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Vampires in Public - Sects

The vampires of the world are split into 2 sects, the conclave and the way.

The Way

The way is an ideological group that prizes fanaticism and loyalty above all other traits. In most respects it is a small version of the conclave, save that it is far more efficient and well organised. Where the conclave is full of internal strife and old blood feuds the way is true to its purpose and internal dissent is normally punished by death.

The ideology of the way is very simple. According to The Way, vampires are the most advanced form of life on the planet. Therefore the vampires should take their rightful place by ruling it. Humanity should be considered nothing more than cattle, hence should be treated as such by being kept in farms. Vampires should build a power base and take control, forget hiding from your own shadow - take control of your destiny.

This ideal is generally seen as suicidal by the conclave, therefore so is stamped out where ever it arises. This in turn brings about an increasingly militant response from the followers of the way until they manage to take control of an area. Should this occur, The Way will then fight to the last to hold their outpost.

A prime example was the nazi movement in WWII, led by the way in an attempt to break the conclave's stranglehold on power, a move which eventually was defeated. Their hand can be seen in most of the large fascist movements through history and in the world today.

The Conclave

The conclave is an ancient organisation that spans the vast majority of the planet. It consists of the 5 largest bloodlines only. Other bloodlines are outside its protection and its laws. It is run as a feudal hierarchy and dates back to before the dark ages.

Every city or large territory has a prince. bBelow the prince are the elder vampires of each of the clans, followed by the other residents in order of clan ranking. A prince's fief is usually large enough to support 40 vampires before there is any risk to the secret of vampiric existence. In most instances this translates as roughly 7 of each clan although this is often not the case.

According to legend above each prince is a regional prince. If the legend is to be believed, above the regional prince is a country prince and above them is the continental princes. These horribly ancient vampires are said to form the council of 7, the rulers of the conclave.

Each of the 5 clans has an inquisitor who travels the world to assure loyalty to the conclave and its tenements. These vampires have the right to accuse and even destroy the most politically powerful of vampires if they deem it necessary.

social standing in the conclave

Social standing is very important in the conclave. There are two types of social status within the conclave - conclave status and clan status. These are combined to form a vampire’s total status.

Conclave status

Conclave status is accrued through acquisition of territory (see below) or social rank. Social rank is either awarded by the prince as a reward, but is more commonly achieved by virtue of ascending within certain clans (see individual clan descriptions in the clan section further below).

clan status

Clan status is achieved within a vampire’s clan. It has no bearing upon conclave status unless a vampire specifically acquires social rank when advancing within one’s clan.

Note that the senior vampire of each clan within a fief is usually referred to as the clan head of that area, and often directs and/or co-ordinates the activities of their clan within a given fief. The clan head also deals with internal discipline problems within the representatives of their clan within their fief.

status

A vampire’s status is between 0 and 16, and is a total of their clan status and conclave status. Status controls what actions a person may do without reprimand and also who must obey your commands (see conclave laws below).

The Prince and their fiefs

Within the fiefs of each prince the territory is divided amongst the vampires. The lord or lady of each area often has vassals, lesser lords, to rule areas for them and so on. each vampire has exclusive hunting rites in their own territory and is free to control what they can of the businesses there. however, the controller of a territory is also responsible for making sure that the myth of vampires is not threatened within his lands. Of course as a lesser lord your liege can do what they like in your territory. Anyone else caught in your area without your permission however can be taken before the prince for punishment.

Territory wars are allowable and even encouraged as long as done subtly as they weed out the weak and keep the lesser lords too busy to be a threat to their elders.

Territory

In the past the territory a marquis rules was an area roughly the size of 1 square on a 1 : 25000 OS map. However, Lancaster VIP has taken the approach of assigning sites or services instead of tracts of land (e.g. the local prison, medical centres, night-clubs, etc). Whether other conclaves take this more modern approach to apportioning territory awaits to be seen.

Every territory has both a resource rating in terms of what financial revenue its controller can draw from it and a herd rating in terms of risk free hunting. A vampire can only manage the territory of a marquis on his own. Each additional territory must be run for him by a retainer or given to a younger vampire to manage in his stead, normally for a tithe of the takings. Any other territories must be left unexploited, but the lord is still responsible for them. Untended territories give your enemies an easy route of attack by threatening the security there, or simply by invading them.

conclave law

There are very few crimes in the conclave but the punishments for them are generally very harsh. Individual fiefs may also have additional laws.

Crime Punishment
Failure to obey the direct orders of a higher socially ranked member of your own clan or a member of another clan who is at least 2 ranks above you Anything from a telling off to being declared clanless
Behaviour that threatens the myth of vampires Almost always death
Treachery against the conclave Almost always death
Diablerie of a conclave vampire Staked out for the sun
Killing a conclave vampire when not in a recognised duel Death
Hunting in another's territory without permission Fine to banishment
Having your haven in another's territory without permission Fine to banishment