life's other pressures at the moment. I don't know.

But one thing is for sure, I will be out there tomorow calling the list when I'm needed. Because that is what I said I was going to do, and by God, I am going to keep my word.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Winterkingdom... and Food

Whoever said the fastest way to a man's heart was his stomach probably knew human nature pretty well.

I'm set to teach three hours worth of classes at Northkeep's Winterkingdom in December, and I wanted to host two roundtables, one for bardic, and one for Heraldry.

Well, the preliminary list of classes had enough Heraldry in its own right that I really didn't want to add another hour block to conflict with everyone else, especially with something like a round table where I really think everyone should have the option of coming since its, well... a round table; the more the merrier.

My solution came from the bards, of all places. Lady Lilana Barnes made a comment that we should host the Bardic round table early in the morning (first class slot) and have breakfast with it.

I thought that was a pritty cool idea, and ran with it. One of the things I normally HATE about first hour class slots is the fact that they have poor atendance. But I think Lilana hit the nail on the head, food might up attendance enouigh to make it worth doing.

So... how does this apply to heralds?

The middle of the day is the one hour lunch break. And they usually serve a tavern then.

i figured, what the hell...We can have a lunchtime roundtable dicsussion , and let eveyone bring their food to the conversation. That way I'm no conflicting with another class, and eveyrone gets to eat. Truight be told, it will probaly be really short, we will probably loose a good 15 to 20 minutes with people just getting food, but still, that leaves a good fourty minutes of conversation that dosn't distract from the rest of the event.

It looks good on paper, I just hope it pans out.

Now I have to figure out what in the heck I am doing for breakfast food for that Bardic Roundtable.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Samhain was this past weekend, and I have to say that it was a spectacular event for me in terms of heraldry. To set some background, about five or six months ago, Lady Muirenn , for whom I have heralded before, asked me to herald the removes for feast at Samhain. To this I gladly agreed, Muirenn is a good friend and always wants whatever she does to look its best. So when she asked, it was just natural for me to say yes.

So, fast forward a few month, like five and three weeks, and I get an e-mail from Rose the Obnoxious. (hay, she picked the the name!). Turns out that she wanted to make sure she had site heraldry covered, and asked me to come in and act as a backup for the crew she had already assembled. Since I was going anyway, I agreed without hesitation. I love site heraldry, and besides, I wasn't scheduled to do anything else during the day.

So, I arrive Friday night at Camp Kate, fiends and family in tow, and we settle into the cabin (thank God for cabins!). I checked in with Rose, who was glad to see me. It seems that last minute scheduling issues had eaten up her cadre of site heralds like candy. She had a few still, but they were also obligated to other activities during the day, leaving some big blind spots in the schedule.

Rose was looking a little worried about wake-ups the next morning, so I volunteered to go ahead and handle them at the least. My logic was two-fold. The first was that I knew I could do them, but also, walking people up can be intimidating for some, so I didn't want to saddle a rookie with it and possibly have them getting grumbled at the whole morning.

Let me tell you, as much as I have heralded in the past, and as much as I enjoy heraldry, Saturday morning, I hit my stride like never before at eight in the morning, and never got off of it. It wasn't just walking around heralding, I hit a synergy where it was like I was having a conversation with the whole site. I recycled some of my old jokes from past events like Triumph, but it all just came together so much better than it ever had before. Each herald was a little different (including some customized ones for the Wolf Star camp), but overall, I tried to keep the same theme going.

“Hear yea, hear yea, hear yea! Good morning to you! I bring tiding of the eight O'clock hour. If you recognize the tent your waking up in, then you obviously didn't start the event off right last night! The sun is bright, the sky is clear, and the morning is calm! We much change that last part! Now, rise up and give to revelry that which would otherwise be given to sleep. Rise up and embrace the day, make merry, and enjoy this that is the event of Samhain!”

Each herald only got better, and after a while I was getting laughs, and claps and cheers. Even when things were delayed I made the most of it.

“Hear yea, hear yea, hear yea! I pray you all attend, for when the schedule was made for today, their was much revelry, and much drinking, and not a great deal of sleep. So of course the schedule is now subject to changes, and here they are...”

After lunchtime, I started offering to do some on-the-road classes to anyone who interested in site heraldry. Like everything else, I did my best to make the announcement as much fun as the possible.

“For any and all who might be interested, I will be teaching the skill of site heraldry throughout the day. In other words, I will be teaching the art of making large masses of people mad at you from a safe distance.”

or another take on it..

“For anyone interested in learning how to inflict mass punishment on a large population, I will be teaching such skills today. Note, that's mass punishment, not punishment with mass weapons... different class.”

The day went on with each herald turning out that much better than the one before it, I was really in a Zone by the time the afternoon rolled around.

Not that all of this didn't come without cost; by three or four, I was dead on my feet, and wound up crashing hard in the cabin for an hour, but after the day I had, I wasn't complaining.

Now, of course, lets not forget the original reason I came, heralding feast for Muirenn.

The logistics for feast were not simple. The room was marvelously well decorated, but modest in size. Once everyone was seated, their would really only be room for the servers to move around, and then only in a controlled fashion at that. The only access into the room was through a curtained doorway opposite head table, and that was a narrow aisle.

Myself, I had arrived dressed in my best, a black shirt, red tights, my burgundy surcoat (which got no small number of good comments), my velvet sugar-sac cap, and my walking staff. I was deliberately trying to look my absolute best, Feast was all about the presentation, and I was part of that effort.

The head server and I decided that the party for head table would go in first, then I would announce the remove while they were serving head table, and then once the head servers were back out of the room, the rest would go in and serve. It would be a tight set of moves, with little room for maneuver, but I wasn't overly worried, things have a habit of coming together in the end.

And in this case, they did.

Still feeling the rhythm that I was before, I treated each announcement like a mini bardic performance, adding enough theatrics and pomp to match the decor of the room.

Now, Ill admit that as soon as each remove was over, the surcoat came off in short order. The drawback to small rooms with lots of people in them is that they collect heat at an unholy rate, so I spent most of the feast standing outside trying to vent heat between roasting sessions in the surcoat.

But when it was all said and done, it was a marvelous event, the servers came together well, and aside from some small slips here and there, the whole presentation went off without any major problems.

I know I sound like I am trumpiting myself here, and to an extent I am, but at the same time, I need to say how fiercely proud I am to have been part of the whole thing. We all did our parts, and the result was well worth the effort. It always feels good to work with people, and feast is no exception.

I went to bed late Saturday night, I usually do at events, and then got up early enough that Rose tapped me for another round of wakeup calls. I really didn't mind, I was still feeling whatever it was that had a hold of me Satruday, so I went at it yet again.

Now let me be clear, I wasn't the only site herald there that weekend. The Eldern baronial herald did his fare share, as did a few others, including Chad (Rose's Husdand) when things got tight. A lot of people pulled more than their weight around, and my biggest regret there is that I don't know all of their names to acknowledged them here.

But when it was all said and done, Rose was ecstatic about my efforts, and as a “professional” herald, I admit to taking a few minutes to bask in the glow of a favorable job appraisal.

I am so looking forward to Samhain next year.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk

Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Real Quick...

Okay, just a quick update on me.

One of my students is the autocrat for the upcoming Axman event, so I will be day-tripping that to help her out and cry some of the rounds.

I have been asked to help site herald Fair of the Harvest, another event that I will day trip and help out with as much as I can.

Lastly, Rose the O has asked me to help her shore up her Site heraldry crew for Samhain this weekend. I went the extra mile and offered to do an on-the-job training class for her group of rookie site heralds.

On the homefront, I'm getting geared up to try and start some sewing parties where I hope to start helping people make Heraldic surcoats or Tabards locally. The idea is to help promote some of the old pageantry that I really liked seeing in Mooneschadowe back when I joined.

And lastly... I am working to register a new badge, and taking the opportunity to try and learn about blazons and armory heraldry.

Okay... thats life in a nutshell.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Namron Protectorate

Namron is, in its own way, one of my favorite events. For sure, it does not top Mooneschadowe's Triumph of the Eclipse (and I don't even begin to claim impartiality on that decision), but I remember Namron from my first days, and I remember the years between then and now. And to be sure, I know that a good number of my friends both live in Namron, or make an effort to attend Protectorate each year.

Well, this year was a little differnt, but is many good ways.

Lady Adelheid had asked me some time ago to help her with heradling Court at Namron, she's new, and the Crown would be there, so to say that their would be pressure was a fair statement.

Well, let me tell you, I arrived saturday morning, and found out that the pressure got turned up just a notch, Adelheid had been drafted as herald for their majesties, and Sarrait (whom was one of the organizers of the Skorrgard Heraldry day) had been drafted as the herald for their excelencies Narmon.

I offered to stunt herald (stand next to her and act as a second set of eyes) with Sarrait for morning court, and she jumped at the oportunity.

To her credit, she handled her first court well. Adelheid had written out the whole court on 3x5 cards, and all that was being handed out that morning wound up being a few baronial service awards (
Torsades as it happend). Not diminished the Torsade, but it is one type of award, and the text isn't wind warpingly hard to read, so for a first time herald, its not a bad way to cut teeth. Sarrait did well, and I only really had to lean in and offer occation encouragements. I had to pass a few messages that came up from beind the court, but those went over without a hitch.

On a side note, two of the people who were called up her Adelhaid and her Husband Lucas, both to receive Torsades. HE Donnchadh spoke well of both of them, and as a fell herald with Ahelhaid, and a fellow bard with Lucas, I was really happy to see them thustly recognized.

After court, I set to work organizing the heraldry for the Heavy tourneyment, which was my promary reason for coming in the first place.

As a herald, your only as good as the effort you put into the job, and as an organizing herald, Your only as good as the people you have working with you. Well, I]ll tell you, I poured my heart and sole into that job, and the people working with me did the say, I coulnd't have asked more of any of them, and I dont think anyone was even remotely disapointed with the result.

My undisputed right hand during the heay was HL Adalya, whom I have said before is easily the better list herald, and someone I have reciently dubbed a "voice of nature" in refernce to how she commands most situations. Not that I mind, I've never seen her bite off more than she can chew, she's never failed to give her best when heralding.

Working with us;
Sarrait would be heralding her first list.
Layla, whom I had only seena few times before that.
Michelle, who had done so well at ATriumph a few weeks before
Sarron (SP) whom I had only met that day. (As a totally unrelated asside, he had a 9 month old german shepard puppy with him who was the friendliest things you have ever seen)
Master Cadfin, who not only heralds, but makes every world that leave his mouth a bardic performance, and is just a sight to behold!
And finally, Castallina, formerly known as Gipsey. Young and eager, a little baudy at times, but a good head on her shoulders and projection to spare.

I did do something I hadn't done before, I held a quick get togeather with the marshals to make sure we were all on the same page. Lord Rolf said that he was as new to marshaling as some of my heralds, and when I propoased a quick coordination meeting, he was very agreeable to it. Honestly, while nothing was changed in terms of planning, I think everyone benifited from seeing who they would be working with ahead of time, or at least I know I did:)

Now that I've described my team, let me also describe my job. we had over 30 fighters, and untimately ran 4 fields in a swiss five, and then had a bunch of elimination rounds afterwords when people kept double killing. I didn't herald anything myself, health concerns kept me away from the adsolute front lines, but I kept people going, and kept them cycled in and out, and made sure they had drink, sunscreen and rest in good measure.

Sarrait had me on her shoulder for the first round, just making sure she was ready for it. A few bumps her and there, and a few questions were the worst of the learning curve. But the Majority of it she picked up quickly and took off with it. I pulled her out for the next round, mostly because I wanted her to get a drink. But a little bit later, I walked up to her and asked how she was doing. With a huge smile, and a bit of a glow about her, she goes "I'm hooked, when can I go back in there?"

All of heralds did a spectacular job, and like I said before, the heavy went on a little longer than even the nobles were expecting thanks to a few more double-kills then usual.

Anyway, when it was all done, I had to round everyone up again and get a team togeathe for the rapier tourney.

Adalia had stepped out (this was prearrainged, and agreeded upon by me, so no accusations of ducking responcability) and a lot of the people who had taken the lions share of the work for the heavy were looking like the effort had taken a bit of a tole on them. But none the less, the rest were still eager to go. This time we ran two fields, and their were only about 14 fighters, so it was much, much more low key. I know Sarait was having the time of her life out there for a good portion of it, and Michelle was just living it up in much the same fashion.

Towards the very end, my own health got the better of me, and I had to sit down before I collapsed, to their credit, my remaining heralds stuck out to the end.

Their isn't really much I can say beyond the above. I had a great team, a good group of marshals to work with, and fighters that completed out the triad that make the SCA list field such a magical place.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Heraldry in Skorragarðr

Well, Saturday was no small day for heraldry in the north.

At about 10:00 am, Sarit's home in Skorragarðr was descended upon by no less than four people, an effort organized largely by myself at her invitation. Included in this group were my wife, (Iris in Illumination), Lady Emma De Feather Stone (Star for work in administrative and Book heraldry), Etienne, (star for Administratice and Court heraldry), and myself (professional loudmouth)

Emma started the day off with a hour long class on basic blazons and submissions. Most of the 15 or so adults present attended, and I hear nothing but positive feedback on the whole class.

After lunch (potluck, and I don't think anyone brought less than five pounds of food), Etienne went inside with some people to teach some court heraldry, and I stayed outsaide and taught the remainder an abridged class in Site heraldry.

Lilas never got to teach a formal, sit-down class, but she and Sarit both spoke at some length about illumination, and I am sure that more knowledge was passed in those words that most people realize.

In all, I think one of my first comments to my hosts still stands true, though. I told her that days like this are 10% about teaching and learning, and about 90% about meeting people and making contacts. That's a lot of what drived heraldry in the north as I see it, and I think that their is nothing wrong building up that type of network.

Some missives sent out about the class, for those who arn't on the requisite lists.


Greeting Lords and Ladies
You are here by invited to attend our Heraldic and Scribal Workshop, September 27th, 2008 at 10:00am. Two very special guests from the Province of Mooneschadowe will be here to lead these special classes.
Lord Ivo Blackhawk, herald at large, has agreed to travel from afar to teach his class, and give instruction, in the art of List Heraldry and Site Heraldry. If you have never had the opportunity to attend Lord Ivo's class then this is a perfect opportunity.
But wait, there's more, his lady HL Lillias MacGuffin will also be attending to offer her instruction and guidance in the Scribal Arts.
And also, a third guest will possibly be here to teach Book Heraldry. (Not yet confirmed)
But that isnt all. That day, September 27th 2008 just happens to my m'Lady, Sarait ingen Beathain's thirty something birthday. Thus, even if you are not inclined to the heraldic or scribal arts.. you can still come and wish her a happy birthday!!
No fee, of course, but this is at our home and we would like it if everyone that comes bring their own drinks and some food for a potluck. Tables and chairs might be a grand idea, as well. I would prefer you to RSVP me privately so we can have a headcount for planning purposes. Space is limited. Reply privately to with your RSVP so as not to clutter up the list and cause excessive fees for those with "pay per byte" internet service. Most activities will take place outside, weather permitting, so I would also encourage easy up tents.
Please join us for a fantastic day of heraldy, scribal, food, drink, and birthday spankings. LOL
Sæmundr inn skærr
Minister of A&S


Thank you to all that attended our little (larger than we expected) workshop this previous Saturday, September 27th in The Canton of Skorragardr.
Approximately 20 people attended this Heraldic and Scribal workshops and it was a great success. I believe that everyone was well fed, but more importantly it looked like there was a great deal of information that was passed from our wonderful instructors to willing students.
In particular I would like to thank:
Her Ladyship Lilias MacGuffin who past on information regarding the scribal and illumination arts.
Lord Ivo Blackhawk for his Site Heraldry class and for helping me cook the meal.
Her Ladyship Emma De Featherstone who taught a wonderful class on book heraldry and spoke about submissions.
and finally
His Lordship Etienne de Saint Amaranth who gave a great lesson on court heraldry, as well as, some one on one instuction on Viking tradition.
With appreciation and In service;
Sæmundr inn skærr


Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mooneschadowe Triumph of the Eclips III

For as long as I have been heralding events, never once have I been the Herald in Charge. Furthermore, never have I been the Primary Herald for Royalty.

After asking in May to Head up the heraldry for Triumph, I knew that Triumph was going to be a big deal for me.

Then Last Thursday came, and I realized that on top of managing all of the heralding for the event, I was going to be the herald for the Prince and Princess.

Yes, I was excited, and yes, I was thrilled.

-A quick qualifier; on Friday, I learned from Prince Gunther that the Kingdom server that stores all award recommendations had been rendered powerless by Hurricane Ike. Th bottom line, their would be no awards given out at the event. No one was happy about it, but I made sure to spread the word to all Mooneschadeen face to face as early as possible, and at the same time to avoid putting it on the list until most of the Province had gotten word. -

However, back to what was happening.

So, I was completely energized about what an opportunity I had been given.

But then I realized what I had undertaken, and a new reality set in. A lot (over 200) people were ultimately going to be depending on me directly or indirectly to help make the event happen. True, I didn't have the same type of pressures as the Event Steward, but this pressure was new to me none the less.

So come Friday, I set to my task with determination. It wasn't that I was or was not optimistic, but rather that I knew I had a job to do, and if I didn't throw myself fully into it, I was going to fail.

Friday proved to be instrumental as a preparation point for me. I wound up speaking with Her Ladyship Adalya, one of the best (and toughest) list heralds in the north. She said she would be glad to handle the heavy tournament on Saturday for me, and just as glad to take a new person under her wing and teach them.

Not long after that, one of Moonesdchadowe's newest members, Maggi, ran into me and after a short chat she offered to help wherever she could. I remember that she had choir training as a high school student, so projection and breathing wouldn't be a problem and that much less for me to worry about.

Not long after that, I happened across none other than the Princess herself, Elizabeth Seal I.

Actually, it was a remarkable conversation. It turns out that we shared several key thoughts on Heralding and courts, most importantly that the herald controlled the agenda (subject to court review and approval, as always), any and all business needed to be on the docket BEFORE court started or it wasn't going to be dealt with during court, and Court should be fun, so she wasn't in any hurry to make it long.

Honestly, I have met countless people in the past, nobles and non-nobles, who seem to think quite the opposite of the above. These things frustrate me as a herald because they can (and often do) diminish the respect and dignity of the court. To hear HRH Elizabeth's words were music to my ears.

-And yes, I was about ready to do summersalts after this conversation was over!-

On Saturday, the real work began.

I got up early (after not getting more than 3 hours sleep friday night) and set up herald's point in front of the feast hall. It was a table with two benches, and my notebooks, paper and some pens; a medieval secretary's desk in the truest form.

Morning wakeups were next, and I decided to do them myself. Partly because old habits are hard to break, and partly because I was the only herald out and about, so it made seance for me to tackle it. I kept it short and sweet, and managed to cry the whole site in about twenty minutes at a good, steady pace.

By 8:30, most of the site was awake, but not really moving around too much. I decided to go to the Crown Cabin next, and consult with them.

Having never been the primary herald for Royals before, I must say that this first encounter as a herald was spectacular. I made a conscious effort to be calm, unrushed, and to talk as little as possible. When I walked in, I was greeted by the entourage and her highness (the Prince was in the next room if memory serves me). The whole process of planning the court was a friendly conversation with minor adjustments made here and there by the royals and myself. The entourage helped, commented and joked in various places, and I must say that the whole experience was light-hearted and very, very non-threatening.

So I went out and called one more site herald that court would begin shortly, and then returned to lead in the procession of the Royals.

Court itself was simple, but I confess my heart was racing the whole time. The truth be told, it was simpler than most of the populace meetings I have heralded countless times. But also, I was a little intimidated by the fact that I was heralding a Royal, and even more intimidated by the fact that I was heralding before an audience of about 80 people.

-On a side note, court also included a welcome for Princess Annelyse of the Midrealm to join their Royal Highness Ansteorra. Anne was one of the people I helped introduce to the SCA a few years back, and to see her come home as a literal Princess was an emotional homecoming for her and a lot of Mooneschadeen. Though a small part, I felt honored to cry the welcome to her and her entourage that morning.-

I got through it all without choking, accidentally declaring war on anyone, or otherwise screwing up.

When it was all over, I Recessed the court, and then attended to something that had been four months in the making.

About fifteen minutes later Robert Fitzmorgan, his wife Katrine, Myself and my Wife and child met off in the shade of some trees by the feast hall for the formal ceromoney where I was taken as Protege to Robert.

In attendance were TRH, Duchess Vanessa De Verona, Aonghas and his wife, and a host of others whos faces are frankly a blur, even though I know all of them and call most friends.

Robert Spoke first, talking about how we started down the current path that we are on with a conversation at Namron's Beltane Games, and then me talked about how Protege was was not a rank, or a title, but more of a Job description. It was a way of telling everyone that I wanted them to judge me as a peer, and that I was aspiring to be a peer in my actions, abilities and skills.

I spoke next, thanking the people there for coming, and asking them to help hold me to my course, keeping me true to both myself and my goals. I related to them my origional Thesis, and then thanked them again for coming.

"If ten years from now the north has ten really good heralds who all got their start from me, and were trained by me or because of me, then I could die the next day with no more rank than I have now and I'll consider my role in the SCA a sucess. But if ten years from now I become a pelican, but only have one half-ass herald who never does anything, then rank or not, I just wasted ten years and failed as what I want to do here."

After that, Robert passed me the yellow belt that his wife had knitted, and Looked it around my waist. In closing he added that this was less of a start than it was a continuation of our already existing friendship.

The crowd cheered and clapped, and I got more than a few pats on the back and well wishes when it was all done.

After that, the day got started in earnest.

The first order of business was to collect my heralds. I had announced in court that anyone interested in heralding could see me, and tru to form, I got one heck of a cew this time.

Like I explained before Adalya is one of the best, and the toughest List heralds in the north. Their was no doubt in my mind that she would be all over the heavy weapons List from the word go. And as the list went on, my hopes were not proven wrong.

However, Mooneschadowe usually run's two fields, meaning that it needed two heralds. Lady Alisa Blackdragin, who had never heralded before, stepped forward as well, and from all reports, aquitted herself smashingly well over the course of the tournyment. Asside from me having to find her some sunscreen (she hadn't really noticed how much such she was getting) she tookt he ball and ran with it.

Also, later on during the fighting, I saw Gunhilda Amberstar, OP, heralding. I never got much of a chance to talk with her, but I know she has a long histroy on the heavy weapon's field, and what is now becoming an equally long one with the light weapon's field. No doubt in my mind she could teach me a few things about list heralding if she wanted to.

And then we come to the Site heralds.

For the past six or seven years, I have site heralded Mooneschadowe's events by myself. It wasn't that we coulnd't get any help, but rather that I loved doing it and did it as much as I could.

This year, however, was a whole other story. I needed to be where the sutocrat could find me fast, and I needed a ready reserve of heralds as well.

So, the first of my Site heralds was the Maggi. And the Second was Marcus Crawford.

Marcus was a member of the Blackheart's fencing club. A group of unoffical light weapon's fighters out of Calonteer (the ONLY kingdom in the society without a light weapon's program) who come down to our event faithfully each year and just have ouragous amounts of fun wit us. I knew Marcus from previous trips, and was glad to see him again.

My plan was to run announcements every hour, with the site heralds meeting me at herald's point at about ten of, and then each to take half of the site. Both Maruc and Maggi set to their jobs with dedication. And because I had two people heralding, the speed of each message's delivery was incredible.

The overall strategy was for them to meet me, get their list of announcements for the hour, go out and herald them, and then return and check in with me. As it happened, I was able to give them well over half and hour off between each cry for them to go and do whatever they wanted. The simple addition of one more person to the equation (as opposed to just me, like it had been in years past) was such a stress reducer that it was actually shocking to me.

Another person I need to talk abut is Lady Sakami, a young herald from Namron who, as it happens, heard about the SCA from me when she was still in Highschool, and decided to see what I was talking about when she went to college down in Norman. Towards then end of the day, she came and fulled in a few times for me when I needed a message rushed out super quick.

Herald's Point ran until about four in the afternoon, and with the last announcement sent out canceling the live chess tourneyment, I closed herald's point after a whirlwind six hours.

Side note: During the day, I had to leave herald's point on more than a few occations. The Following written messge was scrawled scross my notepad and left on the table for anyone looking for me.

Please leave a message...


(flip page to write your missive)

After fest, I changed into a clean shirt and then went to the royal cabin again to plan the evening court.

Much as it had been before, the court planning was a smooth, painless process with the roylas and their entorage helping here and there. It was decided to close court that night (they could always reopen it if they needed to the next morning), so I had to do closing vivats. It turnes out that part of the big thing for their highnesses was to see Mooneschadowe's famed Triumph of victors duriong court.

In short, the triumph is a huge, heralded processon where the immeedieately previous and current champions for each event process down the aisle to great fanfair and celebration, and are handed their awards in short order at the end of their walk. Where I have seen courts where it took over an hour (yes, over 60 minutes) to hand out awards for two competitions, Triumph managed to present awards to 10 competators in five competitions (past and present) in less than fifteen minutes this year. And the whole time, either heralds are calling people's names or the audience is cheering them on as they process down the aisle, its fast, but great fun and wonderful fanfair.

Anyway... all of the entorage and their highness were really interested to see what it was like, and wern't totally clear on how it would get started. I guess they were thinking that they might have to say something or do somehting. But I assued them with this comparison.

"Look at it this way, once I call the autocrat up, we've just pulled the pin. After that, you toss the (proverbial) grenade, sit back and enjoy the show, becuase their's no stopping it after it gets going."

They seemed to like that idea.

BTW, for the closing "Vivats", Midrealm doesn't do "Vivat"s. They always just shout a single "Hubla!" (pronounced "Hoobla", and no, I have no clue what it means or where it comes from). When I heard that from Princess Annelyse, I ran back to our Prince and Princess, told them, and then said "I so want to have a photo taken when I call out "Hubla Midrealm". Half of the audience will scream "Vivat", and the other half will probably be looking at us going "hu?". We ALL had a good chuckle out of that.

With twenty minutes to go, I went out and heralded to everyone waiting for court to start that if they had any business with the Princess or Princess, they had to get on the docket before court, or they weren't going to be called up at all. A bunch of people jumped up, mostly with event plugs. But a few seemed to think that I was exaggerating my situation and that the Prince was somehow required to ask if their was further business from the populace. I have it on good authority that their were more than a few people who were a little surprised when Gunther followed through on my statement (which originated with him in the first place) that their would be no call for further business during court.

When I got back, I realized that I had a little time on my hands. I decided to take a bit of a chance.

About twelve years ago, Mooneschadowe's senechal at the time invented the phrase "Mooneschadowe Overlord Government" as a joking reference to his supposedly iron handed leadership. Well, that abbreviates to "MOG", and ever since we decided to go for Province, its been a strong tradition to shout "Hail MOG" after any meeting or court where Mooneschaodwe is the local group. Its always shouted by someone other than the herald, a combination of a jokingly rebellious shout and a patriotic battle cry.

Well, I told this history to the Queen, and told her that if she wanted to really win over Moonescadowe in droves, she and her husband should shout the "Hail MOG" cry at the end of court. She was enthusiastic about the idea, and Gunther was a little more subdued, but none the less positive about it.

Well, about about 8:40 (I think anyway) We started court from the front, already seated (Someone in the entourage had jokingly commented beforehand about one procession a day being more than enough). We did two small items of business, and then I called the auroctart into court and she Started the Triumph itself.

Now, about the heralding for the Triumph. While I didn't plan it this way, four herlads from Namron wound up crying the names and titles for the procession. HL Owen Stott, HL Tadhg macAedain uiConchobhair, Lady Samaki, and Annais de Montgomerie. Owen has been heralding for about as long as I have, and I've seen him catching Namron Courts here and there at their events if memory serves me. Tadhg is a hard working A&S type with a solid grasp on Court heraldry as I understand. The moment I heard he was willing to herald, I jumped at the opportunity to ask him for the triumph. And Annya is just one of those people who loves to help out whenever she can, but in this case, can most definitely be loud when called for. Lady Liliana of Mooneschadowe was organizing the Triumph, and most of it success was due her, but I do want to point out the contribution of Namron's hard working heralds towards the success.

note on the above paragraph: In my efforts to record the names of the people who helped, I accidentally put down a wrong name. It is corrected here, and the proper name of Annais de Montgomerie is now in place, with my many apologies to the lady in question for this most dreadful oversight.

In the middle of the triumph, with the audience going absolutely bananas with the whole thing (think modestly watered down rock concert), I reminder HRH Elizabeth leaning over to her husband and (relatively quietly) saying "We have to come back next year and see this again!"

As much as I would like to say that I got through court without any hookups, that wasn't the case. After everything else was done, I started with the salutes. Got through Prince, Princess King Queen, Mooneschadowe....

and then, just as I was about to do "hubla Midwrealm" my bran blanked, my throat clamped down and my only thought was "SHIT, not now!" I guess it was just a stress thing, because it cleared after a second, but their was no missing that I was stalled, and when I got my voice back, I stupidly uttered "um...where was I?"

Shrug... I can't say that I find it funny in retrospect (yet, anyway) but for the moment I'm not mortified by it either.

After a very conspicuous pause, cough and me wanting to kick myself, I picked up where I left off. With a stern and serious face I called "Hubla Midrealm". The audience actually echoed that pretty well, btw.

And then I stepped out from under the pavilion, shot my fit into the air, and cried as loud as I could "Vivat Ansteorra!"

And just then, TRH Gunther and Elizabeth came out next to me, thrust their fists to the air, and Shunted "Hail MOG!" with me (hay, I was Mooneschadeen before I was a herald).

The replying "Hail MOG!" from the audience was loud enough to make some of the entourage jump a little.

After court, I wound up talking with Lord Alehandro (SP?) , one of the entourage, for a while. He was just sitting under a pavilion, in the dark, mellowing after the day's happenings. Master Robert joined us after about a half an hour, and I have to say, it was a lot of fun to just sit back and let the buzz of the whole experience finally ware off. I knew I still had Sunday to go, but I had made it through Saturday as both the Herald in Charge and the Royal Herald. I had Heralded my First Royal court front to back, and I hadn't left any of the heralding duties during the day slip by unattended. These were not small items, and It was well after eleven before I really even started to wind down from it all.

Sunday (today, or Yesterday as its now 12:30 in the morning now) could have gone better, to be honest, though I wasn't totally displeased.

I got up and did wake up heralds, even had a little fun with them this time.

"Hear ye, hear ye. This is you morning wake up herald. If you can hear me, 'good morning'. if not, you obviously had a better night than I did."


"I hope you recognize the tent that your waking up in right now."

And finally

"It is quiet, calm and still this morning,we need to fix that!"

I really, wasn't happy with the Raper list heraldry Sunday morning. First of all, we wound up Drafting a relatively new member named Attya (spelling?) to help me. She really tried, but 30 seconds isn't enough to teach a total first time herald much of anything, and I think she was entirely overwhelmed by the hole experience. I couldn't shadow her because I had my own field to run, and the whole tournament was pretty choppy during the first round because of it. After the first round, one of the Royal Entourage, a lady Anwn, I believe, offered to help and made all the difference in the world.

Also, I have to admit, I was spent too much time socializing, and their were more than a few times where I wound up not looking at the fight and consequently missing who the winner was or not calling the next pairings for several moments while everyone else was sitting around waiting for me.

I still want to kick myself for the whole thing honestly. The Insegnante tournament used to be the tournament that I heralded all by myself. But with me wanting to socialize, and the marshal running two fields, I just didn't keep my head in it like I should have and I feel like I gave a pretty piss poor performance. I didn't ruin it for anyone (thank heavens), but next time, I need to have a game plan that accounts for what I want to do and what I can do, as well as having some heralds lined up ahead of time, help was sparse during Sunday.

Aside from calling a final gathering to announce the victor of the Insignanti list, the day for me as a herald was over at about 1:00pm, give or take.

I'll probably go over stuff in more detail in later posts... but as for the event itself, that was it for me.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protoge to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

um... WOW!


Let it never be said that God doesn't have a sense of humor.

First, let me set the stage for this so you get the full effect.

I've been trying to reach the Prince and Princess for weeks to see who their herald is. I have to know for two reasons; 1) I'm the herald in charge at the event, so I need to make sure their herald has anything that he needs. and 2) I hoped that I could get some backup heralding time in fopr me and the few court heralds up here who might like the chance to call a Royal court.

Let me be clear, I am the herald in charge, so even if Gunther came up with his own staff who turned around and say, "we don't need anything", I was going to have a full few days ahead of me. As much as I would have loved to herald even a few lines of a royal court, I knew better than to ask, I have my obligations already.


Today (its Thursday, I just actually posted this after the event) I went out to site with my wife to set up out Tent so that their was that much less to do on Friday night. I got back late (long story), and didn't check my e-mail until close to 11:30 PM.

Imagine my reaction when I read the following (Link Added).


I've been trying (and failing) to line up a herald for the Prince and Princess at Moonshadow this weekend. Would you like to do their court? I've recommended you for it if you'd like to.


Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin"

If ever their was a slack-jawed moment for me, this was one of spades.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Friday, September 12, 2008

Something to think on.

Well, with Mooneschadowe Triumph coming up, I'm going to be taking a stab at managing overall event heralding for the event, a new thing for me. I'm confident I can do it, I just need to make sure I don't get too many people mad at me.

However, looking back at the past nine months-I started this blog in January-I have noticed something; While I set out to be a better court herald, and I still do want to be a better court herald, I have noticed that while people can name really good Court heralds, its hard to name any really prominent site or list heralds.

I've already made a name for myself doing that, people across the northeast of Ansteorra already know me and know what I can do. In other words, within the list and site heralding worlds, I am the bigwig for the north.

Part of me *does* want to leave it there. I'm the authority, the big guy, the best...whatever you want to call it.

But what's the point then. I'm good, but I'm only one person, if I get sick, hurt, have to move away... then the next people in line have to start from scratch just like I did.

Like I said *part* of me wants to soak up the idea that I am the best at something.
But that's not what I'm all about. I'm all about teaching, doing, leading... and learning as well.

I still want to be a court herald. But the more I think about it, the more I think that the north needs a a bunch of really good list and site heralds more than they need another court herald.

I'm not giving up on my dream, not by a long shot.

But if I'm in this for kingdom and the north, than addressing what is needed now is more important than what I want for myself.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Redtape.. and a lot else

Okay... I don't have the time or energy to be elegant or pretty or anything like that.

First of all, I lost my job earlier this month (the 11th is memory serves me. Anyway, it was a Monday, I remember that for sure). So with that went a host of other things, not the least of which is my traveling money. Long story short...the freelance herald is a little less freelance at the moment.

Okay, on to other things.


Well, Redtape was local for me (Mooneschadowe was running it, it dosn't get much more local that than). So, I went there and did my thing; which in this case was manage the setup, breakdown and cleanup of site at the Stillwater community center.

Setup went well, and we got enough help to make it happen without too many hickups.

Oh... small detail about the day too.


I sat in the on the class, and effectively learned how to sit down and look up the answers to administrative questions, and not too much more, but hay...


Anyway, on to other things.

I sat in on the plenary (correct me if I misspelled that) meeting for the College of Heralds. It was interesting, I hadn't been to one before, but this one was productive.

2 major points:

1) I pointed out the need for a newcomers page for Heralds; a page that gave a working breakdown in laymen's terms.

2) I did something rash, I volunteered to head up the list heraldry for the tournyment at 30th year next year. (What in the &^## was I thinking?)


A few more odds and ends.

HL Emma De Featherstone agreed to come down with me to my Herald's classes at Skarrgard and talk with them on some of the admin heraldry stuff, which I think will be awsome. Thats set for the weekend after triumph (which I am head herald for, sighm how did I get so busy)

So, life is hell, hectic as all get out, and overall, I am still trucking along.

Small miracle (make that not so small...)

More to follow... whenever I get my head screwed on solidly again.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

News from Namron

I'll be on home turf this time, the event is at Will Rodgers Boyscout camp, and at this rate, Namron thinks of me as one of their own, more or less. I've worked with them before, and really enjoyed it. So this will be a good chance to return to an old and tried venue. Like I said. I'm looking forward to it. Speaking of which, Namron's Populace meeting is tomorrow, so I will be in a good position to see who wants to help out. All light-heartedness aside, not being truly from Namron, I do want to say that it is always an honor to be asked to head up any activity by
another group. Its not a gesture I take lightly.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Still plugging along

Well, let it never be said that life has to give you a break between activity. 

No sooner was I done with Crown (Thank God!) than I got an e-mail from the Skorgarrd herald asking me to come down and teach them list, site and populace meeting heraldry. This wasn't totally unexpected, mind you, she and I have been talking about this for a while, but I got the e-mail on monday....and Crown was on saturday, so you do the math. 

Not to mention that I am hoping to get warranted as a herald at King's Round Table in two weeks. This on top of me being in charge of setup breakdown and cleanup. (hay, Im smiling about this, really!)

And then...

I'm in charge of heralding--read "I am the Herald in Charge" -for Mooneschadowe's Triumph of the Eclipse. in September. 

And we have out of kingdom royalty coming!

and because of that, we may have IN KINGDOM royalty coming.

And I not only asked for that...I campaigned for it!

What was I thinking?

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Signed, Sealed and delievered.

Well, I knew crown tournament would be a chance to personal heraldry, so I decided to ham it up a little. I borrowed a page from Lord Brian's class at this years heraldic and Scribal symposium. I got some good paper, as well as some ribbon and a few black candles and did really nice looking wax seals. The real kicker was my using the site token-a pewter coin--as a wax insignia seal.

All in all, it was a good thing. I heralded Pete, Vlad, Aldric and Randal lee before their Majesties The letters looked really cool, and with a good script written out, I was happy with how they went over. HL Vara-Pete's Lady-at first said was I going overboard, but after it was all done, she said it came togeather well, so I was glad for it.

Randal lee was a last minute deal, he literally flagged me down just as he and his lady were heading up, evidently their herald went MIA at the last minute, and didn't make it back in time, so I had to wing it. I wasn't thrilled with the result, but for a 'wing it' I wasn't unhappy.

Then, well, things go a little backwards with the event and I wound up being drafted into list heralding. It was kind of last minute, and my one major complaint was that I was in a black shirt in 100+ degree heat. But I stayed hydrated and stuck with it for a round. All in all, it went well; Count Gunther prevaled at the end of the day. And despite the heat, thing worked out.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quick update.

Okay, so its been a while since I posted. Not that their hasn't been a lot going on, just that not a lot of heraldry type stuff going on. However, I am in the process of trying to wrangle a group of people together to get warranted at King's Roundtable as heralds, myself included. I'm hoping I can get five people in there, that is to say five people other than myself and those who were already planning on going. The Big hope is a crew out of Namron and its Canton, Skorragarðr. They have a whole new crop of eager students who want to be herald, and I'm hoping to help them out any way I can.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Populace heraldry and whatnot.

Well, I guess its safe to say that my populace heraldry options are few and far between. Not that I'm Complaining. I seriously doubt that my eight years of calling pop meetings at Mooneschadowe will just fade away from a few months of disuse. With Talbot called the Northkeep populace meeting, and Elsa rotating between Mooneschadowe's three or four qualified heralds, my traditional venues are rather taken. I never really had a chance to call a Wiesenfeuer pop meeting, and Namron... well I'll get to them in a minute.

But again, I'm not complaining. I kind of take partial credit for training Talbot, though I know that Kevin deserves the lion's share of that reward. And for a long list of reasons, I don't ask to herald Mooneschadowe's meetings, though mostly to make room for others to get the same experience that I did.

I don't know for sure, But I think its safe to say that his excellency Ian hasn't take any more flack for letting an outside herald Northkeep's meetings. Frankly, I would not be surprised if part of his motive for letting me in was just to goad some of the locals into stepping up to the plate. And Ian, if you are reading this, trust me, I'm smiling at the thought. A group should have its own heralds, and I'm sure Ian knows that as well as I do.

However, thats not to say that my abilities as a herald are wasting away. Lady Adelheid, the new Namron Herald and Sarait Inghean Beathain, the new Skarrgard herald are both conspiring to get some Heraldry meetings going between the two groups, and both of them were eager to ask me to come down and teach, so I'm still more than able to make good on my self appointed mandate of teaching.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk

Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra

"God Save the King!"

Some more Blog Updates

Okay, now that I have had some time to actually sit down and worth with google a little, I have managed to do some improvements to my blog and make it a little more functional as a learning place for students.

The New set of links on the right side of my page are:

About Me

Here you will find some more information about my past as a herald.

The Blackfeather News is a monthly new show that I produce


Here you will find my online classrooms for prospective students to the voice heralding arts. Feel free to look around and use all of the materials I have provided to you.

First, I took full advantage of Google sites, and made up some simple web pages that link off of my blog so that the blog itself isn't automatically loaded down with images, text and all that. I like the cleaner, simpler look of the page now that so much stuff is moved off onto its own little corner of the web.

The first thing I want to brag about--yes I'm bragging!--is the creation of my online classrooms. Right now I only have 1 really up and running, and that's my List heraldry, but it comes with class notes, an introduction and a slide show, so I've done about as much as I can do with Google Documents, not that I'm complaining. The change to reach people online with more than just stale, black on white text is a major boon for me.

Also, I managed to pull out my personal information, my list of events that I have heralded and the links to places I travel and give them each their own page, which I think works well for what I am trying to do. Again, it cleans up the page a lot, and makes the Blog itself look a little less messy.

Anyway, now I can put together other classes, and other class notes, and make them available online... "good stuff!" as my friends from High school used to say.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!