-----Vampiric Culture across the world-----
-An Essay by JJ. Donnar.
Vampires, while of human origins aren't humans and have through the centuries created their own inner culture, movements and agenda. They posses their own religions, myths, legends and socio-political values.
The most well known of these are;
- The Masquerade
- The Mainstreaming Agenda
- The Church of Lilith
- The Vampire domains
- The New Guard of House Orlok
Since vampires have suffered at the hand of inquisitions, witch hunt and crusades against their race, the Masquerade was created, where every vampire must pretend to be human, never reveal the secret of the race's existence and if anything could breach this code, to rectify the situation.
Although there are no clear-cut written instructions, generally the masquerade includes the tenets of;
- Secrecy: Never to purposefully reveal the existence of vampires
- Obfuscation: To promote the existence of vampires as mere Myth or Fiction.
- Population Control: Within claimed Domains, siring vampires is prohibited and must be approved by the reagent. A vampire is subject to the reagent of the city he inhabits, rather than the one he is currently in. Therefore, a Vampire from Chicago do not have the right to go to another city to sire and come back. If he is approved for siring, he may chose a person from where ever he please provided he brings the newborn back with him.
- Protection: All vampires have it as their duty to support the masquerade regardless of risk. Some of the most important measures include censorship of dissident, destruction of fatally wounded vampires' bodies, Hypnosis of witnesses or murder.
- Punishment: Those who threaten the Masquerade as sentenced to true death unless the offense was minor or are still very young. This is subject to the Sheriff's leniency.
Mainstreaming is the term sometimes used by those who dream that vampire's existence become public knowledge and that it would be accepted within society. This belief is more popular with younger vampires and those living closer to humans. In term of Houses, Tepes and the new guard of Orlok are the most common mainstreamers.
Some of mainstreaming's sub-goals include;
-Development of Synthetic or animal blood substitute or the creation of blood banks for food and profit.
-Strong, centralized government for vampires as opposed to the independent Domains
---The Church of Lilith---
Primarily a Lancea and Enoch movement, the church states that vampires were first born from Cain's action in the garden of Eden and that in exile, he would have encountered Adam's first wife, Lilith.
There, she is said to have taught him the secret of the blood, how to use the curse of god against him and to elevate himself above mankind. They often praise Lilith as a liberator from god's tyranny.
Some version of the church are less grounded in Judeo-Christian mythology and closer to local myths from whichever locale they hail from. Enoch despite their name, tend to be less judeo-christians in their belief since their breed is older than Judaism and has been present all over the globe through history, including mesoamerica.
Naturally, they tend to hold mainstreamers as traitors, Blackbloods as parasites and wretches as well as other religion as worthy only of contempt.
---The Vampire Domains---
The vampire domain tradition is rather new, it arose in the late middle age and renaissance and was brought by House Tepes as a better way to operate than the anarchy that was before.
Domains are claimed areas, most often cities that are under the rule of a reagent, responsible for legislating issues and a Sheriff, who's job is to enforce the laws. Typically, the domain's main priorities are promoting stability and the enforcement of the Masquerade.
Domains are house neutral and created out of common need most often by Lancea and Tepes vampires. The Orloks are generally underrepresented as the elders prefer living in the wilds and care little about politics.
---The new guard of house Orlok---
A very new phenomenon, dating to the late 18th century, the new guard are members of the house that have claimed the city as their land rather than the wilds preferred by their forefathers.
The new guard is actually responsible for their House's name, taking it from the classic silent film Nosferatu.
The new guard is composed mainly of squaters, thugs and activists, living in abandoned buildings, sewer system of even in regular places with the help of mortal or vampiric allies. Their main goal is the reformation of their House's reputation as nothing but animals and monsters.