From an article originally published in Tournaments Illuminated #106 - Spring 1993.
Last updated June 8, 2019.

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 automatically inducted into the Order of the Rose after their reign. However, in the West it is considered that the patent is given with the departing consort's Royal Patent of Arms, not with the Rose.

Grants of Arms

Individual 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:

Royal Missile Company: given to those who excel in the use of archery and/or other forms of missle weaponry, both in target and war-time situations. Membership in this order grants the title "Yeoman of the West". The token of membership in this order is a green scarf bearing three arrowheads conjoined in pall inverted, points to center, within and conjoined to an annulet Or. Members of the now closed Royal Company of Archers and Royal Company of Yeomen are now members of the Royal Missile Company.

The Western Gold Scarf: given to those who excel in the practice, study, and teaching of the equestrian arts of peace and/or of war. Members of the order earn the title "Rider of the West". The token of membership in this order is a gold scarf bearing a white demi-sun.

Order of the Golden Poppy: (closed) this award was given to the winner of the annual kingdom arts and sciences competition. The most recent winner of this competition is given a cloisone token to be worn signifying that they are the Kingdom Arts and Sciences Champion, and a cloak with poppies embroidered on the hem. Members of the Order may wear a wreath of poppies, or may purchase a token similar to the one worn by the current Kingdom Arts and Sciences Champion. Members of this Order may also modify their armory by adding a poppy or poppies to their arms, to signify membership in the Order.

The Western White Scarf: (closed) given to those who support and teach rapier combat in the West. The token is a white scarf with a gold demi-sun on it. Those recognized with this award may style themselves "Royal Courtier" or "Companion of the Western White Scarf", and may place the letters "OWWS" after their names. This award replaces the Guildmasters of Fence. Recipients of that award may be granted membership in the Western White Scarf as a separate recognition. The order was closed when the Society-wide Order of Defense was established.

Writ of Endorsement: (closed) given to recognize those individuals whose actions and contributions have helped shape and define the Kingdom. The ceremony for this award shall be specifically written to describe the accomplishments of the recipient, and the token shall be a scroll or writ, endorsing those accomplishments. The award shall carry with it a Grant of Arms, and those persons so recognized shall stand in precedence between holders of Patents of Arms and holders of Grants of Arms. The Writ of Endorsementwas established in January of 2011, and was closed in July of 2013 (A.S. XLVIII).

The Order of the Silver Molet: (closed) This recognized those Peers who had shown the highest qualities of Peerage. The Knights may wear rowels on their spurs, and all members may wear cloaks based on the augmentation of their arms allowed by the College of Arms: Argent, on a pile gules, an antique crown voided Or. This order was closed at Beltane, AS XXIV (1990), reopened Twelfth Night XLVI (2012) to include those who hold Grants of Arms, and later closed again.

Awards of Arms

An Award of Arms is usually given for service or other significant contribution to the well-being of the Kingdom or Principality. The titles of Court Baron and Court Baroness carry Awards of Arms, as do the following (if the recipient has not previously been awarded arms):

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.

Order of the Ash Leaf (OAL): given for expertise in combat (including, but not limited to, armored combat, rapier, and combat archery). The token is a pendant in the shape of a ash leaf.

The above three 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.

Arts and Sciences Champion: The winner of the Kingdom Arts and Sciences Pentathlon (held at Twelfth Night) carries this title for one year. The current Champion may wear the medallion and/or cloak of office, and must begin at least one project for the benefit of the Kingdom such as teaching classes, organizing guest lectures, demonstrating period A&S techniques, creating an A&S prize challenge, or contributing to the kingdom through regalia or fundraising prize(s).

West Kingdom Equestrian Champion: The victor of the annual Kingdom Equestrian Championship.

Order of Missile Champions: Membership in the order is offered to the winner of the annual Kingdom Archery Championship. Members of the Order may wear a cloak bearing the badge of the order. The order was formerly known as the Order of the Levis Armaturae, and later the Ordo Primorum Telis.

Order of the Western Prima Spada: Membership in the order is offered to the winner of the Annual Kingdom Rapier Championship at the end of their term as Champion.

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.

Non-armigerous awards

Knight Banneret: given to individual members of the Chivalry who have shown continuing support to the Crown and kingdom in war. They may display on the fly of their banners a stripe colored barry Or and vert (the kingdom colors).

Order of Valor: given by the king for great service 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.

Western Hero: given to those few fighters whose actions in war have transcended that of their fellow combatants by displaying indomitable spirit and honor on the field of battle. Those so honored will have their name, the date, the field of battle, and the act(s) that earned them this recognition inscribed on a Scroll of Honor, with all others who have been so recognized, to be immortalized for all time.

Order of the Western Centurion: given to fighters who show great leadership abilities during wartime, rallying troops, etc. The recipient is given a pendant in the form of a silver shield. Members of this order shall have the right to carry a centurion's swagger stick appropriate to their culture.

First Spear of the Western Centurions: given for continued efforts on the war field. A recipients is named "First Spear Centurion", and serves the Crown in that capacity until a new First Spear is named by the Crown. First Spear Centurions shall have the right to mark their tokens with a spear for each instance they serve as First Spear Centurion.

Defenders of the West (DefWest): 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 the Silver Mantle: given to consistently well-accoutered fighters.

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.

Order of the Queen's Arrow: given to those who have shown excellence in and continued support of target archery. The token of this order is a small arrow suspended on a ribbon.

Queen's Order of Maintenance: Given to honor the one or two persons a Queen feels were vital to her ability to reign. It is not required or expected that there will be an entrant to this Order each reign. It is meant to recognize those whose service is more substantial and more personal than that for the Queen's Cypher. People can receive this honor only once. The token of this award is individualized (and is preferably constructed or commissioned by the Queen bestowing the honor), but always includes a teardrop-shape as a substantial part of the design.

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.

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.

Goutte d'Encre Noire: (closed) Given to those who continue to produce scrolls for the Kingdom of the West after they have received the Order of the Silver Nib.

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.

Order of the 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.

The Crown's Favor: Given to recognize those who contribute to the well-being of Their Majesties and of the Kingdom of the West. The token of this award is a cast pendant with crowns on either side.

Order of the Grey Goose Shaft (OGGS): (closed) Given for excellence in archery. The new member of is presented with a personalized arrow. This order was closed in The West when the award was transferred to the Kingdom of An Tir.

Pillar 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 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 Page 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.

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. Originally, those so honored were given cast gold oak leaf pendants, which were returned before the next Crown Tournament, to be passed on to the next Commendabilis. Currently, the new Commendabilis are recognized with pewter tokens which are theirs to keep. The ceremony names those so recognized as Commendabilis Regni Occidentalis.

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.

Wreath of Athena: At every Crown Tournament event, individual artisans will be invited to display their Arts and Sciences projects; these projects need not be completed or accompanied by documentation. The individual whose item is voted most popular by the populace receives the "Wreath of Athena", a rosemary wreath decorated with purple and yellow ribbons, (the colors of the Arts and Sciences Office) which they may wear for the duration of the event. This honor will be recorded in the awards list.

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.

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.

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.

Other kingdom honors include:

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.

In the early days of the Kingdom, the Queen awarded her Favor, often after a tournament specifically held for that purpose. The recipients of the Queen's Favor are listed as equivalent to this honor.

Archery Champion: This title is granted at Twelfth Night, after the conclusion of the Kingdom Annual Archery Competition. The Victor of this Championship is named the Kingdom Archery Champion for a year, and is also granted membership in the Order of Missile Champions at the same time.

Rapier Champion: This title is granted to the Rapier Champion for a period of one year - from Beltane Coronation to Beltane Coronation. The current Rapier Champion wears a coat or cloak with the badge of the office, and a red cord to be worn as a sword knot.

Arts & Sciences Champion: This title is granted to the Arts & Sciences Champion for a period of one year - from October Crown to October Crown.

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.

Foam Weapon (Boffer) Champions of the West: (closed) The victors in the foam weapon tournaments held by the Page School Minister are recognized as Foam Weapon Champions of the West. The older champion is designated the King's Foam Weapon Champion, the younger is designated the Queen's Foam Weapon Champion.

Herald Extraordinary: a recognition within the College of Arms for heralds who have served long and performed exemplary work. It is granted by the Vesper Principal Herald to those he or she feels are deserving. Heralds so recognized may register a personal Heraldic Title that is their own.

Queen's Artisans: artisans who are not yet Laurels who are selected to serve the Queen in whatever manner She requires during Her reign.

Arachne's Web: (closed) 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.

Western War Council: (closed) the Council was 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.

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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.

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