[Supplements] Of Titles and Offices

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[Supplements] Of Titles and Offices

Post by Mormaethor on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:17 pm

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This be a topic regarding customs, titles, offices, protocol and etiquette in kindred society.
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Of Kindred

Post by Mormaethor on Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:54 am

Of Kindred


THE FIRST TRADITION: MASQUERADE
Do not reveal your true nature to those not of the Blood.
Doing so forfeits you your claim to the Blood.


THE SECOND TRADITION: PROGENY
Sire another at the peril of both yourself and your progeny.
If you create a childe, the weight is your own to bear.


THE THIRD TRADITION: AMARANTH
You are forbidden from devouring the heartsblood of your Kindred.
If you violate this commandment, the Beast calls to your own Blood.


Titles and Offices
Prince: The single most important and ubiquitous figure in Kindred politics, the Prince normally rules her city with nearly absolute power.

Seneschal: The Prince’s right hand, the Seneschal is responsible for many of the night-to-night details of running a government.

Herald: The Herald is the Prince’s mouthpiece. When the Prince makes a decree, the Herald’s job is to make sure that all of the city’s Kindred hear of it (assuming it’s meant for all ears…).
When the Prince convenes an unscheduled court, the Herald is responsible for alerting those who must attend.

Primogen: If a single position can be considered to be nearly as ubiquitous and representative of Kindred politics as the Prince, it is the Primogen. The Primogen (singular as well as plural) officially serve as the Prince’s advisory council on matters of policy.

Priscus: A Priscus (or Prisci in plural) is the informal “head” of a specific clan in a domain. This position is not an official one in the local governmental structure. Rather, it evolves organically as a single powerful Kindred takes responsibility for his clanmates.

Whip: Perhaps one of the strangest of Kindred positions, the Whip is as informal a position as the Priscus. She is responsible for “inspiring” her clanmates to present a united face on major issues and to make their voices heard on local issues, to make sure that the other clans take them seriously. She is both a leader and a taskmaster, a figurehead and a bully.

Harpy: Unusual in that it is both an official and unofficial position, the Harpy is, at its simplest level, a member of the “Kindred elite.” Harpies represent a who’s who of Kindred affairs, the celebrities and fad-starters. Other Kindred look to Harpies to see who’s in and who’s out, and what positions and opinions are popular this season. A well-known Harpy can sway public opinion faster with a biting comment than some Princes can with a solid decree.

Sheriff: A combination police investigator, enforcer and inquisitor, the Sheriff is responsible for enforcing the Prince’s laws and dictates, for bringing outlaws before the Prince for judgment and — at times — for carrying out sentences.

Hound: Quite simply, the Hound is the Prince’s (or Primogen’s) muscle. If the Sheriff is a policeman, the Hound is an assassin or a leg-breaker. He doesn’t investigate, he doesn’t question. His job is to punish anyone he’s told to punish.

Master of Elysium: In essence a combination master of ceremonies and groundskeeper, the Master of Elysium is responsible for maintaining a city’s Elysium, ensuring its readiness for court or other official functions, cleaning up afterward and making sure that word of specific Elysium-related events reaches those who must attend. The Master of Elysium is also responsible for enforcing the custom of nonviolence at such gatherings, and he often works hand-in-hand with the Sheriff or Hounds for such purposes. In many cities, the duties of Master of Elysium fall on the Seneschal or Herald. In particularly large cities, more than one Master of Elysium exists, perhaps even one for each declared Elysium.
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Of the Invictus

Post by Mormaethor on Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:01 am

Of the Invictus


The greater the difference in Status between two Invictus, the more formality the lower-ranking member shows. An Invictus neonate would not speak to a Prince, Primogen or Priscus unless commanded to do so.

Etiquette also gives Invictus members a way to compete and attack each other without risking anyone’s unlives. Trying to kill another member, or seizing property such as hunting turf or a business, could lead to all-out war as the disputants call in their allies. It’s much safer for everyone to maneuver an enemy into a humiliating faux pas.
Then again, sometimes one Invictus insults another by accident. Graceful manners and scripted rites of contrition let both Kindred back away from the situation without looking weak.

When two Invictus vampires meet for the first time, it is considered proper for them to be introduced by a third party who makes use of both members’ full titles, helping each to understand their comparative rankings and determine how they will comport themselves.


Titles of Esteem
Titles of esteem are the most common in the covenant - every neonate gains one the moment the Embrace takes hold.

When a vampire is Embraced but still undergoing the instruction of his sire (and not yet officially a member of Invictus society), the neonate is referred to as Master if male and Miss if female. When the neonate enters Invictus society, and for some time thereafter, the vampire is referred to as Mister if male and Madam if female. If the vampire ages well beyond the average
of the city’s vampire populace, the title of esteem changes to Alder and remains thus from then on.

If the vampire happens to be related by blood to the introducing speaker, a title to explain the relationship is appended to the name.

Sire, childe, sibling, aunt and uncle are common terms.
When speaking of a sibling or cousin, it is sometimes convenient to indicate the relative order of Embrace. Generally, sibling major is the accepted term for an elder sibling, sibling minor for a younger one.
It is exceedingly offensive to append an incorrect age discriminator onto a title of esteem. In fact, sire minor is a deeply derogatory term, suggesting that one’s sire is more a burden than an example to be followed, while childe major refers to an upstart with pretensions to superiority
over his betters.
Members of the same clan who are not close blood relatives may customarily be referred to as cousin. Once again, the rules of relative age apply, so one may refer to a cousin major or cousin minor if the distinction seems necessary.
Those who share a bloodline with the speaker but are somehow not close blood relatives are sometimes referred to as a close cousin or blooded brethren whenever it seems appropriate to reveal the nature of their relationship.


Titles of Tribute
Officially deeded to Invictus vampires who distinguish themselves in service to the covenant, titles of tribute are the rarest and most sought after of all awards.
Note that “Prince” is not a title of tribute — it is an office, held in vampire society at large. It is possible (and quite expected) for a Prince to hold one of the titles listed below.

Lord/Lady: Bestowed upon a vampire for honorable service to the Invictus, normally marking an achievement of some merit. The measure of merit differs from city to city, and has a lot to do with the power level enjoyed by the covenant in the domain, as well as the standing and relations of the Kindred in question.

Baron/Baroness: Bestowed upon a Lord or Lady vampire who has distinguished himself or herself on several occasions, with honor and valor above and beyond the call of duty. Unlike Lord/Lady, this title is never given purely based on lineage, and is considered the lowest “true” title of tribute.

Viscount: Bestowed upon a vampire who is given permanent domain within the territories of the Invictus. The vampire so titled appends the name of his domain to the title (for example, The Viscount of Soho). If the vampire loses control of the domain in question for any  reason, he remains a Viscount, but the domain is no longer acknowledged in the name. The Good precedes the Viscount’s name in introductions. No more than one vampire may hold this title for a domain at a time. Only Final Death or a declaration of the Inner Circle can free the title to be conferred upon another.

Earl: Bestowed upon a vampire who conquers a domain, adding it to the territories of the Invictus and earning the right to rule it (as determined by the Inner Circle). The vampire so titled appends the name of her domain to the title. As with a Viscount, an Earl who loses control of her domain must remove it from her title. The Honorable precedes the Earl’s name in introductions. No more than one vampire may hold this title for a domain at a time. Only Final Death or a declaration of the Inner Circle can free the title to be conferred upon another.

Marquis/Marquise: Bestowed upon a vampire who is given permanent place on the Inner Circle of a city. This is an extremely high honor, suggesting that no fault or mishap could ever diminish the influence this vampire has within the Invictus. This title is normally given to one who has clearly altered the course of history within the city to the covenant’s advantage, and
without whom (it is acknowledged), all would have been lost. The name of the city in question is appended to the title. No more than one vampire may hold this title in a city at a time. Traditionally, only Final Death or permanent exile can free the title to be conferred upon another. The Right Honorable precedes the name of a Marquis or Marquise in introduction.

Duke/Duchess: Bestowed upon a vampire who is held responsible for conquering a city and establishing a strong base of power for lasting rule by the Invictus. A Duke or Duchess is customarily given a permanent place in the Inner Circle of the city he or she has secured, as well as permanent personal rule over a domain within the city. The name of the city in question is appended to the title. No more than one Invictus vampire may traditionally hold this title in a city’s history. Even Final Death does not free the title for conferring upon another, though in modern nights this practice is relaxed somewhat if the Invictus are forced to re-conquer a city following a prolonged period of absence. Thus, a few cities hold Kindred with titles such as “the Second Duke of Glasgow.” His Grace or Her Grace precedes the name of a Duke or Duchess in introduction.

LOSING A TITLE OF TRIBUTE
Just as gaining titles of tribute should be rare and momentous for a character, losing one should
be almost unheard of. Just receiving the title in the first place tends to take accomplishments of
great note, and its conferment indicates a position of permanent adulation. Nobody should be
stripped of a tribute without having committed a truly devastating crime against the covenant.
When a vampire is stripped of tribute, a public (or at least embarrassingly witnessed) ceremony
of humiliation and punishment is often held. The Inner Circle makes an open declaration of
disappointment, officially removing the title forever after. It is not entirely unheard of for this
ceremony to end with the disgraced vampire’s exile, defection or self-destruction.


Titles of Function
Many vampires in the Invictus prefers to declare a profession, underscoring the value of their contributions to the covenant in the city and ensuring that nobody ever needs to ask that tedious question, what do you do?

None of these titles are self-declared.
Note that the titles of function that refer to offices of the city are used only to describe Invictus vampires who hold those offices.
It is possible for a vampire to hold multiple titles of function. Some titles supersede all others, but most do not. In matters of formal address, vampires with multiple titles of function are referred to by the title that most applies to the situation at hand, or the one for which they are most famous.

Advisor: An Invictus title for a member of the Primogen.

Advocate: A specialist in public relations or activism to promote the interests of the covenant.

Almoner: A vampire who makes it a profession to care for the less fortunate, either in Kindred or mortal society or both. While dedication to this task attracts genuinely charitable vampires, it can be undertaken with some cynicism as well.

Archon: The Invictus title for a Hound.

Au Pair: A specialist in elementary training for neonates: basic vampire survival and etiquette, Discipline use and Masquerade preservation skills. Au Pairs are often called upon to verify that an Invictus childe is ready to be considered a responsible member of the community and, if necessary, to “work out” any unacceptable opinions or habits the neonate has accumulated in her mortal life.

Commissioner: A vampire trained in the judicious distribution of resources. Generally, a Commissioner is called upon to administer plans that require the co-ordination of several vampires’ material goods or contacts. Deals involving a sizable transfer of resources from the
Invictus to outsider Kindred are almost always brokered by a professional Commissioner. It is also a Commissioner’s duty to ensure the stability of the covenant’s investments in a city.

Councilor: A member of the Inner Circle. This title supersedes any other title of function the vampire may possess except, of course, Prince.

Groom: A keeper of herds. This may refer to mortals or animals. Note that the function of a Groom is very different from an Almoner; a Groom is expected to keep the herd in superior condition and may be called upon to provide herds with specific qualities and training.

Interpreter: A translator and specialist in matters of subterfuge. An Interpreter must be able to interpret the motives of his subject as well as the language spoken. Many Interpreters work in conjunction with Speakers. It is worthwhile to note that Interpreter is the respectable cover a good number of dilettante vampires take on, especially since the education is easily misapplied to gambling, confidence schemes and other distasteful activities.

Judex: A professional judge and settler of disputes within the covenant. Advocates, Interpreters, Notaries and Senators are most likely to take on the position of Judex, but the Inner Circle is by no means restricted in its choice. Any fair-minded vampire with a reputation for honesty and a distinct lack of questionable associations could easily fill the role. If one takes this position, the title of Judex supersedes one’s previous title of function until the title of Judex is relinquished.

Knight: An oathsworn soldier. Distinguished from a Soldier by membership in an established Order of Knighthood with its own traditions and oaths of conduct. Orders of Knighthood replace titles of esteem with Sir or Dame, for male and female Knights, respectively. Formal address is Sir Knight or Dame Knight.

Librettist: A professional connoisseur of arts and entertainments. A Librettist may be called upon to arrange entertainment for Invictus events or to advise covenant members on the quality and authenticity of valuable works of art. A Librettist will often work in close company with a Steward, overseeing and verifying the undiluted quality of his collection.

Meister: An acknowledged expert and instructor in any field of study who oversees a Guild. The formal mode of address is simply Meister for both male and female vampires. The title of esteem is not used if this is the only title of function the vampire possesses. One may become a Meister of a single, specific subject, a number of subjects or a collection of related courses of study (for example, Meister of Medicine, Meister of Medicine and Education or Meister of Grooms). Meister is the only title of function that appends to all other titles instead of being superseded.

Minister: The Invictus title for a Herald.  Ministers are often schooled as Interpreters or Speakers before taking on this position. If one takes this position, the title of Minister supersedes one’s previous title of function until the title of Minister is relinquished.

Notary: A professional witness to declarations and recitations of oaths. A Notary may be called upon to authenticate both the content and context of any vow or oath he has borne witness to. A Notary must have a reputation for strict honesty, and will also find himself relied upon for general reportage. Many Notaries thus become the oral “journalists” of the Invictus, reporting
events of note to their compatriots in regular sessions. Some become Harpies, but many shy away from such a clearly political position, preferring to maintain the appearance of neutrality.

Player: A professional artist or performer. The term refers to creative arts as well, so a painter is still formally referred to as a Player. A good number of Invictus vampires who choose not to involve themselves in the workings of society take refuge in the solitary pursuit of the arts, allowing them to maintain respectability without requiring dedication to extroverted behavior. Players seeking the accolades of the Invictus would be well advised to befriend a recognized Librettist.

Prince: The city position of Prince.

Priscus: The city position of Priscus. This is a position conferred by right of age, and requires no training.

Reeve: An Invictus title for a Sheriff. Reeves are customarily trained as an Archon, rising to this position by dint of impeccable service after the position is vacated (or, occasionally, by demonstrating superiority to the current holder of the title).  If one takes this position, the title of
Reeve supersedes one’s previous title of function until the title of Reeve is relinquished.

Secretary: The governor of Guilds in a city. Without acknowledgement from the Secretary, a Guild may not officially exist. Each Secretary also keeps a list of the recognized Invictus professionals in a city, and can be called upon to verify one’s claim to a title of function. Because Secretaries hold the power to officially recognize or disband a Guild, they are often extremely influential. They may, after all, determine what is or is not “proper” for neonates to learn in a given domain.

Senator: A professional philosopher and advisor; may be called upon to give counsel on spiritual matters or interpret occult occurrences.

Seneschal: The city position of Seneschal. Most Invictus Seneschals are schooled as Speakers, Notaries or Stewards. If one takes this position, the title of Seneschal supersedes one’s previous title of function until the title of Seneschal is relinquished.

Soldier: A professional warrior who is not sworn to an Order of Knights. Since Soldiers are not bound by the detailed Oaths of Knighthood, many become mercenary warriors and assassins. While they may not be viewed with the same admiration, Soldiers are no less skilled than Knights, and many prefer to trade a lower reputation for relative autonomy.

Speaker: A specialist in matters of etiquette and diplomacy. Speakers can expect to be called upon to handle delicate negotiations with members of other covenants. Almost every Invictus Harpy is a Speaker.

Steward: A preserver of valuable artifacts. A Steward may also be an individual who has taken responsibility for an elder vampire in torpor, ensuring that all arrangements are made to welcome him back when he wakes, and caring for him, if necessary.

Technologist: An expert in the study and application of Disciplines, including the experimental development of new Devotions, categorization of bloodlinespecific powers and observations of other “foreign” abilities (such as Theban Sorcery or Crúac). Technologists are expected to fully understand at least one Discipline in all its varied functions, and may be called upon to identify its use or attempt to track an effect back to its origin. Naturally, Technologists must double as skilled investigators and occultists.

Whip: The city position of Whip. Ideal Whips are trained as Interpreters or Grooms. If one takes this position, the title of Whip supersedes one’s previous title of function until the title of Whip is relinquished.


Terms of Address
The manner in which one chooses to address a fellow member of the covenant is no less important than the title of the vampire in question. To that end, there are several options available in discussion: the submissive, the formal, the familiar, the intimate and the disparaging.

To refer to an individual in the submissive voice, one precedes the name with Most, an ingratiating (and complimentary) term, and the title of tribute (if there is one — the title of esteem if there is not), followed by the vampire’s name, if and only if the title of tribute is not
unique. Speech in the submissive tone is recommended for anyone who wishes to underscore his own inferiority to the vampire in question, most especially in attempts to ingratiate himself. The submissive tone speaks volumes when used in a public discussion: this tone may indicate, among other things, an oath of servitude to the individual named, a genuine admission of chaste admiration or a cowering fear. Note that making use of the submissive voice can be dangerous — if the slightest hint of sarcasm is suspected, the address becomes an insult. But, of course, some powerful members of the covenant will tolerate no other form of address from their lessers.

An address in the formal tone is a simple combination of the titles of esteem and function. If the vampire being addressed has no title of function, then his last name will suffice. If a vampire bears more than one title of function, the one that most applies to the discussion at hand is chosen. This is generally the safest and most common mode of address in the Invictus. This mode of address is entirely neutral.

To speak in the familiar voice, one combines the title of esteem and the vampire’s first name. It is respectful to use the familiar tone when speaking of close blood relatives, whereas using formal address would indicate a certain coldness in one’s family relations. One also tends to refer to one’s coterie-mates in this mode unless special circumstances apply. Using the familiar tone in reference to a distinct superior can invite a wrathful response. Of course, if it does not, then the rest of the members of the covenant will know you are being allowed to do so. This, in itself, can speak volumes about one’s social standing.

To refer to a vampire in the intimate voice, one simply states his name. Intimate references are only meant to be made to those who are (or have been) lovers. Misapplication of this mode of address can have disastrous results — or hilarious ones, depending on whether or not one is capable of weathering scandal. After all, in the halls of the Invictus, a quick throwaway reference to another vampire by her first name only will be taken as the public announcement of a romantic affair.

And, finally, if one wishes to make a disparaging reference to an Invictus vampire, one precedes the title of tribute (if there is one) with the word My, and appends the vampire’s name (if the title of tribute is not unique). The effect is one of belittlement, and thus this mode of address is appropriate in only two situations: to assert one’s superiority over the Kindred in question or to issue a challenge intended to provoke an angry response. Woe to the vampire who opts for the latter choice and fails to back her words up with power and poise.


Etiquette
Precedence: This is a simple rule. No superior must ever be made to wait for an inferior. If a party is thrown, the most prestigious attendee should be the last to arrive. Thus, it is expected that everyone responds to an invitation to verify their attendance — so that the host knows not to let the event officially begin until the most superior guest arrives.
If everyone adheres carefully to this rule, then superior Kindred will always speak before inferiors, will always be the first served in matters of gift-giving and other procedures and will always be called upon to perform, demonstrate or act before inferiors.
Breaking this order of precedence implies a direct challenge of authority, and is an acceptable lead-in to a duel of monomacy (even if it were unintentional — but not if it were directly caused by the superior).

Gifting: Among Invictus Kindred, the giving of gifts is a remarkable statement. Any gift given, whether in public or private, may imply affection, support or deference.
What is most important is that the gift demonstrates significance, effectively saying that the giftgiver believes the recipient is worthy of notice. The giving of any gift allows the recipient some small power, because she is free to refuse it. Refusal of a gift is, of course, an insult proportional to the sacrifice the gift represents. A refusal can lead to a duel, if the parties
involved are hot-headed enough, or to a long-lasting animosity, if they are not.
Many Invictus vampires give small gifts of jewelry to one another as a bonding exercise, simply
to acknowledge ties of blood or friendship (and to make sure that anybody who sees the exchange understands that the participants are on good terms with one another).
It is customary, upon settling a dispute in a manner that is to the satisfaction of both parties, to exchange a paltry gift as an indicator that all is well. Some Kindred insist that the signing of contracts is always followed by a trade of pens, while one South American Prince is known to require monomacy duelists to exchange gloves upon resolving their challenge.

Display: To accept a gift is one thing. To wear or display it is something entirely different and provides yet another subtle avenue of statement to the members of the covenant. Wearing an accepted gift in public implies a return of affection or support for the one who gave the gift: it essentially means that the recipient wishes to be associated with the giver. Not such a big deal in some cases, but when you’re talking about a vampire who’s making a bid for praxis (or one who is somehow scandalous), wearing a gift in public can provoke quite a reaction from those who notice.
Beyond gifts, the rule of display applies also to the self. Where one chooses to make appearances and how one positions oneself are equally important. Standing at the shoulder of another vampire indicates associative support again, while taking his arm is a declaration of affection. Facing another vampire without bowing the head indicates a formal indifference, while bowing the head is a display of subjugation.
Simply attending an event indicates support for the host. Thus, it is expected that all Invictus Kindred attend every official covenant event (unless they want to bring their loyalty into question). Even making an appearance within the bounds of another vampire’s domain
can be considered a declaration of association, assuming the visit is peaceful.
Displaying a weapon carries no special significance among the Invictus. However, touching the hilt of the weapon, even lightly, indicates a wish to do battle with the vampire one is facing. Invictus Kindred who are presented with such a demonstration must either rise to the challenge or respond with a submissive gesture.
Finally, displays of wealth are considered virtuous among Invictus Kindred. Ostentation can help solidify the covenant’s power base in a city, indicating a lack of fear and dangling an alluring way of unlife to the outsiders in the domain. This flaunting of material goods extends beyond human bounds, though — members of the Invictus are expected to be flush with Vitae
at any public event (demonstrating the covenant’s ample resources in more ways than one); blood is often provided in ample supply at Invictus hostings.

Respect: While it cannot be expected that members of the covenant will be able to avoid dispute with one another at all times, it is never acceptable to be openly rude or crass in reference to a compatriot in any venue.
Invictus Kindred are beholden to one another in bonds of respect — choosing to be a member of the covenant means accepting a responsibility to uphold its tenets and serving as a part of a greater whole. Every vampire who makes that choice deserves the esteem of both her peers
and her betters.
In truth, to outsiders, the respect Invictus vampires pay to one another is one of the covenant’s most appealing features. A neonate thrust alone into the cruel world of the Requiem can find surprising solace in simple politeness.
Because of this rule, disparaging or insulting statements or demonstrations always need to be veiled from observers. Within the Invictus, it is best if one can completely humiliate one’s enemies without ever failing to show common courtesy.
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