- Oct 29, 2015
- Apparent Age
VAMPIRES OF NEW BABYLON
There are two distinct terms that refer to Vampires in Erebos and both are equally acceptable: Kindred and Cainite.
Kindred is a term designated to the vampiric race as a whole, or it may refer to only a single vampire. According to rumor, the term came about in the 15th or 16th century. It has been most commonly associated with use by members of the Camarilla who strive to maintain their Humanity - and this is especially true to secularists and party-line loyalists who reject the myth of Caine as the First Vampire. They will often use the expression “Kindred and Kine” to refer to all the people of the world.
Sabbat vampires scorn the term as an affectation of feigned camaraderie and humanity, preferring the word “Cainite” instead. Other vampires who do not believe they are descended from Caine, such as many Assamites and Setites, likewise object to the term.
Since Erebos is a vampire mafia organization that does not adhere to, or fall in line with the structure, laws or beliefs of any major vampire sect (such as the Camarilla, Sabbat, Independents or even the Anarch movement), most of its members use the two terms interchangeably, without preference for one or the other. Maledictus prefers to use the term "Immortals", while Concordia likes to refer to their fellow vampires as "Eternals".
All 3 main vampire organizations inhabiting New Babylon (Erebos, Maledictus and Concordia) observe the tradition of the Masquerade, that is the organized campaign to convince people that vampires do not exist. The Masquerade is the cornerstone survival strategy for all Kindred; without it, the mortals would rise and exterminate all of them.
The basics of the Masquerade are enforced through self-policing and harsh penalties. When a breach occurs, the methods of repairing may vary, but somebody is going to be punished — and while it would be nice for that somebody to be whoever caused the breach in the first place, Guardians are known to prefer an early morning dusting over a long thorough search.
Generally, a breach consists of any evidence of vampiric powers: feeding on blood, obvious use of Disciplines, regeneration in plain sight and the like. Certain things (such as ghouls) are considered potential breaches all the time — although in this case, its assumed that the domitor will take necessary steps.
Erebos vampires are expected to blend in and to cultivate their Humanity in order to make imitating living people easier. However, when something severe happens, the Autarch usually calls on House Tenebris, who have made Masquerade-patching something of a science. The Tenebris will apply whatever resources are necessary — cash, judicious use of Dominate, machine guns — to make the problem go away.
While Maledictus does not have a tradition of the Masquerade per se, it survives primarily through the Masquerade enforced by Erebos, and through a similar "patch squad" managed by the dauntless Vindicta.
The Vampires inhabiting New Babylon usually fall under one of 3 'jurisdictions'. The greatest of them is Erebos, a mafia society formed back in the days of the Ancient Roman Empire. Given that their numbers are far superior to the other two organizations, they also occupy the biggest territory in New Babylon, located to the east of the Birch river and taking up all of the city's North. As entrepreneurs, they run night clubs, engage in smuggling, racketeering and drug trafficking throughout the United States and the rest of the world.
In addition to engaging in similar criminal activities, Maledictus also excels in the powerful and lethal mysteries of blood magic and other forms of the occult. They have also been known to expend exorbitant sums of money on bribes, whether involving local law enforcement or various government organizations. The peaceful Concordia whose desire to maintain the Masquerade has never been greater, understand that this tradition is key to maintaining peace between kindred and kine. Since their interaction with mortal is far more frequent than that of any other vampire group inhabiting the city, they are also more liable to be discovered. Thus they tend to practice the Masquerade with far more zeal then any of the others.
Those Vampires who do not wish to associate themselves (openly or covertly) with any of the organizations secretly pulling the strings in New Babylon may attempt to remain independent, whether parading among them brazenly or slinking about incognito. Independent vampires wishing to inhabit New Babylon may find themselves risking life or limb, whether as potential recruits in the cross-hairs of House Limbus or future experimentation subjects of House Maledictus. Their best bet may be seeking refuge among the Bohemian Concordia, although in order to maintain their blessing and protection, the independent Kindred will have to exist by their rules which are not always easy to live by. Most difficult of those, is undoubtedly the rule of "Do No Permanent Harm", which does not permit draining of Mortals to the point of death.