RO City Affiliations

Known Camarilla Cities in Riverside Opera Canon

Albany, New York

Prince: Marissa Fontaine – Toreador

Atlanta, Georgia

Prince: Piper Talbot – Daughter of Cacophony

Other Known NPCs:

Lalassu El Amelserru – Tremere

Berlin, Germany

Prince: Abraham Wolff – Malkavian

Brisbane, Australia

Prince: Unknown

Charleston, South Carolina

Prince: Lyon de Beaufain – Tremere

Charleston, West Virginia

Prince: General Shenandoah Invictus – Ventrue

Seneschal: Henrietta Sheridan – Ventrue

Chicago, Illinois

Prince: Avery H. Vaedus – Malkavian

Other Known NPCs:

Andrew Sexton – Toreador – Seneschal

Sophia Velasquez – Toreador

Crazy Uncle Lou – Malkavian

Cincinnati, Ohio

Prince: Jason Poole – Brujah

Dallas, Texas

Prince: William Harold Hunt – Ventrue

Other Known NPCs:

Frank Overwater – Brujah – Imperator

Denver, Colorado

Prince: Finley Howarth – Gangrel

Other Known NPCs:

Mariano Fantozzi – Ventrue

Fukuoka, Japan

Prince: Uknown

Gary, Indiana

Prince: Modius – Toreador

Other Known NPCs:

Sigmund – Tremere

Hartford, Connecticut

Prince: Amelia Mortenson – Nosferatu

Houston, Texas

Prince: Lucas Halton – Tremere

Istanbul, Turkey

Prince: Mustafa – Toreador

Kawasaki, Japan

Prince: Unknown

Little Rock, Arkansas

Prince: Vinnie Diamonte – Ventrue

London, England

Prince: Queen Anne – Ventrue

Other Known NPCs:

Lucretzia Ricci – Tremere Primogen

Madrid, Spain

Prince: Don Albedo – Toreador

Other Known NPCs:

Xamora – Lasombra Antitribu

Manhattan, New York

Prince: Ethan Montgomery – Ventrue

Other Known NPCs:

Agnes LaGrande – Toreador Primogen

Alekto Kirhane – Nosferatu Primogen

Melbourne, Australia

Prince: Unknown

Nagasaki, Japan

Prince: Unknown

Nashville, Tennessee

Prince: Martin Boudreaux – Ventrue

New Orleans, Louisiana  

Prince: Sabine Du Compte – Ventrue

Other known NPCs:

Frank Overwater – Brujah – Imperator

Norfolk, Virginia

Prince: Daniel Metzinger – Ventrue

Seneschal: Leila Murray – Ventrue

Osaka, Japan

Prince:  Unknown

Paris, France

Prince: François Villon – Toreador

Prague, Czech Republic

Prince: Carlak – Brujah

Other Known NPCs:

Ezra Demirci – Toreador Primogen

Provo, Utah

Prince: Unknown

Sapporo, Japan

Prince:  Unknown

Sendai, Japan

Prince: Unknown

Seattle, Washington

Prince: Abernathy Anson – Toreador

St. Louis, Missouri

Prince: Hemmet Bosk – Tremere

Other Known NPCs:

Malcolm Cobb – Brujah Primogen

Alexander Jones – Ventrue Primogen

St. Petersburg, Russia

Prince: Nikolai Dyomin – Ventrue

Other Known NPCs:

Vasilisa Romanova – Harpy – Daughter of Cacophony

Strasbourg, France

Prince: Marconius – Kiasyd

Talahasee, Florida

Prince: Alex Day – Brujah

Toronto, Canada

Prince: Isaac Prevost – Brujah

Toulouse, France

Prince: Alix Auvray – Toreador

Vienna, Austria

Prince: Larissa Mahler – Tremere

Yokahama, Japan

Prince:  Unknown


Known IA Cities in Riverside Opera Canon

Alamut

Sovereign: None. Held by the clan under the terms of the Independent Accords.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sovereign: Nicolette Daudt – Follower of Set

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Sovereign: Stefano David Giovanni

Beirut, Lebanon

Sovereign: Abdel Khoury – Assamite

Cairo, Egypt

Sovereign: None. Held by the clan under the terms of the Independent Accords.

Dubai, UAE

Sovereign: Khaled Nazari – Assamite

Edinburgh, Scotland

Sovereign: Tory Dunsirn – Giovanni

Haiti

Sovereign: Baron Samedi – Samedi

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sovereign: Kris Sasek – Follower of Set

Louisville, Kentucky

Sovereign: Giancarlo Giovanni – Giovanni

Montreal, Canada

Sovereign: Emma Hallé – Ravnos

Mumbai, India

Sovereign: None. Held by the clan under the terms of the Independent Accords.

Portland, Oregon

Sovereign: Vasili CousteauOld Clan Tzimisce

Santorini, Greece

Sovereign: Unknown

Sydney, Australia

Sovereign: Unknown

Tangier, Morocco

Sovereign: Unknown

Tehran, Iran

Sovereign: Unknown

Tel Aviv, Israel

Sovereign: Gabriel de Saint – Salubri

Vancouver, Canada

Sovereign: Mikhail GiovanniGiovanni

Venice, Italy

Sovereign: None. Held by the clan under the terms of the Independent Accords.

Other Known NPCs:

Orlando Highgate – Lasombra


Known Sabbat Cities in Riverside Opera Canon

  • Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Adelaide, Australia
  • Bogota, Columbia
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Caracas, Venezuela
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Hiroshima, Japan
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Kolkata, India
  • Kyoto, Japan
  • Lima, Peru
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Miami, Florida
  • Nagoya, Japan
  • New York City, New York
  • Oakland, California
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Rome, Italy
  • Saitama, Japan
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Diego, California
  • Sao Paolo, Brazil
  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Trenton, New Jersey
  • Washington D.C.

Known Anarch Cities in Riverside Opera Canon

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Perth, Australia
  • San Francisco, California

Tokyo Weirdness

  • Tokyo is a unique case in Riverside Opera.  It is a Neutral Domain (not favoring the Camarilla, the Anarchs, the Sabbat, or the Independent Alliance)
  • It is ruled over by an elderly-looking woman known as Shogun Mei, who claims to be a True Brujah.

Boston Weirdness

  • There are no Kindred in Boston, Mass. Any Kindred that goes there does not come back and is never heard from again.

Glasgow Weirdness

  • Glasgow was known to be a small Anarch held territory. As of July 2018 this domain has gone silent. Please contact the ST for more information.

Inverness Weirdness

  • Inverness, like Tokyo, is a Neutral domain (not favoring the Camarilla, the Anarchs, the Sabbat, of the Independent Alliance).
  • The highland city is ruled by a Gangrel named Una, who many assume to be a Methuselah.

 

 

The Independent Alliance

Riverside Opera Lore: The Independent Alliance

What is the Independent Alliance?

Any exploration of the Independent Alliance must begin with the Accords.

The Independent Accords

In recent nights, the Camarilla and Sabbat have begun an era of aggressive expansion unlike any other in more than a century.  What began with the overthrow of the Roman in Memphis escalated into displaced Sabbat members attacking Chicago, Louisville, and other cities, which begat the Imperium, which begat more Sabbat incursions.  The problem hasn’t been isolated to the New World, either.  In Europe, the Sabbat, fearful of the growing boldness of the Camarilla and desperate to grab as much territory as possible, began assailing Independent cities, including Bucharest, Kolkata, and Tehran. After all, the Sabbat leadership reasoned, they are occupied by independents, who have no sect to support and defend them, so there is little risk of retribution from outside forces.

To confront and halt this assault, the Giovanni invited the embattled Assamites, the angry Followers of Set, and the frightened Ravnos to Venice to negotiate an accord.  In addition to large delegations of those clans, the Italians invited other vulnerable parties to Sabbat incursion—yet only their estranged cousins in the Samedi, the autarkis Tzimisce, and the Salubri made an appearance at the conclave.  After months of bargaining, negotiation, and intrigue, the representatives from the gathered clans and bloodlines signed the Independent Accords.

Thus, the Independent Alliance was born.

Where the Sabbat consider themselves to be the Sword of Caine, fighting against the monstrous Antediluvians and the Camarilla considers themselves to be polite vampiric society and the Antediluvians to be little more than myth, the Alliance consider themselves to be the protectors of the old ways and hold their progenitors in high esteem.  Some Assamites and Setites are even positively fanatical about the worship of their respective Antediluvians.

In fact, during the conclave to align the sect, many of the sticking points on such an alliance came down to religion.  Each member clan and bloodline has dogma pertaining to the mysteries of the universe, and each has a rich heritage and cultural history that is uniquely their own.  Finding common space in which all of them may exist was a challenge, but it became less so when, near the end of the talks, the most vehement critics of Article VI, the Assamite contingent who were a part of the Web of Knives, abruptly left the conclave and another representative from the Clan stepped forward in their place.

More than anything else, the Alliance is a sect where belief, the old ways, and the study of history and mythology are accepted and embraced.  It is where those who do not wish to remain a part of the never ending conflict between the Camarilla and the Sabbat might find safe harbor.  Even members of the Camarilla pillar clans may renounce their previous sect and pledge their allegiance to the Alliance, though it comes with the drawback of being a Probationary Sect Member.

The Independent Alliance is a sect built on honor, loyalty, and respect.  Even the member bloodlines, which are often not provided the same rights and privileges in court as full clans, are considered to be full members of the Alliance and are afforded the same protections.

Perspectives on Other Clans and Sects

Though they claim to be independent, the Alliance does have some bias toward some clans and sects over others.  Generally, they have an enormous distaste for and need to keep a healthy political distance from the Camarilla, but they loathe the Sabbat.  While the Camarilla wears blinders to the truths of the Antediluvians, the Sabbat actively seek to destroy them, and that is heretical to a degree that no clan in the Alliance can abide.

While they don’t actively seek to convert members of any sect, the Alliance is sometimes open to the petitions of like-minded Kindred from the Camarilla or Anarch movement who renounce their Status and obligations to their home sect.

Positions and Prestige

Instead of Status, the Independent Alliance use a system of societal structure based upon Prestige.  Roughly speaking, Prestige is a measure of the trustworthiness and honor of an individual Kindred.  Kindred in an Alliance domain who have no Prestige are considered to be entirely untrustworthy and are not allowed to speak in open court or petition the Sovereign without the sponsorship of an Emissary.

Prestige can be granted or removed by a number of positions within the domain (outlined below), but one theme is constant throughout the Alliance: Prestige should only be awarded for service to the domain or the whole Independent Alliance, and it should only be removed when someone engages in conduct detrimental to the domain or sect.  Prestige is not a popularity contest like Camarilla Status, is not as arbitrary and weak like Sabbat Status, and is not as fleeting and meaningless as Anarch Reputation.  It is difficult to earn the respect and trust of elders, and Prestige should reflect that fact.

Prestige may be loaned just like Status, though ill-advised or poorly thought out gifts of temporary Prestige may draw the ire of the Chamberlain (see below).

As such, players in Riverside Opera may only by the Status Perk once if they are a member of the Independent Alliance.

Independent Alliance cities are not unlike cities held by the Camarilla, the Sabbat, and the Anarch Movement insofar as the eldest or most powerful Kindred claims Domain.  The similarities do not end there, but the way the Independents view the details of those posts may be slightly different.

The city structure of an Independent Alliance city isn’t laid out in the Accords, though it ultimately derives from the Traditions of Caine and the exigencies of managing a modern domain. Cainites of Old Clan Tzimisce, due to their considerable expertise in holding Domains for centuries or longer, played a crucial role in establishing these structures as traditions (lower case) within the Alliance. The Magistrate was a concession to Articles III and IV of the Accords by these superannuated vampires; while they would have preferred Sovereigns to have absolute power, the Giovanni, Ravnos, and Assamites—due to their past troubles in Camarilla cities—insisted that issues that cut across member clans be addressed by a neutral third party, not some Prince analogue.

SOVEREIGN

The Sovereign is analogous to a Camarilla Prince, Anarch Baron, or Sabbat Archbishop.  They are the Kindred who is eldest or most powerful in a domain, and their word is law within the confines of the Independent Accords.  The Sovereign must:

  • Hold a regular court to address grievances and handle city matters, including Prestige;
  • Uphold and defend the Traditions;
  • Maintain an Emissary from each other member clan;
  • Allow member Bloodlines the opportunity to act as Emissary for their bloodline;
  • Obey, follow, and defend all Articles of the Independent Accords;
  • Maintain, at their individual discretion, a Chamberlain, Enforcer, and/or Steward; and
  • Recognize and defend all members of the Independent Alliance in good standing who introduce themselves within the Sovereign’s domain.

The Sovereign gains:

  • Three additional Prestige traits: Acclaimed, Eminent, and Empowered;
  • A special Prestige trait, Sovereign, which functions identically to the Prince Status Trait from the Camarilla;
  • The ability to strip Prestige from or grant Prestige to any Kindred Recognized in their domain by expending one temporary Prestige, which must be done formally at court;
  • The authority to freely recognize Kindred within their domain in open court, granting them the Recognized Prestige trait;
  • The right to levy the Lextalionis (an antiquated term for the Blood Hunt) upon violators of the Traditions by expending four temporary Prestige traits in open court—one of which must be loaned by the Emissary of the offender, if one so exists within the domain—thus removing all Prestige possessed by the target and removing their protection under the Independent Accords;
  • All powers of the Chamberlain, Enforcer, or Steward when those positions are vacant;
  • The power to reverse any decision levied by their Chamberlain, Enforcer, or Steward at the cost of one temporary Prestige; and
  • The power to make public pronouncements and decrees in open court.

STEWARD

The Steward is analogous to a Camarilla Seneschal, though the Steward has more responsibilities than their counterpart in the Ivory Tower.  In addition to being the Sovereign’s chief adviser and right hand, the Steward also serves as the primary point of contact for all emissaries within the Sovereign’s domain.  The Steward must:

  • Hold court in place of the Sovereign in their absence;
  • Act as ambassador between the city and emissaries from other member clans and bloodlines;
  • Maintain amicable relationships between each clan and bloodline within the city;
  • Obey, follow, and defend all Articles of the Independent Accords; and
  • Bring all matters concerning breaches of the Traditions or transgressions against member clans and bloodlines to the Sovereign immediately.

The Steward gains:

  • Two additional Prestige Traits: Honorable and Venerated;
  • The powers of the Sovereign in their absence;
  • The authority to sanctify and enforce boons between individual members of the Alliance and the domain as a whole so long as the Emissary of that individual agrees; and
  • The ability to spend one temporary Prestige to remove one permanent Prestige from anyone who refuses to repay a debt owed to the Sovereign or domain.

EMISSARY

The Emissary’s closest analogue in Camarilla society is a Primogen, but an Emissary is so much more than just the eldest of a clan in a city.  Emissaries are their clan’s ambassadors, monitors, executioners, and chief negotiators in a given domain.  They advise the Sovereign and lobby in the interest of their clans in the domain at large, negotiating inner- and intra-clan business.

Emissaries are the one position defined in the Accords, and as such, they are the most vital to the stability and success of the Independent Alliance as a whole.  Each member clan is expected to field an Emissary in every city within the Alliance outside of Alamut, Egypt, Mumbai, and Venice.  Just as each member clan and bloodline is different, so are the titles sometimes taken by emissaries in various domains.  Assamite emissaries are often known as Pasha (which is an honorific that replaces any surnames the Emissary might have had); Setite emissaries are sometimes referred to as Heirophants; the Giovanni call their emissaries Consiglieres; and while the Ravnos do not often use titles other than Emissary, it is not unheard of for one of them to claim one of many different titles from Seer to Maharaj.

Unlike their Camarilla counterparts, emissaries are not empowered to eject anyone from their clan or bloodline.  According to the Alliance, no Kindred may revoke the blood rights of any other Kindred—after all, one can no more stop being of their clan than they can stop being a child of Caine.  However, they are allowed to (and sometimes do) adopt Caitiff or cast-off former Camarilla members or Anarchs into their clans or bloodlines—though the system by which those Kindred earn the right to join is left to the individual Emissary.

Each Emissary, regardless of clan or bloodline must:

  • Advise the Sovereign and/or Steward in matters of the domain;
  • Maintain proper discipline and control of their clan or bloodline;
  • Act as ambassador between the city and the leadership of their clan or bloodline;
  • Report notable activities within the domain to their parent clan or bloodline;
  • Serve as judge when members of their blood have made transgressions against the court; and
  • Ensure proper recompense when one of their blood is substantively harmed by another member of the court.

Emissaries gain:

  • Two additional Prestige Traits: Beloved and Trusted;
  • The ability to expend one temporary Prestige to grant one permanent Prestige or strip one permanent Prestige from a member of their clan or bloodline;
  • The power to adopt Kindred into their clan be expending three temporary Prestige and making a formal pronouncement at court;
  • The discretion to dole out clan or bloodline resources as they see fit;
  • The ability to formally petition the other emissaries for aid in open court;
  • The right to grant another Emissary a permanent Prestige by expending temporary Prestige equal to the recipient’s permanent Prestige;
  • The right to remove one permanent Prestige from another Emissary by expending a number of temporary Prestige equal to the target’s permanent Prestige;
  • The power to reverse the decision of a Sovereign by expending one temporary Prestige, so long as emissaries from the Assamites, the Setites, the Giovanni, and the Ravnos all voice their open support for the reversal in open court;
  • The ability to remove or grant a permanent Prestige to the Sovereign by expending temporary Prestige equal to the sovereign’s permanent Prestige so long as emissaries from the Assamites, the Setites, the Giovanni, and the Ravnos all contribute at least one Prestige to the effort; and
  • The power to appoint Scribes, who act as their eyes, ears, and voices during their absence.

CHAMBERLAIN

Where in Camarilla society, the keeper of boons and social decorum has significant checks on the powers of the Prince and is empowered by the Primogen, in the Alliance, the Chamberlain does not have nearly as much broad or sweeping power.  The Chamberlain’s job is more akin to banker or accountant than their Camarilla counterparts, and as such, their power is distinctly limited in comparison.  Further, the emissaries do not traditionally loan the Chamberlain status.  The Chamberlain is still expected, however, to maintain proper etiquette in the use of Prestige and prestation, and they have a terrifying amount of power to do so.  The social order must be maintained, and the Chamberlain is the one saddled with the duty of protecting it.

The Chamberlain must:

  • Procure and maintain at least one permanent Elysium in the domain, including the determination and declaration of the boundaries thereof;
  • Sanctify all boons between individuals and transcribe them in an official record in the domain;
  • Monitor the use of Prestige in the domain to ensure that all Alliance laws are being observed;
  • Ensure that boons are being repaid rather than filling up the ledger on both sides;
  • Maintain fairness between parties when negotiating boons;
  • Recommend a fair price for a boon if there is a disagreement on the value of said boon; and
  • Enforce punishment on those who misuse Prestige or refuse to repay a boon.

The Chamberlain gains:

  • The additional Prestige Trait: Just;
  • The ability to sanctify any boon or written agreement between individuals as an official record of the domain;
  • The power to, at no cost, grant the Negative Prestige “Boon Breaker” to any individual who refuses to pay, denies the validity of, violates the terms of, or otherwise attempts to renege on an officially recorded boon or agreement, so long as sufficient evidence is brought before the court (those who have the Boon Breaker trait may not petition the Chamberlain or Steward to sanctify boons);
  • The discretion to remove the Negative Prestige “Boon Breaker” at no cost in open court;
  • The power to, at no cost, grant the Negative Prestige “Capricious” to any individual whose use of Prestige violates the Accords or oversteps the bounds outlined by their position—provided a majority of the recognized emissaries in the domain proclaim, in open court, that they agree with the interpretation of misuse;
  • The discretion to, at no cost, remove the Negative Prestige “Capricious,” provided that a majority of the recognized emissaries in the domain proclaim, in open court, that they agree that proper penance has been paid for the original transgression; and
  • The right to expend a temporary Prestige to strip a permanent one from someone who ignores a just use of Prestige.

ENFORCER

The Enforcer is the representative of the Sovereign’s law in the domain.  Unlike the Sheriff in a Camarilla city, enforcers in the Alliance must also maintain peace on Elysium grounds in addition to providing protection for the denizens of the domain.

The Enforcer must:

  • Provide adequate protection for the Sovereign, Steward, Emissaries, and Chamberlain;
  • Protect the laws of the Sovereign and the articles of the Accords;
  • Dispense punishments as levied by the Sovereign;
  • Ensure the security of the Kindred within the domain from incursions from the Camarilla, Sabbat, or other malevolent parties; and
  • Detain suspected violators of the Traditions, Accords, or Sovereign law and deliver them to the Sovereign for judgment.

The Enforcer gains:

  • The additional Prestige Trait: Feared;
  • The right to harass or detain any Kindred within the domain who has not been Recognized by the Sovereign;
  • The power to take any Kindred into custody, so long as the Enforcer possesses a written order from the Sovereign or is a personal witness to that Kindred violating one of the Traditions; and
  • The ability to expend one temporary Prestige during open court to strip one permanent Prestige from any Kindred against which the Enforcer has conclusive evidence of a violation of the Traditions or the Accords.

MAGISTRATE

The last position in the Independent Alliance is one of the least often used, but it is also one of the most important.  A Magistrate is only appointed when there is a matter of guilt or innocence that cannot be agreed upon or where punishment cannot be agreed upon by the Sovereign and the accused’s respective Emissary.

The Sovereign or any Emissary may call for a Magistrate to be appointed in any matter of wrongdoing by expending one temporary Prestige and openly stating their grievances in open court.  After a Magistrate is called for, they are selected from among the Kindred in the city who have the most temporary Prestige.  Generally, Kindred take turns openly pledging their Prestige to members of the court they find worthy of the position (though after having Prestige pledged, an unwilling candidate may then simply pledge all of their loaned Prestige to another candidate).  Neither the Kindred who called for the Magistrate, the accused, the Sovereign, nor the Emissary of the same clan or bloodline of the accused may be selected to be the Magistrate, though those parties may loan their personal Prestige to another candidate if they so choose (as can any Kindred who is Recognized in the domain), before Prestige is counted.

Though the counting of Prestige may be delayed until a later time, the Magistrate must be selected in open court, after which point the trial begins immediately and is held in its entirety during the court in which they are selected.  Individual Magistrates may hold their trials differently, but it is commonly accepted that both sides, the accuser and the accused, have an opportunity to present arguments and evidence before a verdict is rendered.

Before the trial begins but after the Magistrate is appointed, the accused may call for a Trial by Combat rather than a traditional hearing.  The rules for a trial by combat are:

  1. The accused always challenges the accuser when a Trial by Combat is called for—if there is no definitive accuser or if there is no single accuser, the Sovereign is considered to be the accuser for these purposes;
  2. The Magistrate must define the arena of the Trial and may decide any special rules for the Trial before champions are declared;
  3. Both parties may select a champion to represent them in combat;
  4. Combats are never to be to the Final Death;
  5. Combatants who “accidentally” deliver the Final Death upon their opponents are immediately subject to the Final Death themselves;
  6. The victory condition for all Trials by Combat consist of one party surrendering or being rendered incapacitated;
  7. Victorious champions are automatically granted the permanent Prestige trait: Selfless (those who fight for their own cause do not receive Prestige);
  8. The loser of the combat and their champion (if there is one) both immediately lose a permanent Prestige; and
  9. The winner of the combat (and not their champion) determines the verdict, which then should be viewed as infallibly true by the whole of the Independent Alliance.

Once a verdict has been declared and the punishment has been decided, the Magistrate is forced to step down from their post.

Once appointed, the Magistrate must:

  • Uphold the Traditions, the Accords, and the laws of the domain (in that order);
  • Only hear and consider testimony and evidence brought forth during the trial;
  • Determine guilt and proper punishment if guilt is found; and
  • Act as referee for any Trial by Combat, if one is so demanded (see below).

The Magistrate gains:

  • The additional Prestige Trait: Infallible;
  • The power to strip temporary Prestige from any Kindred who speaks out of turn during the proceedings by expending one temporary Prestige;
  • The authority to levy any punishment they deem appropriate as a punishment for a crime, up to and including the Final Death;
  • The right to call for any Kindred present to testify or bear witness; and
  • The power to expend a temporary Prestige to force any reluctant Kindred so called to testify—if the Kindred still refuses to bear truthful testimony, the Magistrate may strip one permanent Prestige from that witness (this power may only be used on an individual witness once).

Domains

See this page for a list of all canonized city affiliations in Riverside Opera.

The Traditions of Caine

The Traditions of Caine

Allegedly set forth by the supposed progenitor of all Kindred, the Traditions of Caine are the basic laws of Camarilla society. These laws tend to be the default because, if nothing else, they’re simple rules that aid vampires in surviving in world of numerous armed kine. Even among the Sabbat and Inconnu, the Traditions hold some sway, but nowhere are they more powerful than within the Camarilla. The Justicars and Archons expect all Princes to enforce them, and every Prince has a strong motivation to do so, as they serve as the bedrock of her power.

That said, cunning or arrogant vampires will sometimes bend or break the Traditions in their quest for power. It is a dangerous game, however, as the Traditions largely have but one punishment—Final Death.

The First Tradition: The Masquerade

“Thou shalt not reveal thy true nature to those not of the Blood. Doing so shall renounce thy claims of Blood.”

Common sense dictates that Kindred not reveal their existence to the kine. Humans vastly outnumber vampires and, by virtue of their ability to act during the day, could easily snuff out the whole species if they became aware of their existence. The Masquerade can be broken in a number of ways, ranging from telling mortal friends and family about what you are to using obviously supernatural powers in the presence of kine who survive to tell others.

A strict reading of the Tradition would seem to deny the ability to keep Blood Bound or ghoul retainers, but typically the Masquerade is only deemed broken if the kine in question aren’t fully under the control of their master. So, you can tell your mortal friends how great it is that you’re a vampire, so long as they’re your ghouls, Blood Bound, or Dominated into submission. While cold-blooded murder is certainly an option, most Camarilla Kindred, being proponents of Humanity, prefer subtle approaches using Disciplines, the Blood Bond, base blackmail, or threats.

The penalty for breaching the Masquerade is singular and severe: Final Death. The risk of Kindred becoming known to humanity is simply too great to permit a lesser punishment. Most Princes are willing to accede to lesser penalties if you take pains to repair the breach, however, even if you’re not wholly successful.

The Second Tradition: Domain

“Thy domain is thy concern. All others owe thee respect while in it. None may challenge thy word in thy domain.”

No Tradition causes more battles in the Jyhad, confusion among neonates, and punishment of childer than the Tradition of Domain. In short, it means that any territory you declare as your own and that is known to belong to you is yours to control as you see fit—but you must defend it and maintain it. Those within your domain owe you the respect to follow your dictates.

The problem, naturally, arises in how one defines “domain” in the first place. In the Camarilla, the most common interpretation is that the Tradition by default applies only to the Prince: it serves as the basis of her power, allowing her to rule by dictate and squash dissent at will. A Prince’s domain is the city that she rules. Most Princes permit the delegation of domains within a city, so long as their masters ultimately follow her laws. In a typical Camarilla city, the Primogen of a clan considers the clan his domain. Each city official considers her sphere of responsibility her domain, and every Kindred can claim his haven, his property (including ghouls and his own person), and any hunting grounds to be his domain. So long as their dictates don’t conflict with that of the Prince and the Traditions, they can do as they see fit.

Unsurprisingly, it’s violations of domain that drive the Jyhad. A Nosferatu might poach a Toreador’s ghoul, violating her domain—perhaps even with the permission of the Prince. A particularly territorial Brjuah may feel that her domain was violated by a Gangrel simply passing through it without asking permission first. The Tremere often consider all of Thaumaturgy part of their domain and take considerable offense at others possessing it. Violating any edict of a Prince, or any Tradition, is always viewed as a violation of the Prince’s domain—but merely telling the Prince how to do his job could be viewed as a violation of his domain as well.

As the Traditions specify no punishment for the violation of domain, the best most Kindred can do is stew—and plot their revenge. Only the most piteous (or foolish) Kindred petition the Prince openly for resolutions of such disputes, since most Princes view coming to them about an issue of domain as an implicit statement that you can’t hold it and are therefore unworthy of it. As “thy domain is thy concern,” if you can’t defend your domain, you don’t deserve to have it, or so Kindred believe. City officials are much better suited to hold their own domain, as they can employ their power to cause considerable harm to those they feel are disrespecting it. Princes, of course, can simply exile or destroy those who offend them.

((ST’s Note: Many of you have heard during Riverside Opera that the Primogen of the various sections of Memphis have Domain in those areas, which is true. Having Domain does not, however, give them the right of Destruction (see below), nor does it take away the Prince’s right of Domain over the entire city.))

The Third Tradition: Progeny

“Thou shalt sire another one with permission of thine elder. If thou createst another without thine elder’s leave, both thou and thy progeny shall be slain.”

It’s common sense that the number of Kindred in a city must be kept relatively low, lest the kine get suspicious about missing people, fang marks, and other signs of vampiric activity. The Tradition of the Progeny enforces this rule by requiring that your “elder” authorize the Embrace.

Within the Camarilla, the “elder” is commonly understood to mean the Prince of the city. Petitioning the Prince for the right to progeny is often a time-consuming, complex, and costly (in terms of Boons) process; many Kindred want the companionship or services of a childe, so the demand always outstrips the supply. Many Princes require at least a Blood Boon for the privilege, and some demand a Boon merely for considering the petition at all. Some Princes require detailed information about the prospective childe so they can decide on his suitability for the undead lifestyle, and most require whoever the head of your clan is within the city to provide their blessing as well (and this too will likely cost a Boon). Princes rarely, if ever, grant the right to progeny to Kindred of high generations, particularly the 12th and 13th generations, for fear of the blood of Caine growing too thin.

The punishment for violations of the Tradition of Progeny is Final Death for both you and your childe. Princes nearly always hold to this, since control of the right to progeny is a significant advantage (if nothing else because it keeps their enemies from raising a Masquerade-breaching army). The tradition itself doesn’t prevent some Kindred from siring childer without permission, though. Gangrel, Brujah, and Caitiff passing through a city are all known to Embrace childer, then leave them to their own devices. In most cases, Princes destroy such unfortunates before they can break the Traditions—both to enforce the Tradition of the Progeny and also on the basis that an untrained childer has already broken some Traditions—but some Princes show mercy, particularly if a Primogen is willing to take custody of the childe and adopt them into her clan.

The Fourth Tradition: The Accounting

“Those thou create are thine own childer. Until thy progeny shall be released, thou shalt command them in all things. Their sins are thine to endure.”

Once you sire another vampire, you’re expected to teach them the ways of the Blood. The Tradition of the Accounting seeks to ensure the practice by holding the sire responsible for all of their unreleased childer’s mistakes. Some Princes are more lenient—or, some would say, more bastardly—by applying the punishment only to the sire, leaving the childe unscathed. These Princes claim the punishment of the sire serves as an object lesson to a wayward childe, while their subjects often complain that it simply gives sires a reason to abuse their childer and childer a convenient means to lash out at their sires.

The exhortation that the sire “command them in all things” is typically interpreted as the right for the sire to treat their childe however they wish, up to but not including outright destruction. The childe is considered part of the sire’s domain, and her edicts are law.

Unsurprisingly, different clans approach childer differently. Brujah, Gangrel, and Toreador are notoriously lenient, often treating their childer more as protégés than property. Gangrel in particular often leave their childer to their own devices to study their behavior and provide corrections from afar as necessary. Conversely, Nosferatu, Tremere, and Ventrue are quite restrictive, delivering punishment in far greater measure than praise and keeping their childer on a very short leash (rarely literally, except sometimes by Nosferatu). Malkavians are notoriously capricious and imaginative with their treatment of childer, claiming this aids in their “enlightenment.”

Because a childe has no true rights, save protection from destruction and any other rights a Prince might grant, the wise childe stays quiet and keeps his head down while learning the ways of the Camarilla. Kindred have many effective means of controlling their childer; the Blood Bond is the most obvious, since every childe begins at least one step bound to their sire, but others include physical and mental abuse, staking, provoking them to frenzy, and abusing their friends among the kine. In extreme cases, Princes are often willing to permit the destruction of a childe at a very minor cost.

The release of a childe is also the responsibility of the sire, who must decide the point at which he’s ready to join Kindred society—or, conversely, is such a burden and annoyance that the sire would rather just be rid of him. Typically, the childe is presented to the Prince and the Primogen of the clan, who accept the release and acknowledge the newly minted neonate. The release is typically performed at court, before the entire city. It’s a significant social faux pas to keep a childe for more than a decade (or, in America, a year or two), and it’s a great insult to the sire for a Prince or Primogen to refuse to acknowledge the childe.

The Fifth Tradition: Hospitality

“Honor one another’s domain. When thou comest to a foreign city, thou shalt present thyself to the one that ruleth there. Without the word of acceptance, thou art nothing.”

Princes have a vested interest in knowing who the Kindred in their city are. As such, all Kindred entering a city are required to formally present themselves to the Prince, usually at court, and state their business. The Prince then provides his acknowledgement (and the Acknowledged status trait) or demands the vampire leave the city immediately. A vampire without this acknowledgement is “nothing”—he has no rights, no status, and no protection of the Prince. Most Princes have a standing edict that any Kindred will be rewarded for bringing unacknowledged vampires to them for punishment.

In particularly large or unstable cities, a Prince may even appoint a Scourge whose role is to hunt down and drag to court those who break Hospitality. The Scourge is still a rare position, however, since few Kindred have a taste for such things and most Kindred—even independents and elders –follow at least the Tradition of Hospitality.

While it only technically applies to cities, the Tradition of Hospitality is often extended to include other domains. It’s simply good sense to notify the holder of a domain when you choose to operate within or even pass through it, as Kindred are notoriously territorial. Failing to notify the master of a domain of your presence is at the very least an insult and will almost assuredly result in significant interference in your plans. Most Kindred require no payment for merely living in their domain (depending, of course, on its size), but very few will allow the building or exploitation of influences there without proper Prestation.

Violations of a Prince’s Hospitality are usually punished with a brutal interrogation and beating as well as negative status, but rarely will a Prince destroy those who hide from his gaze (unless he suspects other wrongdoing). Being dumped outside a city nude, penniless, and with broken limbs just before sunrise is the more likely consequence if the Prince is particularly offended by your presence, or should you refuse to depart peacefully when refused acknowledgement. Violating another’s Hospitality has no guaranteed consequence save attracting their ire and provoking retribution.

The Sixth Tradition: Destruction

“Thou art forbidden to destroy another of thy kind. The right of destruction belongeth only to thine elder. Only the eldest among thee shall call the blood hunt.”

Originally, the Tradition of Destruction was understood to allow sires to destroy their progeny, and to allow the Antediluvians and Methuselahs of a clan the right to order their clans to hunt down and destroy traitors. Since the Convention of Thorns, however, the Camarilla understands the “elder” and “eldest” in the Tradition as the Prince of a city. Only the Prince can authorize the destruction of another Kindred, and only the Prince can call for a blood hunt—the direst punishment that can be levied upon a member of the Camarilla.

The blood hunt, or lextalionis, is an ancient tradition that predates both the Camarilla and the Sabbat. No matter the name or who practices it, the process is the same: a powerful Kindred formally demands the destruction of a target, often offering considerable rewards to those who can prove they performed the deed.

In the Camarilla, all Kindred of a city are bound by honor to participate in the hunt. Even the squeamish rarely refuse, as the blood hunt is typically only called upon true villains who have both breached the Traditions and have few, if any, friends in the city. If nothing else, the offer of a boon from the city is usually sufficient enticement. A rare few Princes even offer those who catch the target the right to diablerie, though many Princes simply look the other way if diablerie is “accidentally” committed in the course of a hunt.

Violations of the Tradition of Destruction are normally repaid in kind. Princes hold nothing so dearly as their right to destruction, and their reactions to those who attempt to undermine are universally harsh. Merely attempting or plotting to destroy another Kindred can raise the ire of a Prince and provoke punishments ranging from public chastisement (and loss of status) to the removal of limbs.

Some Princes are willing to retroactively authorize the destruction of another Kindred, however, in return for proper Prestation or if they simply didn’t like the vampire in question. Many modern and younger Princes will overlook a violation of the Tradition of Destruction if it happens in self-defense; those Kindred who hail from America in particular are fond of this exception, as they feel it leads to a more “polite” society. European Princes simply tsk and shake their heads, but even they know it’s often best to ignore a violation when the entire city was clamoring for some vampire’s demise.

Of course, nothing in the Tradition of Destruction prohibits more creative punishments for those who vex you. While a Prince, Primogen, or Harpy can certainly employ their sense of propriety and fair play to reduce that status of those who, for example, stake members of other clans and bury them in unmarked graves in the countryside, the Tradition of Destruction doesn’t prevent such acts. It does, however, cover acts that are guaranteed to result in Final Death, such as putting a staked vampire in a building and burning it down, or leaving a staked vampire out in a field to greet the sun.

Caine: the Father of Fangs

Caine: the Father of fangs

The following is a brief recounting of the story of Caine as published by White Wolf.  It is paraphrased from source material found within various Vampire: the Masquerade supplements, and it is not meant to be an original creation in any way. 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. You know the story—let there be light, and all. Adam and Eve, then a whole shitload of begats. But before the begat, back when there was just the one family, the stories say, there were two brothers.

One, a farmer named Caine, prepared a sacrifice to God of his finest fruits and vegetables. His brother Abel also prepared a sacrifice of the finest animals he had raised while tending flock. God looked down on the sacrifices, and He was pleased with Abel’s offering, and chided Caine on his lesser alms. Some stories say what happened next was done in great anger or jealousy or even sadness, depending on the interpretation. Whether it was to earn God’s favor or to spite Him, Caine seized his brother, cast him on the altar and spilled his blood—it was the finest offering he could give. To punish Caine for the murder of such a pure soul, God cast him out into the Land of Nod.

As he wandered the darkness of Nod, he was visited by an angel, a servant of God. The angel asked, “Caine, please repent! For God, your Father, will forgive you!”

Caine rejected Him, and the angel cursed Caine to forever walk in darkness.

A second angel came to Caine. The angel begged Caine: “Repent, brother! You do not have to remain outcast and a wanderer of darkness! Just ask for forgiveness, and Eden shall be yours again!”

Again, Caine rejected Him. This time, he was cursed to live forever so that one day he might repent.

A third angel then came to Caine. This time, the angel said nothing, and Caine only shook his head. This time, he was cursed with the Beast within, who constantly thirsted for the blood of man. When the final angel departed, Caine awakened, becoming the first vampire.

Lastly, a fourth angel, who loved Caine truest of all (who some call Lilith) gave him one tiny blessing, one hope for redemption: Golconda. Whether he wanted it or not, there remained a path to the light.

Caine soon discovered that he had powerful abilities at his disposal as a result of the Beast. Celerity, Potence, Fortitude, Obfuscate, Dominate, Presence, Protean, Animalism, Auspex, and (eventually) Thaumaturgy were all his to use.

Despite his newfound abilities, Caine wandered the Land of Nod in loneliness. The memory of his sin and the loss of his brother drowned him in sorrow. Finally, after many ages, he found his way to the realm of men again. Some of them sensed his power and worshipped Caine as a god. Others vilified him and let him not linger on their doorsteps. Finally, he settled down in a settlement known as Enoch, the First City.

There in the first city, Caine made three childer: Enoch the Wise, Irad the Strong, and Zillah the beautiful. Though he loved his childer and they loved him, Caine decreed that no more Together, the four of them ruled over Enoch for centuries, and under their rule, Enoch was transformed into a vast empire.

Eventually, though he had grown rich and powerful atop his ivory throne in his palace, Caine grew weary of the world and went to seek out the promises of Lilith and Golconda. And for a time, the First City prospered without him. Growing lonely in their own right, the Second Generation of vampires Embraced childer of their own—13 of them, who were in turn forbidden from siring progeny. Unfortunately, they did not listen.

God looked down upon this city of vampires and it angered him. With His divine fury, he called forth the Deluge, the great flood, and washed the earth clean, killing all but the Second and Third Generations and all the humans that were not upon the Ark.

Wracked with despair, Caine disappeared. His surviving childer and grand-childer sought him out, and when they found him, him told them to go away. Left to fend for themselves and jealous of the favor of the Second Generation, the Third Generation rose up, killed Enoch, Irad, and Zillah, and founded the Second City. When Caine learned of their treachery, he carried the rage of a dark god and cursed all of those involved in the murders, just as he had been cursed.

Absimiliard, who was obsessed with his own vanity, was cursed with a single blemish on his perfect skin. As time went on and he obsessed over the tiny imperfection, it spread and grew until his entire body was covered in terrible deformities. Thus, the Nosferatu were born.

Arikel, who was enamored of her lover’s beauty, was cursed to be a slave to that vanity forever more. Thus, the Toreador were born.

Ashur, who was obsessed with the nature of death, was cursed to look as though she was dead as well. Thus, the Cappadocians were born.

Dracian, who loved to trick and deceive his brethren, was cursed to roam the earth forever and be hated for his nature. Thus, Clan Ravnos was born.

Ennoia, who loved beasts as well as nature, was cursed to show her wildness on her face as she became closer to the Beast within. Thus, the Gangrel were born.

Haquim, who ferreted secrets between his brothers like a thief in the night, was cursed with skin just as dark, so as to never truly fit in. Thus, Clan Assamite was born.

Troile, who let her emotions guide her, was cursed to forever be subject to her anger and be tormented by her Beast. Thus, Clan Brujah was born.

Lucien, who loved the look of his own reflection in the bright lights of the court, was cursed to no more have the ability to be seen in mirrors and to be more susceptible to the light of the sun. Thus, Clan Lasombra was born.

Mekhet, who was obsessed with travelling the world and seeing everything there was to see, was cursed to have to sleep only in the earth of his home land. Thus, Clan Tzimisce was born.

Set, who could very nearly survive the sun and loved to experience the light, was cursed to forever reside in the dark or else face extreme harm. Thus, the Followers of Set were born.

Ventru, who was very selective about the company he kept or the things he acquired, was forever cursed to only feed upon one type of blood to survive. Thus, Clan Ventrue was born.

Malkav and Saulot, so the story goes, were favorites of Caine and had taken no part in the plot to destroy the Second Generation. Instead, an angel came down from heaven and blessed each of them in turn for their purity of heart. Malkav received great knowledge, which unfortunately alienated him from his brothers, as he could understand things that they could not. Saulot received the gift of sight, and a third eye opened on his brow where the angel kissed him. Thus, Clans Malkavian and Salubri were born.

After the loss of the Second Generation, Caine retreated from the world, ordering that no more vampires ever be created. Of course, the Third Generation did not listen, and the Jyhad was born.