“Welcome to the SCA! We’re so glad you could make it to our project night/demo/practice/event. I’m Lord Thomas de Marr’, or Peter Miller outside of the SCA. This is Jenn, also known as Lijsbet.”
That’s how many new people are introduced to regulars in the SCA and discover the magic of being able to choose a new name that is completely their own. Tell me you never regretted the name your parents chose for you at some point or other in your life or thought about what it would be like to have a different name. Say it with a straight face. Yeah, that’s what I thought. My local canton has had a sudden influx of new and potentially new members and a few of them have started playing with the idea of an SCA period name. Some have also expressed interest in creating a device because heck, yeah, heraldry!
Let’s finish the intro from above, shall we?
“She is our canton’s herald and can help you choose a name and device to use at events.”
Yep! That’s me!
So what is a device and what sorts of names can you use in the SCA? Well I could sit here and write it all out for you but how about I give you a few links to some much better-written guides instead of re-inventing the wheel? Some of the links below are to different pages on the same websites but I am giving specific links to make it easier on those who are new to this whole process.
What is an SCA name?
SCA College of Arms – Name Articles
The Medieval Names Archive at Academy of St Gabriel
Heraldry for Non-Heralds
SCA College of Arms – Armory Articles
The Medieval Heraldry Archive at Academy of St Gabriel
A list of Period European Rolls of Arms
Once you have some idea of what you want to use take it for a test run! Tape your device up where you can see it every day, try introducing yourself in the mirror with your new name. If you haven’t talked to your local herald yet find them and schedule some time. Eventually you may want to register your name and device so you should probably make sure there is no one else using it already and it is constructed in a period manner. And when you do decide eventually to register your local herald can help you with filling out the paperwork.
Whatever else you do, make sure you like what you use! It’s very difficult to get people to remember something new once they’ve been calling you one thing for months or years. And once you do get your name and device registered go out and put your device on All The Things. Your gear, your garb, make a banner, just have fun with it!