Camarilla Law

St#7, Saturday 31 March 2018 - 16:40:43

Camarilla Law

and Justice


Kindred law is based upon one simple idea: Within each Domain, the
Prince has final say. End of story. The end. That's it. Simple isn't it?


You can't win.



For the record Kindred justice within the Camarilla is NOT based upon
trail by jury, the use of Aura Perception, Truth of the Bone,
whatever... none of these are accepted. Status and Station wins. The
Camarilla usually does not like investigations to get to the bottom of
things. Why investigate? Better to find a scapegoat... sorry, criminal
Caitiff... and kill him for the crime. If the crime happens again, then
the Caitiff was obviously in league with someone. Mind you, if in
doubt, blame any Anarch/Autark... they have no Status and as such are
guilty of everything! All right, all right, it depends on the Prince,
but most of the time, investigations are not carried out. -- and for
very good reason. Many criminal acts can be carried out and ignored if
you remember one thing: while murder and Diablerie are terrible crimes
and while Princes and Justicars want the criminals punished, the
society must be maintained! The biggest crime in the Camarilla is to
disregard Status and station.

Example of why Camarilla law is so unfair (Based on real game play)

Picture the scene: The Tremere Primogen has been found in a room with
the recently killed corpse of the Ventrue Primogen. He claims he didnÕt
do it. The Prince summons him and the entire court (this is a bad move,
but we'll come back to that in a bit).

Prince: Right, My Lord Tremere... did you kill the Ventrue Primogen?
Tremere: My Lord... I cannot tell a lie... nope. I had nothing to do with it.
Near-By Toreador: A-HA! Your majesty, I have learned Tremere Primogen is a lying, two faced

murdering git.
Tremere: You have evidence?
Toreador: I don't have to have any... I just read your aura and me and
EVERYONE could see that you were lying your bloody head off...
Tremere: YOUR MAJESTY! What on Earth is going on? You've allowed a Toreador Anarch present

evidence...
Toreador: WHAT!? Prince: (Who knows where this is going and what is going to happen) My God,

I think your right!
Toreador: What the hell?
Tremere: A viper in our midst. I wonder, are the entire Toreador so affected...?
Toreador: What the Hell are you talking about?
Tremere: You, Sir, you and your disregard for the Traditions and laws
of the Camarilla. You and your attempt to subvert the Camarilla from
within...
Toreador: I beg your pardon?
Tremere: I had given my word as a Primogen. You say you glanced at my
aura and contradict me! You glance at my aura... you doubt my word!
Toreador: Well, of course I bloody well do, you're a sneaky git!
Tremere: That's MR. Sneaky Git to you, Sunshine! Or, rather, Lord
PRIMOGEN Sneaky Git. You, Sir, have decided to disregard our sacred
Traditions, disregard the rules that have kept the Camarilla in place
for the past seven hundred years. You have taken the system of Status,
which unites us and binds us, and defines our place in our society, and
you have thrown it out the window. You doubt my word in public... by
doing so, you suggest that Status is redundant. You wish to destroy it,
eh?
Toreador: Er... no, that's not...
Tremere: No doubt you wish to get rid of Boons and introduce democracy as well... probably

hang about with Danton don't you?
Toreador: No, now wait a minute...!
Tremere: Your majesty, I insist that this criminal be staked immediately.

And like that the bad guy gets away with it! Why? Because Kindred
society is deadlier than any Kindred! It is not based upon fairness or
justice. The Tremere Primogen did kill the Ventrue one... but the
Toreador broke an even bigger rule... He disregarded station. The
Tremere committed murder... the Toreador committed treason and
sedition. And since his act of treason was to say he had read the
Tremere's aura... then the very accusation is treason, and thus the
case is dropped and the Toreador gets it! (This could lead to people
like the Harpies judging and ruling cases... and that's almost right!)

Mind you, the Prince messed up. He should have gotten the Toreador to
ask the Tremere in private, and then used the Aura Reading as evidence
when coming up later. The evidence would have been in beforehand, and
the statement that the Primogen was lying more acceptable (because the
Prince can say it). Committing a crime becomes something anyone can get
away with... if they are smart. Bringing someone to justice is as easy
as just saying the right thing at the right time to the right person.
Who cares if they did it? Who cares what their Aura says? It's about
how you appear and what power you have. An Elder can make your life
miserable for years. That's the whole point of the game... you must out
nasty the nasty guy. Just think... if that Toreador in the above
example had been the Primogen, not only would have the Tremere Primogen
got away with the murder of the Ventrue Primogen, but the Prince would
have been forced to punish the entire Toreador Clan!

Also, remember; accusations of criminal activity against Kindred must
be made by those of high standing in a court. It's not enough that you
get evidence against the Tremere Primogen, the evidence and the
accusation must be made by the Prince, the Seneschal, the Chief Harpy,
the Sheriff, the Keeper of Elysium or the other Primogen. Someone has
to stand up and make the accusation and take the blame if the
accusation falls down. Anonymous tip-offs and so forth are instantly
discounted. The reason someone important has to bring the accusation is
that if it goes wrong, someone important has to take the blame.. at
least until they pass the buck onto the little person who made the
accusation in the first place. If you make an accusation and it is
thrown out, you are guilty of bringing false witness. Even if what you
told is the truth, you have brought false witness. The very act of
accusation is a dangerous thing. Heaven forbid you accuse a Prince in
good standing of a crime -- the very act is sedition and should only be
carried out by another Prince! Remember that the Prince of a Domain is
the final judge of all things.

Justicars and Archons

Now, often we have people saying "but
the prince is so unfair, can't I appeal to a higher authority?" You
could, but here you run into another blockade of social values,
unfairness and blatant nepotism.

Princes are expected to run a tight ship. They are expected to uphold
the laws; they are expected to uphold the Traditions. Archons and
Justicars are not here to wetnurse anyone. Archons and Justicars really
don't care how things are run as long as the Traditions and the Edicts
of the Justicars are obeyed. That's it.

Archons and Justicars shall ignore any accusation against someone of
high standing unless it comes from someone else of high standing. If
they listened and allowed every accusation to be acted upon then they
would undermine the very society they are there to protect. Justicars
tend to remember such things -- sending an accusation to the Justicar
about your Prince will lead to the Justicar reporting you to your
Prince for breach of the Second Tradition, but you will die knowing
that if the Prince ever does come under the Justicars' attention they
will no doubt look into this... maybe

It is rumored that the Nosferatu Justicar, Markov, once said, "There
are two types of Princes in the world; those who are guilty of
breaching the Traditions... and those who have yet to be caught." The
best IC advice about the Justicars- avoid them at all costs. The kid
gloves have been taken off. In the past people use to complain at the
treatment of their PCs at the hands of Justicarical NPCs. This is the
wake up call: these NPCs are designed to judge and to kill. They are
not designed to provide detailed roleplay encounters for your
characters. They are not designed to give a damn about your PC. Your PC
is an annoyance to them.

Justicars do not represent their Clan. The Nosferatu have no claim on
their Justicar. It is the Nosferatu Justicar, not the Nosferatu's
Justicar; Justicars' first and only allegiance is the Camarilla. For
their term of office, this is all they care about. Supplying them with
regular information, deferring to them as you would defer to any person
who has the power to have you killed with but a word, and generally not
trying to annoy them is a good way to get along with the Justicars. If
you are playing a PC and a Justicar enters your story, be aware that
from that moment until it leaves your character's story, you may be
killed at anytime for any IC reason. You are now roleplaying with the
world's most deadly creature.

Crime and Punishment

Once caught in a crime, as stated above
a trial normally ensues. After all witnesses have been heard, and the
defense has rested, the prince or the Justicar will pass sentancing.

In the Camarilla guide for tabletop Vampire, the following punishments are typically levied

by princes:

Minor Offenses
-Forced servitude to another kindred or even a ghoul, often for a year and a day.
-Menial Labor, such as street cleaning or running errands for another vampire.
-Display in the stocks at Elysium; (This punishment is perticularly popular with princes 300

to 500 years old).
-Loss of title.

Moderate Offenses
-Temporary Exile from the city;
-Stripping of debts and boons;
-Removal of retainers (who are either assigned to another Kindred or killed outright);
-Loss of domain;
-Forcing the offender to take one or even two drinks of the prince's
blood, bringing him closer to the blood bond. It is rare, however, for
a full bond to be influcted; the primogen usually gets upset at that
sort of thing).

Serious Offenses
-Destruction of the vampire (often by staking them out in the sun);
-Destruction of progeny;
-Permanent exile;
-Forcible donation of some of the offender's blood to the local Tremere chantry, as a

surety for good behavior.

There is an age-old vampiring tradition that dictates a vampire
condemmed in this manner is to be allowed a last speech so that they
may go with dignity. This tradition is handed down from the days when
honor and dignity were important to both Kindred and kine. Many princes
will dissallow it, but most Justicars will enforce it's rule. The
condemmed is usually given some time to compose herself before her last
words.

The Blood Hunt is called for a number of crimes. It is formally
declared in Elysium, with the primogen and those present expected to
carry word back to their clanmates. All who hear must participate (at
least nominally) in the hunt, even if they find the activity
distasteful or wrong.

Fortunately, for those who object, staying out of the pursuer's way and
not interfering can be considered "participating". Aiding and abetting
the quarry of a blood hunt is a sure means of becoming a the next to be
hunted. For the most serious of crimes, such as aiding the Sabbat or
deliberately and repeatedly violating the masquerade, the prince may
order all kindred to actively participate.

The hunt is not called on lightly. The Camarilla may examine any
prince's judgement in calling a hunt. If a conclave determines that a
prince called a hunt without just cause, they usually suffer a profound
loss of status and may be saddled with an archon "observer". If too
many unjuts hunts are called, a Justicar may hold a conclave and have
the prince deposed.

Once a hunt is called, however, tradition mandates that it must be
carried out. This remains true even if evidence of the hunted's
innocence comes to light. The hunt must continue on to the final death
of the hunted. If innocence is proven the hunted may find themselves
receiving aid, and the pursuit becomes much less vigorous.

It has happened that a prince has called a hunt that outrages the
populace so that they refuse to attend, regardless of any threat
levied, or that the elders unite against the prince and inform the
populace that any who stand with him are the next targets. If the
populace as a whole refuses to support the prince on a blood hunt, his
reign ended right there.

If elders alone stand in the way of a hunt, things become more tricky.
In the best of situations, the hunt is put on hold until a conclave is
called. Many times this situation gets muddied by elder political
machinations. The hunt is simply a platform in which to stand off
against the prince.

Reasons a hunt might be called are:
-Kin-slaying;
-Diablerie;
-Wide-scale breach of the Masquerade or continous offenses regarding such;
-Invasion of domain that has resulted in kin-slaying or breaches of the Masquerade;
-Any behavior deemed a sufficient threat to the safety of the Masquerade and the Kindred in

the city.





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