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Many people think a herald is the guy who announces the arrival of important people to a Medieval Court. In the SCA it is a bit different. While many heralds use their voices to make announcements, there are also many different things that heralds do.
These activities include voice heraldry (using one's voice to be heard), and research or "book" heraldry. Of course, it's a little more complex than that.
Heralds who concentrate on research are often called "book heralds". These are the folk who understand the Rules for Submission and help people register Names, Devices and Badges in the SCA.
Some of these folk concentrate specifically on one or two areas of research, such as naming practices or armory. Some are good at all of it.
These people can often be found at events manning the Consultation Table, which is there to help you research your name and/or device and/or badge. (For more details on what a device or badge is, see the Frequently Asked Questions part of the website ...)
Voice heralds fall into two major categories: duty and field, and court. "Duty and field" are considered to be one category, although some heralds specialize in one or the other.
"Duty" heralds are the ones who go around making announcements at events. To do this a person must have good voice control, good diction, and the willingness to walk a lot (some events are very large).
"Field" heralds are the ones who stand on the tournament field ("The Eric") and announce the fighters, the fighters who should be ready to walk onto the field, and the fighters who should be getting ready to fight. They also announce the victors for the matches.
"Court" heralds are those who help make court go, make the royalty look good, and take care of the business needed for court. Court Heralds must have good voice control, good diction, the ability to excercise these for an extended period of time, and the stamina to stand for an equally long time.
There MUST Be More
Well, yes, this was meant to be a quick overview of what the heralds are, and what they do. If you want more details, you can find a lot more in the West Kingdom Heralds Handbook article: The Duties and Responsibilities of Rostered Heralds, and in the West Kingdom Heralds Handbook in general (mostly in section III, but the handbook is large and covers a lot of territory).
A Non-Herald's View of Heralds
For details about the West Kingdom of the SCA: West
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For details about the SCA's College of Arms: SCA College of Arms
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