Those Who Have Gone Before – A Brief History Of The SAVA

Immediately below is a short list of the current major players:

The SAVA Regency

The following are presently serving members of the SAVA Regency (Also convenors of the SAVA Shadow Senate):

  • Octarine Valur (Regent of the SAVA)
  • Kay Valkir Noctem (Praetor to the Regent)
  • Lunah Valur Eir (Praetor to the Regent)
  • Serephim Lena Karayan (Secretary to the Regency)

Members of the Regency (Praetors and Secretary) are appointed by the Regent.

The SAVA Shadow Senate

The following are presently serving Senators of the Shadow Senate (session 3):

  • Cian Ashling
  • Dagan Nightalon
  • Nox Kassapu Rakoczy
  • Nyx Louloudi
  • Wulfric Grey

The Senate is elected annually from members chosen by the SAVA membership.

Below is a brief history of the SAVA, giving a broad description of events and listing past leaders and prominent figures. While still incomplete, it will be updated periodically.

SAVA History

For the newcomers to our community, it is natural that they should wonder who the people are who have participated, created and supported the SA VC over the years. It’s natural that they should hear about the SA Vampyre Alliance and then wonder how long it has existed and who built it. It’s natural that they may wonder what sort of events shaped it in the past to make it what it is today.

The South African Vampyre Alliance, known as ‘SAVA’, was founded formally on May 5, 2011 after more than a year’s work by SA VC community founder Octarine Valur. Val had spent several years interacting with the VC online, scouring the web for signs of local Vampyres. In 2010, she gathered those she did find into the first SA VC group on Facbook, ‘Real Vampyres SA’, the group which would become SAVA.

SAVA history is presently categorized into 2 distinct periods with a significant overlap, which itself represents a 3rd period between the other two:

  • The High Council Period (May 5, 2011 –  Oct 8, 2012)
  • The Red Council Period (June 8, 2012 – Sept 19, 2012)
  • The Regency Period (June 8, 2012 – Present)

There is a significant overlap between these periods (June 12, 2012 – Oct 8 2012) in the time when SAVA acquired a Regent, until the demise of the last High Council. Between Oct 8, 2012 and Sept 19, 2013, there is a period during which the SAVA was controlled exclusively by the Regency group – the Regent and her 2 Praetors (called the ‘Red Council’). This span is called the “Red Council Period”.

THE HIGH COUNCIL PERIOD (May 5, 2011 – October 8, 2012)

This is the period starting from the foundation of the SAVA in May 2011, at which the organization was administered by the committee known as the High Council. Consisting of (at first) equal members holding the position of Magister, each sitting at the head of community-building attempts in each of the nine national provinces of South Africa, this group never reached the full theoretical number of nine Magisters. At first the High Council was self-formed, from the founding members of the SAVA, in their different provinces, but the long-term goal was to reach a point where Magisters would be elected by other members of the SAVA.

This goal of elected officials was achieved in October 2012, when the Third SAVA High Council was elected to power, consisting of both Magisters as well as assistants for each Magister, called Secundi, who were also from the same provinces.

The SAVA High Council (between May 5, 2011 – October 8, 2012)

  • Octarine Valur – Magister, Mintaka Halo (May 5, 2011 – June 8, 2012)
  • Nereo [Willow Geldenhuys] (May 5, 2011 – Feb 23, 2012) Vanessa P (Feb 23, 2012 – May 21, 2012) Samael Anathan (May 21, 2012 – Oct 8, 2012) – Magister, Gacrux Halo
  • Lamia Satanei [Kem SekhmetBa-en Aset] – Magister, Avior Halo
  • Jhenephyr Phoenix Liliam (Feb 23, 2012 – Jun 8, 2012) Kay Valkir Noctem (June 8, 2012 – Oct 8, 2012) – Magister, Ilyatha Halo
  • Jaco Lazarian von Draco Dravana (Feb 16, 2012 – Oct 8, 2012) – Magister, Zaurak Halo
  • Erostine Cruor Turais (May 6, 2012 – Oct 8, 212) – Magister, Turais Halo

While most of the ground-work in laying the foundations of the SAVA occurred during the High Council period, this formative period was to be marked by internal turmoil and drama.

Several catastrophic and highly politicized incidents at the close of 2012 led directly to the chaos that put the final nail in the coffin of the High Council. While internal dissent due to personal differences among the founders and new members had already been brewing in the SAVA High Council for some time until escalating shortly before the elections of October 2012, a degree of factionalization had already gradually developed within the SAVA, and especially between the Magisters.

One faction of the SAVA had stubbornly disregarded High Council instructions to not align itself with a hostile Pagan faction. Members of a specific coven in Avior persisted in meeting with leaders of this Pagan faction which was hostile to the SAVA, and even engaged in discussions of mentorship despite admonitions to desist. Since this faction had sympathizers in the High Council, this resulted in an ideological rift forming.

The first Magisters had been the first members of the SAVA willing to accept the responsibility of community-building in their areas. Members who joined later and who were the first SAVA members in their provinces automatically became Magisters. While it was always the intention to hold elections to choose SAVA’s leaders, the original time-frame for the first elections had been set at after five years due to practicalities such as anticipated small membership numbers, the notion of appointed, un-elected leaders did not sit well with all. Additionally, after the Pagan-Vampyre Conflict of 2011, there were heightened tensions between the local VC, the SAVA and local Pagan groups, with the occasional outbreak of hysteria concerning possible energy or DOS attacks by these groups.

Throughout this period, Magisters appeared to engage in ‘cock-fighting’, each trying to outshine the others, each trying to build their own little ‘kingdoms’ in their areas of responsibility. The SAVA and its Halo system led to a kind of political arena fraught with in-fighting and competition. Instead of building the SAVA and SA VC as a whole, Halos were competing against each other and against the common good.

Since all were equal, decisions were arrived at as a committee, with debate and voting playing a major role in the decision-making process. This sometimes resulted in inaction, as some Magisters only seemed to be interested in the prestige they acquired from being Magisters, while not being actually interested in doing much that was actually ‘magisterial’. Some reveled in the attention they got in the local VC for using the title of Magister, and spent a lot of time building a fan-base rather than living up to their responsibilities.

In contrast, some Magisters rose above others during those times, in terms of what they achieved for the community, and in activity. Octarine Valur had been the first to call all those who became the first SAVA members together, had started the first known South African VC forums, and thus held a lot of influence and perceived power in the young SAVA, even though she held the position of Magister and was equal in status to the other Magisters. Valur however had also been active in the international VC for a number of years as a community builder and had already built up an impressive reputation, which some members in the SAVA found intimidating. In February of 2012 she was invited to become a member of the prestigious international VC body Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC), and her House (House Valur) became a member of the Dark Nations organization. Even as an equal Magister, Valur still acted as an organizer and motivator within the SAVA. Even as an equal Magister, Valur still ran the show, and the other Magisters knew it. Valur’s management style was to give positive reinforcement to those members who worked to build the organization and the community, and gradually a feeling of resentment was built up by those who felt left out.

This rift within the SAVA and the embattled High Council was made even larger when several members involved in the move to align the SAVA with a hostile Pagan group were removed from the SAVA, and formed an external and bitterly hostile entity of their own. This group made their intentions to bring down the SAVA very clear, when they embarked on a course of propaganda and misinformation against the SAVA and in particular, against Octarine Valur – who was portrayed as a dictator. Nevertheless, members of this group still interacted for a time with the local VC on open groups run by SAVA, where they engaged in psy-ops. Even after being removed from all SAVA controlled groups, they continued to do so for an undetermined period, which lasted well into the following year.

On June 8, 2012, matters escalated when the Magister of Ilyatha attempted to secede her halo from the SAVA by hijacking the forum for Ilyatha away from SAVA control along with all its members. Fortunately this attempt failed outright, and the former Magister was banned from the SAVA, along with only two of her own coven members who had supported her mutiny. But the trouble in SAVA’s embattled High Council did not end there.

As owner and administrator of all SAVA’s online resources, Octarine Valur held all the keys. This gave her a very strong position to lay down the law within the SAVA. After she created the position of Regent, becoming the first person to hold this position in the SAVA on June 12, 2012, Octarine Valur, as Regent, made sweeping changes. The High Council was no more, the title of Magister was done away with, as was the Halo system of territorial control. She instituted the system of Praetorship, appointing two loyal personal assistants (Psion Valur De Nocte and Kay Valkir Noctem). Together, they formed a council of their own, the embodiment of the Regency of the SAVA, which effectively controlled the organization by being able to override the High Council completely. This marked the end of the High Council era (in which the High Council had been autonomous), and the start of the Regency period. (This also marked the start of the brief period called ‘the Red Council Period’, in which the SAVA was run exclusively by the Regent and her two Praetors, ending on September 19, 2013 when the SAVA elected its first Senate.)

THE REGENCY PERIOD (June 8, 2012 – Present)

As Founder of the SAVA, Octarine Valur took the newly-created position of Regent to bring order to the High Council. June 12, 2012 denotes the beginning of the Regency Period in the history of the SAVA. At first, the Regent shared power with the High Council, but the position of Regent was greater than that of any Magister, and acted as a tie-breaker in Council votes as well as a veto. Since she assumed the position of Regent, she relinquished the position of Magister of Mintaka, which was assumed first by Gabrielle Draegan, and then by Vidal Ashtaroth.

Although some in various factions had vigorously encouraged her to take the title of ‘Queen’ – and although she had the power to do so at the time, this was not Valur’s personal goal, nor did it match her long-term ambitions for the SAVA. There were far too many (she felt) ‘tin-hat dictators’ in the VC at the time, calling themselves ‘king’ or ‘queen’ of their corners of the VC, for her to be at ease with that choice.

The following were the first members of the SAVA Regency group, known as ‘the Red Council’:

  • Octarine Valur [Regent of the SAVA] (June 8, 2012 – Present)
  • Psion Valur De Nocte [Praetor to the Regent] (June 8, 2012 – Dec 31, 2014)
  • Kay Valkir Noctem [Praetor to the Regent] (June 8, 2012 – Present)

These events did not sit well with some of the remaining Magisters however, since it appeared very much to be a coup of sorts, and the early part of this period was marked by continued subterfuge, factionalization and the exodus of several SAVA members.

By August 2012, an underground campaign to discredit and remove Octarine Valur was uncovered, with at least one Magister being complicit and being found to be in direct and almost constant contact with the exiled members of the Avior group. On several occasions, members of the exiled Avior group resorted to public theatrics, openly accusing Octarine Valur of being a ‘dictator’. At the close of September 2012, a Magister was exposed by several of his colleagues for passing sensitive information to this group. The resulting explosion was little short of epic!

With member confidence in the High Council – and the SAVA’s ability to keep its members information confidential – in tatters, the Regent immediately suspended the High Council and announced elections to select a new elected High Council.

The Elected SAVA High Council (October 8, 2012 – November 15, 2012)

For all intents and purposes, the ‘third’ incarnation of the High Council represented a major step forward for the SAVA since it marked the moment when the High Council was elected by SAVA members, while the Magisters then also had the assistance of Secundi, who were also elected.

Magisters:

  • Circe Arcanum – Avior Halo
  • Jaco Lazarian von Draco Dravana – Zaurak Halo
  • Kay Valkir Noctem – Ilyatha Halo
  • Kitra Gabrielle Draegan Seymore – Mintaka Halo
  • Nox Kassapu – Atria Halo

Secundi:

  • Ahzek Ahriman – Ilyatha Halo
  • Vidal Astaroth – Mintaka Halo

Even as the election was being hailed as a big step forward, the last High Council of the SAVA did not perform as expected. Weeks went by with a tiny handful of members conducting any SAVA business at all, with the lion’s share being performed by Octarine Valur herself. By November it had become split down the middle and was wholly dysfunctional. SAVA was in serious trouble. By November 15, SAVA could have ceased to exist. It could easily have gone either way.

When the Regent disbanded the High Council on November 15, 2012, together with two Praetors (personal assistants), she governed the SAVA until such time as the membership of the SAVA was perceived as ready to elect a new governing body. Together, the three – Regent and Praetors, formed the Red Council, which managed the SAVA in trust effectively until the election of the first Shadow Senate on September 19, 2013.

THE SAVA SHADOW SENATE (September 19, 2013 –  Present)

With the introduction of the Senate in September 2013, the SAVA effectively reverted to management by its membership. Senators are chosen by a process by which they are nominated as candidates for the election and are given a period to woo votes from other members, before the election itself takes place. The process is the same as that used for the first and last elected High Council.

The Senate works together with the Regency group, which consists of the Regent, two Praetors to the Regent (personal assistants) who have the power to act in her stead should the occasion demand this, and a Secretary to the Regency. All four members have the right to vote in the Senate. The Regent retains all the same rights as laid out in 2012.

The following members have served in the SAVA Regency since June 8, 2012:

Regent of the SAVA:

  • Octarine Valur (June 8, 2012 – Present)

Praetor to the Regent:

  • Psion Valur De Nocte (June 8, 2012 – Dec 31, 2014)
  • Kay Valkir Noctem (June 8, 2012 – Present)
  • Lunah Valur Eir (Jan 4, 2015 – Present)

Secretary to the Regency:

  • Lunah Valur Eir (Jun 5, 2013 – Jan 4, 2015)
  • Serephim Lena Karayan (Jan 4, 2015 – Present)

The following members of the SAVA have previously served as Senators of the Shadow Senate:

Session 1 (Sep 19, 2013 – Mar 18, 2014):

  • Jaco Lazarian von Draco Dravana
  • Jezebel Strigoi
  • Kitra Gabriele Draegan Seymore
  • Samael Anathan
  • Serephim Lena Karayan

Session 2 (Mar 18, 2014 – Jan 4, 2015):

  • Dagan Nightalon
  • Jezebel Strigoi-Saet Khefer (Mar 18, 2014 – Jun , 2014)
  • Danae Valur Draco [Nadine My-Addiction]
  • Octavius Drake (Mar 18, 2014 – Dec 30, 2014)
  • Serephim Lena Karayan

Session 3 (Jan 21, 2015 – Present)

  • Cian Ashling
  • Dagan Nightalon
  • Nox Kassapu Rakoczy
  • Nyx Louloudi
  • Wulfric Grey
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