(From an article originally published in Tournaments Illuminated #106 - Spring 1993;
last updated October 16, 2003.)

Etcetera - The West Kingdom
and the Principalities of the Mists, Cynagua, and Oertha

by Mistress Jessa d'Avondale

The West Kingdom, the first kingdom of the Society for Creative Anachronism, was founded May 1, A.S. I (1966). The arms of the kingdom are Or, a crown dancetty of three voided within a laurel wreath vert.

Patents of Arms

Royal Peerages earned in the Kingdom of the West shall be accompanied by Patents of Arms. People earning such peerages shall be assumed to fulfill the basic requirements for the elevation to the Peerage.

Those who have reigned as Consorts are inducted into the Order of the Rose after their reign.

Grants of Arms

Grants of Arms may be given at Their Majesties' wish. Grants are usually given to Greater and Lesser Lords of State (kingdom officers), their deputies, and founding (territorial) barons and baronesses. They also accompany the following:

The Royal Company of Archers (RCA): given to honor archers who have achieved high standing, and who are exemplars of courtesy and chivalry. The token is a glove or gauntlet to be worn in the belt, with the badge of the company (not yet designed) on the back. Only one new member may be named to the order by each king and queen.

The Royal Company of Yeomen: given to recognize high achievement and service to the kingdom in wartime with missile weapons, as well as being an exemplar of courtesy and chivalry. The token of the order is a leather baldric with the badge of the order on it.

Guildmasters of Fence: this title is granted to those who support and teach rapier combat in the West. It is given by the Crown at the recommendation of the current Guildmasters of Fence. Guildmasters of Fence may wear a black glove bearing the badge of the guild (not registered at this time). New Guildmasters may choose the alternate title of "Courtier to the Crown of the West".

Awards of Arms

If the recipient has not already been awarded arms, the titles of Court Baron and Court Baroness carry Awards of Arms,as do the following:

Order of the Leaf of Merit (OLM): given for service, and the token is a cast pewter laurel leaf.

Order of the Rose Leaf (ORL): given for expertise in the arts or sciences, and the token is a pendant in the shape of a rose leaf.

The above two awards are known as the "Leaves of Achievement".

Order of The Western Lily: offered to those the Crown finds deserving of great honor for both their individual excellent achievements and for their consistent contributions in teaching others of their skills and knowledge of the arts, sciences and other activities that strengthen and enhance the Kingdom. The token of this award is a pendant of a natural lily.

Non-armigerous awards

Knight Banneret: given to members of the Chivalry (including Masters of Arms) who have given personal service to the Crown in war. They may display on the fly of their banners a stripe colored barry Or and vert (the kingdom colors).

Defenders of the West: given to combattants and non-combattants alike (water-bearers, marshals, heralds, chirurgeons, and many others) who have served the realm outstandingly during times of war. Members are given a braid of green, gold, red, and blue ribbons, colors from the arms of all four of the kingdom's principalities.

Order of Valor: given by the king for leadership in times of war. Usually given to those who lead units, or who have made some other especially noteworthy contribution. Its symbol is a torse braided of green, gold and red.

Order of the Silver Mantle: given to consistently well-accoutered fighters.

Order of the Grey Goose Shaft (OGGS): for excellence in archery. Each new member of the order is presented with a personalized arrow.

The Order of the King's Lance: given to those who have shown excellence in and continued support of the equestrian arts. The token is a silver lance suspended from a ribbon.

Queen's Order of Grace (QOG): given to those the queen finds courteous to all. The token is a medallion of a crowned rose, from which a pearl hangs.

Queen's Cypher (QC): given to those who have been thoughtful and helpful personally to the queen. The token is a medallion, usually in the shape of the queen's initials. It is possible to receive Cyphers from several different queens.

Pillars of the West: given to groups (such as households and clans) that have served the kingdom outstandingly. A group so honored may register a household badge as arms and add an augmentation of Or, a crown of three points, voided vert.

Order of the Silver Nib: given by the Crown to members of the College of Scribes for excellence and quantity in their work. The token is a silver pen nib on a black and gold braided ribbon.

Order of the Golden Acorn: given to those who have assisted in the upbringing of the kingdom's children. The token is a small pendant of an acorn on a green ribbon.

Royal Pages of the West: given to those children who have demonstrated exceptional courtesy and given of their service or talents to the kingdom. The token is the letters "RP" strung from ribbons.

West Kingdom Paragons of Merriment: given at the discretion of the Crown to those individuals who help create and support period entertainment and activities for the enjoyment of the populace. In particular those whose efforts enhance the festivities and evening revels through dance, music, performance arts, and any other social activity may prove worthy for this honor. The token for this honor is a ribbon of festive colors with a leather roundel stamped with the initials of the award.

Order of the Noble Manor: given once per year, at June Crown, to those whose excellent and regular efforts have created an exceptionally period and well-appointed encampment. The most recent recipient of the award will be given a banner to display, which shall be passed on each year, or may create a banner in a form that best suits their encampment. Any such banner shall incorporate the kingdom colors and the silhouette of a culturally appropriate dwelling. After the year of holding the initial banner, recipients of this honor may display a banner of their own with the same design. This award is given to individuals, not to households.

Order of the Queen's Treasure: offered by the Queen to those who, by their consistent efforts in creating various works and providing such items to the Crown to use as gifts to others, greatly contribute to the Crown's ability to show largesse. The token for this award shall be a treasure chest depending from a ribbon of kingdom colors.

Augmentation of Arms: given at the discretion of the Crown, for whatever reason the Crown may desire. It is an addition to the Arms of the recipient, the form of which is (usually) determined by the Crown and the College of Arms.

Order of the Wooden Spoon (OWS): given to the victors of the kingdom cooking contests. Members of the order wear a wooden spoon on a ribbon. It is possible to receive many of these tokens.

Order of the Pied d'Argent: given to the winners of kingdom dance competitions. The token is a small pendant or pin of a silver dance slipper.

Order of the Golden Poppy: given to the winner of the annual kingdom arts and sciences competition. Members are given a wreath of silk poppies, and the right to an augmentation of arms which will be individually designed.

Bard of the West: this title goes to the winner of a competition held at Beltane Coronation, and is granted at the following June Crown.

Other kingdom honors include:

Commendabilis: the title held by the runner-up and consort of the Crown lists, as a recognition of all of the combattants who fought with honor and chivalry in the Lists, and those who inspired them. The tokens are cast gold oak leaf pendants, which are returned before the next Crown Tournament, to be passed on to the next Commendabilis.

Wreaths of Valor and Chivalry: given at Crown Tournaments, usually to unbelted fighters who have proven the most valorous and most chivalrous on the field that day. The Wreath of Valor is of rosemary with a red ribbon wrapped around it; the Wreath of Chivalry is the same, with a white ribbon.

Queen's Guard: an honor offered to unbelted fighters who show much promise. Members of the Guard wear a baldric of red leather with the device of the queen of the West tooled into it, and are given the favor of the queen on whose guard they serve.

King's Huscarls: those asked to serve as the king's house guard for the duration of the reign, specifically during war time. Members are usually of the Chivalry, but the honor is not limited to the Chivalry. They are given baldric to wear with the badge of the Huscarls: Or, an antique crown voided, surmounted by a sword gules, to signify that they will stand between the Crown of the West and any danger that threatens it.

Queen's Champion: bestowed on a single fighter for the duration of a reign. The position may be appointed by the Queen, or a tournament may be held in which the victor is usually given the position, this varies from reign to reign. The person holding the position is responsible for championing the Queen's Honor, in whatever ways he/she and the Queen decide best. The current holder of the position is given to wear a large leather baldric with the Queen's Arms on it.

Western War Council: appointed once a year by means of a mass melee tournament between war units. The war unit that is appointed Western War Council shall assume the role of command of the Army of the West Kingdom in time of War, at the discretion and direction of the Crown. The current War Unit designated as the Western War Council has the right to display on and off the field a banner with the following badge: Or, two thunderbolts in saltire, overall a demi-sun vert. War units who have held this position in the past may display as an augmentation on the badge of their war unit: On a canton checky Or and vert, a demi-sun sable.

Muckin' Great Clubbe (MGC): for ferocity on the field. The recipient of the honor is responsible for maintaining the Clubbe (a massive polished wood club with a ten-inch spike driven through it) by the application of a pound of wax, and for choosing the next holder of the Clubbe.

Old Battered Helm (OBH): given to those who die gloriously on the field. The helm itself is a freon-tank helm, which each new recipient is expected to mark, before witnesses, with a weapon of his/her choice.

The Western Roll of Honor: honors those individuals who by their actions have inspired the populace or have substantially enriched the realm. Their names, the date, and the deeds they are being recognized for are added to this scroll, and they receive a heater-shaped medallion with the Western demi-sun above a rolled scroll.

Arachne's Web: a guild of lacemakers recognized by the kingdom. Membership is given to those who have shown excellence in the art; there are many ranks within the guild. The guild presents lace napkins to the Crown at each coronation, and the lacemaker to the queen is usually selected from amongst the members. Members wear a token of black (silk), with a white spider's web embroidered on it.

Index of SCA Kingdom Awards articles West Kingdom webpage

This article is based on information from The West Kingdom Herald's Handbook, by Master Hirsch von Henford, Duquessa Juana Isabella Montoya y Ramirez, and Duke Frederick of Holland, and the West Kingdom Web site.

Mistress Jessa d'Avondale (OP, Court Baroness, GoA, OSC, OM, OBT, QC, Terpsichore) is from the fifteenth-century Italian court, where she is studying the dance (including those peculiar ones from France and England). She resides in the East Kingdom. Marla Lecin (mlecin@optonline.net) invites anyone with updates or corrections to this article to contact her.