Runtom i världen

Bolivias camarilla

Från att ha enbart styrt över Santa Cruz de la Sierra utvidgar Furst Peros sina territorium och bjuder in strandsatta Sydamerikaner att gå med i kampen mot de obevekliga Sabbatgerillorna.
Scenarion: Santa Cruz by Night

Jacksonvilles camarilla

Scenarion: Black Jacks

Stockholms camarilla

Scenarion: Sfären

Londons camarilla

Scenarion: Dà Rathad


Är det största politiska evenemang som kan äga rum inom de invigdas samhälle. Se Konklav.


The Inner Circle

The Inner Circle is the ideal cabal; it is the unobserved model for the "Secret Masters" so many conspiracy theorists speak of. The Kindred of the Inner Circle are those who pull the strings of the entire sect, creating justicars and casting them down with equal equanimity. No one knows who the vampires of the Inner Circle are, but none can deny that the Inner Circle is the true hub around which the Camarilla revolves.

Once every 13 years, the very eldest elders of the Camarilla's clans meet to discuss the sect's future direction and current business. Other vampires may be brought in to speak, but only the elders may cast their clans' votes. The lesser clans and bloodlines have no represenation here, and the presence of others is at the Circle members' sufferance.

During this time, the members of the cabal appoint justicars (replete with wrangling, threats, bargaining and other such talk), consider and determine the Camarilla's direction for the next 13 years, and rule upon Camarilla-wide issues. Many believe that the members of the Inner Circle continue to correspond through the years, directing the justicars as necessary and meeting if circumstances demand it. None are certain how the members of the Inner Circle achieve their position, except simply by surviving to be a ripe old age and ascending to monstrous power.

Who comprises the Inner Circle manages to remain one of the Camarilla's best-kept secrets. It is known that they are supposedly "the eldest" of their clans, but that definition is open to debate. Some believe that the Inner Circle's composition has changed over the centuries as one clan representative or another met Final Death, went into torpor or simply went missing. Others believe that the members of the Inner Circle serve other factions in their clans' unlives; the Tremere, for example, suspect that a member of their Council of Seven sits with the Inner Circle, but as none have ever tested the theory, it remains speculation. Such secrecy is largely a matter of tradition, but in these nights it has become a matter of grave security. With the assassination of Justicar Petrodon, the vampires of the Inner Circle realize anew that they are the ultimate prize, and take no chances with their unlives.

Few Kindred, even the justicars, quite know what the Inner Circle does with most of its time. Many believe that they remain in touch with the elders of their clans, keeping their fingers on the changes within the rank and file and gathering news from their justicars so that they may consider what needs addressing at the next meeting. Optimistic vampires even believe that the Inner Circle Kindred occasionally teach their younger brethren, choosing one particular vampire as a designated successor against that inevitable night when a chair sits empty at the council table.

Those who have aroused the Inner Circle's great collective anger have usually done so in spectacular fashion, resulting in spectacular punishment. The most impressive punishment that can be leveled against an offender is a place on the Red List, essentially guaranteeing the criminal an eternity-long, Camarilla-wide blood hunt. The Inner Circle may call upon the justicars to add their strength to the hunt, who in turn call upon their many resources to hound an offender to the ends of the earth.

The Justicars

These six mighty vampires are appointed by the Inner Circle to be their eyes, ears, hands and occasionally fists. Appointment is a long, drawn-out (and occasionally drown-out) process as each clan fights to place a strong member in perhaps the most powerful position any Kindred can hold. Too often compromise candidates win out, but occasionally the process achieves its stated goal and a truly deserving, powerful and dedicated vampire ascends to the position of justicar.

Sometimes, compromise candidates are ignored, or the Inner Circle attempts to manipulate them. Either action can backfire; those appointed to the position, even those who weren't expecting it, usually take up the mantle with full seriousness. Those who are ignored may quietly amass resources and allies behind the scenes, while those the Inner Circle attempts to misuse may bite the hands that feed them and proceed to demonstrate their grasp of the power that has been given unto them.

Justicars enjoy immense power over Kindred society and the Camarilla across the board, excepting of course the Inner Circle. They alone have the ultimate power to adjudicate matters involving the Traditions, and do so on a grand level. A justicar may call a conclave at any time, either to make a ruling or with a peer to make joint decisions of sect policy. When one of these powerful vampires makes even a polite request, very few Kindred dare refuse.

Justicars do not only serve as grim judges and agents of the Inner Circle. They encourage the social aspects of conclaves, going so far as to host conclaves so that Camarilla Kindred may meet others of their kind, meetings that might otherwise never occur without the opportunities of conclave. With their power, the justicars can ensure that a insane or despotic prince is removed before he does too much damage to the populace, or turn the tide of battle against the enemies of the Camarilla. A right or wrong word at the proper moment from a justicar can be better coin than gold or status for desperate Kindred.

In the end, though, justicars are regarded with awe and fear. Their wrath is terrible, and their power is immense. No Kindred dares to refuse them, even if it aids in that vampire's own destruction. They stride the Camarilla like colossi, and the shadow they cast is long indeed.
The Justicars

As of the Inner Council meeting of 1998, the justicars were:

With the exception of Madame Guil, all of the justicars are new. Lucinde is no stranger to the halls of power, but this is the long-time archon's first appointment to the high chair. Xaviar, former Gangrel justicar, was the last of his clan to hold the title, as with the clan's "formal" withdrawal from the sect there is no need for a Gangrel justicar.


Arkonter är lakejer till Justicars som skickas ut att ordna vad som än behöver ordnas. Hon kan tjäna som ställföreträdare eller ett extra par armar för en Justicar som inte kan vara överallt samtidigt. De som utses till Arkonter är ofta ancilla eller yngre elders som visat prov på sin duglighet …

are the minions of the justicars, set to act in their names for whatever suits their purposes and needs. As no justicar can be everywhere he might want or need to be, an archon can make certain his presence is felt (if not seen). Archons have been part of the Kindred hierarchy for almost as long there have been justicars, although they were not officially named until sometime in the late 1600s, most likely by the Brujah owing to the Greek origin of the word. Archons are typically chosen from the ranks of ancillae and "young" elders, who show some promise by their maneuvers in the halls of power. The tenures of Kindred appointed to the post last for as long as their employers wish to retain them, and the employer can become the office, not the person occupying the chair. On the other hand, some justicars select entirely new staff upon their appointments. Recently, the new Nosferatu justicar, in a veritable tantrum of paranoia, threw out all of Petrodon's archons, including Horatius Muir, who had served Petrodon since the latter's first appointment. Horatius has not taken the loss very well, and his fellow archons, both in and out of clan, fear that the former archon will seek gruesome revenge for the insult.

Not every archon strides into Elysium with her mission statement in hand and announces herself to be here on justicar business. Justicars often need watchers or other quiet workers in troubled cities, and the best ones simply appear, do their job and leave with as little fanfare as possible. Archons are not as far removed from typical Kindred unlife as their superiors. Most are able to insert themselves into city business without attracting much attention and gain the trust of others, who rarely suspect that their newfound compatriots are so powerful. Occasionally, justicars choose archons more for their particular insights into a subject, their skills or their political savvy, which does not always walk hand in glove with high profile. Princes have been known to object to such moles, but too much protest brings the notice of a justicar who wants to know what a noisy prince might be hiding.

The Prince

Ostenibly, the prince is the Camarilla's voice in the city she rules. In theory more of a magistrate or overseer than an absolute ruler, it the prince who keeps the peace and makes the laws, whatever is necessary to keep the city orderly and safe from incursion. The prince wears many hats, including diplomat, commander in chief, lawmaker, patron of the arts, judge and Tradition-keeper. The position originally began with the strongest vampire in a given region claiming domain over it. Over time, certain privileges and responsibilities became attached to the position, either at the whim of the ruler or the demands of the ruled. The position reached its familiar modern form during the Renaissance. What exactly the princedom will evolve to in the future is the subject of much hushed speculation, but never when the local prince is within earshot.

There are several ways one can become prince of a city. One is to depose the old prince. This insurrection may take the form of anything from a bloodless, elder-supported coup to a full-scale war with the gutters running with blood. If a prince shows himself incapable of maintaining the safety of the city against incursion, he may be forced to abdicate by the rest of the Kindred. Another way is to become seneschal and hope the prince either dies or is forced from office. Of course there are ways to help that sort of thing along, provided one doesn't mind a few risks that could spell Final Death if one is caught. If one is in a small town or a largely rural area with a scattered population, even a young Kindred may name himself prince. Many times, the elders prefer the relative safety of the cities, and find rural areas both dangerous and boring. Those young vampires who choose to brave the small towns occasionally set themselves up in a semi-structured organization, with the "prince" being the one who has the biggest gun or has earned the most respect. Such titles (Prince Garrett of the Finger Lakes Region, or Madame Charlotte, prince of the Seven Sisters Hills) sound more grand than they truly are, and rarely carry weight with the elders of nearby cities.

A prince is owed nothing by her "subjects." Indeed, once they follow the protocol of Tradition, most have plenty of other things to keep busy with. A prince rules only so long as she can enforce order, her subjects are sufficiently frightened of her might and the elders support her. If any of those factors disappears, her reign is at an end. On the other hand, if all's in place, then the Kindred of the city can count on being stuck with their prince for a good long while. The elders ensure that a prince's reign is maintained in the name of stability; turmoil in the streets endangers the Masquerade and risks Final Death.

A prince enjoys a great deal of power, one of the major reasons anyone would ever seek the job in the first place. She often gathers great temporal influence in the mortal world to insure that threats to her can be dealt with effectively; few become inclined to do too much to someone who could have their phone lines "accidentally" cut when a gas line is being dug. She may freely create progeny, while other vampires must seek her permission before siring. She may extend her power over those who enter her domain, and may punish her enemies by calling the blood hunt. Whether the perks outweigh the burden of the job is a nightly debate in the halls of Elysium, but enough Kindred seem to think so that there is a never-ending struggle in every city for ascent to the throne.

The Primogen

The primogen is the assembly of elders in a given city. Each clan usually has at least one representative primogen (the title is used to indicate both singular and plural), in addition to any other elders of the clans who wish to sit in on the meeting. No one seems quite certain when the primogen body came into being, but most Kindred scholars interested in such things point to the councils of elders that have been part of mortal communities for milennia. Wherever the organization came from, the primogen councils continue into the present nights as clan leaders, filling seats of remarkable power. As a result, the primogen are either a prince's greatest allies or his worst enemies.

Ostenibly, the primogen council is meant to be a legislative body, a representation of the opinions of the various clans with regard to the governance of their city. Such an assessment is correct in very few cities. Some primogen councils are missing one or more clans, their elders forbidden by princely edict to take their seats, or because the clans are composed entirely of younger vampires and the elders will not deign to acknowledge the clan's right to representation. Those primogen who are seated in many cities are less like an assembled body and more like an "old vampires' club," a nest of nepotism, favor-trading, threats and treachery. In some cities, particularly those with small Kindred populations, the prince is often the primogen for his clan. In larger cities, this is not so – those involved claim that the prince should be concerned with balanced governance of the city, and that serving as primogen divides his loyalties. Other Kindred point out that having a second clan member serving as primogen would seem to weigh matters in favor of that clan. Not so, reply those asked. Some of the most vicious disagreements between prince and primogen can be between two members of the same clan who happen to disagree on a particular policy.

The primogen can hold a great deal of power, whether or not it is granted them. Made up of elders who love their unlives with nigh-obsessive fervor, primogen councils can squash pretenders to the throne, weak princes and outspoken youth in the name of stability. It is their support that confirms a vampire as prince or sentences him to be food for the worms. If they wish, the primogen may drive a prince from office with their recalcitrance or votes of no confidence, or ensure a prince's long reign with their powerful support. Some primogen councils can become the governing body of a city, with the prince continually engaged in fighting with, cajoling, arguing or threatening them back into line. On the other hand, in cities where the princes are more powerful than most, insane or despotic, the council meets solely at the prince's whim and is often merely a figurehead assembly.

The Whip

Sometimes, even the most organized primogen can be overworked and stretched too thin with demands for his time. Add to this a slow-moving discussion at clan meeting, recalcitrant clan members and general voter lassitude, and the task of primogen can become unmanageable for any lone Kindred. It was for these times that the position of whip was created.

The whip is not an official position within the hierarchy of the Camarilla, but rather a recent phenomenon that seems based almost solely in countries with a democratic legislature. Whips are used in the mortal governments to keep members of a political party informed as to each other's doings, to keep discussions productive and to round up the appropriate members when it is time for voting. In Camarilla cities, a number of clans employ whips for similar purposes. Princedoms within the United Kingdom and United States make the most use of the post.

A primogen may choose not to employ a whip if the situation does not merit it. After all, when the local branch of a clan numbers four, and one is serving as primogen, keeping the rest informed is usually a simple matter. On the other hand, in a large city with eight clan members, a whip can be very useful. Some clans have occasionally pressed their primogen to appoint whips when it became obvious that the primogen was overwhelmed with business. Whip appointments are usually conditional; often the whip is a Kindred who is of some influence within the clan so she will be listened to, but not so much that she potentially overshadows the primogen himself. A whip who begins to outshine his employer is likely to be replaced. Sometimes, a whip position may not be a reward but a warning. Since the whip is required to stay close to the primogen and mind his ways, appointing a troublemaker can be an effective way to put him on the hot seat and channelling his energies into something more constructive (or put him under the spotlight until he inevitably makes a mistake).

Whips in clan meetings serve to goad discussions along by whatever means necessary. This can include filling in details the primogen has inadvertently forgotten, shouting down more vocal clan members to allow the quiet ones a chance to speak up, insulting someone into blurting out his true opinion or throwing out the occasional inflammatory gambit just to get the ball rolling. Whips may also attend to those reclusive clan members who cannot or will not attend clan meetings for reasons of their own.

In some cities, the whip is viewed as the primogen's second, given authority to sit in primogen meetings if his master is absent, or standing at his right hand during the meetings, ostenibly to serve as "stenographer" for the clan. More often, the whip is taking notes on everything else occurring during the meeting that the primogen may not notice while speaking or dealing with the prince, such as clothing worn by the other primogen, gestures and mannerisms, tone of voice and reactions by those not primarily addressed. Such an observant whip can be worth his weight in gold when it comes time to interpret the meaning behind another primogen's uncharacteristic objection.

The Seneschal

In the mortal world, the seneschal was the keeper of the keys in a noble house, the minder of the affairs, the one who always knew what was happening and who was closest to the master's ear. It was the seneschal who was in charge when the master was away, and who took care of the estate in time of disaster. In the vampiric world, the position hasn't changed much from its original inception. The seneschal is chosen to be the prince's personal assistant, the one who knows what's going on at any given moment, and (according to some wags) the one you really have to deal with to get things done. At any time, he may be asked to step into the prince's place if she leaves town on business, abdicates or is slain.

While a prince may wish to have final authority on the choice, a number of primogen councils have fought to ensure a seneschal candidate to their liking is installed. If the prince is seen as weak or is not well-liked, the fight becomes even fiercer. After all, accidents do happen, the primogen insist, and it were best that the next in line is someone worth having to avoid entanglements at such times. Princes insist that the choice is theirs to make, particularly when the seneschal is in such a sensitive position. They point to certain disasters in Kindred history regarding the seneschal, most often the Nuremberg Incident of 1836, when a Sabbat spy managed to achieve the post and the city narrowly avoided being completely overrun after he handed over the secrets he had learned to his cohorts.

For most seneschals, the job can be a completely thankless one. It may be seen as a stepping-stone up the ladder to greater things, but the rewards aren't always commensurate with the tedium and danger. A seneschal can be called on to be a secretary, clearinghouse of information, prince pro tem, advisor, sounding-board, recepient of vitriol, ambassador or point of contact for any new Kindred entering the city. Some princes may have other uses for their seneschals, such as sitting in on certain meetings as the prince's voice when the prince must be absent, or even to deal with certain matters which princes deem not worthy of their attention. For a prince busy with other concerns (such as hunters, Setites or Sabbat), a capable seneschal who can take care of all the nitpicky details of running a city can be a godsend. If the seneschal is incompetent, however, he can be a nightmare. A seneschal unaware of the movements of new Kindred in the city may be in fact inadvertently holding the door for Sabbat troops, or one who has closed down a church on suspicion of harboring hunters may have just alienated the Nosferatu who made use of the place as well.

A number of seneschals have taken advantage of their positions, using them to become often the most well-informed Kindred in the city, even outstripping the harpies. Some, as clearinghouses of information, may selectively edit what their prince does and does not know (on a strictly need- to-know basis, with the seneschal of course deciding who needs to know what). Others may block items on the night's agenda if it suits their purpose, most often when the Kindred bringing the business has offended the seneschal in some way. As the seneschal is frequently closest to the prince's ear, he may inform the prince as he wishes regarding matters of business or policy – lies of omission are a seneschal's stock in trade. If someone is offended with the way the seneschal handles business, the humble vampire may claim that he is merely the prince's voice, and shift the blame upward to an undeserving prince. A wily seneschal with ambition on his mind and a prince burdened with the cares of a large domain can be a lethal combination.

The selection of a seneschal has any number of criteria, varying from prince to prince, and from primogen to primogen. Some prefer tractability over trust, while others see some independence and common sense as ideal qualities. Few primogen have ever permitted a seneschal to be of the same clan as the prince, seeing it as invitation to disaster in the form of clan favoritism.

The Harpy

The harpies are the gossip-mongers, the rumor mills, the status-givers. They are the word in the wrong ear, the ones who can make a vampire's unlife miserable for the sin of wearing an ugly tie or returning an insult. Many of the best (the most observant, the sharpest tongued, the wittiest) harpies are elder age, although not a few talented ancillae hold their own in these halls of hidden power. Neonates are rarely anything more than assistants and apprentices to established harpies, simply because they are too new to the nuances of unlife's etiquette to understand what's happening. A neonate who attempts to ascend to full harpy status too soon finds her betters turning on her mercilessly; most have the ambition verbally flayed right out of them by this treatment. If she's lucky, they'll simply let her embarrass herself.

Harpies are rarely appointed outright. Those with the necessary skills were often part of the elite social scene in life, spending their lives as famous gossips, dilettantes and socialites. As in life, these social butterflies hover where the beautiful people can be found, and simply fall in doing what they did before. They are unimpressed with preening, demonstrate remarkable insight into both vampiric and human nature, and can boast an unerring ability to see through pretense and pose.

A leading harpy may choose to name an assistant or two, particularly in a city with a sizable Kindred population. After all, even the best harpy can hardly hope to keep up with things when there are Elysiums occuring at both the Academy of Fine Arts and at the local Hard Rock Cafe. A major metropolitan city, such as Vienna or London, may contain at least six Kindredwho are considered to be the main harpies, in addition to the 20-plus others who serve as additional eyes, ears and sources of material. In a smaller city, as few as two may hold the position, although the question of who is actually in charge is another matter (which no doubt is fought over incessantly). In smaller towns and rural areas, harpies are often completely dispensed with, but here and there one may find a vampire who presides over the diminished social scene like an undead Hedda Hopper. Most harpies tend to be of "social" clans, such as the Toreador and Ventrue, but not a few elder Brujah or slightly more lucid Malkavians have been known to occupy the seat as well.

Not only concerned with who said what to whom, harpies are also interested in the intricacies of Kindred etiquette. There is a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, and the harpies make sure things are done right. Someone on the harpies' hit list often finds himself banned from all the premiere social gatherings, and it is not all that difficult to incur this sort of ostracism. Rudeness, crudeness, speaking out of turn, showing disrespect or blatant stupidity – all of these can place a vampire squarely in the harpies' crosshairs.

While some might sneer that the disapproval of a few "old biddies" doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, the harpies (and their victims) beg to differ. In an era where the most recent news can be passed nigh instantaneously between harpies along a web of gossip that staggers the imagination, the harpies in one city can assure an offender that he receives a less-than-cordial welcome in any city he visits. It is the harpies who assist with the brokering of and recording of prestation deals. Harpies are often called on to assist their princes when dignitaries visit. In these modern nights, the harpies are busy indeed, dealing with the ramifications of email as a proper method of correspondence, the propriety of requesting an elder to step through a metal detector or the polite way to suggest that a potential disease-carrier hie himself to the lab for testing.

The Keeper of Elysium

The job title is self-descriptive – this Kindred is responsible for everything that occurs in Elysium and usually its environs as well. A Toreador wishing to schedule a recital, a Tremere giving a lecture on medieval alchemy or two Brujah who are hosting a debate regarding current Kindred involvement with the police – all must speak first with the keeper. The keeper may cancel an event at any time, even minutes before it is to begin, on the grounds that it threatens security and the Masquerade. (Whether or not the claim is accurate is irrelevant; the keeper has that authority to use as she sees fit.) Such power, while not as impressive as the scourge's right of destruction, can be used to great effect; the vampire who has spent months puffing himself up over a recital at Elysium only to have it blithely cancelled stands to lose a great deal of status.

Keepers may be of any clan; most are at least of ancillae status, which gives them the pull they need to hire or create sufficient security for Elysium. Contrary to popular thought, the majority of keepers are not Toreador. Such Kindred tend to get distracted from their duties too easily in Elysium's environs.

The job comes with heavy responsibility and very few perks. A keeper is responsible for everything that occurs within Elysium's walls on his watch (and occasionally off it too). While the position is a prestigious appointment, and it can garner a Kindred a great deal of status and recognition, it puts that Kindred under a microscope almost as intense as the prince's. Because the position requires the keeper to interact with mortals on a fairly regular basis, monstrous Kindred (whether in mien or demeanor) are never considered for the job, unless they have some way to disguise themselves. The appointment is also usually a conditional one – the keeper can expect to be scrutinized for the several gatherings regarding his policies on the Masquerade, mortals, security and Elysium in general. The harpies are not kind to a failed keeper, if he's still around to accept their scorn.

On a nightly basis, the keeper must be certain Elysium abides by the major rules regarding the established Traditions and the Masquerade. He may be responsible for stopping weapons at the door, a job he often requests the sheriff perform. On occasion, he may need to play host, circulating among his visitors and making sure things are going smoothly. If the prince requests that refreshments be provided, it's the keeper's job to procure them. When several Kindred want to make use of Elysium to stage some event (such as dancing lessons, a debate or even a music recital), the keeper needs to juggle the social calendar to ensure that everyone gets a turn and that the Brujah's often-noisy debates will not be trampling the Malkavian performance artist's exhibit of silence. If curious mortals peek in the windows, or a hapless mortal security guard wanders into a Kindred gathering by accident, the keeper must see about removing the intruders neatly. If an incident occurs that attracts the wrong kind of mortal attention, the keeper needs to clean it up, and he may call on any necessary resources to do so. Relying on this sort of fiat too often, however, is a good way to draw a prince's ire, and the best keepers are often those who are noticed least.

"As is the keeper, so goes Elysium," is a familiar saying around the halls of power, and it is quite true. A keeper who is continually paranoid about infiltrators runs Elysium with a grip that can approach a stranglehold, and presents gatherings that are reminiscent of a prison yard's rec time. A keeper who has a great interest in the arts may favor salon-style gatherings that welcome any with something to contribute, while one more interested with social interaction would encourage elder-supported meetings suggestive of the Algonquin Round Table.

Of all the positions in a city, this one is the most likely to change hands frequently. The position is very much a political football, kicked back and forth between prince and primogen. Furthermore, the role offers a Kindred tremendous opportunities to fail; sooner or later every keeper manages to offend somebody. A wise keeper knows when to resign; foolish ones hang in until the bitter end. If a vampire plays her cards right, she may hold the position of keeper three or four times within a few decades; talented keepers are often elevated into the role again and again.

The Sheriff

While the sheriff's job description may vary from city to city, his primary function is to be the prince's "enforcer." He generally assists with the "muscle" aspects of ruling, doing everything from hauling offenders into court to keeping order on the streets and occasionally bouncing fools from Elysium. During wartime, the sheriff is often called on to be the war-chief, leading charges and coordinating the martial side of the fight. A sheriff may select deputies to assist him, who often act fully in his authority, but such appointments usually require the prince's approval.

Far and away, the Brujah and the remaining Gangrel provide the most sheriffs, although anyone with something of a martial bent may be selected. Since part of the sheriff's duties include watching for breaches of the Masquerade, a sheriff is also required to show a little brains in addition to brawn. Straight-ahead brawlers are becoming less common; operators who are precise in their applications of force have become the norm.

Keepers of Elysium and sheriffs can be each other's best friends or worst enemies. A keeper who insists on dealing with security herself at Elysium risks stepping on the toes of the sheriff, who believes that such an action indicates to the harpies he's incompetent. A sheriff who muscles into Elysium and conclave security without asking about existing plans may alienate the keeper, depriving him of much-needed support when it comes time to press for tighter security measures (such as heat sensors). On the other hand, when the two offices work hand in hand, particularly during conclaves, they can weave a web that could hold back the sea. Keepers and sheriffs often have a great deal to say regarding the selection of the other, and it is not unknown for a particularly tightly knit pair of Kindred to hold both offices jointly.

The Scourge

Some claim the position of scource is a relic of medieval times, an older form of the sheriff, while others believe that the post was created only within the last decade (with an equally new-minted pedigree). However the scourge came to be, the office is now part of the landscape of many Camarilla cities. From Bern to Portland, scourges take their mandate to scour the borderlands and barrens of the major metropolises. Their targets are fledgling vampires created without permission, anarchs and those thin-blooded mules of the 14th and 15th Generations.

Proceedings regarding the scourge vary from city to city. Some princes grant their scourges the right of destruction to speed the process of purging along, while other princes demand that the scourge bring the night's "catch" to Elysium for judgment. This last comes in light of some recent tales of over-enthusiastic scourges attacking and killing vampires who had followed protocol and were known in the city, but happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The story currently circulating through Elysium describes a feral Gangrel scourge who encountered three Kindred in a derelict building in the barrens of Milwaukee. As he had been given full authority to destroy any Kindred he did not recognize, the scourge made quick work of the trio, who were unable to give much resistance. He brought back trophies of his work, to the consternation of the Tremere primogen, who recognized the personal effects of three recently acknowledged neonates; apparently they had gone looking for a private place to perform a ritual. The prince initially refused to disbar the scourge, but the outrage of the primogen council and the wrath of the united Tremere clan forced him to reconsider.

Not every prince makes use of the scourge – indeed, a number of princes (usually of smaller or less "prestigious" cities) see it as a dangerous and unnecessary office. The legality of the scourge is still under debate in a number of circles, particularly with regard to granting these gendarmes the right of destruction. Many sheriffs see the scourge as chipping away at their power, and as a result they can be the greatest obstacles to a prince or primogen who wishes to introduce the scourge to a city. On the other hand, some sheriffs see the scourge as taking care of a problem that occupies too much of their time when they could be dealing with an infinite number of other matters, such as Sabbat incursions or persistent hunters. A number of vampires, largely those who occupy the barrens on a regular basis and a surprising number of "salon" vampires, also see the scourge as a potential threat; a scourge gone bad or working for the enemy could be deadly, especially if the prince gives the scourge a lot of leeway in her dealings with the thin-blooded.

Scourges in general are not the most popular vampires around. Most are loners, and if they are not initially, the demands of the position soon ensure that they are. Few Kindred are comfortable around the local scourge, and even princes hold their hired exterminators at arm's length. Embittered and isolated, most scourges soon grow disdainful of Kindred company, shunning Elysiums in favor of "work." A few far-sighted Kindred (usually those who have some psychological work in their backgrounds) continually attempt to draw their local scourges into Kindred social life, fearing that without social contact scourges will become automatons, killing machines unable to tell the difference between friend or foe. Such efforts have met with mostly poor results. Some scourges scorn such "do-gooder" attempts as muddling with their thinking, while others find the forced jollity only emphasizes the gulf between them and their fellow Kindred.

The Huddled Masses

Not every Camarilla vampire holds title; far from it, in fact. The vast majority of the sect's members attend to their own business. Some do have ambitions to achieve power within the sect. These vampires pay careful attention to matters political and may spend decades or even centuries plotting their ascents to power. Others avoid the matter entirely, presenting themselves to each prince in turn, then vanishing back down into the sewers or thaumaturgical labs.

The fact of the matter is that each vampire has eternity stretching before him, and he had best find himself something to do before the crushing ennui of the ages drives him mad. Active participation in politics is an option for only some of the Kindred; there are only so many titles to go around, after all, and promotion is a slow and bloody process. That means that the Kindred need to find other interests and outlets, all the while adhering to the Traditions and preserving the Masquerade.

The most common diversion for the Kindred involves dabbling with mortals. This interaction can take many forms, from indulging in the arts (all-vampire bands are surprisingly common) to meddling with corporations. Other Kindred try to resume or assume mortal lives, living among mortals in an attempt to further their agendas or stave off boredom. Most often, though, a vampire who decides to spend his nights interfering with mortals picks a particular field or institution – one often mandated by the prince, who has no interest in seeing her subjects squabble over a particularly juicy industry – and then sets about working with his plaything. Kindred grow protective of their mortal connections, tending them with the same care and passion that a gardener expends on a prized bonsai. It is often not a matter of the vampire actually caring for the specific area he has domain over (though there are exceptions) as it is a question of possession. Such vampires often take a great deal of interest in the night-to-night concerns of their connections, diving into the details as a means of distraction. Sometimes Kindred carry on mortal crusades beyond the grave, but sooner or later those concerns fade. The form of the vendetta remains, but the motivation shifts; sooner or later, the chase is what matters more than the goal. It is not uncommon for vampires who achieve goals they've been pursuing centuries to slip into torpor shortly thereafter; there's nothing left to interest them anymore.

On the other hand, there are those Camarilla vampires who have no interest in dealing with humans. The Masquerade is a convenient excuse to avoid interacting with humanity save at feeding time. These recluses are more interested in matters vampirical: thaumaturgical research, vampiric philosophy or artistic expression, or other endeavors only possible for those with unending lifespans. Like those Kindred who throw themselves into the Masquerade, though, vampires who stick to immortal concerns have an overriding passion for what they do. In the end, what matters is not so much what each Kindred does, but rather that they do so emphatically, to keep them from drifting aimlessly into madness and eternity.

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