A BRIEF HISTORY OF LAZARUS
A Tale Written In Blood
The Court of Lazarus is a Vampiric Court based in Lower Manhattan, serving our Citizens, Guests and night creatures from neighboring Courts in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. As New York’s Original ‘Salon Noir’, it is part ritual gathering, part dark performance space and part gothic cocktail party.
Lazarus was founded in February 2002 as a social gathering organized by Father Sebastian Todd of Sanguinarium infamy. It was called 'The Society Lazarus' for that initial meeting, but the members soon voted to organize officially as a Vampiric Court. Lazarus became known as The Court of Lazarus from the March 2002 gathering onward. Father Todd recruited a host for that initial gathering, but Todd left after only one meeting - before Lazarus even became a Court. After members voted to become a Court, an interim Regent was named. Gabrielle of The House of St. Eve graciously led The Court until elections were held in April of 2002 and when the Court's first elected leader was chosen.
In May 2002, Gabrielle ceded the Regency in a Regent's Rite held near Central Park's Belvedere Castle, as representatives from neighboring Courts looked on. At that time, The Lazarus Council consisted only of our first elected Regent, Madame X (Keeper of the Scroll), Marquessa Magdalena (Keeper of the Veil), Father Sebastian Todd (Primus), Gabrielle (Regent Emeritus) and Lazarus' Scribe, Nefarious Wrath.
That summer was a whirlwind of activity, as The Council instituted the first Scroll of Lazarus as its governing document, established relationships with neighboring Courts, and worked to attract attendees and prospective Citizens. It was also a challenging and stressful time, and The Lazarus Council sometimes differed on the goals for The Court. These differences could not be reconciled and in June of 2002, Father Todd and Council parted ways. Madame X remained Keeper of the Scroll until November 2002, when she left Court and the tristate area for Savannah, GA. She was succeeded as Keeper of the Scroll by Lazarus' Scribe, Nefarious Wrath, in December 2002.
In June 2003, Marquessa Magdalena was appointed to Interim Regent until elections were held and she was rightfully crowned in July 2003. As her Keeper of the Blood, Magdalena appointed Mistress Naamah. Two new Houses were inducted into the Court of Lazarus and with them, two new House Magisters to represent their interests on Council. One of the oldest and most respected international Houses, Clan LiDeIm joined Lazarus with Lord Valerus as their representative. Order D’Vampiro, a relatively new Order but with long standing devotees to the community joined with Michael Aristede as their chosen representative. Also during her reign (in a period of 3 months when she was in Europe), she appointed Nefarious Wrath interim Regent. He led the Court until Magdalena was able to return to the states and regain her position. During her “Bloody Reign of Terror”, many changes occurred in the Lazarus Citizenry and she resigned from the Regency in April 2005, to be immediately succeeded by Nefarious Wrath.
In December 2005, after another heated debate about elections, Nefarious was officially elected. Nefarious kept Mistress Naamah as the Keeper of the Blood and asked Lord Valerus to fill the position of Keeper of the Scroll. Ronin Magister, Lady Thera resigned from her position in September 2006 due to a career promotion and DeSade was added to Council as the Court of Lazarus’ newest Ronin Magister after a tight election in October 2006. During Lord Nefarious’ regency, ending in September 2007, Court was in a state of rebirth. Many Citizens were gained and the Court of Lazarus celebrated a closer sense of unity. Also during this time, Court found a true spiritual advisor; Hierophant Enrico Fales, who taught the Court for years. In August 2007, Nefarious relinquished the Regency and Mistress Naamah was unanimously elected.
This was the first (but not the last) time in the history of the Court of Lazarus that a Regent was elected by unanimous vote. Regent Naamah selected Lord Valerus as Keeper of the Blood and temporarily kept Michael Aristide as Keeper of the Scroll, until ultimately replacing him with Lord DeSade. In Naamah’s nearly 5 year reign as Regent, other major advancements were also realized. Taking cues from the Court’s beginnings, the Citizen Conclaves were reinstituted. The website was completely re-vamped and re-launched in time for the February 2008 Anniversary. And in June 2010, the Court was moved for the first time since 2002. Madame X Lounge was made the Court’s haven, as the Slipper Room underwent massive renovations. Malackai was also appointed the Court’s new Hierophant, providing both spiritual outlet and tarot readings to Lazarus’ Citizens and Guests.
Maybe the largest contribution of all during Naamah's Regency, was the conception, design and donation of our mahogany obsidian pendants. Wearing the Lazarus pendants as the Court’s sigil, each Citizen continues to proudly represent their ‘Love and Loyalty’. Regent Naamah and Lord Valerus also donated our Tome to replace the original, which weathered far too many storms. Aside from our Court’s undead history, our Tome is the physical manifestation of every Citizen, Elder, Council member, ritual and oath from our remarkably long and cherished traditions.
Naamah abdicated the Regency at the close of Court on February 19, 2012 after seeing the Court through its 10 year Anniversary. In a special election the following month, Malackai was elected and he was sworn into service in April 2012. Malackai appointed a new Keeper of the Scroll and a new Keeper of the Blood, Dana Pain. During Malackai’s Regency, a new Hierophant was chosen to lead the Court spiritually. Malackai’s reign came to a close after a poll of Citizens concluded that regular elections should be held in September. Lord Valerus won unanimously and ascended to the Regency in a blood ritual at midnight of the September 2012 Court gathering.
Regent Valerus appointed Lady Ria O'Malley Storm Reaper as Lazarus' Keeper of the Blood and Lady Angelika Valkyrie as Keeper of the Scroll solidifying the Triumvirate. In June 2013, Valerus announced that Ordo Arcana Imperii was officially recognized by the Lazarus Council and they gained representation on Council. Focusing on traditions, Regent Valerus strengthened our relations with neighboring Houses and our sister Courts while keeping our mysterious nature. In October 2014, Regent Valerus hosted an unprecedented dual Court gathering between The Society Nocturnus of Gotham (SNOG) and The Court of Lazarus and signed a formal alliance for the relationship enjoyed by both Courts since 2002. Lazarus continued to thrive and three new Elders took their Oaths in October 2015. In March 2016, Griffin Motgan became the Court's newest Hierophant. The Lazarus Council, under Valerus' leadership, neutralized the threat posed by the seemingly constant journalistic intrusion, by taking Court more underground than ever. Valerus' Regency brought security, stability, and new musical entertainment back to The Court.
In June 2016, Valerus announced that he would not seek reelection and Angelika Valkyrie heeded the call. After winning the election by an overwhelming majority in August 2016, Angelika Valkyrie became The Court of Lazarus' seventh Regent. As the Lazarus Council stands, Regent Angelika presides with Lady Ria O’Mallie Storm Reaper (Keeper of the Blood), Lady DarkeRaven (Keeper of the Scroll), Victor Noirlocke (Ronin Magister), H. Armand (Magister for Clan LiDeIm), GrimWolf (Magister for House of the Reapers) and Elena Aeterna (Magister for Ordo Arcana Imperii). Nefarious, Naamah, Malackai, and Valerus advise as Regent Emeriti.
The Court of Lazarus has been fortunate enough to host such talents as gothic artist/animator/director/musician Voltaire, goth rock band Bella Morte, The Dresden Dolls, writer/occultist Kostantinos, renowned bat expert Joseph D'Angeli, Projekt recording artists Unto Ashes, gothic harp diva Somna M. Bulist, theramin artist Armen Ra, photographer Joy Goldkind, Android Lust and dark magician Lord Vlad. Though many things have changed, none of this would have mattered without the help of those who were willing to take a chance and extend a hand of friendship to Lazarus. Their names are too numerous to list, but include: Lord Regent D'Drennan, Lady Lucretia de Noite, Sir John, Countess Monette, Lady Mehnea, Sonny, Lord Regent Kage VonDraconus, Lord Scorpio, Lady Aurora and Lord Vahmp, Lord Maelstrom, Lady Alala, Lady Pandora, and Lord Kodius.