The Ventrue Viewpoint
Greetings, childe. Welcome to the fold. I owed your Sire a favor. Therefore, you have been sent to me that I may instruct you in our ways. Above all else, remember always that you are a Ventrue, as your Sire before you and her Sire before her. We are born to lead, every one of us,and selected with great care by our Sires. We are born, bred, and Embraced to nobility. And it is our solemn duty and greatest privilege to guide both Kindred and Kine society.
Let me tell you something about our other Kindred. As with every rule, there is an exception, but you will find that most of my observations are true to the mark.
Camarilla - One of our greatest achievements, the Camarilla was founded to further the mutual protection of responsible Kindred from Anarch hordes and Kine hunters. Admittedly, it's a compromise, but it does make it easier to study who's doing what.
Brujah - Rabble. Often a rabble in arms, more's the pity. Even worse than their notoriously short temper is their unpredictability. Don't ever believe a Brujah when she promises something. Even they don't know what they will do next.
Gangrel - In your mortal life, did you ever have a trusted hound? Good. That's wonderful training for dealing with the Gangrel. Feed, cosset, and pamper them, and you'll have a talented, loyal pet.
Malkavians - These poor souls lost their way long ago. While they have generally sided with us in the past, they cannot be depended on for any real length of time. But do not make the mistake of ignoring them. Their madness can make them dangerous.
Nosferatu - They do much to serve us, more than they know or would admit. Their constant information brokering sometimes hurts us, but more often keeps the other clans in line. Still, they are to be feared, for their dark places are safe for no one.
Toreador - Cunning. While they often appear innocuous, many are as capable at business as we are. Individually, they are usually trustworthy, but as a clan, they can switch sides in an instant, and rarely suffer for it.
Tremere - A constant annoyance. Using a Tremere is rarely worth the precautions necessary in dealing with them. As long as no one trusts them, they present little danger, so be sure to publicize their duplicity, real or not.
Caitiff - I pity these castoffs, forever alone in their unlife. They have no heritage. Remember this, for it often possible to offer them a place in society for their loyalty. But it's rarely worth the effort.
And then there are those that refuse our benevolent leadership:
Sabbat - They seek to destroy all we hold dear. The only saving grace is that they are inherently self-destructive. Always watch behind you for their minions, for they will not rest until they kill us all.
Lasombra - The Lasombra are our counterparts in the Sabbat. They are perhaps the most dangerous Sabbat it will be your displeasure to encounter. They hide in and watch from the shadows, and have been knownto obliterate more than a few unwary Kindred.
Tzimisce - The other major Clan of the Sabbat, the Tzimisce have a heritage almost as noble as our own. They also select their members with care from the elite of society, but where we merely desire to guide, they are determined to control. They manipulate many things, including their own (and other's) bodies.
Setites - While not members of the Sabbat, neither are the Setites members of the Camarilla. Most are of Egyptian descent, and have the peculiar snake fetish common in ancient Egyptian society. Consummate corrupters, they are more interested in your soul than your life. If you must use one, make sure he is set up to take the fall from any problems.
Ventrue antitribu - Our fallen cousins, they often appear as Brujah poseurs. They believe that they are free, and thus are the biggest fools of all.
Werewolves - They worship and do the bidding of powerful spirits. Show them no mercy, for they will show you none. Generally, though, they respond well to Dominate and Presence.
And now, about our own Clan.
All of us control segments of the Kine. However, we tend to specialize, usually concentrating on a field we were acquainted with in life. But it basically boils down to four categories:
Politicians - One of the most prestigious places in the Clan is the control of Kine politics. Most Politicians have been working in this area for at least ten years. You start by selecting promising young lawyers, court clerks, and minor city officials... the leaders of the future. This is the job of those patient enough to wait for results.
Businessmen - We have many a financial wizard in the flock. Delicate control of the big businesses is vital to our Clan's prosperity. Most of the Ventrue go through this stage at some point, and it is generally considered the primary function within the Clan.
Institutional Bosses - Others exert control over the various institutions in the city: police, schools, hospitals, et cetera. While not as fundamental as politics, or as lucrative as business, these Kindred nevertheless fulfill a vital function. They control places the rest of us cannot directly get at.
Enforcers - Then there are the Kindred recruited for their physical prowess. Usually ghouls are used for this position, but when one shows good leadership skills, she may be granted the Embrace. This is often the job of very young Kindred, but many an Archon comes from our Enforcers.
Then there are the ranks within the Clan. Generally, the best way to insure your own advancement is to help those above you rise in rank. This opens positions for you, and will result in allies in the ranks above.
Neonates - A newly released Childe remains a Neonate for many years, until she has established sufficient control in an area of her choice and rendered services to the Clan. During this period, and sometimes even later, her Sire is still held Accountable for her actions by the Ventrue, if not by Kindred society.
Ancillae - Once a Neonate has proven herself worthy of the name Ventrue, she may be promoted to Ancilla. Depending on a Neonate's raw ability, our resources in her area, and the support of her local Clan, this can take from five to fifty years, though true prodigies can make it faster. But if you're not Ancilla if half a century, you'll never make it.
Elders - A rank reserved for the most powerful and prosperous of the active Ventrue. An Elder normally has dominant control over some aspect of the Kine, and is almost always at least twenty years Embraced. Again, with the right opportunities and the talent, you can get there faster.
Spheres of Influence:
Everywhere the Camarilla is, we are strong. There are certain exceptions: the Tremere's Vienna for one, and periodically certain New World cities will fall out of our grasp for a time. Stay out of the Sabbat controlled New England, most of the United States Midwest, and the Anarch California "Free State". Additionally, Far Eastern Asia is an unknown, as is rural South America.
Where did we come from?
Once, in the days when Caine was young, he built the First City, Enoch, a monument to what Kindred can accomplish. Caine ordered his childe, Lamech, to Sire a young man named Veddartha, now known as Ventrue, the first of the Third Generation, and our Clan's founder. Ventrue was Caine's constant companion and first advisor. Eventually, Caine's childer began to Sire the rest of the Third Generation. This worried Caine, and he began to prophesy to Ventrue. He told of the Flood, of the disasters that would devastate the Kine, how the childer of Seth would blame the childer of Caine, and hunt them with faith and fire. Ventrue heard these words with a heavy heart, and began to prepare for the day when all would turn against us. He hid away great and powerful relics, so that they would not be stolen or squandered.
When the Flood struck, Ventrue was the last to speak with Caine. We know not what passed between them, but when the Flood receded, Ventrue was prepared for the building of the Second City. Here he buried the artifacts he had collected, for he knew that even though the City would fall, these treasures would be safe.
When the Second City fell, the Kindred began to spread, all over the world. We were at work in the rise of the great empires of the ancient world, benefiting the mortals to no end. And then the Brujah took Carthage. They walked among the mortals as gods, openly revealing our heritage. It became imperative that we stop them, for we were the only ones who could see the path down which they were walking. Over a hundred years the Punic wars raged, but we won. Carthage was burned to the ground and the land sown with salt so that no one would ever return.
This set us on the path we have followed ever since: to lead our brethren, and to prepare for and to prevent Gehenna.
What are our plans for the future?
To protect the Masquerade, to fight the Sabbat, and to gather the Clans in unity; these are the purposes toward which we work.
How do we meet?
In the past, we have used several means of government, from a grand Senate to small fiefdoms. Now, most cities have a Directorate which meets monthly. Every Ventrue in the area is expected to attend. Here we lay out our individual plans to garner support from others, and take our parts in the overall plans of the Clan.
About the Traditions:
We instituted them.
We keep them.
End of line.
If it becomes absolutely necessary to break a Tradition, by whatever you hold dear, make sure there are no witnesses, for being caught brings shame on the whole Clan. If you are caught, accept whatever punishment the Prince meets out. Anything else is beneath you.
On Clan advancement:
Respect your Elders. Help them advance and they will support your advancement. Get involved in Kine society, make contacts and allies, gather competent retainers, and, above all, use these to benefit the Clan. The more visibly useful you are to the Clan, the faster you advance.
Some Ventrue of note:
Anne Bowesley - During the Second World War, London suffered numerous bombing raids by Germany. The former Prince, Mithras, disappeared in one of these raids. Bowesley quickly eliminated several rivals and assumed the Princehood. But, dissatisfied with the male title Prince, she instead
became known as Queen Anne. She still rules London today and has almost direct control of Parliament itself.
Lodin - Despite his Destruction some few years ago, the name of Lodin still strikes terror into the hearts of many a Kindred. For many years he served as Prince of Chicago, dying in a Lupine attack in 1993. A staunch supporter of the Camarilla, he ruled Chicago with an iron fist, and was respected and feared by all within his Domain.
Aaron Gilford - A deadly opponent at swordplay, Gilford first came to prominence during the Third Crusade as a gifted leader and consummate strategist. He has served the Ventrue (and the Camarilla) in almost every capacity. Long since retired from politics, however, he now maintains a keep near Ankara, only emerging in times of great danger to the Clan and occasionally to hunt those Kindred most wanted by the Camarilla.
If you are interested in learning more about the Ventrue Clan, go straight to the source
with White Wolf's Clanbook: Ventrue.
The Ventrue Clan Novel was a little slow. I was so impressed by the Gangrel Clan Novel (also
by the same author) that perhaps I set my expectations too high. The Ventrue novel deals with
three powerful Ventrue vying for control of the city and resources of Baltimore in the struggle
against the Sabbat.