A Look Back and a Leap Forward
I’ve been sitting here at my desk for many hours now trying to think of words that will do this next article justice. The sun has risen, and set again, making way for the immortal that live by the light of the moon to roam the streets again. But what is happening outside these office windows is of little interest to me. Instead I am thinking of one vampire.
In all of the years I have been in Ravenblack, there are few outside my personal circle of loved ones that has inspired such an unequivocal feeling of respect. It is, in fact, a rare thing that one such vampire can accomplish so much in so little time and still remain standing, unbowed against the currents that dictate our fair city.
She came to Ravenblack in July of 2004. Newly turned, she was left on her own by the very vampire who had given her the gift of immortality. A lesser vampire would have cracked under the pressure of a hostile city and its inhabitants. A lesser vampire would have ended up in the ghettos, a loud mouthed perma-n00b that would talk the talk and never be able to walk the walk.
But I am not talking about an ordinary vampire. No, ordinary isn’t a word anyone that knows her, or has heard of her would use as a description. Strong. Straightforward. Unconventional. Courageous. Beautiful. Bold. Bitch. Never ordinary.
Love her or hate her, it matters little, because you will always know where you stand with her whether you like it or not.
Shortly after her arrival in the city she was recruited into a newer clan by the name of League of the Shadow Demons, and by November of 2004 she’d been promoted to the position of Second in Command. By all accounts, this vampire thrived in her clan setting, soaking up knowledge like a sponge and finding her footing on the slippery slopes we all stand on.
A few of the other titles she held in League of the Shadow Demons was Head of Intel, Head of Thievery, RPShadows Head Instructor and she threw herself into any other areas when help was needed, all the while learning and growing herself. After a period of time, she’d grown frustrated with the neutral leanings of her clan and decided to branch out on her own, forming something that she felt more of a fit to her temperament and needs.
On September 8, 2005, along with a few comrades and a 100k start up donation, the Republic of Ravenblack was born. Under the caring leadership of Seyda St. John, her fledgling clan began to grow.
Through diligence, knowledge gained and plain old hard work, Republic of Ravenblack took off. Steadily, under Seyda’s guidance and the hard work of the members there Republic of Ravenblack grew in strength and number. They never had the urge to run into the city streets instigating pissing contests to prove their worth. Instead they kept their noses to the grind, doing what needed to be done to ensure prosperity and a solid defense or offence should the need arise. In all reality, there was no where to go but up, and RoR was doing that at a steady pace.
On June 17, 2006 Republic of Ravenblack allied with the Sanctuary of Immortal Enlightenment. What happened during this period of time is not my tale to tell. For anyone that had eyes in their head and half a brain cell, it would become apparent that the strength of SIE, combined with the growing strength of RoR would be a formidable meeting of minds and talent. Later in the year, more joined and the Unholy Alliance, and perhaps the strongest alliance in the city was born.
Seyda, with the hard work of those around her within RoR built something from a passion of common goals and dreams. And this is where my story will shift.
I took a moment to speak with a few clan members that worked with Seyda over time. I had one simple question: How would you describe Seyda as a leader? The answers that followed were those that I expected, not because of duty or obligation by others, but because those that truly listen not with just their ears but with instinct and heart know what kind of leader Seyda St. John is.
She’s a ball busting btich that knows when she’s right and has no fear about calling someone when they’re wrong, but she’s always offered support through it all. She’s tough and honest-she doesn’t pull any punches and everyone within her clan loves her for that. Seyda is the example of what a leader should be. She does what she says and says what she does.
In a city where so few really do, she leads by example, never asking others to do something she herself is not willing to do. With a keen eye and a clear heart, she has been said to see potential in others, be it in raw form or just buried under the mire of damage Ravenblack can do to a being, and she nurtures that. She’s a teacher without realizing it and a mentor without trying.
Quite simply, within the halls of the Republic of Ravenblack and even beyond, she is loved and respected.
And now we come to another turn in this tale, one that does not signal the end by any means, but rather makes way for the beginning of new.
What does a leader do when their priorities have shifted and that which they gave birth to, so to speak, is no longer at the top of the heap? I can answer that simply. A good leader will step aside and let those that still hold the passions of clan burning bright to shine at the top of the mountain. A good leader, nay, the best leader will step aside when the feeling is right and they know without a doubt that this is the right decision.
When I spoke to Seyda, I asked her a few questions, wanting to be clear on certain things. By now you should realize that this is not merely a news article for me but something that is important to me as well, much like the woman herself.
I asked what brought her to this choice of stepping down from RoR and turning the reigns over to another.
She told me that she’d always made it clear that the day she lost the passion and her clan wasn’t her #1 priority she would step down. In the past year, her priorities have been pulled in several different directions and Seyda realized that without a shadow of a doubt her lovely wife Asmia outranked her clan.
Instead of trying to hold onto it, and possibly sending it into a tail spin, Seyda has done what is rare, and what a true leader will do. She has stepped down, making way for new hands, strong and trusted hands to take the reigns of leadership and move the clan forward into that bright future that awaits them.
I had one final question for her. What does she think of what she built, and those that reside within? “I think it’s kind of surreal,” she answered. “Never would I have imagined being able to take that clan and turn it into what I did and I truly never imagined that so many would actually follow that vision.’
So Republic of Ravenblack, the legacy of Seyda, will continue moving forward with strength and integrity under the guidance of a new and trusted leader. She will stand in the arms of her lovely wife Asmia and watch the clan she built with care continues to thrive and grow.
Everyone will have an opinion on her whether or not they admit it. Some will say she’s a strong leader: intelligent and quick, trustworthy and strong. Some will say she’s a bitch, manipulative and cunning.
Me, I’ll just say she’s a friend and my world in this city is richer for knowing her.
To the Republic of Ravenblack, I can only say that you are fortunate to have had one such as her to lead you, and she is just as fortunate that you all were there. With your new leadership in place you can travel no where but up and I wish you all the best of luck. As she told me, she might be leaving, but you all are no where near done.
Here’s to you Seyda St. John. May your future paths bring you even more joy than the past.
And don’t forget your Sunday hair appointment.
Seyda is the bomb…I wish her and Asmia all the best in their journeys!
nods Seyda worked very hard for many years, as did Asmia. Now go have some fun you two! hugs da mom pires
~They rise The Master and His muse…. Through wisps of heated breath and pounding blood.. On tendrils…singing pain and whispered lust.. The soaring force of tenderness~
The most inspiring vampire I have ever had the pleasure to meet, love and attain as family and forever more so…
– Hesu Sanctuary of Immortal Enlightenment Enforcers of Enlightenment Training Ground Institute shadowsshades Lucius- it was only a bad dream
That is an extraordinary testamonial.