What is the College of Scribes?
The College of Scribes is the umbrella term used to describe all of the members of the scribal community. Star Signet, Sable Scroll, and the regional scribes are all officers of the College of Scribes. The College is pretty loosely and informally organized - local guild heads, guild members, charter painters, and anyone else who is participating in the scribal arts can be considered a "member" of the College. There are no requirements for membership in the College, and everyone is welcome to participate.
The Star Signet is the head of the College of Scribes. Some of the duties of the Star Signet are:
The Sable Scroll is the Crown's award scribe. Because of the nature of the close working relationship between the Sable Scroll and the Crown, each Crown chooses their own Sable Scroll. However, the Sable Scroll is not the Crown's personal scribe, and is not responsib le for invitations, "thanks you's," or prize scrolls for the Crown unless he or she chooses to be. Some of the duties of the Sable Scroll are:
The Sable Scroll may also be responsible for making sure that the completed scrolls get to the appropriate event on time, which might necessitate hand-delivering them to the event or to the Crown, or mailing or sending them via overnight courier to the ruling nobles who will be presenting the awards. This duty is sometimes handled by the Crown rather than by the Sable Scroll. The details of who is responsible for delivery of scrolls should be worked out between the Crown and the Sable Scroll at the beginning of each reign.
There are two types of scrolls in Ansteorra: charters and achievements.
A charter is usually a pre-printed, hand-painted scroll signed by the Crown. Everyone who receives an AoA-level or Grant-level award in the kingdom of Ansteorra should get a charter when they are called into court to receive their award. The same is true for most non-armigerous awards, with the notable exception of the Lion and a few newer awards that do not yet have charters.
An achievement is a scroll confirming your arms and Armorial Bearings as registered with Stellar Scroll. The Scroll is usually an original, personalized scroll with your device on it. You are entitled to a new achievement whenever you achieve a new rank (AoA, Grant, Peerage, Nobility, or Royalty). In most cases, if you want an achievement scroll, you must commission one directly from an available scribe. There is a pre-printed charter available for AoA-level achievement scrolls.
Many local scribal groups are found on this page. You can also check your local newsletter for dates, times, and location of your local scribal meeting, or ask your Seneschal. If your group does not have a scribal guild, there's no reason why you can't start one! Your Seneschal, your Arts and Sciences Minister, your Regional Scribe and the Star Signet can all give you advice about how to start a guild.
If you want to buy your own paints and brushes, getting started in charter painting can be pretty pricey. Fortunately, many groups have a scribal guild that will allow you to use their supplies. If you don't have a guild in your area, you can get together with a group of interested friends and split the price of paints and brushes amongst you.
If there's a local scribal guild in your group, you can get blank charters from the head of the guild. You can also get blank charters from the Star Signet, the Sable Scroll, any regional scribe, or most guild heads. Contact info for these people can be found on the Contact Info page of this site, or in the back of the kingdom newsletter, the Black Star.
Can I make copies of the blank charters I have so that I don't have to go to my regional scribe every time I need charters?
Please do not make your own copies. The regional scribes make their copies on special paper, at a quality printer/copier, from masters that have been very carefully checked for quality. We have taken great pains to ensure that the copies that are being made are of the highest quality, and if everyone made their own copies, the quality and consistency of our charters would suffer. Please see any of the kingdom scribal officers if you need blank charters to paint; they are more than willing to assist you however they can.
We recommend, when starting out, that you use a kind of opaque watercolor paint called gouache. Gouache can be found in several different brand names, including Windsor & Newton, Schminke, and Holbein.
It is easiest to find gouache in art supply stores (rather than craft stores, like Michael's). There are a variety of Art Supply stores online - a sampling can be found on the links page. You can also check with your local guild or your Regional Scribe for recommendations for art supply stores in your area.
Descriptions of the kingdom badges are provided in the Award Texts document. If you have any questions about the correct way to draw or paint Kingdom armory, contact your local or regional herald.
You can turn your charters in to the head of your local scribal guild, any regional scribe, the Star Signet, or the Sable Scroll. Contact info for these people can be found on the Contact Info page of this site, or in the back of the kingdom newsletter, the Black Star. Please turn completed charters in regularly - hundreds of award scrolls are given out every reign, and the kingdom depends on wonderful volunteers like you for a steady supply of painted charters.
There are many avenues for exploring, expanding, and utilizing your calligraphy and illumination skills. A great way to start is by volunteering to design invitations or prize scrolls for a local event. You can also try your hand at designing a charter for the kingdom.
The award texts (along with a lot of other interesting and useful information about things like scroll sizes, award badges and insignia, and achievements) can be found in the Award Texts document.
You need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the .pdf file. Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website
Send the following items to Star Signet:
When you submit a design, Star Signet may contact you asking for permission to make minor changes, usually to improve the “paintability” of the design or the accuracy of Kingdom armory. Once the design is approved, Signet will make and distribute masters and blank charters to regional deputies and other scribes. Then, all the charter painters will rejoice at having something new and fun to paint.
If you are missing a non-armigerous, armigerous, or grant-level charter, you can contact Golden Scroll for a replacement. For more information, refer to the Golden Scroll page.
Currently, the best way to obtain a peerage, nobility, or royalty scroll is to commission one from an individual artist. If you need assistance in locating a scribe, you can contact the Star Signet. We'll do everything we can to help you find someone, but can't guarantee the availability of an artist.
Absolutely. Please contact the Star Signet for more information. Be aware that if the Signet is not already familiar with your work, he or she may ask to see it.