Clan Ventrue

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Clan Ventrue Empty Clan Ventrue

Post by Hero on Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:39 pm

Pronunciation: ['ventɹu]
Nicknames: Blue Bloods, Patricians, Warlords
Antediluvian: Veddhartha
Allegiance: Camarilla
Disciplines: Dominate, Fortitude, Presence
Theme Song: Sympathy For The Devil - The Rolling Stones

Clan Ventrue has long been one of the proudest lines of vampires, and its members work hard to maintain a reputation for honor, genteel behavior, and leadership. A sense of noblesse oblige has ever pervaded the clan, accompanied by the genuine belief that the Ventrue know what's best for everyone. Considering themselves the oldest Clan, it's no surprise they see themselves as the enforcers of tradition and the rightful leaders of vampire society. Unsurprisingly, they've long been chosen from the ranks of nobility and privilege, traditionally those roles have included kings, knights, and merchant princes; in more modern years, businessmen and lawyers and government leaders have filled the void.

The general belief is that the Ventrue, a clan considered old-fashioned by most, is floundering in these latter nights; however, the Ventrue have a long history of adapting to keep hold of their power. In the modern nights the Ventrue are more politician than warrior, more CEO than baron. They remain the largest supporters of the Camarilla and the Masquerade, believing both institutions to be the surest means of protecting vampires from the mortal masses... and of guarding their own power.
Disciplines

The Ventrue practice the Disciplines of Dominate, Fortitude, and Presence, though a few "anarchic" Ventrue have also learned Auspex and sometimes Potence.

Dominate: A standard and trusted standby in the Ventrue arsenal, Dominate is sometimes considered to be a literal manifestation of a Ventrue's willpower; one with sufficient faith in themselves will find the minds of others easy game. Of course, relying excessively on Dominate is concerned distasteful, as well as speaking poorly for your ability to get by without it; however, Dominate remains the number-one tool used by the Ventrue to clean up after those messier breaches of the Masquerade.

Fortitude: If will is power, then the Ventrue have the market cornered on defense. Positions of power tend to attract would-be murderers, and the Ventrue do love positions of power; as a result, they often rely on Fortitude (and top-of-the-line security) to protect them from overzealous attackers. Ventrue are able to withstand surprising amounts of damage, and when they do personally take to the field it's unwise to underestimate them; in other arenas, the Ventrue take a quiet (and somewhat smug) pride in recounting the number of assassination attempts they've survived.

Presence: When Dominate is too heavy-handed but you just need to get that stubborn/suspicious/alert individual to agree now, Presence is the Ventrue tool of choice. Where the Toreador use this to entrance mortals and kine alike, the Ventrue use it to enforce their authority; an affected target will want to obey the Ventrue, and will often break down or flee altogether when confronted with the Ventrue's glance of disapproval. Presence essentially turns the Ventrue into the eternally unpleasant parent, and like any downbeaten child his target will want nothing more than to 'make him proud.'

Auspex: As you get older, you get more and more paranoid; this is a fact of Kindred life, particularly so for the Ventrue. Some Ventrue prefer to have any edge they can over their suspected opposition, and Auspex comes in handy for seeing through others' lies (and Obfuscate skills). The Ventrue who truly wish for this Discipline usually receive training from a Toreador, although fledglings are always warned against the slyness of a bargaining Artiste. (The Poseurs sell it cheaper, usually for a good word or participation in a prestigious event.)

Potence: Although rarely found among your average Ventrue, who prefer the hands-off method, Potence can be a valuable Discipline if one can purchase it relatively cheaply. Generally, a Ventrue with Potence leads from the front, and often come from backgrounds which would emphasize physical strength; thus, the largest portion of Ventrue to possess Potence are those relatively rare ones from blue-collar backgrounds.

Born to Lead: The Early History

The Ventrue cherish history more than any other clan, believing it to be a worthy guide to unlife and a means to justify their authority today. Not to say that they care for the truth, but they take their history very seriously: Their tale is one of conquests and grand achievements the likes of which few other clans can boast. To hear them say it, their claim to fame begins with the earliest vampire history, when Caine himself commanded his eldest childe Enoch to Embrace the Ventrue Founder, who they believe to be the first member of the Third Generation and who is often called Veddhartha. He was to be Caine's advisor in the nights of the First City, and when the Dark Father prepared to leave he chose to hand the responsibility for stewarding his people to Veddhartha. Through this story the Ventrue justify their position of superiority and leadership over the other clans, just as they believe their progenitor led the other Antediluvians for a time.

The first major achievement of the Ventrue is attributed to Artemis, with the creation of militant Sparta. Wary of the mortal masses even in those ancient nights, Artemis saw promise in the ideas of the philosopher Lycurgus and supported him, seeking to make the humans a tool to be used and eventually making herself Sparta's patron godddess. They would soon become the perfect mortals in her eyes: Loyal, brave, and completely devoted to self-perfection. Sensing the rising power, other Ventrue gathered to become a part of the Spartan war machine, urging the neighboring city-states to ally with Sparta while establishing their own domains within the Peloponnesian League. This also made possible the rise of the mercantile city of Corinth and its Prince Evarchus, who exemplified the power of wealth in a role for all Ventrue to follow.

The growing power of Sparta and the Brujah alliance in Athens led to the first Brujah War, a conflict that set the stage for a bitter rivalry between the two clans millennia later. Though the Brujah or Ventrue never came directly to blows, the eventually invasion of Athens led by Lysander caused many Brujah and Toreador to regard the Ventrue as power-mad barbarians, while Spartan Ventrue considered the Brujah dangerous idealists.
To Wear the Purple: Roman Empire

After Sparta's fall, the rise of Rome signaled one of the clan's greatest ages. Many Ventrue had long settled in the region and lived relatively quietly while it was ruled by the Etruscans. Nevertheless, the rebellion that freed the Roman people was attributed to Collat, who would become the city's first Prince. Recognizing the mortals of Rome to be a proud and superstituous people that would sooner stake any vampires than consider living with them, let alone beneath them, Collat did not seek to rule the Romans directly or make himself a deity as vampires in the past had done, but influenced events from behind the scenes by collecting favors from the city's citizens. This system would later be refined by Camilla, childe of Collat, who replaced his sire and set about establishing political connections with the patrician families of Rome. Instead of using Disciplines to force his will on the city's leaders, Collat ruled through ghoul proxies delivering favors and contacts, allowing him to grow rich and powerful while the mortals remained ignorant. This strategy would be widely adopted in the centuries to follow and would serve the clan well once the Masquerade was adopted.

The second Brujah War would parallel that of Rome and Carthage, where Brujah, Assamites, and even Baali ruled the mortals openly, demanding blood and sacrifices while living as gods. In such contrast to what the Patricians had fostered in Rome, the African nation was seen as a den of infernalists and monsters. Despite Lysander's repeated efforts to convince Camilla, the war with Carthage would not begin until a Brujah named Dominic antagonized the Malkavian Prince of Syracuse, Alchias. Alchias turned to Artemis and supposedly the bull-dancer Arikel for help, and the three made plans with Lysander to arrange the war. Cainites largely avoided direct fighting during the first two Punic Wars, but in the final assault Ventrue, Toreador, Malkavians, and Gangrel of Rome battled openly alongside the Romans against the people of Carthage. In the end both sides were greatly wounded, but the Ventrue prevailed, and the Brujah would never forgive them for destroying their fabled city.

In the years that followed, Rome prospered. The Ventrue shared its power with many of the other clans that had taken part in the wars against Carthage, establishing friendships with other Cainites even as the Ventrue themselves began squabbling with one another. Most Patricians of the time were independent, with the only organization of the clan being a largely ineffectual assembly that eventually fell out of practice. Following the cue of Julius Caesar, Camilla reorganized the Ventrue into a structure that gave authority over the clan's members to the most important Ventrue in the region. While the power over the younger and less important Ventrue was not absolute, it did create a means for settling disputes, establishing connections, and identifying friends and enemies of the clan. These reforms served the clan well, and the Patricians prospered for several centuries until the empire itself dissolved.
Horses and Castles: The Dark Ages

Even with their long and (arguably) noble history in Rome, the Ventrue are famed for their influence in Germany and the surrounding countries. It is easily possible that the bloodline got started on the continent thanks to the expansion of the Roman Empire into Gaul and the Gothic lands.

The Ventrue were the first of the vampire lords to start calling themselves "prince", and the title gained widespread popularity in spite of its misuse. The first "prince" may in fact have been true royalty, as the Ventrue have always Embraced from the uppermost echelons of society, which occasionally brought them into competition with the Lasombra for Embrace rights.
Coaches and Mansions: The Victorian Age

1800s England was a good time to be Ventrue. The combination of centuries-old feudalism with the nouveau riche middle class served to keep the Ventrue at the top of the power structure. From there, they could oversee both international politics and the finances of an entire country.

Many Ventrue childer, already hungry for territories of their own, were sent to colonies through the British Empire, creating Camarilla beachheads in India, Australia, and Egypt. The vampires who already occupied these regions (Setites and Ravnos) faced years of vicious propaganda declaring them to be heathens, savages, and worse. Most people - both Kindred and kine - adopted these views wholesale, making the work of controlling popular opinion that much easier for the Ventrue. If a Ventrue wanted to increase profit from a mine in Africa, all they had to do was spread the word that the mine's workers were closet heretics, justifying the decline of pay and living conditions.

Not all Ventrue were robber-barons and misanthropes, but enough of them were to make vampiric opinion turn against them for the first time since the founding of the Camarilla. The Toreador were repulsed by the Ventrue obsession with money and political gains; the Tremere had more important things to worry about than who was Prince of a small English town; the Gangrel were treated as servants and animals when they weren't being hunted down.

The Ventrue made just enough compromises to smooth things over, at least with any Kindred whom they could make use of; it was during this time that the Ventrue learned to temper their cutthroat business dealings with an outward veneer of philanthropy. They remained, of course, a clan out for profit and prestige, but there's no reason not to remain civil while doing so. This policy was put to the test in the New World, where the Ventrue spread West across North America and provided much of the impetus for doing so: The clan's money could sponsor quite a few landstaking ventures and West Coast mines, and wherever cities sprang up so did Ventrue interests.
Limousines and Skyscrapers: The Final Nights

The Ventrue are the de facto rulers of the Camarilla, which is exactly how they prefer it. Where the Toreador manage the social circle, and the Tremere the occult, the Ventrue are the ones who actually do the night-to-night decision making, planning, and organizing. Though this is a powerful position and the influence Ventrue have over mortal and vampiric worlds is second-to-none, this same position also makes them the favored target of the Sabbat and Anarchs, who see taking out the Ventrue leadership as a big first step in dissolving the Camarilla government. The Lasombra, especially, would dearly love to see the Ventrue brought low, as the two Clans have been in direct competition for centuries.

Organization

The Ventrue are second only to the Tremere in terms of organization and interrelation, and exist to maintain the status quo... So long as that balance is in favor of the Ventrue. To accomplish this, and to support the Masquerade, the Ventrue have developed a massive network of communication. This network exists between all clanmembers worthy of the name, as well as important inter-Clan contacts such as the Nosferatu, Tremere, and Toreador. Of course, said contacts usually don't have access to all of the information traveling through Ventrue lines, and the Ventrue go out of the way to make sure that this remains the case.

The Ventrue also genuinely revere the Six Traditions, though they tend to bend the actual use of the Traditions in their favor. Accordingly, Ventrue tend to gravitate towards positions where they have the power to interpret, exercise, and enforce the Traditions, towards roles such as Prince, Sheriff, and primogen. A Ventrue really isn't happy unless they're sure their opinion is being heard and acted upon, a trait they share with the Toreador and Brujah.
Antitribu

There are almost no Ventrue antitribu in existence. This is largely due to the rigid organization and thorough pro-Ventrue indoctrination their childer undergo; if they can make it out of their fledgling period, most young Ventrue are completely convinced of the rightness of the Ventrue's nightly activities. Thus, most of the Ventrue antitribu tend to be either very old and powerful or very young and impetuous.

The general ideology of the Ventrue antitribu runs thus: Once, the Ventrue were truly Lords of the Damned, kings and generals, warlord and heroes. Now, they are moneylenders, thieves, businessmen hiding behind their lackeys and their gold! Where is the honor, the glory in such unlives? The so-called Ventrue have become cowards, overcome by their lust for power and wealth, and the Ventrue antitribu consider themselves the "true" Ventrue of their wayward clan. Because of this, they tend to be unwavering and devoted to their cause: To force their brethren to see the proverbial light, preferably by the sword.

Most Ventrue antitribu make it into the Sabbat, where they're generally reviled and loathed for their connection to their Camarilla cousins. Due to their immense pride in being True Ventrue, concealing their clan of origin doesn't happen among them, leading to obvious clashes with other members of the Sabbat; because of this, Sabbat Ventrue tend to excel at combat and usually wind up as Paladins within the sect. Low-level Ventrue antitribu either get stronger fast or wind up meeting their final death, at the hands of other Sabbat or at the enraged Camarilla Ventrue who hunt them down. As a whole, Ventrue antitribu are considers traitors and abominations by the main Clan, with their mere existence being a Clan-wide shame; mentioning the antitribu to a Ventrue is a sure way to wind up on the edge of a scalding, hateful glare, and you're lucky if that's all. The problem is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that the Ventrue antitribu who make any real rank tend to serve under Lasombra, a fact which rankles the main clan's proud Ventrue souls to no end.

As a sidenote, not all Ventrue who lack Camarilla membership are antitribu. Some elder Ventrue withdraw from the Jyhad for their own reasons, and some younger Ventrue - particularly those without resources or a supportive sire - make their own way; these Ventrue are not problems for the main clan, who practice a live-and-let-live philosophy so long as these 'Independent' Ventrue don't cause any trouble.
Sects

The Ventrue belong almost entirely among the Camarilla, though more than a few claim to have found and joined the Inconnu. Only a small handful of Ventrue antitribu are among the Sabbat, but they are some of its most fervent and dedicated paladins and templar.
Bloodlines

If there are any bloodlines spawned by the Ventrue, their existence would be denied right off the bat; since lineage and nobility of birth are exceptionally important to Ventrue, claiming to be 'of a bloodline' puts the clanmember on the same level as the "mongrel" groups like the Gangrel or the Setites... which, as everyone knows, is unthinkable. Such is the case within Camarilla territory anyway; outside of Camarilla territory is a different story...

Danava - In India, where the Camarilla holds no sway, there is a bloodline of thaumaturges who call themselves the Danava. A protector caste among the Danava believe themselves to be the guardians of their Antediluvian, whom they call Veddhartha. These Danava claim that the Ventrue are in fact an errant "antitribu" bloodline of Clan Danava! Most Ventrue of the modern nights have never even heard of the Danava, and the few Ventrue who have heard of them prefer to act as if the Danava do not even exist at all. The Danava's clan Disciplines are Auspex, Fortitude, and Sadhana. Danava also study Chimerstry.


Culture

Ventrue culture places a heavy emphasis on dignitas, the Latin word for "dignity"; in modern days, it's often described as "Face," as in "saving face." Ventrue are completely aware of the unsavory aspects of power, and while a Ventrue leader is as likely to lead organized crime as he is a Fortune 500 company - because the Ventrue object less to theft and more to petty theft - he must always comport himself with dignity, grace and honor.

At least, in public.

Quietly obsessed with Latin, the Ventrue also favor the concept of "Humanitas," the code of morality that most humans seem to share in common. This follows the roughly Judeo-Christian moral line, with a little more leeway for vampires. Ventrue will not willingly commit heinous acts (murder, theft, torture) if they can achieve their end by other means, but at the same time, allowances have to be made for the fact that they are blood-sucking immortal monsters. Their code basically boils down to: "Don't kill people on the street; there are plenty of other, more subtle, ways to ruin someone's life."

Style and Appearance

Most Elder Ventrue display characteristics of Western Europe, particularly of Germany and the surrounding lands; truly ancient Ventrue, particularly those who have recently risen from torpor, will possess the aquiline features of the ancient Romans. More recently-Embraced members, however, may run the gamut of ethnic backgrounds and nationalities.

In dress and comportment, all Ventrue strive to exemplify the positives of their Clan: Dignity, grace, and above all, class. Ventrue clothing are largely expensive and hand-tailored, but subdued; ostentatious displays of wealth are left to other, less-dignified clans. Black is generally considered to be overdone and somewhat pretentious; dark blue, gray, and even the occasional deep emerald green is acceptable for suits and every-day wear, with black, white, and other eye-catching colors to be saved for formal or otherwise special events. Men are commonly seen in neat, tailored suits; women wear smooth, crisp clothing that is not excessively tight or revealing. The rules for Clan Ventrue's collective wardrobe is like that of a highly prestigious private school: If it's not something you'd wear to meet the Prince, then you shouldn't be wearing it out in public. Full-length coats, however, are popular.

Among the older Ventrue, fashions of the past are common; many elders wear the clothing of the time when they were Embraced, clad in the finery of royalty or Victorian nobility. Such outfits mark the wearer as both extremely tradition-bound and very, very powerful; one would do well to avoid snickers at such outdated clothing, for who knows how the elder in question might react?

The general idea is "Stand out, don't stick out." You won't find many wearing cutting-edge haute couture; the Ventrue leave that to the Toreador. Similarly, looking rumpled, scruffy, or otherwise out-of-order is Right Out, at least in public, because one can never underestimate the power of appearances. Unless it's otherwise necessary - you want to go unnoticed or blend in - hair should be neatly styled back, jewelery should be minimal and tasteful or otherwise meaningful (perhaps a bracelet belonging to a valued Ventrue elder?), and good posture should be maintained at all times. Depending on the individual Ventrue, the impression may be that of Successful CEO or Cultured Royal, but the impression it should make on others is one of money, power, and impeccably good breeding.
Religion and Philosophy

During the Dark Ages, the Ventrue as a clan used to be much more religious than they are in modern nights. They found the structure of the Catholic Church appealing, as was the Church's influence over world politics. When that influence waned, so did the Ventrue interest in the religion; some insist that this is connected to the Lasombra's long-established hold over the Church, but the Ventrue brush off what whisperers are careless enough to suggest this.

Most Ventrue of modern nights maintain a lip service to Christianity, as many can trace their lineages back to Protestant Germany or even further. When dealing with Clans such as the Assamites or the Followers of Set, they are very careful to downplay their spiritual allegiances, however nominal they might be.

Embraces

The word Ventrue associate with the Embrace is "value." Specifically, what value does the childe have? What connections do they possess, and what skills could they employ for the benefit of the Ventrue? Though occasionally Embraces happen out of love, friendship, or affection, these are harshly dealt with and considered highly impractical as well as downright distasteful.

As one's sire will cast a heavy shadow over even a fully-mature Ventrue's unlife, a particularly bureaucratic grandsire will only mean misfortune for an unwisely-Embraced childe; in such instances, both the fledgling and the Ventrue who sired her could be executed for the poor choice. If the sire was foolish enough to make an unworthy mortal into one of the Clan of Kings, clearly said sire's judgment is too weak for him to be of Ventrue blood.

That said, there is an upside to the bonds between sire and childe; unlike many other clans, sire and childe will remain closely connected following the childe's release into society, and it's not uncommon for the pair to continue working together as time passes-- For example, a sire will often support the childe's business efforts if they can do so without consequences, or offer oblique advice to the childe in order to circumvent "official" lines of resolution or inquiry. Nepotism thrives in the Ventrue clan, so long as the favored childe continues to be more-than-competent in the service of Ventrue.

Ventrue fledglings tend towards strong wills, natural leadership abilities, and healthy respect for their place in the chain-of-command. Prospective Ventrue with the first two skills will be taught, during the rigorous Agoge, to properly temper their ambition with patience, or at least the facade of such. Militaristic-minded Ventrue exist, but the nature of a Kindred means that they must excel at getting groups of armed soldiers to follow their orders; those who prefer a little more "warrior" in their "warrior lord" often serve as archons or adjutants to their sires or to military leaders of note.

The Agoge

Considered a necessity for a well-created Ventrue fledgling, the Agoge takes its name from the strenuous Spartan method of training its warriors of childhood. In a relatively short manner of time, a new Ventrue will have to learn all the basic necessities for existing in their new unlives, as well as the numerous intricacies of unlife as a Ventrue in particular. While the Agoge has fallen somewhat out of favor in these hectic modern nights, any "true" Blue Blood will ensure that their childe undergoes the process, and completing the Agoge successfully is supposed to bode well for the new Ventrue's future unlife.

The Embrace

The Ventrue is created by her sire. Some Ventrue serve as ghouls prior to being Embraced; others are merely mortals, knowing that they work for some powerful man or woman whom they may or may not have met before. Their employer, however, will have been watching her closely, making observations and evaluating her as a future childe; should the human pass, she'll be called into a "private meeting" and the Embrace will take place. Some particularly talented mortals will even merit being asked beforehand; while it probably won't change anything even if they do try to say no, it's still considered a courtesy and an honor.

The New Fledgeling

Unless he was a ghoul prior to being Embraced, the new vampire will undoubtedly be disoriented and confused following his change. During this time, more sires will give the new recruit a few nights to a week, explaining the basics of who and what Kindred are and the basics of Clan Ventrue. During this time the fledgling will remain in his sire's haven, and the sire will feed the childe from the his herd or from his own blood. The sire will stress that the new fledgling is now a part of a very important, very exclusive, very powerful family-- And, with a little work, the new fledgling may also be important and powerful some night.

First Hunt

After a few days to a week, the sire will take the childe into the city for the first time. The fledgling will likely be overwhelmed by her new senses and the sensory input from the new world, but from the masses of humanity one single special kine will call to her; one single kine will hold in his veins the vitae for which the fledgling hungers. With her sire's guidance the new Ventrue will feed, and in doing so choose the preference that will sustain her for all of her unlife. Although some sires prefer to turn their childe loose and leave the new vampire on their own, most agree that this is a potential threat to the Masquerade waiting to happen and will escort the fledgling on their first hunt.

Training for the Prince

Once the childe has chosen his blood preference, the real work begins. The sire will often sequester them both in his haven, and the childe is subjected to a cram session unlike any other. The sire will present materials for study, lecturing the new vampire on everything from Disciplines and how to use them to how to interact with other Kindred, from the history of the Camarilla to the history of the Ventrue themselves. The childe will be forced to work past the deluge of information and memorize everything his sire throws at him; if he fails, he can expect vicious belittling, physical punishment, and even the denial of vitae for so much as a single misstep or omission. Should the childe attempt to fight back, as they sometimes do, the sire will respond appropriately, sometimes locking the childe in and leaving them there for nights at a time until they've quieted down. This harsh and often cruel method is seen as necessary by the Ventrue, and will never last less than a week; if the childe is incapable of learning all that he needs to know, then it's better he wash out before he can embarrass his sire. This is one of the few instances where an established Ventrue won't have to worry about trying not to yell.

Presentation

Once the childe is sufficiently schooled so as not to publicly fail her sire, it's time to meet the prince. According to Camarilla law, the childe must be presented to the Prince of the city before she can be recognized as a true Kindred, and at the Presentation of a new Ventrue the rest of the Clan will gather to observe. Following the Presentation, the Ventrue will retire to a private room and praise or criticize the new neonate, who will be expected to receive all words humbly and to not respond unless they speak to her directly. This will probably be the first time that the childe has seen any other Ventrue besides her sire.

Training for the Clan

As far as the Camarilla is concerned, the childe is a full adult. As far as the Ventrue are concerned, the Agoge is still going on, and the sire will now go more in-depth to all the topics covered previously, as well as introducing new topics such as specific lore, factions, and the unofficial laws of being a Ventrue. During this time, the neonate will live in either the sire's haven or in a haven the sire has provided, and the other Ventrue of the city will step in. This is something like being an apprentice or an intern, except to every Ventrue in town. Some will lecture the neonate, others will demand the neonate work as their aide, and all will test the new Ventrue on the knowledge they're imparting. Only when a particular Ventrue gives their approval can the childe move on to the next, and the process can take anywhere from months to years; however, it will give the young Ventrue an idea of how the city runs, where which Ventrue are situated, and how to get things done without offending others (particularly of the clan). Some form the beginnings of a coterie with other young Ventrue met along the way, although any real independent business must wait.

During this time, the fledgling is still excluded from meetings of the Board, but his sire will generally appraise him of important business.

The Challenge of Domain

At last, the final exam. Now the young fledgling must go out into the city and establish her own domain of influence, without the interest of any other Ventrue. Terms of "passing" vary, and could include gaining influence over a useful group of mortals or winning a boon from another Kindred, but it must be accomplished solely by the Ventrue neonate's efforts. The only rules are: Do not breach the Traditions and do not infringe on another Ventrue's domain. The only exception to the second rule is if a certain Ventrue did not participate in the neonate's Agoge, at which point their territory is fair game; because of this, most Ventrue participate in every Agoge regardless of their personal feelings for the sire involved. When the neonate feels that she's been successful, she declares her success to her sire, who judges the results. If the neonate has indeed succeeded, then the sire recommends the childe to both the praetor and the Gerousia, and the child is scheduled to appear before the entire Clan at the next Board Meeting.

The Coming Out

The young neonate must swallow any nerves he's feeling and stand before his assembled clanmates to give a full accounting of himself, the clan's traditions and history, and how he met the final challenge. Tradition then dictates that the Ventrue vote on whether or not to accept the neonate into the Clan proper, but at this point it's merely a formality; the clan then assents unanimously to the neonate's acceptance (although those still very opposed may remain silent), and the praetor asks the neonate a series of ritual questions, devised by any Ventrue who cared to offer one. The neonate responds, and in doing so recites his lineage and simultaneously promises to uphold the values of both Clan and Camarilla.

Then it's time to celebrate. The severity of the Agoge means that the new Kindred is all but guaranteed to contribute to the clan, and so the new arrival is a cause for rejoicing; after all, it means that the Ventrue as a whole are that much stronger. The resulting party is a highly-exclusive Ventrue-only affair, held in super-exclusive venues and guarded by extensive security, where the rare vitae flows like wine and the young neonate is probably quite dazzled by the heady mix of opulence, wealth, and power.

The Real World

From the next and forever onwards, the neonate is on her own. Though most form strong attachments with their sires, from this point the Agoge is over and the realities of unlife sink in. It's never simple, and it's rarely enjoyable, but most Ventrue come to relish the challenge, as this Ventrue neonate will undoubtedly come to do. After all, it's in her blood.
The Ventrue Weakness

According to Clan propaganda, the Ventrue do not have a "weakness". Rather, they have standards: For everything from fine automobiles to military strategy, and yes, even for the blood that they drink.

In purely practical terms, of course - and if confided only to their childer - the Ventrue's weakness is their particular taste. Each Ventrue will have their own personal preference for their feeding-vessels: Blondes, lawyers, people with green eyes, and so on. This preference is set shortly after a fledgling's Embrace, upon their first solo feeding, and the Ventrue will then be unable to digest blood from any victim besides their "type." They'll be able to ingest non-type blood, but will gain no benefits from it and will have to vomit up the vitae at some later point.

Some vampires consider this a purely psychological occurrence, stemming from some Ventrue neuroses or another, but clearly those individuals have no idea what they're speaking of.

Only under extreme circumstances may a Ventrue's blood-preference change. In one instance, a Roman Ventrue named Democritus held an affinity for Carthaginian blood, which was lost en masse when Rome conquered Carthage and burned the city to the ground. Without a source of palatable vitae, Democritus sank into torpor, awakening many years later to find that his Carthaginian predilection had left him. Democritus soon acquired a new preference, one for the people of Byzantium, and despite the country's name-changes Democritus is still well-fed to this night.

In order to prevent such awkward occurrences, many Ventrue store reserves of vitae in private stashes that resemble wine cellars; others keep their sustenance in freezers, or maintain a herd of blood dolls or Ghouls that provide their master with a steady supply of their preference. In order to throw others off the right track, many Ventrue maintain a mixed herd of varying types, personalities, backgrounds, and specifications, to provide camouflage for their actual tastes. As a side-effect of their "specialty," Ventrue have the remarkable ability to derive information from the blood, determining race or clan, diet, sex, even a decent shot at the blood-giver's age and generation. Some particularly refined Ventrue become "vintners" of designer vitae, breeding and tending to a flock of humans to achieve the right bouquet in their veins.

The party line, of course, is that the Ventrue's preference is less a weakness and more yet another sign of good breeding. Each Ventrue will guard their preference closely, particularly from those outside the clan; using a Ventrue's preference against her is considered devastatingly offensive, and inquiring as to what that preference is will be taken as a threat against her life.

Hero
Founder
Founder

Posts : 28225
Join date : 2012-03-02
Age : 43
Location : Work toilet

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