(From an article originally published in Tournaments Illuminated #116 , Fall 1995.
Last updated June 21, 2009.


Etcetera - The Kingdom of Ansteorra

by Mistress Jessa d'Avondale

In A.S. XII, Ansteorra was created as a principality of Atenveldt. It became the seventh kingdom of the Society for Creative Anachronism in A.S. XIV.

The arms of the kingdom are Or, a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable within a laurel wreath vert, in chief a crown of three points, all within a tressure sable, overall issuant from base a demi-sun gules. Many of the awards' insignias and badges incorporate the kingdom colors of gold and black, and the main charge of the kingdom's arms, known as an Ansteorran Star.


Patents of Arms

Patents of Arms are not awarded to departing royalty; however, those of ducal, comital, and viscomital rank do rank above the Patent orders (Chivalry, Laurel, Pelican) in Ansteorra's Order of Precedence. Territorial Barons and Baronesses rank between the higher nobility and the Patents.

Grants of Arms

The titles of Court Baron and Court Baroness convey a Grant of Arms. These titles are usually bestowed upon territorial Barons and Baronesses when they step down. They are also given to those subjects whose service, ability, deeds, and grace merit such rank in the eyes of the granting Crown. Court Barons and Baronesses rank just below the Patents and above the Grant Orders.

Grants of Arms are also given in conjunction with the following:

Order of the Star of Merit: given to those who have served the kingdom well and faithfully, above that which is normally expected, and who have displayed a consistent respect for the laws of the kingdom. Companions of the order are entitled to place the initials CSM after their names, and to wear above their left elbow a gold or yellow garter edged with black and charged with the Star of Ansteorra. The badge of the order is: Argent, on a fess Or fimbriated a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable.

Order of the Iris of Merit: given to those who have consistently shown outstanding work in the arts and sciences, well above that which is expected, and who have displayed a consistent respect for the laws of the kingdom. Companions of the order are entitled to place the initials CIM after their names, and to wear on their left shoulder a ribbon tinctured as a rainbow in spectrum. The badge of the order is: Or, a mullet of five greater and give lesser points sable surmounted by a natural rainbow proper.

Order of the White Scarf of Ansteorra: given, in consultation with members of the order, to those who have demonstrated exceptional skill and chivalry in combat with weapons of the duello, service to the kingdom and its people, knowledge of the courtly graces, and obedience to the laws and ideals of the kingdom and the Society. Companions of the order are entitled to place the initials WSA after their names, and to wear a white scarf about the left shoulder or tied above the left elbow. The order's badge is: Sable, on a pale argent between two rapiers, guards to center, proper, in chief a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable.

Order of the Centurions of the Sable Star: given, in consultation with members of the order, for exceptional leadership, skill, and honor in chivalric combat, for service to the kingdom and its people, knowledge of the courtly graces, and obedience to the laws and ideals of the kingdom and the Society. Centurions of the Sable Star must show excellence in more than one weapons form and be proficient in all forms of Chivalric Combat. Companions of the order are entitled place the initials CSS or the word "Centurian" after their names, to be addressed with the title "Centurian", and to wear, either on the right calf or above the left elbow, a ribbon Or edged gules charged with a sable Ansteorran star. (Companions who joined the order prior to September 2002 may choose to wear the original ribbon sable edged Or charged with an Or Ansteorran Star.) The badge of the order is: (fieldless) on an eagle displayed Or a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable.

Order of the Arc d'Or: given for excellence with the bow and crossbow, service to those who pursue excellence in archery, making of archery equipment, exemplary conduct, and consistent respect for the laws and customs of the kingdom. The Crown may consult with the order concerning the qualifications and suitability of a candidate. Companions of the order are entitled to place the letters CAMA after their names, and to wear a white archers' armguard charged with a black ten-pointed star inside the left or right forearm. The badge of the order is sable, on a fess between two bows argent, a molet of five greater and five lesser points sable (pending registration by the College of Arms). Formerly known as the Order of the Arcus Majoris.

Order of the Golden Lance: given, in consultation with members of the order, for exceptional skill, leadership, and honor on the equestrian field, for service to the kingdom and its people, knowledge of the courtly graces, and consistent respect for the laws and customs of the kingdom. Companions of the order are entitled to place the initials CGL after their names, to be addressed with the title "Lancer", and to wear a ribbon sable edged Or charged with a lance Or on either the calf or above the elbow. They may display on their tournament lances a pennon bearing the badge of the order: (fieldless) on a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable, a lance Or.

Awards of Arms

Awards of Arms may be given at the pleasure of the Crown, or in conjunction with the following awards:

King's Gauntlet: given by the king to those who have served him well and faithfully, above and beyond what is normally expected of a citizen of Ansteorra. Holders of the King's Gauntlet are entitled to place the initials KGA after their names, and to carry a leather or cloth gauntlet bearing an Ansteorran Star and the king's personal cypher.

Queen's Glove: given by the queen to those who have served her well and faithfully, above and beyond what is normally expected of a citizen of Ansteorra. Holders of the Queen's Glove are entitled to place the initials QGA after their names, and to carry a glove with the queen's personal cypher, and the Queen's Rose badge: A rose sable charged with a rose Or, thereon a mullet of five greater and five lesser points Sable.

(The above two awards may be received by an individual more than once, in different reigns and/or from different rulers.)

Sable Thistle: given by the Crown to those who have shown outstanding work in any field of the arts and sciences. This award can be received more than once for expertise in different fields. Recipients are entitled to be styled as "Holder of the Sable Thistle for" the field(s) for which they received the award, and to wear a medallion or pin bearing the badge of the award: (fieldless) a blue thistle sable, slipped and leaved Or.

Sable Talon: given by the Crown to those who have shown outstanding skill in chivalric combat, rapier combat, or archery. This award can be received once for each of the fields. Recipients are entitled to be styled as "Holder of the Sable Talon for" the field(s) for which they received the award, and to wear a medallion or pin bearing the badge of the award.

Sable Crane: given for outstanding service to the kingdom. Holders of the award are entitled to wear a gold medallion or pin depicting the award's badge: Or, a crane in its vigilance sable, armed, orbed, membered, crested and throated Or, fimbriated sable, bearing in its dexter claw a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable.

Sable Comet: given to those who have served a shire, or other non-baronial branch above and beyond what is expected of them. The award may be received more than once, for service to different branches. Holders of the award are entitled to wear a medallion or pin bearing the award's badge: (fieldless) a comet headed of a mullet of five greater and five lesser points fesswise reversed sable.

Compass Rose (CRA): given to those who have done exceptional work with the children of Ansteorra, and/or the Ministry of Children. Holders of the Compass Rose are entitled to place the initials CRA after their names, and to wear a medallion bearing the award's badge: Per chevron Or and gules, a compass rose sable.

Each barony is permitted by the Crown to have a single active service order that confers an Award of Arms to the recipients. The order must first consult with the Crown.

Sodality of the Sentinels: Barony of Stargate
Order of the Oak: Barony of the Steppes
Order of the Fire Brand: Barony of Bjornsborg
Order of the Silent Trumpet: Barony Bordermarch
Order of the Dreigiau Bryn: Barony of Bryn Gwlad
Order of the Heart of the Sable Storm: Barony of Namron
Order des Cotes Anciennes: Barony of Eldern Hills
Order of the Raven's Heart: Barony of Raven's Fort
Order of the Azure Keystone: Barony of Elfsea
Order of the Lanternarius: Barony of Wiesenfeuer
Order of the Serpent's Toils: Barony of Loch Soilleir
Order of the Keepers of the Cross: Barony of Bonwicke
Order of the Lion's Paw of Kenmare: Barony of Northkeep

Non-armigerous awards

The following orders and awards do not convey the right to bear arms:

Sable Falcon: given by the Sovereign to those who have striven greatly to further their skill and capabilities in heavy weapons combat, who are involved in arts and basic heraldry, display courtly graces and manners, and chivalrous conduct on and off the field. The insignia is a silken intertwined black and gold cord, tied to a brass ring and worn on the belt.

Golden Bridle: given to those who have stiven to further both their skill on the Equestrian field and the Equestrian arts, and who are examplars of courtly graces, manners, and chivalrous conduct on and off the field. Holders of the award are entitled to wear a silken intertwined green, white and gold cord, tied to a brass ring and worn on the belt.

Queen's Rapier: given by the Consort to those who have striven to further their skill and capabilities in Rapier combat, the arts and basic heraldry. They shall also be examplars of courtly graces and manners, and chivalrous conduct on and off the field. Holders of the award are entitled to wear a silken intertwined white and red cord.

King's Archer: given to those who have striven to further their skill and capabilities in combat and/or target archery, the arts and basic heraldry. They shall be exemplars of courtly graces, manners, and chivalrous conduct on and off the field. Holders of the award are entitled to wear a silken intertwined green and black cord, hung from a brass ring.

Rising Star of Ansteorra: given to those under the age of eighteen who have made contributions of worth by works, service, or example to the kingdom. The badge of the order is ?

Order of the Lions of Ansteorra: given, a maximum of once per reign, to that person whom the Crown consider to contribute most to the ideals and milieu of the Society, and who serves as an inspiration to others. Companions may place after their names "Lion of Ansteorra, Defender of the Dream", and are entitled to wear the badge: Or, a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable, overall a lion rampant argent. If noble, they may use a lion argent or a lion ermine as one of their armorial supporters.

Order of the Rose: given to those who have served the kingdom as consort. Ansteorra is currently the only kingdom to have a male companion of this order: Duke Hector Philip Martel sat the throne as consort when Duchess Rowan Beatrice von Kaempfer won Crown. Hector also had two earlier reigns as sovereign, with Rowan at his side.

Order of the Knights of the Sable Garland: This order was created to honor the qualities and strengths of individual members of the Chivalry. Members of this Order shall have served and promoted the honor and spirit of Ansteorra within its borders and beyond. They shall have been a vital part of the fabric of Ansteorra through service, council, knowledge, and shared knowledge. They shall have used all talents and means to preserve and protect the Kingdom, the Crown, and the standards and ideals of their oaths. The Order shall petition the Crown, upon unanimous vote of its members, to increase its members. Each candidate shall be patroned by a Companion of the Order of the Rose, and the award scrolls are signed by the Consort alone. The Order serves, upon request, as escorts to the incoming Consort at Coronation, and shall be available as council and support. Members of the order wear a black cloak with a gold border, on which is a garland of five-petaled heraldic roses, sable, slipped and leaved vert.

Motley Shash (closed): given to recognize ability and skill in entertainment as fitting for a civilized court, who are involved in the arts and basic heraldry, display courtly graces and manners, and chivalrous conduct on and off the field. The insignia is a sash, lozengy Or, vert, argent, and purpre, worn as a baldric or sash.

Crowns' Favor of Ansteorra (closed): given to those who perform in an exceptional manner in the arts and sciences. They shall be examplars of courtly graces, manners, and chivalry. The insignia for this award is a miniature rendering of the cipher of the presenting Crown, attached to a braid of green and black silken cords, hung from a brass ring.

Order of the Queen's Ring of Ansteorra (closed): given by the consort to recognize individuals for courtly virtues displayed in and for the betterment of the realm. The badge of the order is: Sable, a rose Or within a bordure argent.

Order of the Vine Staff (closed): given by the sovereign for long-standing service as a general or warlord on the field of martial combat, and for grace and comportment of genteel birth. The badge of the order is: Or, a club sable, a sinister tierce embattled gules.

Champions and Court Appointments

King's Champion: selected at a tournament held on the day of Coronation.

Queen's Champion: selected at a tournament held a few weeks after Coronation. Insignia: One (or three) Ansteorran Queen's Roses (as described in the badge) pendant from a black velvet collar. Badge: a cup-hilted rapier inverted sable, overall a rose sable charge with another Or, thereon a mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable.

Queen's Blade of Honor: chosen by the Queen for contributions beyond the field of combat, including chivalry, grace, humility, and courtesy, and charged to continue to serve as an example of honor.

King's Lancer: selected in an equestrian competition, and charged to further the ideals of the equestrian arts.

The Royal Huntsman is chosen at a competition held each reign.

Premier Bard of Ansteorra:
Badge: Or a rose sable barbed vert charge with a rose Or barbed vert seeded sable within the frame of an Irish harp sable. Insignia: a cloak of many colors bearing the badge.

Kingdom Warlord: Badge: Or, mullet of five greater and five lesser points sable, a base embattled gules.


Index of SCA Kingdom Awards articles Kingdom of Ansteorra website

This column was compiled using information from the SCA Armorial, and the Ansteorran Roll of Precedence. Assistance was provided by Master Michael Fenwick of Fotheringhay, Viscount Galen of Bristol, Lady Dabhnait macShiehie, and the Honorable Lady Serena Lascelles. The illustrations of award badges were provided by Mikhail of Lubelska.

Mistress Jessa d'Avondale (Marla Lecin) resides in the East Kingdom. She invites anyone with updates or corrections to this article to contact her.