Black Lion is the Principal Herald of the Kingdom of An Tir, responsible for the administration of the An Tir College of Heralds and the promotion and exercise of heraldic activity throughout the kingdom and its principalities. Black Lion reports to the Laurel Sovereign of Arms, serving at the pleasure of both the Crown of An Tir and the Laurel office.
This is a high-profile leadership position, with direct supervision of over two dozen officers and every local branch pursuivant, as well as general guidance of many heralds-at-large. As such, there may from time to time be more intimate exposure to the private, interpersonal issues of others, where the goal is to help them successfully balance their personal life with their office.
A successful Black Lion will be:
- Familiar with Kingdom Law and custom, the SCA College of Arms Administrative Handbook, and Corpora, their relationship with each other, and able to discuss them with the Crown, the Kingdom Seneschal, the Laurel office, and officers and individuals generally.
- Familiar with the major personalities of our College, and able to successfully collaborate with them.
- Able to become familiar with the major personalities of the SCA College of Arms: the Sovereigns of Arms and their staff, and fellow Principal Heralds.
- Comfortable with speaking publically at Court and in Curia meetings.
- Comfortable with speaking to individuals at all levels of the Society, from newcomer to the Crowns of An Tir and other kingdoms, including the ability to advise against while maintaining a collegial relationship.
- Able to coordinate heralds at all levels toward the needs of the kingdom, including special projects.
- Able to see the early stages of burnout in both themselves and others, and able to proactively address it whether through the temporary delegation of duties or restructuring of an office, or through gracefully transitioning an office to another individual.
- Able to recognize when a delicate situation should not be resolved by Black Lion, but by the Laurel office instead.
- Actively seeking personal improvement in the above.
- Actively seeking ways to improve those under them.
- Actively seeking ways to improve the heraldic function within the Kingdom and the Society as a whole.
As a Greater Officer of State, general responsibilities and requirements are found in Article III.C of the Laws of the Kingdom of An Tir, including but not limited to specific responsibilities copied below:
- Act as the Crown's chief advisor in all heraldic matters.
- Act as the Voice of the Crown in coordination with the Royal Herald.
- Facilitate the timely processing of registration of the arms, devices and badges of the populace.
- Make and maintain the Order of Precedence and update the Awards Roster for An Tir.
- Advise the Crown and populace on matters of ceremony and protocol.
- Encourage the practice of heraldry within the Kingdom.
- Be responsible for official announcements at Kingdom events.
As a Principal Herald, further responsibilities are outlined in the Administrative Handbook of the SCA College of Arms, § X. Such responsibilities outlined include:
- Reporting (NB: the reporting schedule to Laurel generally precedes the quarterly reporting schedule for the Kingdom, though Kingdom has additional, non-quarterly reporting times)
- Record keeping, including correspondence and roster of heralds within the kingdom
- Supervisory duties (largely described above)
- Creation and training of suitable officers to fulfill the heraldic function
- Maintain the ability to cross the US/Canada border as needed to attend required events, or secure leave to be absent
- Attend the Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium, with travel and lodging reimbursed by the Kingdom. Yearly attendance is preferred, but negotiable per Laurel.
- Able to evaluate armigerous scrolls for meeting the basic requirements for Black Lion's seal and signature, and coordinating with the scribal community in order to ensure meeting them in a painless and easy manner. This may include offering ideas for wording, easily correcting art, advising on An Tir achievement customs, etc.
- Familiarity with Microsoft Office, and ability to learn how to navigate SharePoint on Office 365
- General knowledge of period and SCA heraldic practices, and the difference between them
- General knowledge of the structure of the SCA, both within An Tir and within the Laurel office
- Experience in any or most of SCA heraldry domains: submissions, court, field, town cry, ceremony, OP
- Required Crown events (Twelfth Night, May Crown, July Coronation, September Crown): ~24 hours total per event, split between meetings with the Crown, Earl Marshal, Lists Minister, Kingdom Seneschal, other offices as needed, and hosting the Black Lion meeting for the College.
- Week after Crown events: ~10-20 hours total, following up on items arising at the Crown event
- Other times: variable, expect a few hours per week depending on the needs of the College, special projects and questions from the Crown, etc.
- Quarterly reports: 3-4 hours per quarter
- Financial Meeting and Curia: ~2h per event
- Kingdom Heraldic and Scribal Symposium: 1 day per year
- Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium: 2-3 days per year, including travel (assumed US/Canada)
Knowledge of any specific function, such as book or voice, are not required for success in this office, but general heraldic knowledge and the ability to quickly learn and disseminate knowledge will be useful. Questions from the populace, from officers, and from the Crown are to be expected.
This office has responsibilities as part of the Financial Committee.