Hi, everyone! The Storyteller here, with another examination of political positions within the Camarilla.
Everyone has heard of the Primogen Council. They are the leaders of the Clans (or territories), and they have a large role to fill in advising the Prince of the city and giving their Clan a voice in the decisions in the larger scheme of things. The Prince wants to start a project to gentrify a portion of the inner city? The Primogen of Clan Nosferatu might take issue, since he has a few homeless folk and gang members who live there and feed him information. At the same time, the Ventrue might lobby for a set of high-rise apartments to be built, and the Toreador might push for a new arts center.
In a lot of ways, the Primogen is the servant of the Clan. If the Clan as a whole wants that new arts center, the Primogen is essentially duty-bound to push for its creation. And if the Primogen argues *against* said arts center, despite the Clan’s wishes, he may not be the Primogen for much longer.
So, then, if the Primogen is at the whim of the Clan, how does the Primogen affect change upon the members of his Clan? How does he control them? That’s where the Whip comes in.
Traditionally, the Whip is described as the Primogen’s second in command, a Kindred who spends their time acting as the answering machine for his boss while he is in meetings. But that isn’t what a Whip ends up doing in Congress, and that isn’t what a Whip ends up doing in Kindred society, either. A Whip is probably the most important tool a Primogen has.
The function of the Whip is to “whip votes” or convince everyone in a particular Clan (or other group they might be whipping) to think a particular way. The Toreador Primogen has a deal with the Ventrue to support the apartment building instead of the arts center? It becomes the Whip’s job to go to the rest of the Clan and convince them that the arts center isn’t the way to go. That way, when the apartment building goes up, they don’t come to the Primogen’s door with pitchforks and torches.
Secondarily, the Whip is responsible for making sure that all of their Clanmates show up to court. It is difficult to have a voice in what happens when the city when your presence isn’t felt. The Prince is *far* more likely to reconsider the gentrification project if the Nosferatu Whip is successful at getting 12 grumpy Nosferatu, who never come to court otherwise, to show up at Elysium. Whips also organize Clan meetings and communicate to the rest of the Clan in the event of announcements or rulings.
While the Primogen might have the status and the power, the Whips are the ones that get things done. The Whips are the ones that the Clan tends to trust.
Does your Clan in Riverside Opera have a Whip? Don’t you think they ought to?