Queen Vialle's Conference with the College of Heralds
On the 5th day of the 1st month of 5273 Queen Vialle surprisingly showed up at the yearly conference of the Amber College of Heralds. This surprised the conclave since only one reigning King and two reigning Queens had regularly attended the conference in several thousand years.
Official Rules of Order for the College seats the King and Queen as the leader of the College, Sovereign King (or Queen) of Arms. Traditionally and historically this is considered an honorary position though as a matter of law it is not. In practice the Master Laurel of Arms oversees the Conferences and the College.
In the long history of the Amber College of Heralds king Oberon had attended once a decade to be told what activities the college had taken but never assumed the role of Sovereign King of Arms. King Finndo had attended the conference yearly as Soveriegn King of Arms but rarely took part in day to day activities.
Queen Cymnea held the office of Sovereign Queen of Arms a few times each decade to finalize royal approvals but was not involved in the daily activities of the college.
Queen Harla actually assumed the role of Sovereign Queen of Arms much to the annoyance of the College. She was an extremely devout Unicorn follower and viewed all heraldic matters through the view of the unicorn fith. She was easy to sway with religious appeals and was very involved with the unicorn church causing interference by the priesthood in heraldic matters.
Queen Clarissa served as Sovereign Queen a number of times mostly in order to piss off the heralds for who she had disdain. Many charters and arms passed by her royal approval clashed with established precedents and practices. Nearly all of Queen Clarissa's rulings were subsequently overturned when Oberon attended the Conference after Clarissa fled Amber and allowed the College to sort out her interference.
While a Lady of the Court of Rebma,Queen Vielle had served in the College as Rebma's representative making her very familiar with the rules and procedures.
At the opening session in 5273 she arrived in State, wearing the Queen's Crown and bearing the King's Scepter, declared herself ready to assume the office of Sovereign Queen of Arms, and stated it was her intention to settle several long standing controversies by issuing royal rulings. These rulings had been "Under Review" for centuries.
Master Aldo Mikhale, the Master Laurel of Arms, had held the senior seat in the college for 600 years and had a long standing policy of "Review" over the charters of regional cities and other matters that often involves recieving informal encouragement. Behind his back the "encouragement" is called what it is, bribes. Levels of "Review" allow allowances of bureaucratic details to occur despite charters and patents not being fully approved. He headed a faction among the college who all juiced upwards toward Aldo for all the details they came to oversee.
Queen Vialle, by assuming the high seat, as only King Finndo, and Queens Cymnea,Harla, and Clarissa had done before her she was essentially cutting Aldo off from the final say in the "Review" process.
She also stated that she would be attending lower level meetings and otherwise serving fully in the office of Sovereign Queen of Arms so long neglected. Queen Vialle said the role of Sovereign Queen of Arms would not be an honorary one during her reign but would be a major part of her queenship. This uprooted many factions in the historically turbulent Herald's Office of Amber.
She arrived with a contingent of heralds essentially establishing the Queen's Heralds faction including Lady Nim Mior Tral, William Roth, Dame Margot, Dart of Hale, Droppa Ma'Pants, Tyler Smials, Lady Ain Breakwithe-Smythe, and Brutus Drent (a known enemy of Master Aldo). She also had a company of Elites attending her.
Aldo Mikhale, still officially Laurel Master of Arms, was relegated to managing research and book heraldry and administrative matters. This cut him out of his main funds and the standard of living he had come to expect was greatly effected. His faction may become dangerous, or dangerously unglued.
Long Standing Rulings Settled by Queen Vialle, Sovereign Queen of Arms:
1) Queen Tradota, Wife of King Finndo, was declared officially to have been a married to King Finndo, and to have been duly crowned Queen of Amber by the acceptance of the Queen's Crown. This ruling makes her son Dashel legitimate, despite his birth after she and Finndo left Amber. Since his birth occurred after his parents abdicated means he was not deemed a Prince of Amber by many. Queen Tradota's Royal Letters Patent had previously been approved but there were unsettled issues of her legitimate birth and her marriage's legitimacy. The circumstances of her marriage and her life are unverified and many people continue to believe that Tradota, despite being now accepted as a queen of Amber, is not the person she claimed to be in official documents of the time, most of which are now lost. Her son is officially considerd a Prince despite the opinions of many heralds.
2) Queen Astrid's Royal Letters Patent were confirmed. Queen Vialle announced that Queen Astrid, wife of King Eric, had worn the Queen's Coronet and been accepted by it. This thorny political issue had long tainted her time in Amber and Eric's reign. The announcement was part of King Random's efforts to settle outstanding matters of charters arising from Eric's term as King.
3) Grant of legitimacy of Martin, crown Prince of Amber. This states that Princess Morganthe of Remba and King Random were duly married in a Unicorn rite, though done privately, and thus he was legally born in wedlock. The truth of this is widely questioned but since the matter was set by the SQoA it is legally settled.
4) The Charters of 384 Chartered Cities were reviewed and confirmed by the crown. This issue was a technicality that had hung over many cities across the realm since the time of Oberon's disappearance that led to Eric's assumption of the throne. While a small matter that was generally overlooked on a day to day basis it did effect legal issues and use of public space and public sale of property.
The reasons for these problems lay in the control of the Heralds office by Master Aldo Mikhale, especially during the reign of King Eric. The rumor has been that these charters were held up till the effected cities could raise the amount of money required to "Finish the Review Process". This move is wildly popular in those cities effected making them greatly indebted to the Queen.
5) Confirmation of 212 Letters Patent of Peers covering the reigns of Eric and Random.
Most of these had also been stalled in Master Aldo's review process. This made 212 newly confirmed peers grateful to the queen as well.
6) Confirmation of 3100 Decree of Arms.
Stalled in Master Aldo's review process, many of these were for lower ranked knights in the service of Amber who had little use for personal Arms and used the arms in submission while they were under review. It was a sore spot between the military and the College of Heralds. This was wildly popular in military circles. Many of the lower ranked knights recieved their accolades after Patternfall and for actions during the Black Road War.
7) Confirmation of 32,100 matters of "Heraldic Approval" across the Golden Circle.
Another victim of the "Review Process of Aldo Mikhale", this clearance greatly increased the regard for King Random and Queen Vielle.
Most of these small details involved heraldic "conflicts" arriving from Golden Circle nobility not wanting their arms to be mistaken for the arms of Amberites. This is part of a long standing controversy arising from two schools of thought regarding the Golden Circle. One school believes that since each Golden Circle kingdom comes to Amber with its own often rich heraldic histories and practices they should not compare their devices to those of Amber. The other school is that by becoming Golden Circle Kingdoms the heraldry of the realms will be intermixing and therefor the Amber College of Heralds should oversee any "conflicts" arising from heraldic traditions coming together.
The "Amber Heralds On Top" school was supported by Aldo Mikhale for personal, often financial,reasons but the position is also supported by Quen Vialle.
New Rulings of the College of Heralds due to the Sovereign Queen of Arms
1) Establishment of the Office of Herald's Tyler. This role is a guard, usually an Elite, who stands at the door to the Grand Hall of the College of Heralds during formal gatherings. The Herald's Tyler is considered a spy for the Queen, so that no formal meeting are held without the SQoA. There is some truth in the view. The elites who have served in this position have been ones with a sincere interest in heraldry and in learning the procedures of the College.
2) The Office of Heraldic Advocate was created. Major pieces of business, mainly charters, are assigned an Advocate to help the business be managed through the bureaucracy.