Scribe Notes

Volume 4, Number 9


Unto the Scribes of the Principality of Lochac does Richard de la Croix send greetings

Good gentles, welcome to another edition of Scribe Notes. I am a little late this issue, mainly owing to the impact of preparations for the Rowany Festival. The next issue should arrive two months as usual from this one.

Owing to the decidedly small amount of work handed in this time, you will also find this issue a little lacking in size and content.

Progress Report

I am having a great deal of trouble predicting when the work will arrive. Last time I had received mountains of completed work in time for inclusion in Scribe Notes. The contrary is true this time.

I received only 3 AA's and 1 GA since last issue. A large number of assignments have also come due, so I will be recalling work over 12 months old shortly.

Crux Australis

As mentioned previously, the Principality of Lochac has a new person acting in the role of Crux Australis Herald. The gentle now doing the job is Lord Thomas Flamanc of Kelsale and I have briefed him on the state of my office as it effects the work he is now doing.

In Stormhold last January, 20 signed scrolls where handed to him which needed sealing. I have also now sent him some wax with which to seal them, so this should allow the flow of scrolls to recipients to commence once again. I still have many more awaiting signatures (many for Royalty no longer active). I will be getting these signed shortly, and any that cannot be signed by the named P&P will be signed by the current royalty.

I will keep you all posted on this front, but the news is good so far.

West Kingdom Chancellor

The position of West Kingdom Chancellor changed hands at Twelfth Night. Mistress Aldith Anghaharad St George is now the person in the position. Further to my last update, I have offered the assistance of the College in handling the backlog in the Central West.

I will include the contents of her e-mail to me here for you all to read:
Unto Master Sir Richard de la Croix, Crux Australis Scribe

Mistress Aldith Angharad St. George, Chancellor of the WKCoS sendeth greeting!

[paragraph deleted]

I have quite a lot of work to do to bring the CoS in the Central Kingdom back up to speed. As I'm sure you are aware, there have been administrative problems by the bushel in the WKCoS, and we are bending our efforts to rectify them as quickly as possible.

To this end, I'm in the rather interesting position of consulting you on several issues, to wit:

1) We need new pre-printed scroll blanks. I saw Lochac's some years ago -- when I was Kingdom scribe the first time -- and they were excellent. Are you still using the same designs? Have you had any different ones created recently? Is it true that samples are available on the Internet, and if so, what's the address? (We'd like to use them as an example for the scribes who are designing the new ones for the Central Kingdom.)

2) Her Majesty, Queen Elina, told me at 12th Night that the Lochac CoS had offered to help us out with our backlog, since Lochac's is up to date. This tells me that despite the obstacles of geography and communications, Lochac hasn't had much trouble recruiting scribes or keeping them working. How do you do it? Do you have local scribes that handle some of the administration, or does it all come though you? What kind of database are you using? When did you last receive a copy of the master backlog list?

I should add, here, that until I get our backlog list database rebuilt (with the help of my husband, Master Hirsch von Henford), I'm not sure how large it really is. If the offer of the Lochac scribes to help us is still good, it may be a few months before I can take them up on it. --I say this with the provision that I don't want to interfere with the Lochac scribes' keeping up with their own backlog.

3) How are you handling the scribes' rankings? Is it the same as that in the Scribes' Charter (Apprentice, Journeyman, Scribe)? How do you track it? Do you have any candidates for the Order of the Silver Nib? Also, could I get a copy of your Roster list, so I can add it to ours for the Kingdom report due at March Crown?

[paragraph deleted]

5) At this moment, I'm working on a the WKCoS Handbook. The Stellanordica, Sable Swan and Sea Wolf scribes have asked me to give this top priority. It's been years in the making (argh), but I'm trying to get it printed by March Crown. The new handbook will contain a copy of the Scribes' Charter, policies, job descriptions, as well as the scroll texts. The texts have been updated based on the revision of the Kingdom ceremonies that took place a few years ago.

It's very possible that some of the policies, etc. contained in the Handbook may be inconsistent with regard to the policies that the Lochac scribes have been operating under. With this in mind, I've added wording to allow the office of Crux Australis as much freedom as possible. As I see it, the Lochac CoS has functioned much as an independent entity (by design as much as by necessity), and I do not wish to interfere with it, but rather, to support it.

I expect to have a final draft ready in the next couple of weeks, and I'd like to send you a copy. (What word processing software do you use? I can send you a disk instead of hard copy -- the handbook is on Word Perfect for Windows 6.1.) Once you've seen it, I'd like to discuss with you how well it will work for Lochac. If you have a handbook you are already happy with, we may agree that no new one is needed for Lochac. It actually did occur to me that what's a crying need for the CK may NOT be one for Lochac...

6) Lastly, what do you need most from the Kingdom scribe's office? Have there been any problems you need help with? Please let me know. That's all I can think of for now -- this should keep us talking for quite a while yet, I expect. Thanks in advance for your help & advice! Thanks to the Lochac scribes for all their efforts!

Please believe me to be,

Yours in Service to the Crown of the West

So as you can see, Mistress Aldith seems quite keen, and I am much relieved by her enthusiasm. As far as the Handbook goes, when I receive a copy I will, with her permission, distribute it to all active scribes on my mailing list. Actually, I will restate that to be any scribe that requests it, by phone, e-mail or letter.

I also sent her a request to try and find out what is happening with scrolls we are supposed to have over there. I received a reply after my initial message which seemed hopeful, and I will let you all know the status of these in the very near future.


No-one moved up a rank in the College since last I wrote, which is consistent with the low volume of completed work I received. I do have some unfortunate news however. It appears that Claas one of our Journeymen Scribes in Stormhold is leaving us. He has decided to make a go for it in the mundane world of graphic illustration etc.

I am sad to see him go as his talent and sheer volume of work will be missed. I would like to wish him all the best in his new endeavour.

Workshop III

The workshop I mentioned last time to be held in Dismal Fogs was hosted at Lady Branwen's abode as scheduled. Myself, Alarice, Frae, Phillipa and a few others from the mountains attended.

In all we had a fun time playing with gold leaf and experimenting with various mediums for raising gold. Burnishing raised gold really does create a nice period look, and I thoroughly urge anyone interested in getting more seriously into the art to experiment.

On the subject of gilding, I ordered some supplies from Weyermann Nominees in Melbourne, and on the whole found their service to be very good.

Their prices are excellent, and I noticed that they have seconds Imitation Gold Leaf for sale at $20 per 100 sheets. I ordered a book, and while slightly frayed on the edges of each sheet, the surface was intact and in very good condition. For anyone one wishing to practice with imitation leaf on pre-printeds etc, this presents a great opportunity, and at very little cost.

They also sell burnishing stones set in metal and wood holders for far cheaper prices than retail (about price). The only trouble is the stock they keep is limited.

You can get a catalogue drawn to scale with diagrams of the 100 or so stones, but they may not have the one you order in stock. If this is the case they tend to send a substitute, so specify if this is not acceptable. If you have a second alternative that is acceptable, it would also help to let them know. I purchased 3 stones for $80, and the largest one I ordered would have sold for that much normally.

Fiscal Matters

As I mentioned last time, there is only a small chance that money owed to the College of Scribes by the Heralds will actually now be paid. I am unsure of what this means as far as future printing runs are concerned. The office itself now has only around $100 after the last lot of printing expenses are deducted. This being the case, I am unsure of when the next few designs can be produced. I still have designs from Thorfinn and Rowan that need to be printed (Thorfinn's design is ready to go while Rowan's is in its final stages of completion).

There is therefore no hurry as far as finishing up AA blank designs if you are in the middle of one. Concentrate on other scroll assignments until the financial situation improves.

Mailing List

The mailing list has been trimmed down substantially. Anyone still receiving Scribe Notes that doesn't necessarily want to should contact me. Thank you all for your patience as I've sorted out my database.

Remember though, there are still expiry dates printed on the top left hand corner under the return address. This tells you the issue number when your subscription expires. If you have "EXP 09" this means unless you write to me you will not receive issues past Number 9 (this issue). If you have "EXP 99" congratulations, your 'subscription' will never expire - at least while I am in office. Anything in between I think will be fairly self-explanatory, but as a rule of thumb it will be 2 years (12 issues) after your last scroll for the College.


Mail that is sent to the College of Scribes will be answered either here, or in a personal letter. Generally though, if an issue of Scribe Notes is close to being sent out you will probably find quick replies ending up here. If by some chance you would rather a private reply, just indicate so in your correspondence and the Provost of Scribes will happily oblige.


Sorry about the delay with the Knight's wording. Mistress Aldith had said she was working on the new Scribes Handbook as a matter of urgency, and I was curious to see if the wording would change, or if there were now more alternatives available.

In the end I thought it best that I give you what I had. If I receive any new words from Aldith by way of their inclusion in the handbook, I will let you know.

I gave Rhianwen some of the new blanks for yourself and others at Twelfth Night in Stormhold. I also sent on some paper to make up for the personal supplies that you used in your original scroll effort late last year.

[While on the subject of paper, as I mentioned in the last few issues, I carry around a supply of quality paper to every event I attend. If you require reimbursement for materials used in work for the College, you may see me and receive payment in kind.]


Thank you again for the donation to the office of the $42 outstanding membership. As you are aware, there is a cash flow problem at the moment which hopefully will be rectified.

Thanks also for acting as a courier for the paper to Muirghein, and also for purchasing some of the Parchmentine.

Nerissa de Saye

I spoke to you a little more at Festival. Whenever you are free to work for the office, don't hesitate to come forward. One scroll per holiday break would certainly be enough, and any effort at all is much appreciated.

Frae Fitzalleyne

I hope you had fun at the Workshop, and more recently at Festival. Next year, time permitting, I shall organize something more for scribes to do. Does anyone have suggestions?

The assignment you requested should accompany this issue of Scribe Notes. If you would rather another, just drop me a line and I will re-assign a different one.

I will also pick up the scrolls you mentioned that are at Lady Isabeau's address in the next week or so. I am particularly interested in the AA blank design you say is there. I will keep you posted.

On an unrelated note would Myfanwy mind me putting her paper on the Scribes WWW page? I think it would be a very useful addition to the site. While on the subject, do you have the time to do a half page or so on each of your AA designs. The format should be similar if possible to that used in the recent article I did for 6 of the designs (see SN 2 or the WWW site). I intend to keep the article updated as an on-going concern. It will be handed out along with the AA blanks to new scribes requesting assignments..

I have noticed reference to the Order of the Silver Nib in your recent correspondence and thought I would comment on it here since I have had 2 other people ask about the award. Several years ago, Jade, in one of his numerous reigns, created a Kingdom Award to acknowledge work by members in the College of Scribes. A few inaugural members were admitted with a mind to admitting more as recommendations were received.

A check of recent West Kingdom law reveals no reference to the award, which tends to make me think it was closed. I also seem to remember something like this happening a few years ago. Recent correspondence from Mistress Aldith however would tend to convey the impression that this may not be the case.

I do however agree that if not this then some similar recognition should be in place. If the populace in general wishes to receive pretty scrolls for their awards (more of an 'expectation' than a wish from present attitudes) then the people putting in the hours should be recognised and encouraged. Obviously with the backlog in the West becoming more prominent this will need to be addressed, so we all can hope.

To my knowledge the only recipients of the award in Lochac to date have been

If we all feel this is a good idea, then maybe I can contact TRM and/or my now active Kingdom superior to see what the situation is.

Branwen of Werchesvorde

Apology for the slow down in your efforts accepted - not that it was ever needed. Even the hardest of Laurel's wouldn't expect mountains of work under the circumstances - besides which apart from maybe 1 or 2 scribes you have done more work than anyone in the last 12 months.

As I said last time the scroll design for the Pelican scroll looked wonderful. Whenever you get a chance will, I'm sure, be soon enough. Good luck.

Feature Article

Lord Frae Fitzalleyne has provided us again with this issue's Feature Article. It is a collection of pointers and hints obtained by the author on the use of gesso and gilding. It has been written by Michael Hughes, a calligrapher in the Wollongong area, and is particularly tailored to the use of gesso in Australian conditions.

I apologise in advance for the slightly awkward and liberal use of grammar in the article, but it is worth the read.

Good Scribing,


Written by my hand this Monday 29 April in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-six of the Common Era