I did the calligraphy in a summer evening, and painted in the escutcheon the next morning. The weather was warm, and my gouache was drying faster than I could paint, but I was pleased with the outcome. I used gold gouache because I was keen to finish and put the work in the mail.
This long and tall batarde hand is one of my favourites. Once I start doing lowercase Gs and Hs with the long descender, I find it hard to do these letters any other way for awhile.
The text (with advice from my lord Robert Caversham) with its references to Old Republics and Emperors, reflects one of Marcus' other hobbies in SF fandom.
The date refers to a saint, Duke Henry, patron of the Franks, because Marcus has served Frankmark a long time, and also because HRM Sven is a duke himself.
We Sven and Siobhan king and queen of Drachenwald Lord and Lady of Frankmark sole sovereigns of all the lands known to the Old Republic and the Empire of the Romans, to all to whom these letters may come greeting,
Know ye that of our mere motion and especial grace so also in recognition of the faithful services that the bearer of these presents Marcus von Stormarn our well beloved servant heretofore hath given and that he yet may give us and our heirs and lawful successors in this kingdom
Now therefore we have given and granted and do by these letters give and grant unto him a Grant of Arms together with all the rights and privileges thereto appertaining including but not limited to this coat of arms that is to say
Azure, a chevron cotised argent between two roundels and a lymphad Or
And so let none prevent the aforementioned Marcus von Stormarn our well beloved servant from lawful enjoyment of the same or in any other manner break against these our letters under pain of our royal vengeance and wrath.
Done this day of St Henry, Duke of Bavaria & defender of the Franks, from our thrones in Knight's Crossing AS 48.