Greetings from the Polaris Signet,
Many people have asked me questions in the three months I’ve been in this office and many of these questions have led me to believe there are a great number of people who aren’t exactly sure of what I do. So – now that I’ve figured out what I’m suppose to be doing – I thought I’d share that information.
For the most part, I’m the hub of the scribal community – the intermediary between the Crown and the scribes who make award scrolls. That’s it. That’s the really short version but most of you will only really need to know that I’m the person you call if you didn’t get your award scroll.
Since the award process itself seems to be at the center of many questions I thought I’d explain that a bit too. Check your calendar. See those summer events you plan to go to? Wouldn’t it be nice if that person in your group finally got that well deserved award for all the time and effort they put into that thing they do? If it doesn’t happen you’re going to be disappointed, but did you remember to write an award recommendation and tell the Crown what you saw? Unless you do, that hardworking gentle might continue to go unrewarded. Why risk it? Why leave it up to someone else to do? After you send in your pre-registration for the event, sit down and send in your award recommendations. There is a simple form online to do this at http://www.northshield.org/admin/award/. Then you’ll know it’s taken care of.
Several weeks before an event, the Crown sits down and reads all the award recommendations it has and makes a list of the gentles they wish to give awards to. (This process is foreign to me – steeped in old traditions I’m sure. I only know the Crown gets award recs and they send me a list. What happens in between the two events is a mystery to me. It probably involves many beverages and snack cakes. At least I like to think it does, so if it doesn’t, please don’t tell me. It would ruin my day.)
Once I have that list of awards to be given, usually 3 weeks before the court, I notify my list of scribes willing to help and each one who wants to do an assignment lets me know. I find an award that meets their needs and talents and send it onto them with as much information as I have. If you wrote in your award recommendation that the individual was a tenth century Viking or a late period Spaniard then I can pass that information on to the scribe who takes the assignment. In fact, many scribes only do a specific type or two, so if I know I’m looking at a tenth century persona then I wouldn’t give it to someone who specializes in Gothic. It doesn’t always work out so perfect but you get the idea; the more information you provide available the better.
On the day of the event, I gather up all the scrolls that the scribes either mailed or personally brought, or sent the scroll with a trusted friend to give to me. I check them all off my list and meet with the Crown to have them sign all the scrolls. At that time they are also stamped with the Kingdom seal and put in the correct order for court. Court starts, the awards are bestowed, I go home. The process starts over again for the next event. Not exactly the same every time – problems do occur.
For instance - you recieved an award but you didn’t get a scroll.
Not every scroll is made on paper and scrolls are not required to make an award official. It just so happens that in Northshield a personalized token almost always comes with every award. But not every scroll gets completed on time, some have gotten lost in the mail, a last minute emergency could have prevented the messenger from attending the event. It happens. If I have enough warning that such a thing happened there is the possibility of making a promissory or even a whole new scroll (well just the calligraphy – I bring pre-painted scroll blanks with me most of the time.) It’s important that you contact the Polaris Signet (that’s me right now) if you receive a promissory – especially if the signet wasn’t at the event. Send all the pertinent information (including the full promissory text if possible) so that if the scroll got lost it can be reassigned. If the scroll just didn’t make it to court, then it can be signed and sealed at the next event and passed on to you.
Another example would involve your recieving an award and not being at court to accept it. In this case, one of your friends, your Baron/Baroness or your group seneschal may have accepted the scroll on your behalf. I do not track who actually picks up the scroll. If nobody picks it up, and it is still in the posession of the court herald or the signet, then chances are you will recieve it at a future court. But if someone picked it up for you, and then didn’t get it to you, there is very little I can do other than advise you to attend court more often. If you received an award and are missing your scroll, there is a list of unclaimed scrolls on the Polaris Signet’s web page at http://www.northshield.org/officers/herald/signet/
Everyone should get an award token of some sort but not every award goes through the signet office. Some items the Crown decides to keep to themselves and either arrange a scroll on their own or create a promisory so a scroll can be made after the secret is out. Peerage scrolls do not usually go through the signet office, since it is the responsibility of the person begging the boon to commision the scroll. I am willing to assist with finding a scribe if needed (and will usually check to make sure it has been arranged if I know about it).
And that brings us to the end – getting the award to you so you can hang it on your wall. I will not (and this is a personal choice – the next signet might have different feelings on the subject) mail a scroll unless you first confirm that I have it and you send me the funds to pay for shipping. I can send it to an event and give it to a person you designate. Or you can make other arrangements by contacting me. With the exception of promisories I know about right away, it will be up to you to get the signatures (I have all the seals so that will be less of a problem.)
If you’re a scribe and would be interested in working on either court lists or backlog scrolls please contact me. You don’t need to be able to do the whole thing yourself – you can do just illumination or just calligraphy. Once you let me know of your willingness to help you will also need to tell me what your good at and, if possible, show me some examples of your work. Then I can put you on the notification list and you can start whenever your ready.
And if you recieved an award and never got a token please contact me with your name, the award, the date and event and the royals who gave the award (and the reason if you happen to know it.) I will see if it is part of my ‘unclaimed’ collection. Likewise if you claimed an award and didn’t have a chance to get it to its rightful owner. I can probably help with that too.
If you wish to know who made your scroll and there is no signature on the back, you can contact the signet (within 6 months of recieving the award). I would need to know the name of the event, your name, and the award name. I can also forward a message to the scribe in question if you would like.
And I wish you all to know I enjoy this job – I think it will be much easier now that everyone knows what I do exactly.
Peaceful journeys with much sunshine always,