Friday, October 3, 2014

Marguerite's Cypher

Having missed large swaths of the Last Court of Brennan and Caoilfhionn, I did not know whether this had gone out.  Now that I know it did go out, I can post.

This was pulled together from multiple sources to help out Katrusha, the scribe, who had never done a Cypher scroll before.  I put it together as an example of what could be done.  As it turned out, she ended up using it as the actual text.  You can Katrusha's excellent scribal work here:

One of the difficulties in writing cool stuff for +Meredith Bailin Hull  during this reign was that Roman Empresses lacked many of the fun titles that their male counterparts had.  Augusta carried with it lots of key powers, including the authority to mint their own coinage.  Nobilissima was really more of a Greek/Byzantine thing than a truly "Roman" title.  And Mater Patriae, while authentic, means "mother of the Fatherland" and is not at all sexy.   So "Augusta et Nobilissima" it was.  Maybe by the next time she is on the throne I'll have time to look up some Gaelic titles that don't sound dirty  :-)

As for the text, it is in what I call the "whereas, whereas, therefore" style that is the easiest way to move towards making language sound like a period legal document.   Whereas [insert statement of fact] + whereas [insert statement of fact], therefore [this is what the Crown is doing].  It's also the easiest formula to remember if you have to make up something very quickly, such as when the Crown decides to give out an award right there in Court without warning you first.

With that being said, here is the text for the Empress's chief retainer:

Caoilfhionn Augusta et Nobilissima, Empress of the Eternal East, to all who see or hear these words, greetings and every good thing.   Whereas it is right, just, necessary and proper that those who have labored in good faith and diligence to the glory of our Imperial selves be rewarded for their faithfulness; and whereas Marguerite de Sainte Nazaire has found great favor in our eyes as our chief retainer; therefore, in acknowledgement and recognition of her travails on our behalf and for the love we bear her, we do hereby by these present letters invest and endow the said Marguerite with our Cypher, the said emblem and signacle of our favor to be borne about her person at all times to come and in perpetuity; And so that this our gift may continue firm and unimpaired in future times, we have reinforced it with the protection of our seal and sign manual and caused it to be read before witnesses.  Done upon 27 September in the forty-ninth year of the Society.

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